Federal Courts

Federal Courts - Professor John Parry

  • Course Number: LAW-356
  • Course Type: Foundational
  • Credits: 3
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description: Federal Courts builds on Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law I to address critical issues raised by litigation in federal courts. The course addresses the requirements for bringing a federal case (particularly standing and subject matter jurisdiction), whether the case can or should be in federal court at all (instead of in state court or before a federal administrative agency), the extent to which federal courts can create federal common law causes of action and rules of decision, the circumstances in which a federal court should abstain from hearing a case, and the role of federal courts in enforcing civil rights claims. Each topic consists of doctrinal rules or approaches as well as federalism and separation of powers rationales, and we will work to make these doctrines and rationales more concrete by applying them to specific problems and fact patterns.
    The topics covered in this course are vital for anyone who will litigate in federal court, but they are also important for litigators in general because of the overlap between federal court and state court jurisdiction (e.g., federal question and diversity of citizenship). This course is also important for anyone who will clerk for a federal judge.
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Final exam (50%) and paper (50%)
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no