California Civil Procedure (SD 202)
This course examines practical aspects of civil litigation in California, including tactical considerations influencing an attorney's decision to choose state or federal court. Students taking this course will no longer graduate with the unwarranted assumption that state civil procedure operates in lockstep with the model presented in their introductory Fed Civ Pro course. That is an especially precarious assumption. Both state and federal civil procedure are tested on the California Bar Examination-given in the common law jurisdiction that varies the most from federal procedure. This course presents a number of fresh concepts, not covered in the federal course, that are unique to California practice. Cal Civ Pro thus reinforces the perspective of the student who wants to review key FRCP basics, while entering practice with a vastly improved foundation-not only for learning critical practice concepts, but also for choosing knowledgeably between California's state and federal courts. This class features a mini-review, every week, to promote student long-term memory. Students who prefer not to review until semester's end should not take this course. Cal Civ Pro's doctrinal component is rooted in the casebook method. But students who prefer a rehash of their 1L experience should not take this skills version of Cal Civ Pro. It is designed to prepare nascent lawyers for the practice of law, far more so than Professor Slomanson's federal civil procedure course. Students taking this course will glean additional practice perspectives regarding professionalism, oral advocacy, collaborative learning, and legal skills development. Its skills component features the following assessment tools: (1) moot court format-providing each student with the opportunity to argue assigned cases or problems during the semester-which is the basis for graded oral argument [10 points]; (2) practical midterm-such as drafting a demurrer or motion to strike, which has fulfilled the need for a job application writing sample for a number of students [10 points]; and (3) Performance Test final examination [approximately 50 points]. Students who would prefer to encounter the Performance Test format in bar review (two months before the bar exam) should not take this skills version of the course. These course components provide students with an ideal opportunity to practice like it's real, so that when it's real, it will be like they practiced.
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