Course - Law
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This course will introduce students to the structure and operation of civil litigation in federal courts. The term civil as used here distinguishes this course from criminal procedure. The civil litigation processes we will study involve lawsuits in which the parties seek civil remedies, such as compensatory or punitive damages, injunctive relief, or a declaratory judgement. The term procedure refers to the statutes, rules, and judicial doctrines governing the process of litigation rather than the substantive principles underlying the claims and defenses in litigation.

The course will cover a range of topics relating to the structure of litigation and dispute resolution. These include the meaning of the constitutional guarantee of due process, notice, and opportunity to be heard; jurisdiction (or judicial power) over the parties and the subject-matter of litigation; venue and forum non conveniens; rules governing the content of pleadings and the scope of litigation; attorneys' duties of honesty and reasonable investigation in litigation; discovery of factual information during litigation; summary judgment and other mechanisms for dispositution of cases; doctrines of finality and preclusion; and alternative methods of dispute resolution.





Richard Freer & Wendy Perdue, Civil Procedure: Cases, Materials, and Questions (6th ed 2012)

A. Benjamin Spencer, Federal Civil Rules Supplement 2012-2013 (West 2012) 

Gerald Stern, The Buffalo Creek Disaster (1976) (Vintage)


Joseph Glannon, The Glannon Guide to Civil Procedure (2nd edition 2012) (Wolters Kluwer) ISBN 1454817194

Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action (1995) (Random House ) ISBN 0394563492

Joseph Glannon, Civil Procedure - Examples and Explanations (6th edition 2008 or newest edition) (Aspen)


Course Format

The course utilizes traditional lecture, Socratic questioning, role-playing, and group exercises.

Written Assignments

 Some written assignments in connection with group exercises.

Type of Exam

The exam will be open-book, open-note. Students may bring into the exam the assigned texts, students notes, any additional materials that the professor has distributed in class or posted on line, and any outline that the student has helped create. Students may not bring into the exam any commercial outlines, hornbooks, or other commercial study aids.

Basis for grading

Students will be graded on the basis of the final examination, administered anonymously. 

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