Law school, it sometimes seems, is one big hypothetical situation. You learn how courts apply the law to certain facts and case. Then you consider how that law applies in other, circumstances – a hypothetical, or “hypo.”
The thing about hypos, though, is that they often contain factual omissions. This is not to trick you, but to focus your answer within the doctrine you’re studying. The key is to answer what’s in front of you – no more, no less. However, once you start tumbling down the “but if we knew_____” rabbit-hole, you’re done. You are, as a professor might say, “fighting the hypo.” That’s never good, at least in class or on an exam. As my Torts professor would say, “anyone can make up facts and answer their own question. Answer my question.” While we would never say so in class, to that we say Bullocks. Fight away. Fight with us. Blow off some steam.
We might say “fighting the hypo, so you don’t have to.” But secretly we’re hoping you’ll join the fight with us. Fight on.