Law 607: Civil Procedure I
Civil Procedure is a course required in the first year. Although coverage and sequence vary among the different sections, generally the course offers an overview of litigation, from the client's first office visit to the time judgment becomes final or the case is settled. The course examines pretrial practice, including service of the summons and complaint, the answer, motions practice, and discovery. The course also investigates the rules that control the scope of a lawsuit, including those that relate to the sorts of claims and parties that may be embraced within a single suit, and those that apply to such special joinder devices as class actions and interpleader. The course additionally examines post-trial procedures, such as the motion for judgment as a matter of law and motion for a new trial, the timing and nature of appellate reivew, and the effects of judgments. The course covers basic material regarding jurisdiction and provides necessary background for many advanced litigation courses, also including personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, removal, supplemental jurisdiction, Erie doctrine, and federal common law. More broadly, the course will help students understand the role and limitations of the adversary system. It will further provide a study of the tradeoffs among justice, speed, and efficiency in the judicial process.
Sequence and Prerequisites: Required in the first year.