Civil Litigation

Requirements

24 credits, with at least 12 credits ​​from the following courses:

  • Title
  • Type
  • Credits
  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    Examines fundamental and practical issues of federal and New York administrative law. Deals with the scope of power of administrative agencies and the relationship of such agencies to other branches of government. ​​​

  • Focuses on prosecuting and defending a civil rights claim brought pursuant to 42 U.C.C. 167 1983. Deals with constitutional theory and interpretation, emphasizing practical aspects and procedural tactics inherent in suing or defending a civil rights claim in federal court.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    Studies problems in cases having contact with two or more states or nations. Course has three basic components: jurisdiction, choice of law, and recognition and enforcement of sister-state and foreign judgments.

  • ​This course examines the proper role of the federal courts in the American political system. The ability of a litigant to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts is regulated by a variety of constitutional, statutory and judge-made doctrines. As such, topics explored will include: the case or controversy limitations contained in Article III, advanced topics in subject matter, diversity and supplemental jurisdiction, the availability of habeas corpus review, state sovereignty and the Eleventh Amendment, the abstention doctrines, the power of federal courts to create common law, removal actions, and 42 U.S.C.§1983 and Bivens civil rights actions.  Exploring the themes of federalism and separation of powers addressed in the basic Constitutional Law course, this course at its core examines the power of Congress to allocate judicial power among the federal courts, federal agencies and States. This course should prove to be particularly valuable to students who anticipate clerking for a federal or state judge, who plan to litigate before federal and state courts, or who are planning for a public interest or public sector career.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Covers civil procedure in New York courts, concentrating on the supreme court, but with references, as necessary, to differentiated practices in lower courts of civil jurisdiction. Examines practice and procedure in the New York courts in detail, from commencement of the action through pleadings and parties.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Continues New York Practice I, covering service of pleadings, pretrial motion practice, pretrial discovery, provisional remedies, calendar practice, judgments, appeals, enforcement of judgments, and special proceedings.

    Prerequisite: New York Practice

  • ​Exposes students to a progression of pretrial skills necessary to represent a client from client interview up to the actual trial. Students are assigned to represent either the plaintiff or the defendant in a simulated case and take the case through every stage of the pretrial process. Students conduct a client interview, perform informal fact investigation, draft a complaint and an answer, serve interrogatories and answers to interrogatories, conduct a deposition and draft a Motion for Summary Judgement and memorandum of law based on the discovery that they have done. Students are required to attend a weekly on-hour lecture and participate in a two-hour lab where pretrial skills are practiced.

  • Exposes students to a progression of pretrial skills necessary to the defense and prosecution of a criminal case. Students are assigned to represent either the prosecution or the defendant in a simulated criminal case and take the case through every stage of the pretrial process. Students conduct a client/victim interview, perform fact investigation and legal research, draft and respond to criminal charges, demands to produce, motions for discovery, and requests for suppression of evidence. Students will draft a memorandum of law based on their legal and factual investigation. Students may also draft and respond to demands for inspection of Grand Jury Minutes, engage in plea negotiations, conduct oral advocacy on arraignment and bail issues, and perform other pretrial matters as time and the selected problem allows. Students are required to attend a weekly one-hour lecture and participate in a two-hour lab where pretrial skills are practiced. ​

No more than 12 of the 24 credits from the following​ courses:

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    Examines evid​entiary topics not covered in the basic Evidence Class, such as judicial power to control presentation of proof, objections and reversible error, the Constitution as a source of evidence rules, spoliation of evidence, missing witness rule, and explores in depth the character evidence rule and various hearsay exceptions, such as the business records and public records exceptions. Prerequisite: Evidence. ​

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    This course is designed to prepare law students to become skilled legal researchers. Objectives for the course include: 1) showing students how to evaluate print and electronic legal research sources and using them effectively 2) expanding skills in primary and secondary Federal and NYS legal sources and 3) introducing students to the array of other legal resources that could be useful in legal practice. Topics covered in this course include: statutory codes, administrative codes, case law materials (reporters, digests, records and briefs), court rules, jury instructions, jury verdicts and settlements, restatements, uniform laws, form books, bankruptcy, legal ethics and taxation.​

  • ​Examines methods other than trial for resolving disputes. Covers negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and group facilitation. Emphasizes practical skills, policy analysis, and theoretical considerations.

  • Uses a client-centered approach to develop skills in using active listening, dealing with difficult clients, building questioning techniques, developing theories, identifying alternatives and consequences, and engendering client decision-making.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    ​Examines the presentation of expert and scientific proof in civil and criminal cases under the common law and the Federal Rules of Evidence. Among the topics covered are the basic foundation requirements, such as appropriateness of expert testimony, requisite qualifications to provide expert testimony, proper bases of expert testimony, Frye and Daubert requirements, trial issues, such as use of learned treatises and demonstrative evidence, and issues relating to pre-trial discovery.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Students will examine fact investigation in a variety of contexts through simulated exercises, class discussion, and lecture to identify sources of fact, obtain facts through formal and informal means, apply law to facts, develop case plans, and advise clients based on fact investigation in hypothetical cases.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    ​Provides 25 hours of training equivalent to the New York State Unified Court System training program for community mediators. Prepares students to serve as court-affiliated mediators and to counsel clients more effectively regardless of their area of law.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Introduces negotiation skills, offering hands-on experience preparing for and negotiating legal issues.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Examines corrective measures that may be taken in the legal system to rectify the violation of a legal right. Considers and evaluates questions of what forms of relief, both equitable and legal, may be given and upon what conditions.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    ​Provides exposure to technical skills needed to represent clients successfully in estate matters. Emphasizes procedural aspects of estate work and precise methodology to present the client's case, as petitioner or objectant.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    ​This course focuses on trial-court methodology, commencing with voir dire, opening statements of counsel, direct and cross-examination of parties and witnesses, closing arguments, and jury instructions.

    *Not open to a student who has taken or is currently taking Trial Practice.

Clin​​ics:

At least one clinical experience with civil litigation practice (in-house or field placement).

Research ​​paper:

Written under faculty supervision on a relevant aspect of civil litigation. The paper must qualify for the Law School's upperclass writing requirement, and may or may not be used to satisfy that requirement.

(Effective November 6, 2012)

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