Feb 09, 2023  
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LAW 477 - Section 1983 Litigation

Fall (1-3) John Gibney

The course will focus on litigation under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 - the statute most commonly used to protect Americans’ constitutional rights. Topics covered will include the history of the statute, the categories of defendants who can be sued under the statute, theories of liability, available remedies, defenses to suits, immunity from suit, and awards of attorneys’ fees. The course will also cover the relationship between substantive rights and the litigation tools provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The course will explore the major Supreme Court cases that define the principles of section 1983, and each week the class will discuss how the principles apply to actual cases that have arisen and been litigated in Virginia. Students will be graded based on a short paper (approximately five pages) prepared in the middle of the semester, and a longer brief in support of a motion for summary judgment based on facts provided to the students. Students will also be expected to work in teams to address specific legal issues and present their analysis in class.