This seminar focuses on major corporate and securities cases, often in the mergers and acquisitions context. The standard format is to invite a judge (typically from the Delaware Chancery Court or the Southern District of New York) along with the lawyers on both sides to review and evaluate their litigation strategy. How did their strategy change as the case progressed? Why, when, and how did the case settle (or why did it not settle)? What factors, if any, besides the legal merits affected the outcome, including 1) adverse publicity, 2) divisions within the client, 3) the attitude of the insurers, and 4) competition or rivalry with the defendants' camp or the plaintiffs' camp?
This focus on litigation strategy is intended to offset the hindsight bias that naturally arises in law school because students read reported decisions, which tend to lead them to view the facts as fixed and the outcome as obviously foreshadowed. The premise of this seminar is that uncertainty is the key characteristic of litigation, with both sides having to estimate how the court or jury will respond to disputed facts and legal theories. As a result, litigation decision-making in the real world is contingent; strategies and the settlement odds necessarily change as rulings occur. The focus of the seminar is not on what the "right" decision was, but how attorneys strategize, maneuver, and negotiate to best represent their clients.
Section Offerings for 2012-13
|L8238-001||13S||Corporations in Court: Strategic Decision-Making in Major Litigation|
|J. Coffee, Jr. ...||R 4:20 PM-6:10 PM||GRHL 807|
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