Advanced Civil Litigation

This course will undertake an in-depth examination of issues presented by "real world" complex civil litigation, with emphasis on business and commercial disputes and mass tort proceedings. It will focus on both federal and New York procedure. The course will initially consider the parties to such litigation, examining permissive and required joinder, intervention and consolidation. It will then focus on a litigator's efforts in a complex case to obtain a favorable federal, state or foreign forum, including a study of basic principles of federal jurisdiction, duplicative litigation, transfer and removal of cases and the forum non conveniens doctrine. The unique issues presented by attempts to maintain and defeat class actions will be addressed in detail, as will discovery matters arising in complex litigation, such as electronic discovery, document destruction and waiver of privilege. The impact on a complex case of claim and issue preclusion arising from other judicial determinations will be analyzed. Alternate dispute resolution techniques will also receive attention. The course is intended to assist students in applying knowledge of civil procedure to issues which are likely to be encountered in actual cases. Students will have an opportunity to enhance their advocacy skills and their substantive knowledge by arguing in class motions based on the subject matter under study. The basic material for the course is the casebook Complex Litigation: Cases and Materials on Advanced Civil Procedure, by Marcus, Sherman and Erichson (6th Ed. 2015), as supplemented by hand-outs.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.