An overview of the lawyer's role in litigation before trial in federal court. Classes will review the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to pleading, discovery, discovery motions, summary judgment and pretrial conferences and then discuss pretrial strategy and planning and the role of alternative dispute resolution. The class will examine interviewing and client counseling, developing a theory of the case, developing an integrated method of using discovery and factual investigation to prepare a case. Ethical and policy issues in the pretrial process will also be discussed. The course will include several writing assignments: an interoffice memo outlining your theory of the case; a complaint; discovery requests; and a motion for summary judgment. This will allow students to take a case (from the plaintiff's perspective) from the time a client walks in the door through the pretrial conference.
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