Social Justice Impact Litigation: Issues and Strategies
This seminar will explore strategic and legal issues related to litigation against the government as a tool for advancing constitutional and civil rights. The course will be informed by the instructor's thirty years' experience litigating class action and appellate cases at all levels of the federal judiciary on behalf of immigrants and civil rights plaintiffs to explore strategic use of law reform and social justice litigation. We will consider both legal doctrine and practical problems. Among the issues that may be included are: selecting and using test cases; strategic pleading; class action problems; the role of amicus briefs; suits for damages versus injunctive relief; standing, mootness and organizational plaintiffs; settlement strategies and issues; coalition litigation; use of public advocacy and media; the effect of lawsuits on policymakers and government officials; and litigation to achieve legislative change.