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Pretrial Litigation

B564 is taught by P. Price, A. Tanford

In today s litigation world, where only a miniscule percentage of civil cases actually go to trial, litigators devote the vast bulk of their time and effort to pretrial proceedings. This course will address those aspects of civil litigation from the pleadings through depositions and summary judgment. We will look in detail at the 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 framework of the course will be a close examination of the meaning and use in practice of the relevant Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, along with cases and articles dealing with specific litigation issues. We will also discuss some of the Rules of Professional Conduct that apply to the conduct of litigation.

In addition to the class sessions, the course will have a series of practical assignments designed to replicate pre-trial proceedings. The first set of assignments will be team writing exercises involving a compliant, answer, and discovery based around a movie chosen by each pair of teams. The second will be individual exercises centered around a mock deposition, with review of the students performance by experienced lawyers.

The course will be graded based on class participation and the out-of-class assignments. There will be no final exam.

Evidence is a prerequisite.