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Brainstorm about the "Erie Doctrine" so that you can spot the Erie question on exams. The Erie question will come up only when parties are in Federal court based on diversity jurisdiction (if you're not sure why, take a minute and think about it). Your fact pattern will need to contain some kind of state statute. Often, there will be a federal statute that potentially conflicts with the given state statute but sneaky law professors don't tell you about the federal statute. Instead, they give you a state statute that is very similar to a FRCP and its up to you to realize that the FRCP is the Federal rule that is used in the Hanna analysis.
Proximate Cause freaks everyone out. Learn it in a way that actually works. Most people understand proximate cause best when they think about things that fail the proximate cause test because they are not foreseeable. When someone is careless, most of the time, the resulting damage will be considered foreseeable. In order to be considered unforeseeable because it's blamed on a superseding event, you'd need to see an act of God or Nature, A criminal act or intentional tort of a third party, or an act by the victim himself.