The Civil Rights Litigation Practicum is a two-semester course that provides a survey of the litigation skills necessary to prosecute and defend a case from the pleading stage, through discovery and motions, up to, but not including trial. While the legal basis of the two-semester class is a survey of the applicable California Rules of Civil Procedure, California Rules of Court, and California Rules of Professional Conduct, the course is not merely a study of legal theories. Rather, the rules will be studied in the context of a simulated dispute that goes through both semesters.
In the first semester, students will focus on the beginning stages of a civil litigation matter, including topics such as case assessment, initiating and responding to a lawsuit, discovery plans, and motions to compel. Opportunities will be given to draft such documents as pleadings, document requests, and a discovery motion, individually and in a law firm setting, and to argue a simulated motion. In the second semester, students will build on the documents, skills and strategies developed during the first semester and focus on the later stages of a civil litigation matter, including topics such as additional written discovery, depositions, dispositive motions, settlement and pre-trial submissions. Opportunities will be given to draft such documents as interrogatories and requests for admission, a dispositive motion and a mediation statement -- individually and in a law firm setting -- and to take a simulated deposition.