Civil Litigation Pathway

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Civil Litigation is a legal dispute between two or more parties that seek damages and other remedies beyond criminal sanctions. Lawyers who practice civil litigation represent parties in trials, hearings, arbitrations and mediations before administrative agencies, foreign tribunals and federal, state and local courts.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the broad area of Civil Litigation as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Civil Procedure.

Core Course

LAW 6330 Evidence (3). This course addresses the law of evidence, including: hearsay, judicial notice, burden of proof, and presumptions; functions of judge and jury; competency and privileges of witnesses; and exclusion of testimony of witnesses and documents.

Advanced Electives

Administrative Law
LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
LAW 6310 Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3). This course entails an examination of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and techniques for incorporating them into legal practice. A variety of readings and exercises are used as background for discussions of the utility of different mechanisms for resolving certain kinds of disputes. This course focuses on adjudication, negotiation, and mediation.

Appellate Procedure I (Moot Court)
LAW 5796 Appellate Procedure I (Moot Court)(2-3). Students, working in two-person teams, will prepare an appellate brief and deliver an appellate oral argument in a competition format. Students will receive substantial classroom instruction in persuasive brief writing and oral advocacy as well as the relevant appellate rules and procedure topics. Prerequisite: Course open to any second-year fulltime student or third-year part-time student who has completed LSV I and II and who is not under academic supervision.

Appellate Procedure II
LAW 7800 Appellate Procedure II (2-3). This course focuses on practice and procedure in the Florida District Courts of Appeal and the Eleventh Circuit. The course covers selected state and federal statutes and court rules governing appellate procedure as well as key appellate topics such as the merits of appeal, ethical limitations, jurisdiction, finality, issue selection, preparation of the record, preservation of error, fundamental/plain error, harmless error, and standard and scope of review. During the course students will typically draft several short appellate documents, such as a Notice of Appeal, a Designation of Record/Directions to Clerk, and a Request for Oral Argument, as well as an appellate brief outline; unlike Legal Skills and Values II or III, the course will not cover brief writing or oral argument.

Complex Litigation
LAW 7308 Complex Litigation (2-3).Students learn how the federal rules of civil procedure, particularly in the area of complex litigation, can become instruments of policy. Topics include class actions and multi-district litigation.

Federal Courts
LAW 6302 Federal Courts (3). The course examines the power and role of the federal courts as defined by the United States Constitution, federal statutes and judicial decisions. Among the topics examined are federal question, diversity and civil rights jurisdiction, habeas corpus, immunities of state and local governments from suit, and abstention.

Florida Civil Practice
LAW 7303 Florida Civil Practice (2-3). This course entails a study of Florida civil practice from the commencement of an action through final judgment.

Florida Constitutional Law
LAW 7503 Florida Constitutional Law (2-3). This course studies the Constitution of the State of Florida, including recent decisions of the Florida Supreme Court and analysis of current proposals for constitutional change.

Medical Malpractice Law
LAW 6725 Medical Malpractice Law (2–3). Medical Malpractice Law examines legal claims that may be brought against physicians, hospitals, and other allied health professionals and organizations, as a result of the provision of medical and/or health services, or as a result of relationships with medical and health services providers. The course will examine the duties of care imposed by law on medical and health care providers, legal remedies for breach of the standards of medical care, defenses to legal claims, and medical ethics. Recommended but not required as a prerequisite: Evidence Law.

Products Liability
LAW 6702 Products Liability (2-3). This course is a survey of the history, growth and development of the law regarding injury to persons and property resulting from defective products. It will examine the various legal theories of fraud, express warranty, implied warranties of fitness and merchantability, negligence, and strict liability.

Experiential Courses


Elizabeth Price Foley, Professor of Law

Howard M. Wasserman, Professor of Law

Manuel A. Gómez, Associate Professor of Law

Clinical Faculty

Phyllis Kotey, Director of Externships and Community Service
& Associate Clinical Professor of Law

H.T. Smith, Director of the Trial Advocacy Program