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Elon University School of Law

Civil Procedure II
(Sections B & D)
Spring 2010

Eric M. Fink
Telephone: 336.279.9334
Office: A213
Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30 AM – Noon or by appointment

Class Meetings
Location: Room 206
Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30-10:30 AM

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the procedures for civil lawsuits, with a
focus on the federal courts. Apart from its practical significance in civil
litigation, the course in Civil Procedure helps acquaint students with one
of the essential skills of legal study and legal practice: how to read,
understand, and use constitutional provisions, statutes, & judicial
opinions as sources of legal rules and tools for addressing legal problems.

Topics to be covered in the Spring semester include the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and related law governing the conduct of civil lawsuits.
While the focus in this course will be on litigation in federal courts, many
state court systems (including North Carolina) follow similar rules and
principals. We will focus on the pre-trial and post-trial phases of litigation:
the commencement of a civil action with a complaint and answer
(“pleadings”); the inclusion of multiple claims and parties in a single
lawsuit (“joinder”); disposition without a trial (“motions to dismiss” and
“summary judgment”); and the effect of final judgments (“preclusion”).
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Course Material

A. Benjamin Spencer, Civil Procedure: A Contemporary Approach (2d ed.,
Thomson West 2008)

Supplemental Texts


Brandt Goldstein, et al, A Documentary Companion to Storming the Court
(Wolters Kluwer 2009)


Brandt Goldstein, Storming the Court: How a Band of Law Students
Fought the President—and Won (Scribner 2006)

Course Website
The course website is at All illustrations and
other material presented in class will be posted on the course website. I
will also post supplemental material to elaborate or provide further
perspective on the assigned material. This supplemental material is not
required, and will not be specifically covered on the examination, though
students may find it helpful in understanding the assigned material.
Also on the course website is a forum where students may raise questions
about the reading or class discussion, or discuss anything related (directly
or indirectly) to the course (e.g. news about federal courts and litigation,
etc.). Participation in the course forum is optional, but may contribute to
the class participation component of your final grade. The course forum is
a virtual extension of the classroom, and the same norms of mutually
respectful behavior and civil discourse apply.
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Course Policies

Class Attendance, Preparation, and Participation
I expect you to attend class regularly, complete all reading as assigned,
remain attentive throughout class meetings, and contribute to class
discussion. Excessive absences (3 or more), persistent lack of preparation,
and disruptive or dilatory behavior in class may result in a reduction of
your final grade.
You may earn a bonus on your final grade—up to .25 points on the Elon
Law grading scale—for exceptional contributions to class discussion.
Contributions to the online course forum may count for this purpose. In
deciding whether to award a participation bonus, I will consider the
quality, not the quantity, of your contributions.

Computers and Other Electronic Devices
I encourage you to bring a computer to class, particularly as we will be
making use of the interactive features of the casebook and other online
resources in class. You may use your computer in class to access course
materials, take notes, or other course-related purposes. I expect you to
refrain from using computers or other electronic devices during class for
non-course-related purposes (including, but not limited to, email, instant
messages, or other communication; web browsing; and games). Non-
course-related use of computers or other electronic devices during class
may result in a reduction of your final grade.

Examinations and Grading
Your semester grade will be based on three in-class multiple-choice
quizzes (30%) and a final essay examination (70%). The quizzes and exam
will be similar in format to those during the Fall semester. Grades are
subject to a class participation bonus or reduction as described above.
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Course Outline

Unit I: Pleadings & Joinder

1. Complaints
2. Answers
3. Joinder of parties
4. Joinder of claims
5. Amendments to pleadings
6. Good faith in pleadings (Rule 11)

Unit III: Disposition Without a Trial

1. Dismissal under Rule 12
2. Summary Judgment.

Unit IV: Effect of Judgment

1. Claim Preclusion (res judicata)
2. Issue Preclusion (collateral estoppel)