849 Pre-Trial Advocacy, Fall 2016

Categories: Law Practice Skills Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Section 001, Pre-Trial Advocacy - Edwards, Timothy

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Edwards, Timothy

This three credit seminar teaches the important skills that lawyers use up until the time of trial. Since the vast majority of cases settle before trial, a lawyer's success has at least as much to do with mastery of the nuts and bolts of pre-trial advocacy as courtroom prowess. The seminar will use a simulation approach to cover skills that include:

* Interviewing and counseling clients.

* Drafting a complaint.

* Drafting interrogatories and responses to interrogatories.

* Taking and defending depositions.

* Drafting a pre-trial memorandum.

* Participating in a mediation conference.

Students will receive immediate feedback from the instructors on the in-class simulations. The seminar is limited to approx 36 students. Second and third year students are eligible. This course is being offered on a pass/fail basis.

Expectations and Goals

By the end of this course, students should:
* Acquire a deeper understanding of how the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure work from a strategic perspective in the context of actual litigation;
* Develop negotiation skills in the “meet and confer” context;
* Begin developing the ability to exercise judgment, based on acquired knowledge, in hypothetical situations that mirror real life litigation;
* Understand the process of litigation from filing to final judgment in a strategic and professional manner;
* Develop the ability to identify client objectives and craft litigation strategy; and,
* Learn to appreciate a lawyer’s role in civil litigation, including the use of procedural tools such as discovery and motions, as well as how to conduct oneself consistent with the standards of professional conduct.

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Section 002, Pre-Trial Advocacy - Grimmer, Kim

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Grimmer, Kim

Pretrial Advocacy – With a Business Litigation Focus

About This Course:

There are no books to buy. All the materials you need will be downloadable from the course page at Learn@UW as .pdf formatted documents.

This course is designed to help students interested in proficiency in civil litigation advance their progress on that long term path. It generally takes a new litigator from 5 to 7 years to become reasonably competent. (See, e.g., Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 practice hours rule in Outliers.) Because of the relative paucity of trials in business litigation (and in all civil litigation), this course will deal primarily with issues, both procedural and substantive, encountered in preparing business litigation for the potential of a trial. We will progress over the course of the semester through exercises that mirror, step-by-step, the typical progression of a lawsuit from its beginning to pre-trial resolution. We will address landmines to be encountered along that progression. After you have drafted pleadings for homework exercises you will be provided via Learn@UW useful templates of the same types of pleadings that the instructors have used or encountered in their practices. This is so you can start compiling a form file for your future practice, if you desire.

The goal of the instructors is to have every student complete the course:

(a) knowledgeable as to how federal and state civil cases are regulated by statutes, rules, case law and judges;
(b) knowledgeable as to how to prepare a case for summary disposition, effective mediation or trial; and,
(c) confident that if they feel flummoxed in some future lawsuit they can draw on a solid framework from this course to try and find answers to resolve their problem.

Since this course is intended to have a business litigation emphasis, we will spend time on readings, cases and in simulation exercises addressing two case studies that will introduce you to a number of areas of substantive law often present in business litigation. These will include:

1. Breach of fiduciary duty,
2. Misrepresentation law, including claims under Wis. Stats. §100.18.
3. The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law, Chap. 135
4. The Wisconsin Contractor Right to Cure Law,
5. Breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing,
6. Covenants not to compete,
7. The economic loss doctrine,
8. Derivative actions,
9. Arbitration.

Who Might Want to Take This Course:

The course is not intended just for aspiring litigators. It is also for students planning on doing transactional, corporate, trusts and estates, or securities work, and who might eventually view litigation as an unfortunate but necessary fact of life for their clients. This course will provide those students with:

(a) a better understanding of the risks and rewards of litigation so they can better team with litigators in advising and representing business clients,
(b) a better ability to redirect a wayward litigator colleague, and
(c) a better grasp of how to avoid risks of litigation through creative drafting of contracts.

Assignments and Grading:

This course will be graded on a Pass-Fail basis. Over its fourteen weeks this simulation course will have:

(a) eight homework exercises (drafting pleadings);
(b) two more heavily weighted writing assignments (a research memo and a summary judgment brief); and,
(c) four in-class demonstration exercises (conducting a scheduling conference, taking a deposition, arguing a motion for temporary injunction and representing a client at a mediation session mediated by two of Dane County’s premier mediators)

Active class participation will also be a small component of the student’s grade.

The Principle of Charity will apply to classroom discussions among all participants, including instructors. See, e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPB0JOpvg_E . (Or, study the Principle of Charity by checking out or buying a copy of Being There, starring Peter Sellers, and watching it in action throughout the movie.)

Kim Grimmer, Grimmer Law

Kim Grimmer has a BS (1970) from Northwestern, and a JD (1977, Coif) from UW - Madison. In between schools, he served as Gunnery Officer on a Navy ship based in Japan and South Vietnam. Following graduation from UW Law School, he practiced with Ross & Stevens, S.C., Solheim Billing & Grimmer, S.C, and Grimmer Law Office, LLC, all in Madison. He has an “AV-Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Ted Waskowski, Stafford Rosenbaum, LLP

Ted Waskowski graduated in 1972 from Northwestern where he was an English major and varsity baseball player. He taught school for five years in northern Wisconsin before graduating, Order of the Coif, from UW Law School in 1980. He joined the Stafford Rosenbaum firm in Madison after graduation. He currently serves as the chair of Stafford's litigation group.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor