Civil Procedure Fall 2018
The American Bar Association standards for accrediting law schools require not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week for each credit awarded for a class. According to the standards, fifty minutes suffices for one hour of classroom time, while an hour for out-of-class time is sixty minutes.
This is a four-credit class. We will spend 75 minutes together in class three time per week, which translates to 225 minutes (3 hours and 45 minutes) of class time per week. The extra minutes per week will allow me to cancel five classes during the semester.
The ABA minimum of out-of-class time for a four-credit course is eight hours per week. This would be met if you devoted two and a half hours preparing for each class — although you really should do more than that.
The ABA requires course syllabi to contain learning outcomes. The learning outcomes that I desire for this course are:
1) Mastering the fundamentals of how civil suits proceed in court (particularly in federal court): how they are initiated, how they are structured and progress, and how they are resolved.
2) Mastering the fundamentals of the structure of the American legal system: a) the relationship between the regulatory power of the branches of the federal government (particularly the judiciary and legislative branches), b) the relationship between federal regulatory power and the regulatory power of the states, c) the mutual limitations that states’ regulatory power put upon one another.
3) Mastering the fundamentals of how to interpret statutory and regulatory law, in the context of interpreting federal statutes that regulate procedure and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Starting the second week of classes I will hold weekly review sessions. These will give you an opportunity to ask questions that you may not feel comfortable bringing up in class.
There will also be a midterm sometime in October. It is optional, but recommended. The midterm will be scheduled to be taken outside of class. A mock grade (which will not contribute to the grade for the class) will be provided, to give you a feel for how you are doing in the class and on exam-writing.
No laptops will be allowed
in class. For each class I will post notes (which are based off of
notes written by students in past years and then proofed by me).
addition, the powerpoint slides for class will be posted around one
hour before class. You can print them out, which should provide a good
basis for taking notes by hand.
Students will be expected to have done the reading each day. Every J.D. student is vulnerable to being called upon at random. If I am emailed by midnight the night before, however, you can "take a pass" and insure that you won't be called on that day. You can take only three passes total and only one in the last two weeks of class.
Grades will be assigned on the basis of the blind grading of the final, with the following exception: I reserve the right to raise particular J.D. students' grades by 1/3 (e.g. from B+ to A-) on the basis of exceptionally good class participation. The mandatory curve for the course can be found here.
The class may not be taped without my permission.
final exam will be limited open book. Commercial outlines, hornbooks,
treatises etc. will not be permitted in the examination. You will
not be permitted to access the internet, except to upload your exam to
MyLaw at the end. You will be able to bring into the examination only
the following materials:
1) Materials assigned in this course:
a) Glannon, Perlman, & Raven-Hansen, Civil Procedure – A Coursebook (3d ed. 2017)
b) Other assigned materials linked on the syllabus for the course.
2) A statutory supplement, such as FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE (West), but not one that offers any glosses on the Federal Rules. You may bring only books that offer the text of the Rules, not explanations of their meaning.
3) Any outline made by you or by a study group in which you participated.
4) Your class notes, which can include the class notes and powerpoint slides posted on the website for the course.
You may not have the material available on the blog during the exam.
The materials permitted during the exam can be either printed out or downloaded onto your laptop (if they are downloaded, you can use the control-F function to search). Do not access these materials through the internet!! You may access the internet only to upload your finished exam to MyLaw! I repeat, do not access the internet during the exam!