Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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Human interaction inevitably engenders conflict. As a result, attorneys are frequently called upon to help resolve quarrels between neighbors over the placement of a fence, family feuds involving child custody and estate distributions, conflicts between international corporations over intellectual property rights, and myriad other disagreements between individuals and organizations. Until recently, attorneys routinely rushed off to court, invoking judicial intervention to resolve their clients’ disputes. Today, attorneys and their clients often avoid costly and time consuming court battles by using “alterative dispute resolution” (ADR) systems that replace or complement civil litigation. In addition, many state and federal agencies – such as the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Securities and Exchange Commission - provide adjudicatory forums for pursuing clients’ objectives.

The Civil Litigation/Civil Dispute (CLCD) Concentration helps law students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and resolve their clients’ disputes in a fair, professional and efficient manner. Students who complete this concentration will be comfortable and competent in these and related areas:

  • interacting with clients;
  • identifying and researching complex legal and factual issues;
  • integrating their research into comprehensive and persuasive pleadings, briefs, and other forms of attorney work product;
  • efficiently and expertly navigating the agency, court, or ADR forum that is best suited to each client’s needs; and
  • possessing a thorough understanding of, and commitment to, ethical and professional advocacy standards.

Three foundational courses – Civil Procedure, Evidence, and Legal Profession – serve as the cornerstone for the CLCD concentration. Thereafter, students choose four additional courses from a wide variety of pre-selected courses that will further develop the competencies necessary to serve their clients in an adjudicative setting. Finally, students design and complete their own capstone project from options that include the research and writing of a major paper on a CLCD topic, working as an extern at a court or other adjudicatory setting, or by participating in the law school’s clinical or moot court programs.

Faculty: Professors: Sheldon Gelman, S.Candice Hoke, Stephen R. Lazarus, Kevin F. O’Neill, Brian Ray, Milena Sterio, and James Wilson; Clinical Professors Kenneth J. Kowalski and Doron Kalir

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