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Amer Cts:Strctr,People, Proc (LAW-838-001)
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Explores the factors that shape trial and appellate courts, with a non-exclusive emphasis on federal courts. These factors are of major public policy interest to all lawyers and of direct practical interest to lawyers who anticipate working in the courts temporarily as law clerks or regularly as litigators. The seminar examines court organization and structure, including court personnel; the judicial selection process and roles of executive officials, legislators, political parties, the bar, judges, and would-be judges; and the ethical rules that guide and govern judges and mechanisms for dealing with judicial disability and misbehavior. It also considers the public and private sources of education for (and influence of) judges about basic aspects of judging as well as complex scientific and technical matters, the processes and politics of adopting and amending rules of procedure, courts’ relations with the press in its traditional and new forms, and case management in both trial and appellate courts. I will post during the week of Dec. 4 a course description, including the syllabus. As will be explained in the course description, the basis for grades is class participation and three multi-topic essays, assigned periodically throughout the semester. The purpose of the essays is to demonstrate familiarity with the readings and the ability to analyze the material. The course description includes one of the questions in last spring’s first essay assignment.
Textbooks and Other Materials
There is no suitable textbook for this course. Readings instead consist of materials I have assembled and that I will post as a pdf document on MyWCL. Last year the readings were 295 pages, and this year's will be about the same.
First Class Readings
The first day's class will be devoted to reviewing the course materials and the topics the course will cover, and explaining the course requirements.
The syllabus is available in the following format(s):