LAW-2580 Advanced Civil Procedure

Prof. Linda Sandstrom Simard,

3 credits day; 3 credits evening.


This class will be very important to anyone seeking to pursue a career involving complex litigation, class actions, and/or impact litigation addressing important social issues (i.e. civil rights, etc.). A central feature of the American civil justice system is its adversarial approach to adjudication. By placing the parties in charge of identifying the issues, collecting relevant evidence, and presenting arguments to a neutral decision-maker, the pursuit of justice is placed squarely in the hands of those who are most intimately affected by the outcome. As our society has evolved and disputes have become more far reaching, the system has been stretched to accommodate increasingly complex cases involving large numbers of disparate parties. From public law cases involving important social policies such as Brown v. Board of Education, to private law actions involving injury to thousands of parties, the principles of our adversarial system are being challenged. In this course, we will build upon the fundamentals of civil procedure that you learned during first year (a helpful review for the bar), and we will consider whether the existing tools such as joinder (permissive, mandatory, class, etc.), transfer (including multi district litigation), jurisdiction and preclusion are effectively responding to the demands of modern litigation.


Faculty comments: The goal of this course is to engage students in a conversation about the challenges of modern litigation and the effectiveness of our civil rules in responding to these challenges. We will discuss a variety of ways to treat related claims, including voluntary or mandatory joinder, interpleader, intervener, consolidation, and transfer, and we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. We will also discuss the use of stays, dismissals, and anti suit injunctions to avoid inconsistent judgments when related cases are filed in dueling jurisdictions. The final segment of the course will focus on class action litigation, focusing on the requirements for certifying a mandatory, opt out, or settlement class action, and the utility of each vehicle.

I hope to create a comfortable environment that will encourage class wide discussion -- as opposed to a lecture or Socratic format. I plan to begin each class with some remarks about the topic at hand and then pose questions that will provoke conversation about the (in)adequacies of the rules in handling difficult situations. Final grades will be based upon an examination (essay and multiple choice) as well as class participation.


pointer    Enrollment is limited: 20 

pointer    Elective Course

pointer    Meets Civil Litigation Concentration Requirements

pointer    Take Home Exam Required


<<Course Updated: March 11, 2016>>