LAW 116

The American Dispute Resolution System

The purpose of this course is to introduce MSL students to the various ways in which civil disputes are formally resolved in American law. The emphasis will be on litigation in state and federal courts, but attention will also be given to alternative modes of dispute resolution – arbitration, mediation, negotiation and settlement – that have become increasingly important over the last thirty years. We will give attention not only to lawsuits brought in trial courts of general jurisdiction, but also to specialized judicial or administrative tribunals for the resolution of such matters as immigration status, small claims, and wages and hours complaints. Students will be challenged to consider the ways in which the nature of formal dispute resolution institutions and the rules by which disputes are resolved within these structures can both assist and undermine attempts by individuals and organizations to achieve their broader objectives.

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