Civil Procedure

This is a course about the processes that courts follow in deciding disputes in noncriminal cases. It deals with the way in which conflicts are framed for courts, the stages through which litigation pass, the division of power among the various decision-makers in the legal system and between the state and federal courts, the territorial limitations on the exercise of judicial power, the principles that define the consequences of a decision once a court has finished with a case, and the special opportunities and problems of litigation involving multiple disputants. Throughout the course, considerable attention will be devoted to the goals, values, costs, and tensions underlying our adversarial system of adjudication.

Class Actions

This course will study the theory and practice of class action litigation in the United States. It is an advanced course in procedure, public law, judicial administration, and litigation. Topics range from the conceptual underpinnings of representative litigation to the specific doctrines of federal complex litigation practice, including jurisdiction, certification, choice of law, overlapping class suits and multi-district litigation practice, notice and other communications with class members, remedies, settlement, fairness hearings, objectors, attorney’s fees, and preclusion. The course is primarily doctrinal in nature, but it will include significant amounts of procedural theory, narratives of legal practice, and legal ethics.

Civil Litigation Workshop: Seminar

This seminar will provide an in-depth exploration of the theory and practice of civil litigation in the United States, with a special emphasis on complex litigation and class action law. Possible topics to be covered include: complex doctrinal concerns in multi-district and multi-state litigation; theories of adjudication; litigation financing; the globalization of American litigation and cross-border litigation; and the comparison of competing forms of dispute resolution. Most sessions of the workshop will be talks presented by visiting scholars (discussing academic works-in-progress) or by visiting lawyers and judges (discussing cases that they have worked on in practice). There will be no exam or final paper — students will be expected to participate actively with the visitors and grades will be based on this participation and reaction papers or comparable forms of writing. The workshop is limited to 18 students.

Remedies: Select Topics

This course will closely examine the theory and doctrine of a discrete set of questions that arise in the law of remedies. Topics include: punitive damages; reparations; the relationship between public (civil) remedies and private (compensatory) damages; remedies in complex cases, particularly class actions; and attorney’s fees. While the readings will be largely doctrinal in nature, they will also include significant theory and practical context.