Pretrial Litigation

B564 is taught by E. Boshkoff, P. Price, M. Rosiello, A. Tanford

In today s litigation world, where only a minute fraction of civil cases actually go to trial, litigators devote the vast bulk of their time and effort to pretrial proceedings. Thus, cases are typically won or lost during the pretrial practice stage, not during the trial itself. Moreover, even in the few cases that go to trial, effective pretrial preparation is the key to putting the client in the best position for success.

This course will address pretrial aspects of civil litigation from initial case intake through discovery, summary judgment and settlement negotiations. We will look at real-world issues that arise in pretrial litigation, with the goal of understanding best litigation practices to achieve the most favorable outcome for the client. The course will involve real life, practical tips provided by lawyers and judges, as well as a strong emphasis on the litigation rules that govern pretrial proceedings.

Throughout the course, students will be presented with practical problems that require the application of litigation skills as well as an understanding of litigation fundamentals. Students will be given an opportunity to conduct a mock witness interview and mock deposition and will be provided detailed feedback regarding these exercises. Students will also draft pre-trial materials, such as discovery requests. Grades will be based on written work product, performance during the witness interview and deposition, and class participation. There is no final exam. Evidence is a requirement for the course