Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

244.42 sec. 001 - Litigation 101 (Spring 2019)

Instructor: Sonali Maitra  
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 2


    W 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
    Location: Law 244
    From January 09, 2019
    To April 19, 2019

Course Start: January 09, 2019
Course End: April 19, 2019
Class Number: 32565

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 17
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 26
As of: 06/11 02:48 PM

What are the first years of litigation practice at a law firm like? How should young litigators best set themselves up for success? What are some basic dos and don'ts in early litigation practice?

The class will focus on law firm litigators, but will also involve presenting the perspectives of in-house clients and non-attorney clients, of transactional attorneys, and of regulatory and governmental sectors.


The complaint & response. What are some practice tips in filing a complaint? How do you satisfy your good faith duties in submitting allegations and claims? What should you do to successfully avoid dismissal? On the defensive side, do you answer the complaint? Move to dismiss? Settle?

Document discovery. Some of the best litigators in the world fall prey to document discovery, and the ever-changing nature of e-discovery muddies already-murky waters. We'll do our best to provide guidance on these topics, and use a number of real-life examples of discovery flubs -- often by the hands of preeminent law firms. Also to consider: protective orders, using in-house production tools versus vendors, and use of documents in deposition and trial.

Depositions. Instead of focusing on deposition techniques, we will likely focus on depositions in the context of our hypotheticals. What witnesses might we depose? What types of documents might we use and why? Also, how do you convince the partner that you are the best person to take that deposition? How do you go up against more senior attorneys?

Client relationships and development. As a young attorney, facing mountains of work each day (sometimes night), what is the best way to interact with the client and make him- or herself known to the client? How does a young litigator actually develop his or her own clients?

The litigation team and case management. How does one effectively work in a team comprising individuals that vary -- sometimes in title, sometimes in responsibility, and sometimes in personality. How does one impress the partner and not step on fellow-associates' toes? Is it better to focus on one subject matter or multiple when you're part of a team? And if you're responsible for managing the case, how do you begin to do such a thing?

Oral argument and other court appearances. Preparing for oral argument and court appearances is both a skill and an art. What should young litigators be thinking about in the event they're representing the client in oral argument?

Summary judgment. Does it make sense to bring a motion for summary judgment? On any and all issues or a select few? What might we have done earlier in the litigation to best set ourselves up for a winning summary judgement motion (or, for the plaintiff, defeating a summary judgment motion)?

Trial. This will be the period -- as is true in actual litigation -- to "put it all together," and understand how each step along the way culminates in trial.

Throughout the substantive journey of our hypothetical case, we’ll incorporate discussion of the extra-legal considerations:

Do you feel like you’re doing meaningful work?
Is your work-life balance totally out of whack -- if so, should you care?
How to conduct yourself in a work crisis?
How to get and give credit?
Is this why I went to law school?

Shaudy Danaye-Armstrong is senior counsel at Google, and has worked at both the District Attorneys' office and the law firms of Howard Rice and Arnold and Porter. She's litigated (and continues to litigate) some of the country's most high-profile cases, which we expect to discuss further in class.

Sonali Maitra has been a partner at Durie Tangri, one of the country's most successful IP litigation boutiques, and an associate at Keker & Van Nest. She's been named one of the country's top IP attorneys under 40 and one of the top attorneys under 40 in California, among other honors.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Experiential Requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Simulation Courses
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Litigation and Procedure

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.

No reader.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

Go to Course Search

Notice – Latest updates on COVID-19 policies and resources for the UC Berkeley campus community. — View Details