Course - Law
Instructor Katherine Barnes   View Faculty Page
Emailkathie.barnes@law.arizona.edu
Units 3 - Graded
Prerequisites: Law Students: None / Graduate Students: Graduate level quantitative methods class / Undergraduate Students: Econometrics or its equivalent 
Recommended Courses: Law Students: Evidence, Pretrial / Graduate Students: knowledge of a statistical or general programming language (C, C++, Gauss, Stata, R, S-plus, etc.) 
Overview

This course explores the role of experts in litigation through a simulation of the entire pretrial process of using an expert to aid in the litigation of a complex discrimination case.  Both graduate students and law students interested in the legal uses of social science research are encouraged to enroll.  Civil rights litigation, class actions and mass torts are just a few of the typical large-scale litigations that involve significant empirical social science.  The course has two primary aims: first, to explore the use (and abuse) of experts and social science in litigation and second, to demonstrate, in the context of litigation, the importance of communication between experts in social science and consumers of social science, in this case litigators.

 

 

The course will consist primarily of a litigation simulation involving a class action in which race or gender discrimination is alleged. Law students will take on the role of litigators and graduate/undergraduate students will take on the role of expert witnesses.  Litigator/expert teams will be assigned roles as plaintiffs or defendants legal team.  A set of stipulated facts, along with a dataset, will be provided. Litigators are responsible for researching the relevant law, and communicating the relevant legal rules  to the experts. Experts are responsible for conducting the statistical analysis necessary to answer the relevant legal questions. Both litigators and experts will be expected to work independently. Throughout the simulation, litigators and expert witnesses are mutually responsible for communicating their expertise to their partner in order to assist the team as a whole.  

 

 

In the simulation, expert reports and summary judgment cross-motions are prepared; depositions of expert witnesses are taken; and responses to the opposing sides expert reports and summary judgment motions are prepared.  Litigators are responsible for the preparation of summary judgment motions, responses, and taking depositions.  Expert witnesses are responsible for the creation of expert reports and rebuttals of opposing reports.  The course culminates in a mock examination and cross-examination of the expert witness in front of the judge. The second simulation will consist of cross-motions for summary judgment and expert reports; no depositions or rebuttals/responses are required.  The longer simulation will involve voting rights litigation; the shorter simulation will involve employment discrimination.  Familiarity with these areas of law is not required, although it is likely helpful for the law students enrolled in the class. 

Materials Course packet; reference materials on statistics and pretrial process will be useful to some students as well. 
Course Format Students will work in lawyer/expert teams throughout the course. While there will be occasional lectures, the class will primarily be focused on seminar-style discussion and individual meetings with students. There will also be outside speakers discussing their role in expert litigation (either as lawyers, experts, or judges). 
Written Assignments Law students will be required to write memos describing the legal rules and the goals of their client for the expert witness, a summary judgment motion and a response to the opposing summary judgment motion. A rough draft and final draft of each motion and memo will be graded. Graduate students will be required to write an expert report and a rebuttal report for the simulation. A rough draft and final draft of each report will be graded. The class satisfies the writing requirement for law students. 
Type of Exam None 
Basis for grading Course grades will be based upon all written work required in the class (see written assignment, above), performance in the deposition and examination/cross-examination of expert witnesses, evaluation of communication within the students litigation team, and class participation. 
Additional Comments Feel free to contact Professor Barnes at kathie.barnes@law.arizona.edu or 520-621-5513 with any questions. 
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