Categories: Law Practice Skills Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Course Description

This three credit seminar teaches the important skills that lawyers use up until the time of trial. Since the vast majority of cases settle before trial, a lawyer's success has at least as much to do with mastery of the nuts and bolts of pre-trial advocacy as courtroom prowess. The seminar will use a simulation approach to cover skills that include:

* Interviewing and counseling clients.

* Drafting a complaint.

* Drafting interrogatories and responses to interrogatories.

* Taking and defending depositions.

* Drafting a pre-trial memorandum.

* Participating in a mediation conference.

Students will receive immediate feedback from the instructors on the in-class simulations. The seminar is limited to approx 36 students. Second and third year students are eligible. This course is being offered on a pass/fail basis.

Expectations and Goals

By the end of this course, students should:
* Acquire a deeper understanding of how the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure work from a strategic perspective in the context of actual litigation;
* Develop negotiation skills in the “meet and confer” context;
* Begin developing the ability to exercise judgment, based on acquired knowledge, in hypothetical situations that mirror real life litigation;
* Understand the process of litigation from filing to final judgment in a strategic and professional manner;
* Develop the ability to identify client objectives and craft litigation strategy; and,
* Learn to appreciate a lawyer’s role in civil litigation, including the use of procedural tools such as discovery and motions, as well as how to conduct oneself consistent with the standards of professional conduct.

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