University of Pittsburgh

Civil Procedure - Section B - Carter

Publish Date/Time: 
December 20, 2013

Class 1 (No panel (everyone is “on”))

Civil Litigation: An Overview

No assigned reading

Study Questions:

Why do we even need rules of procedure?  Think about the policy reasons in favor of having a system of procedural rules governing civil litigation.

 What relevance might the rules of procedure have for non-litigation areas of legal practice?


Class 2 (No panel -- everyone is “on”)

            Text, pp. 1-27  

Study Questions:

            What were the objections to the trial judge’s conduct in Band’s Refuse?  What was wrong with the trial judge’s conduct, in light of the traditional role of a judge in an adversarial system?  Were there good reasons for the judge’s inteventionist approach here?


            What was the issue in Kothe?  How do we draw the line between “clubbing the parties into involuntary compromise” and the role of the judge in promoting settlements?

Class 3 (No panel -- everyone is “on”)

Describing and Defining the Dispute:

            A.        The Historical Evolution of Pleading

                        Rules 1-3,7,8,10 and 12

                        Text, pp. 125-136

Handout -- Navajo Nation v. Peabody (on Blackboard) (portions of complaint --  read the first portion setting out the facts of the case, and skim the Claims for Relief and Prayer for Relief)


            B.         Describing and Testing the Plaintiff’s Claim

                        Text, pp. 136-139

                        1.         The Problem of Specificity

                                    Text, pp. 139-144


Study Questions:

Describe the English common law system of writs.  How did it work? What were some of the weaknesses of that system?                       

What are the purposes of the complaint under the Federal Rules?

What was defective about the complaint in Gillispie v. Goodyear?

Is vagueness of the complaint alone sufficient grounds for a Rule 12(e) motion? (Bd. of Harbor Comm.)


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