Fall 2014
    Law No.: LAW9200
    Sched. No.: 114821089

Federal Pretrial Litigation*
Section 1
Rottenborn, John B.

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):T, 1815-2015 (WB129)
Capacity:16 **This information is current as of 05/29/2015 06:15:08 AM**
Current Enrollment:18 **This information is current as of 05/29/2015 06:15:08 AM**

Course Description:

Fewer and fewer civil cases make it to trial today. As a result, the pretrial litigation process is more important than ever. This course seeks to complement the law school’s robust trial advocacy curriculum by focusing on the litigation that takes place before trial, and how every step in a case’s lifespan affects the ultimate outcome of the case. Students will focus on developing their advocacy skills in the pretrial motion process and gaining a practical understanding of the increasingly important role of discovery in civil cases. Part of the course will be spent on mock exercises (e.g., arguing motions and conducting depositions) in which some students will participate while the rest of the class, and guest practitioners, will serve as either judges or witnesses and provide constructive feedback. Students will use a mock case – based on actual litigation – as a common thread throughout the semester.

The rest of the class sessions will be seminar-style discussions of the pretrial litigation phases, including recent developments pertaining to each and discussions with leading practitioners – both attorneys and judges – about effective ways to address each step in the pretrial process. Each session will focus on a different pretrial step. Topics will include the complaint (fact investigation, drafting strategies, ethical issues); motion to dismiss (drafting strategies, impact of recently-altered federal pleading standards; decision to file/not file); discovery (written discovery, e-discovery, deposition discovery, expert discovery); and summary judgment (cost/benefit of filing; impact of earlier case decisions and discovery on chances of success). Grades will be based on the litigation exercises, class participation, and written work product (primarily legal briefs).

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: Enrolled students who do not attend the first class session will be dropped. Students seeking to enroll in this course must attend the first class session.
COURSE REQUIREMENT: Litigation exercises, class participation, and written work product (primarily legal briefs)

This course is on the professional skills course list.