Over 95% of the cases filed in courts today settle or are disposed of by motion. To be prepared properly for the practice of law, students aspiring to be civil litigators will need instruction in pretrial matters. This course is designed to provide the student with a working knowledge of both pretrial advocacy theory and fundamental pretrial skills involved in civil litigation. Students will receive instruction on all aspects of civil pretrial practice, primarily in federal court, including: case evaluation, interviewing, fact investigation and evaluation, client counseling, pleadings, discovery, negotiations, mediation, and motions practice.
The course will typically be based upon mock federal civil case files for which students will be divided into plaintiff and defendant counsel groups. In addition to discussion of pretrial methods, rules and procedures, the students will actually prepare the mock case by evaluating the case, interviewing witnesses, fact finding, and participating in both written and oral discovery as well as motion practice and pretrial conferences and/or mediation. By actively practicing the technique and theory learned, the students will be involved in problem solving, legal analysis, strategy, management of cases and the resolution of ethical problems presented. Students will develop written and oral skills while applying substantive law as required by the chosen case file. Enrollment is limited to 24 students.
PREREQUISITES: Evidence (Law 890).