421 Pre-Trial Litigation

This practical skills course focuses on the path civil litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury.  Lawyers must instead learn to succeed during the pretrial process.  We will examine the key components of the civil pretrial litigation process, beginning with the filing of a law suit.  The class will be divided into law firms on the second week of class. You will work with co-counsel, representing a hypothetical client, for the entire semester.  Law firms will prepare and serve discovery and respond to discovery from opposing counsel. Students will prepare and argue a short discovery motion. The last four weeks of class focus on depositions, with each student taking and defending a deposition. This course will help students synthesize and more deeply understand the strategy and the practical application of civil procedure and evidence rules used in litigation advocacy. 

Topics  include:

  • Drafting pleadings and motions
  • Preparing and responding to discovery
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Practicing becoming a more effective advocate in the current on-line environment facing all attorneys and courts.

The course grade is based on written and practical skills-based work product and class participation, as described in the syllabus.  There is not a final exam.

Course Areas of Practice
Evaluation Methods
Practical exercises
In-class exercise
Class participation
Degree Requirements
Course Type
Simulation
Learning Outcomes
Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession
2021
Spring 2021
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.02 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips, Melissa Hanson W 6:00 PM-7:50 PM

This practical skills course focuses on the path civil litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury.  Lawyers must instead learn to succeed during the pretrial process.  We will examine the key components of the civil pretrial litigation process, beginning with the filing of a law suit.  The class will be divided into law firms on the second week of class. You will work with co-counsel, representing a hypothetical client, for the entire semester.  Law firms will prepare and serve discovery and respond to discovery from opposing counsel. Students will prepare and argue a short discovery motion. The last four weeks of class focus on depositions, with each student taking and defending a deposition. This course will help students synthesize and more deeply understand the strategy and the practical application of civil procedure and evidence rules used in litigation advocacy. 

Topics  include:

  • Drafting pleadings and motions
  • Preparing and responding to discovery
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Practicing becoming a more effective advocate in the current on-line environment facing all attorneys and courts.

The course grade is based on written and practical skills-based work product and class participation, as described in the syllabus.  There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2020
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.01 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips, Judge Robert Numbers W 5:30 PM-7:20 PM

This practical skills course focuses on the path civil litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury.  Lawyers must instead learn to succeed during the pretrial process.  We will examine the key components of the civil pretrial litigation process, beginning with the filing of a law suit.  The class will be divided into law firms on the second week of class. You will work with co-counsel, representing a hypothetical client, for the entire semester.  Law firms will prepare and serve discovery and respond to discovery from opposing counsel. Students will prepare and argue a short discovery motion. The last four weeks of class focus on depositions, with each student taking and defending a deposition. This course will help students synthesize and more deeply understand the strategy and the practical application of civil procedure and evidence rules used in litigation advocacy. 

Topics  include:

  • Drafting pleadings and motions
  • Preparing and responding to discovery
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Practicing becoming a more effective advocate in the current on-line environment facing all attorneys and courts.

The course grade is based on written and practical skills-based work product and class participation, as described in the syllabus.  There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.02 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips M 6:00PM - 7:50PM 4045

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Syllabus: PDF icon 421.02.Spring2020-syllabus.pdf

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2019
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.01 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips Tu 6:00-7:50 PM 4047

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.02 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips M 6:00-7:50 PM 4045

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2018
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.01 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips Th 6:00-7:50 PM 4045

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.02 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips, Magistrate Judge L. Patrick Auld M 6:15-8:05 PM 4045

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2017
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.01 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips M 6:00-7:50 PM 4055

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.02 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips, Thomas D. Schroeder M 5:45-7:35 PM 4042

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2016
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.01 2
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Marilyn Forbes Phillips M 5:45-7:35 PM 4045

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

  • Drafting pleadings
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Creating and responding to discovery
  • Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

421.01 2 Marilyn Forbes Phillips,

Judge Thomas Schroeder

M 5:45-7:35 PM 4000

This course focuses on the path litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury; lawyers must learn to win in the pretrial process. We will explore the key components of the pretrial process, beginning with the filing of a law suit. This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge in procedure, evidence and advocacy. Topics include:

- Drafting pleadings
- Taking and defending depositions
- Creating and responding to discovery
- Planning strategy and motions

The course grade is based on classroom participation, performance and written work. There is not a final exam.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.