Understanding the civil litigation process
This ATC relates to the material covered in Chapter 3 and our Supplemental materials giving an overview of civil procedure. These materials are generally focused on the development of the American legal system, the structure of our courts, and understanding procedural rules relating to the initiation of litigation. Please complete the following exercises.
1. Find the website for one of each type of court (municipal, district, and superior) below and provide the following information:
a. Name, address, and telephone number
b. Jurisdiction (limited or general) and what types of matters are heard
c. Number of judges
2. Give the link for the website address where one can find a directory of each court in Washington State.
3. How many circuits are there and in what federal circuit is Washington State located? Find and provide the link for one of the federal courts located in Washington State.
4. Locate the Internet address for the Washington State Legislature and identify one bill introduced during 2011 or 2012. Give the bill number, title, summary of the bills, and current status.
5. Washington State has recently passed a law that requires each community and university faculty member to submit their lectures in advance of presentation to a board for review to ensure that the materials comply with school policies prohibiting “controversial” subject matter or content. Your office has been assigned to represent a group of faculty members from across the state in challenging this law on the basis that it violates First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. In researching this case, you see that a similar case was filed by a group of faculty members in the State of Georgia. The group of faculty members won on their challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s statute when the Georgia State Supreme Court ruled that the law was an unconstitutional restraint on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Provide a “Yes,” or “No,” response followed by a two to three sentence explanation.
a. Can your office bring this case in Washington State Court?
b. Can your office challenge this law in a Federal district court?
c. Can you cite to the Georgia State Supreme Court decision? How would you describe this authority?
6. Find and provide the link to example of the following documents. (Document examples must be from/for Washington State.)
d. Request for Admissions
e. Motion for Summary Judgment
7. Find the statute that discusses the Statute of Limitations for civil actions.
8. Provide one to two sentences about what you learned from this assignment.