Thinking Like a Litigator (McConnell/Magaziner)
T 4:30PM - 6:30PM
This course focuses on litigation strategy. (The course does NOT teach trial advocacy skills.)
We will work with a dozen hypothetical cases, often using actors to bring the cases to life. Students will assess the strengths and weaknesses of each case, identify possible outcomes, define what a "win" would be, and try to develop "winning" strategies and themes that can be applied to pleadings, motion practice, discovery, experts, settlement and trial.
No text is used and no reading is required other than the case materials. Students will not need to do any legal research but they will have to take into account the relevant substantive (mostly contract and tort) law. A course in Evidence will be helpful but it is not a prerequisite.
Students will actually do some of the things that litigators do day-to-day, such as reporting to more senior lawyers, advising clients, drafting pleadings, planning discovery, arguing discovery motions, taking (very short) depositions, evaluating experts and settling claims. Every student will "perform" about five times.
Students are expected to attend and actively participate in all class sessions. Every week, students will submit a very short email about newly introduced cases. Students will also write five short papers. In lieu of a final exam, students will write a long paper about a hypothetical case. Grades are based on (1) class participation, (2) the weekly emails, (3) the five short papers, and (4) the take-home final exam/paper.
LL.M. students with excellent spoken English skills are most welcome; students without such skills will likely find it difficult to perform in class and to participate fully in class discussions.
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.
Professional Responsibility and Ethics Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.