849 Pre-Trial Advocacy - §002, Spring 2017

Categories: Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution Law Practice Skills

Instructor(s) Grimmer, Kim

Pretrial Advocacy – Business Litigation Focus

About This Course:

There are no books. All the materials will be downloadable from Learn@UW/D2L as .pdf and .doc files.
Because of the paucity of civil trials, this course will deal with issues, both procedural and substantive, encountered in preparing litigation for the potential of a trial. We will progress over the semester through exercises that mirror, step-by-step, the typical progression of a lawsuit from its commencement to pre-trial resolution. We will address landmines to be encountered along that progression.

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 encounter difficulties in future lawsuits they can draw on a solid framework from this course to try and find answers to resolve their problems.

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

1. The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law, Chap. 135;
2. Tortious interference with contract;
3. The business judgment rule;
4. Breach of fiduciary duty;
5. Misrepresentation law, including claims under Wis. Stats. §100.18;
6. Breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing;
7. The economic loss doctrine; and,
8. Derivative actions.

Who Might Want to Take This Course:

The course is not just for aspiring civil litigators. It is also for students planning to do transactional, corporate, trusts and estates, or securities work, whose clients might encounter litigation problems. The course will provide those students: (a) a better understanding of the risks and rewards of litigation so they can better advise business clients, (b) a better ability to collaborate with litigation colleagues, and (c) a better understanding of how to avoid risks of litigation through creative drafting of contracts.

Assignments and Grading:

The course will be graded on a Mandatory Pass-Fail basis. Over its fifteen weeks this simulation course will have:
(a) seven homework exercises (drafting pleadings) done in teams of two colleagues;
(b) two more heavily weighted writing assignments (a research memo and a summary judgment brief) also done in teams of two; 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).

A comprehensive syllabus will be available the first night of class.

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

After you and a colleague draft a pleading, template pleadings of the same type will be posted to D2L in case you want to start compiling a form file.

The Principle of Charity will apply to classroom discussions among all participants, including instructors. See, e.g.,


Kim Grimmer, Grimmer Law, Madison

Kim Grimmer has a BS (1970) from Northwestern, and a JD (1977, Coif) from UW - Madison. Between schools he was the gunnery officer on a Navy ship in Japan and Vietnam. Following graduation from UW Law School, Kim 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, and has been for many years selected a Wisconsin “Super Lawyer” by his peers. He has taught pre-trial advocacy, trial advocacy and civil procedure II at the UW Law School.

Ward Richter, Bell Moore & Richter, SC, Madison

Ward Richter has a BA (1969) and a JD (1973) from UW- Madison. After graduating from law school, Ward clerked for Bruce R. Thompson, US District Judge for the District of Nevada, 1973-74. Ward has been practicing with Bell, Moore & Richter since 1974. He was one of ten lawyers, five plaintiffs attorneys and five defense attorneys, selected as the charter members of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He served as president of the Wisconsin Chapter. Ward has tried over 200 cases to jury verdicts. He is a Wisconsin Super Lawyer and has an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale. He has taught pre-trial advocacy at the UW Law School.

Ted Waskowski, Stafford Rosenbaum, LLP, Madison

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. Ted has represented dozens of Wisconsin municipalities in hundreds of litigated matters in the past 30 years. Ted is AV rated by Martindale and has been elected by his peers as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer for many years. He has taught trial advocacy at UW Law School.

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