Skip to content

Federal Habeas Litigation

B564 is taught by M. Ausbrook, S. Lahn

This clinical course is designed to familiarize students with the fundamentals of federal habeas corpus litigation and to involve them in live cases at various stages. In addition to becoming familiar with the basic statutes, rules, and cases that run habeas litigation, students will conduct legal research, draft various kinds of documents connected with live filings, and investigate the facts of live cases or as part of the screening process of potential cases. When possible, students may also attend court hearings and visit clients in the Indiana prisons.

For new students who have not covered the basics of federal habeas law, the class meets twice a week. The importance of the classes cannot be overstated. (For that reason, the in-class hours are scheduled as if this were a three credit class.)

For continuing students, there will be a weekly all-group meeting that will be used for discussion by the students of their case work, the assignment of new work, and the discussion of questions and problems that have arisen. When they can be arranged, there will also be talks by people outside the law school about their perspective regarding federal habeas work.

Course Goals: By the end of the course, new students should have: 1) some considerable useful practical knowledge about federal habeas corpus litigation for example, how to get the necessary facts and then how to accurately calculate the filing deadline for a habeas petition; 2) how to construct a habeas petition; and 3) a considerably deepened understanding of how the criminal justice system in the United States works and not infrequently doesn t.

Continuing students will probably have worked on some pretty mind-bending cases and will maybe even have achieved a win.