Much of what civil litigators do involves case development. Case development is a form of storytelling. The story, of course, should be persuasive, but it must also satisfy the requirements of applicable law, and it must be based upon admissible evidence. An integral part of case development is discovery. The Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically Rules 26 through 37, set forth the scope and types of discovery that may be conducted. Yet, depending upon the nature of the case, questions relating to what forms of discovery are appropriate, in what order, and for what purposes cannot be found in the rules.
The goal of this course is to teach the student how to think both strategically and tactically with regard to case development and discovery. You will be introduced to basic (and some advanced) concepts and skills relating to “designing” and “building” the case, including through discovery practice. In addition, you will participate in a number of skills-related exercises.
This course will follow a civil case, Hartman vs. GSK, Inc. et al. vs. Jackson, a product liability case involving a prescription medication. Skills exercises will be based upon this case. Students will work in teams.