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Course Details

Litigating Civil Rights Cases (Feinberg)

Spring 2024   LAW 653-001  

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Additional Information
Experiential Course

Yes

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Drafting Legal Documents
Other Professional Skills:

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement

No

Location

Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- If you are absent, due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can ask for volunteers among your classmates to share their notes with you.

Meeting Times/Location
T 4:30PM - 6:20PM
Silverman Hall 280

Category
Upper-Level

Credits
2.0

This credit/fail course will provide experiential instruction in the pre-trial litigation of civil rights cases under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Throughout the semester, the class will use a mock case file based on a recently litigated wrongful conviction claim as students participate in each stage of the litigation, including the following:

- Client and witness interviewing - Researching the viability of legal theories and defenses - Drafting pleadings, including complaints and/or dispositive motions - Oral argument on dispositive motions - In-court conferences (expected to include a conference with a federal judge) - Discovery techniques and tools, including deposition questioning - Settlement advocacy and negotiation - Development of trial theories and themes

Class sessions will involve a blend of brief lecture by the instructor, with occasional guest practitioners, and student participation in mock litigation exercises. Out-of-class work will require tasks akin to the work a practicing attorney performs to prepare for litigation activities, such as background research and investigation, document review, and drafting of pleadings.

Prior exposure to the relevant substantive legal areas (e.g., the Constitutional Litigation or Federal Courts courses) is preferred but not required.

Course Concentrations

Skills Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of the individual course skill; Demonstrate the ability to receive and implement feedback; Demonstrate an understanding of how and when the individual course skill is employed in practice.

Constitutional Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of constitutional law; Perform legal analysis in the context of constitutional law; Communicate effectively on topics related to constitutional law; Demonstrate an understanding of constitutional law affects other areas of law.

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.

Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.