This class treads the line between professional responsibility and civil procedure. It is designed for students who intend to become civil litigators. Students who expect to practice in other fields will be better served by a different professional responsibility course.
The topics covered vary from year to year and have recently included lawyers' responsibilities in litigating and settling aggregate lawsuits, fee awards in class actions, principal/agent problems, lawyers' involvement in the production of memos relating to the torture or aggressive interrogation of Guantanamo detainees, the writings of Monroe Freedman on legal ethics, the desirability of pro bono legal services, and advisory opinions relating to litigation ethics issued by the ABA and state bar advisory committees in the past few years.
The reading load for this class can be fairly heavy. I also assign many of my own writings, along with works by my critics (I have many). Everyone is expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings, i.e., to ask questions and make comments on them. Anyone who misses more than 2 class sessions will be dropped from the course.
Grades will be based on a final exam or a seminar paper. The exam will be default, but if everyone in the class prefers to write a paper, I will happily go that route instead.
This course satisfies the professional responsibility curriculum requirement for graduation from the Law School.