Law 700 - Pretrial Civil Litigation

Sarah Wetzstein

Sarah Wetzstein

Lecturer in Law
B.S. Cornell University, 1998
J.D. University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2001
Course Description:

This course is designed for students who will be doing civil litigation. The course provides a “real world” overview of how pretrial civil litigation is conducted and explores how lawyers strategically use each step in the pretrial litigation process to advance their clients’ interests. The course also provides students with skills-based training in case analysis, depositions, written discovery and motion practice. These skills are taught through a combination of lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and simulated role-playing exercises. Simulations are videotaped and critiqued by the instructor.

This course will be graded on a P/U/NC basis.

Video Description

Course Specific Learning Outcomes:

This course will not make you an expert in the civil pretrial litigation process; nor will it turn you into an expert in conducting interviews, implementing discovery plans, taking depositions or arguing motions. But by the end of this course, I expect that:
i.    You will have a basic understanding of the civil pretrial process and how lawyers use that process both to prepare cases for trial and to evaluate cases for settlement.
ii.    You will have a basic understanding of how to think strategically when confronted with litigation options/decisions.
iii.    You will be able to competently conduct a basic witness interview or an initial client interview.
iv.    You will be able to develop a discovery plan for a relatively simple civil case and to draft written discovery requests.
v.    You will be able to competently take and defend a deposition in a relatively simple litigation matter.
vi.    You will be able to competently argue a motion to dismiss.  

Course Learning Outcomes:

See above

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
David Babbe / Sarah Wetzstein 19S 700 LEC 1 MW 3:20 PM - 5:20 PM 4.0 Yes No
Textbook Information:
Textbook for Spring 2019 LEC 1
Moore et al. Depositions in a Nutshell  2nd ed.  
ISBN: 9781634598958. West Academic Publishing. REQUIRED $50.50
Roen and Reich Civil Litigation: Pretrial Case Development and Discovery    
ISBN: 9781634608640. West Academic Publishing. REQUIRED $103.00