Law Schedule of Classes

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244.12 sec. 001 - Civil Procedure Stories (Fall 2022)

Instructor: Jonah B Gelbach  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 2
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


Th 08:00 AM - 09:50 AM
Location: 🔒 Log-in to view location

From August 25, 2022
To December 01, 2022

Course Start: August 25, 2022
Course End: December 01, 2022
Class Number: 33204

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 17
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 24
As of: 02/17 06:39 AM

This seminar will peel back the curtain behind seminal cases in the Civil Procedure curriculum. It will delve into the background and scope of these cases' impacts on the people involved in them, with an emphasis on the interwoven relationship between procedure and substance--the fact that every procedural case comes from somewhere, and the important ones alter the landscape afterward. Issues related to equality and inequality based on race, class, sex, and sexual orientation abound.

We will draw substantially from a book called Civil Procedure Stories, edited by Kevin Clermont, which contains wonderful chapters on classic cases including Hansberry v. Lee; Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins; Goldberg v. Kelly; Owen Equipment and Erection Co. v. Kroger; and Celotex Corp. v. Catrett. Other cases we might study using law review sources include Ashcroft v. Iqbal, via Shirin Sinnar's article "The Lost Story of Iqbal"; the marriage equality cases in Alabama, via Howard Wasserman's article "Crazy in Alabama: Judicial Process and the Last Stand Against Marriage Equality in the Land of George Wallace"; Word-Wide Volkswagen v. Woodson, via Charles Adams's "World-Wide Volkswagen v. Woodson-The Rest of the Story"; and perhaps also some studies of MDL cases via sources including Beth Burch's recent book, "Mass Tort Deals: Backroom Bargaining in Multidistrict Litigation," together with other views about the functioning of the MDL system.

Grades will be based primarily on writing requirements, and secondarily on class participation. Each student will be responsible for several short writing assignments during the semester. Half of these papers will involve posing a discussion questions about the coming week's reading and composing your own answers those questions. The other half will involve responding to questions posed by classmates. You will receive feedback to help you improve subsequent submissions.

Both the discussion questions you provide and your answers will play an important--hopefully, guiding!--role in our in-class discussions.

It's fair to expect that students who are askers or responders in a given week will play lead roles in that week's discussion, but I expect all students to come to class prepared to participate in discussions each week, including on days when they have not written response papers.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

The only prerequisite is the Civil Procedure course required in the first year of Berkeley's (or any other US law school's) JD program.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This is an Option 1 class; two Option 1 classes fulfill the J.D. writing requirement.

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Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Litigation and Procedure
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Public Law and Policy

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