Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024

Typical Lawyer

A young man wanted to study law but did not have enough money for tuition. He befriended a law professor and made him this offer:
I would like you to be my private tutor. Here is my proposal: after passing the bar exam, if I win my first case, I will pay you three times your normal fee. If I lose my first case, however, I will owe you nothing. The professor thought the student showed great promise so agreed to these terms and they each signed a contract stating such. Years go by and finally the day arrives and the student passed his bar exam.
Afterward, the student informed the teacher that he had no intention of honoring his part of the bargain and refused to pay the professor anything. The Professor sued the student for breach of contract and the student represented himself.

Now, here is the dilemma: If the teacher wins, the student would own him nothing, and if the student wins, he would also owe him nothing. How can the teacher collect his money?


There are a few good answers. Discuss!

Submit your Guess




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16 guesses to Typical Lawyer

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  • accourding to the contract the student pays nothing if he losses ,but if he wins the case the court say he pay,s nothing .

  • Dude

    Well, that’s true. Now, how can the teacher collect his money.

  • I’d say his best chance for winning is to basically do something to cause the trial to be thrown out of court. As I see it causing a mistrial would negate both of the situations.

  • Dude

    That it not the answer we’re looking for, Cartmen, although it’s a very good answer.

    Keep trying.

  • ken

    he cant just sue him for the money?

  • Michael Leyva

    I don’t know much about Law, but If I had to guess..

    The Professor would have know that he has to lose this case to get his money.

    seeing that that he was suing the student. he can just as easily not show up for the court date. I believe there is something with that if your opponent is not there. you win by default. like when you receive a traffic ticket and the police officer that writes you up doesn’t show up at signed date. You don’t pay your ticket. that sound right?

  • Dude

    Nope, keep guessing.

  • Michael Leyva

    The teacher wins, the student would OWE him nothing, based on the contract.

    The Teacher would receive payment based on the Court decision.

  • Michael Leyva

    The teacher wins, the student would OWE him nothing, based on the “contract”.

    The Teacher would receive payment based on the “Court decision”.

  • Dude

    Nope, that’s not it, keep trying.

  • Mike

    The professor is suing the man over breaching the contract. Since at the time of the court case there has been no breech of contract yet, the professor will lose the case and the kid will have to pay him 3 times the normal fee.

  • Dude

    That’s the closest answer we’ve gotten so far. Here’s how the RiddleDude thinks the professor can get his money:

    First, do not sue. Since the contract is predicated on the outcome of the first case, any declaration the student makes before then is moot. After the student tries his first case, if he wins then the teacher should be paid. If he sues the student then, he could win.

    Second: If the professor sues and wins the case, the judgment of the court would supersede the original agreement, so the student would be legally bound to pay his teacher. Once again, they’d have to wait because no money is actually owed until the outcome of the first case is decided.

    Great job, Mike, you’re today’s winner.

  • If Teacher loses the case then student will win. After that teacher can file a suit for specific performance of contract on the base that he has won his first case.

  • Kirtivardhan

    The teacher must intentionally file his case/suit in a wrong forum, as a result his case would be not maintainable and the student would win the case without going in to the merits of the case and contract. Thus the student will win the case and since the court has not decided it on merits of the case however the student has won it without any order of the court relevant to the terms of the contract, so the student would have to comply the terms of contract by paying his fees since he has won it and the teacher lost the case without any direction of the court on terms of the contract.

    Took me 5 seconds to answer…am I a genius or a big fool?

  • Parth Shah

    If the teacher sues the student and if the teacher wins the case then it will depend on the judgement whether the student will pay or not and it is to be assumed that the judge will make judgement in favour of teacher.
    If teacher losses that means student wins and as per the agreement between student and teacher the student is bound to pay the fees.

  • May

    The student only passed the exam but didn’t do the first case. The student shouldn’t pay the tutor cuz the deal is if he win his first case he will pay the tutor.