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Our Pro Bono Collaborative mobilizes Rhode Island law firms, law students and community organizations to provide desperately needed legal assistance for the underserved residents of the state.  The unique program includes 10 major law firms, over 20 community-based organizations and several dozen law students.

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Newport Harbor Sailing



Section B

Civil Procedure (Kuckes)

Our first class meeting will be on Wednesday, August 21, from 10: 30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in Room 286. 

In anticipation of the first class, you should have purchased three books:  (1)  the casebook, Civil Procedure by Stephen Yeazell (8th edition) (ISBN 978-1-4548-0710-0), (2) the 2014 rules supplement by Stephen Yeazell, titled Rules of Civil Procedure (2014) (ISBN 978-1454841777), and (3) a book with practice exercises titled Patt v. Donner, A Simulated Casefile for Learning Civil Procedure (ISBN 978-1609304317).  In addition to the books, you will need an NXT Turning Technologies “clicker” (audience response device) that we will be using as a teaching tool in most or all of the classes in Civil Procedure.  The same clicker will be used in other first-year classes from time to time (for example, in Legal Methods).  While it is listed as being assigned in more than one class, you will only need one clicker. 

For our first class, please read pages 1-12 of the Yeazell Civil Procedure casebook.  Where the text refers to a rule (for example, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)) or a statute (for example, 28 U.S.C. Section 1332), you will also need to find and read the relevant part of the rule or statute.  These can be found in the Rules Supplement.  Give it a try to locate these sources – we will talk about this more in our first classes.   In addition, please give  thought to how you would answer the following problem:  

You are stranded on a desert island with your shipmates (a group of thirty or so people).  Think of the show, Survivor, to picture this.  No disputes have yet arisen, but they are inevitable.  What system or process would you design right now to have in place to resolve any disputes that may arise?  You goals are to have a process that is accepted, and perceived as fair, but doesn't take too much time or energy, and is appropriate to the setting.  Come to our first class prepared to explain the system you have come up with!  There are no other rules to the exercise, and you can be as creative as you wish.  I look forward to hearing your solutions in our first class!  

 

Contracts (Monestier)

Welcome to Contracts!  First, and most importantly, there will be no readings for the first day of class (Tuesday August 19).  However, please ensure that you have purchased the required books for the course:

Text: Knapp, Crystal & Prince, Problems in Contract Law, Aspen Publishers: 7th Ed. (2012)

Statutory Supplement: Burton & Eisenberg, Contract Law: Selected Source Materials 2014 (you are free to use an older version of this, or any other, statutory supplement – so long as it includes the Restatement and Article 2).

In addition, please be sure that you have a Westlaw password and that you have activated your account.  All assigned readings will be posted on Westlaw’s TWEN website.  Directions on setting up your account and accessing TWEN are included from the library in your Orientation packet.

Looking forward to meeting you all soon!

Prof. Monestier

 

Criminal Law (Sack)

Our first class will be Monday, August 18, from 9 am – 10:15 am in Room 286. The required text for the class is Kadish, Schulhofer, Steiker & Barkow, Criminal Law and its Processes (9th edition, 2012), which is available in the bookstore. It is important that you have this edition (the most recent edition) of the book, because there are substantial changes from earlier versions. For our first class meeting, please read and be prepared to discuss:

  • [Background: pp. 1 – 12 (through Note 6) and flow chart on p. 13; pp. 31 – 36 (through (d)); pp. 75 – 82]* 
  • pp. 82 – 96 (up until the Note on Criticisms . . . )

*Background readings are still required reading for which you are responsible, but we will not be discussing them in detail in class.

The full syllabus will be available on Bridges by early in the week of August 11. Please print out the syllabus and bring it with you to our first class, as I will be reviewing it then.

 

Legal Practice (All Sections)

Dear Class of 2017,

On behalf of your Legal Practice I (“LP I”) professor, I welcome you to the RWU School of Law!  I am attaching for your reference the LP I Syllabus, which sets out the books and materials you will need for LP I and the reading and assignments for which you will be responsible this fall.  Please note that your assignment for the Orientation class, scheduled for Friday, August 15th, is to read chapter 1 of the text book, The Legal Writing Handbook (available at the RWU Bookstore), and the LP Course Policies and Code of Student Responsibility, which is included in your Legal Practice Binder (also available at the Bookstore).  For your convenience, I have attached a copy of the LP Course Policies and Code of Student Responsibility.

We look forward to meeting you next week,

Prof. Colt

 

Torts (Logan)

  1. Torts typically involves a physical (or “personal”) injury caused by one person or entity (through the conduct of its employees) to another person, and initially asks whether there should be liability in the circumstances.  If there is liability, then the victim generally is entitled to compensation for the resulting injury (pain & suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and any damage to property).  In a few circumstances, the plaintiff may also be entitled to “punitive damages.”  As we will see, a lay jury is typically involved in deciding these issues, under the control of a trial judge, with the trial judge’s decisions subject to evaluation by appellate judges.  There are a number of basic scenarios that will appear during the course.  As you prepare for the first class, try to identify exactly how the scenarios below differ and whether some offer stronger justification than others for awarding compensation, and be prepared to justify your position.
    • Sluggo purposely drives his vehicle into Blutto, who is sitting in a roadside café, causing Blutto serious physical injury. 
    • Suppose Blutto’s Mother saw all this transpire from across the patio; should she be entitled to recover damages for the trauma of witnessing a serious injury to her son?
    • Sluggo is driving drunk and loses control of his vehicle and hits Blutto, who is sitting in a roadside café, causing Blutto serious physical injury.
    • Sluggo is texting while driving and he loses control of his vehicle and hits Blutto, who is sitting in a roadside café, causing Blutto serious physical injury.   e.Would your answer change if Blutto had a pre-existing medical condition that made the injury he suffered much worse than would have been the usual result from the impact?
    • Sluggo is driving carefully when he suffers a sudden heart attack, loses control of his vehicle and hits Blutto, who is sitting in a roadside café, causing Blutto serious physical injury.  Would your answer change if Sluggo knew of his heart condition but drove nevertheless? Skipped his heart medicine because the drug made him feel poorly?
    • Would your answer to any of the above change if Sluggo’s vehicle hit Blutto while Blutto was walking the wrong way on the shoulder of the road?
    • Should Blutto be able to recover any damages from Sluggo’s employer if Sluggo was on a delivery for the employer when he lost control of his vehicle? Would your answer change if Sluggo was on his way home from work in his own car?To understand Torts you have to know the basics of our civil litigation process, and be familiar with some key technical terms.  In preparation for our first class, please define the following terms.  (There will be multiple sources for this information in the Law Library and there may also be online information that will do the trick.)
  2. To understand Torts you have to know the basics of our civil litigation process, and be familiar with some key technical terms.  In preparation for our first class, please define the following terms.  (There will be multiple sources for this information in the Law Library and there may also be online information that will do the trick.)
    • Complaint
    • Answer
    • Motion to Dismiss
    • Discovery (depositions and interrogatories)
    • Voir Dire
    • Opening Statement
    • Directed Verdict Motion
    • Closing argument
    • Instructions
    • Judgment as a Matter of Law (aka Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict or JNOV)
    • New Trial Motion
    • Burden of Proof
  3. How is a trial different than an appeal?
  1. Why provide a damages remedy when one person’s misconduct causes a physical injury to another? (pp. 1-2 in the casebook)