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Civil Procedure Preview Course

Professor Kennedy has taught Civil Procedure since 1995, teaching at the University of Tennessee College of Law for 12 years and at Touro Law School for 7 years. Prior to teaching she practiced complex civil litigation as a City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia and for the Los Angeles office of the law firm Pepper, Hamilton, & Scheetz. She was an Honorable Abraham L. Freedman Fellow and Lecturer in Law, Temple University School of Law and is a 1987 graduate of Harvard Law School.
Course Overview: 
This course covers the body of law concerned with the process of law and how disputes get resolved. In studying civil procedure we examine and critique the rules and principles that govern the conduct of lawyers and parties in resolving civil legal disputes through federal judicial and non-judicial means. Central to our discussion of process is an examination of the extent to which our current systems enhance fairness and justice.
Course Objectives:
  • To introduce you to Federal Civil Procedure - one of the most challenging first year courses
  • To introduce you to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as some cutting edge case law
  • To help you to begin to understand the many ways in which disputes are resolved in the American Legal System
  • To help you develop your analytical skills and to learn to “think and write like a lawyer”



Class Preparation

Week 1

Overview of Procedure & Federal Courts

· How does a lawsuit begin?

· How is drafting a complaint like telling a compelling story?

o Notice Pleading & Rule 8(a)

o Iqbal & the future of pleadings

· What ethical rules affect the pleading process? (Rule 11)

Readings, videos, and basic exercises to be distributed at the beginning of the week and completed in advance of the online course meeting for that week

Week 2

· What limitations exist on the power of federal courts?

o What is subject matter jurisdiction?

o How do these principles limit the authority of federal courts?

Week 3

· How does civil procedure protect your due process rights?

o What is personal jurisdiction?

o What protects you from being sued far from home?

· Does civil procedure advance interests of fairness & justice?

Week 4

· How are lawsuits resolved?

o Negotiation

o Arbitration

o Mediation

o Trials

· What processes are most fair and promote justice?