Law Reform Litigation (Aronchick)
M 4:30PM - 6:20PM
Tanenbaum Hall 253
This course will be an intensive, skills-based analysis of what it takes to build a successful case for law reform, sometimes referred to as public interest impact litigation.
One truism about successful litigation is that it is mandatory to assemble facts in a way that presents a compelling narrative. “Fact lawyering” is the most important part of litigation. Successful law reform litigation requires successful fact lawyering. This course will teach students the basics of fact lawyering, using as case studies several recent successful law reform cases in Pennsylvania courts: the same sex marriage case; the gerrymandering litigation; and the soda tax victory; and the recent election cases.
Among other skills, students will learn: how to choose plaintiffs; how to choose experts; the importance of a parallel media campaign; discovery strategy; the use of social media; the importance of amici; when and whether to seek injunctive relief. In short, we will explore how to persuade the court and the public of the justice and fairness of the law reformers’ mission through factual narrative.
Along the way, we also will discuss the unique issues in working with public interest organizations; the special circumstances around developing political support; and the occasional strategies of seeking parallel legislative solutions for the cause at hand.
This one credit, experiential course will be limited to twelve second and/or third year students. We will meet for one two-hour class each of the six weeks.
Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.