Spring 2016
    Law No.: LAW8019
    Sched. No.: 116210562

Virginia Practice and Procedure
Section 1
Sinclair, Kent

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):TR, 1130-1250 (WB104)
Capacity:44 **This information is current as of 06/13/2016 06:14:01 AM**
Current Enrollment:13 **This information is current as of 06/13/2016 06:14:01 AM**

Course Description:


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Virginia practice is unusual in many respects. Most jurisdictions adopted a unified system for handling civil litigation between 1939 and 1955; Virginia only made this move January 1, 2006. Much settling-out is needed. Normal, unified court systems (such as the federal system on which the first-year course in civil procedure is based) operate smoothly and have powerful management tools in place. Virginia is different from numerous vantage points: it has adhered to a view of what a "cause of action" is that is different from every other American jurisdiction. These distinctions—along with some horrendous defects in the operation of both pre-trial and appellate processes in Virginia—give rise to a host of differences between the litigation landscape in Virginia and the situation in the rest of the nation. These differences affect the real-world practices of lawyers attempting to structure legal claims, the practical details of pleading and motion practice, the availability of such fundamental protections as the right to jury trial, the application of statutes of limitations, the effect of litigation (e.g., does it bar another claim arising from the very same events?), and several other bedrock issues in the operation of a modern legal system.

The Virginia Practice and Procedure course is primarily for students who intend to become members of the Virginia Bar. The class will emphasize the practical legal issues that must be mastered to surmount the structural and procedural difficulties with the Virginia system, at the trial and appellate levels. The course will be relevant whether a student plans to be a litigator (attempting to navigate the numerous pitfalls in Virginia practice) or to specialize in non-litigation legal representation in Virginia, because the quirks and starkly debilitating aspects of Virginia’s legal system often make the background context and alternatives for non-litigated enforcement of legal rights in Virginia more difficult than those in other jurisdictions. The course will necessarily touch upon the contractual resolution of issues that in other states would be litigated, the strategic effects of settlements and partial settlements, and the key litigation alternative of arbitration (which, unfortunately, has its own problems in Virginia law). Important law reform efforts are afoot in Virginia, and key current issues and developments will be included in the course coverage.

Course Requirement:Flex examination at end of the semester.