Course Details

The Strategy of Litigation

This course is taught by Alan Salpeter, Senior Partner/Special Counsel at Kaye Scholer LLP; it is designed primarily for third year students (but 2Ls will be admitted) who are interested in pursuing a career in civil litigation. The instructor is a commercial trial lawyer with 41 years of experience. Alan Salpeter has tried more than 70 cases to verdict, argued 20 appeals, and has represented key defendants in the Cendant, Enron, Parmalat, Global Crossing, Ameriquest, DeVry, Walgreens and Oracle securities fraud class actions. The Strategy of Litigation is designed to be a practical, real world approach to discussing and analyzing the strategy of civil litigation. Topics include (i) picking and developing a theme for the prosecution or defense of a case, (ii) developing a strategy for discovery, (iii) avoiding the pitfalls of discovery, (iv) managing litigation risks, (v) dealing with troublesome litigation situations (i.e., a hostile judge, sleeping jurors, a critical client), (vi) negotiating the settlement of a complex case, (vii) understanding fully the pros and cons of the adversarial system, as well as (viii) being effective with clients. A number of guest speakers appear during the course. Among the guest speakers are: a general counsel of a major corporation will give his/her view of big stakes litigation (Greg Davis of DeVry this past year); one or more federal district court judges will give their views of high quality advocacy, what works and what doesn't work (this past year U.S. District Court Judges Gary Feinerman, Robert Dow and John (Jay) Tharp participated as a group); a jury consultant will provide his/her view of how to win a big case (Dr. Dan Wolfe of TrialGraphix presented this past year); a seasoned expert witness will provide his/her view of being an expert witness in major litigation (this past year Avram Tucker, a nationally known damages expert, addressed the class); and a well-known mediator will give suggestions as to how we (as litigators) can use mediators effectively (Retired Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow, now of JAMS, presented this class). Students will receive a realistic perspective on what challenges are presented by big stakes commercial litigation. The classroom format is a discussion led by the professor and/or guest speaker. Past classes have been highly interactive. Class will meet one afternoon or evening a week for 2 hours. All students must attend all classes (exceptions only for illness). TEXT: Reading materials will be distributed by the instructor in advance of each class. TEACHING METHOD: Lecture and discussion. EVALUATION METHOD: Take-home exam, attendance and class participation (and each student introduces one class with a 5 minute prepared presentation).

Catalog Number: LITARB 612
Practice Areas: Civil Lit. and Dispute ResolutionLegal Skills Development


Course History

Fall 2015
Title: The Strategy of Litigation
Faculty: Salpeter, Alan N. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25

Fall 2014
Title: The Strategy of Litigation
Faculty: Salpeter, Alan N. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25