Remedies - Professor Tomás Gómez-Arostegui

  • Course Number: LAW-120
  • Course Type: Foundational
  • Credits: 3
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description:  This class cuts across disciplines to examine the question of what courts do to remedy disputes that civil litigants bring to their attention. Due to coverage limitations, most of your substantive courses can give only short shrift to the law of remedies. But the law of remedies is crucial and has often been described as the tail that wags the dog. Every person who sees a lawyer about a dispute is seeking a remedy, and the available remedies and the likelihood of obtaining them often drives whether to file a lawsuit at all. In this course, you will emerge with a strong understanding of: (1) the historical and current differences between law and equity, and how they affect remedies, their enforcement, and one’s right to a jury trial today; (2) the rules for obtaining interlocutory and permanent injunctions; (3) the rules relating to stays and injunctions pending appeal, including a discussion of the Supreme Court’s so-called “shadow docket”; (4) the principal defenses to requests for equitable relief; (5) how to enforce equitable relief through contempt sanctions; (6) the principal forms of equitable monetary relief and how they are measured and limited, including restitution and unjust enrichment; (7) the principal forms of legal monetary relief and how they are measured and limited, namely compensatory, punitive, and nominal damages; (8) awards of attorneys’ fees, when they are available and how they are measured; (9) actions for declaratory relief; and (10) and more specific remedy rules relating to certain classes of claims—typically tort claims for injury to real property, personal property, people, and breaches of contract, but sometimes depending on student interest we will focus on other injuries, like civil rights. I will survey the class before deciding what our last four class sessions—relating to more specific rules—will cover.

    At the election of the student, the course will be evaluated either by a final exam or by a 30-40 page (double-spaced) paper that will qualify for the Capstone requirement. If you choose to write the paper, it must be on a topic relating to remedies law in the United States (state or federal).

    The decision to sit for an exam or write a Capstone paper must be made by the student by the second week of class. Details of the process will be outlined in the syllabus.

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Final Examination or Capstone paper (see above)
  • Capstone: optional (see above)
  • WIE: no