Appellate Advocacy (LAW-847-001)
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This course presents students with the unique opportunity to engage in the most cerebral aspect of the legal discipline: appellate advocacy. Presenting an appellate case before a U.S. federal district or circuit court poses rigorous demands but can possibly be the best validation of a lawyer’s intellectual contribution to society. It is the federal court system that provides parties with the opportunity not only to vindicate their rights, but also their attorneys the chance to shape statutory interpretation, policy, and indeed, the legal landscape.
In that vein, this course will examine appellate advocacy in federal civil cases. Students will learn the fundamentals of appellate procedure, such as arguing for (or against) jurisdiction, identifying and defining the appropriate standards of review, and preserving issues for appellate consideration.This is an experiential course that will take a practical approach. As such, the focus will be on effective appellate brief writing and oral argument. However, the course will contain a substantive component to provide a framework of appellate practice within which students can be expected to execute their practical assignments. Students can expect to write a full appellate brief before a U.S. circuit court of appeal - compliant with the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure - and then practice arguing that case before a panel of their peers. The course will culminate in oral arguments before a panel of legal professionals in the subject-matter area of the brief.
By the end of this course, students will not only have a solid foundation allowing them to identify appellate procedural issues, but will also have gained confidence and experience in advocating on behalf of clients, both authored and orally. This course will fulfill the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
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