University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Civil Procedure

This course surveys the civil litigation process, beginning with the pretrial phase of litigation: the requirements for complaints and answers, procedures for joining additional parties and claims, the discovery process for gathering information, and pretrial motions (such as motions to dismiss or for summary judgment). The course considers also some of the procedural aspects of trials: when does a right to trial by jury exist and various motions for judgment made during trial. (Detailed exploration of trial rules and process is available in upper-class courses such as Trial Advocacy and Evidence). Additional topics include the remedies that are available to prevailing parties, the effect of a judgment in one case on litigation involving the same parties and/or facts, and some of the difficult constitutional issues at play in civil litigation (including jurisdiction, i.e., which courts have power over which kinds of cases and over which parties). Throughout the semester, the course emphasizes not only the mechanics of the litigation process but also application of procedural rules to actual and hypothetical disputes, including strategy considerations and lawyers' ethical and professional responsibilities in the litigation process.

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