Federal Civil Litigation, Public Law and Justice Seminar

This seminar will look at issues in federal civil litigation that raise questions about whether our federal civil procedural system is able to meet the goal of doing justice, focusing on public law and civil rights cases. Among the topics to be considered are alternative dispute resolution, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund , access to courts, the disappearance of federal civil trials, secret settlements, the division between judge/jury decision making in summary judgment, Daubert and post-verdict motions, the decline of public adjudication, the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions on procedure, the Rulemaking process for reform of federal civil procedure and comparative civil procedure.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade with pass/fail option. Students will be required to give an oral class presentation on an approved topic of their choice, and will either write a paper on that topic or take an exam if they choose. Class attendance will be critical and grades will be based on class participation, oral presentation and paper or exam. With the permission of the instructor, a limited number of students may write a paper to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement.