Federal Courts Practice (Spring 2011)
This course aims to provide you with an understanding of federal court practice. This is not a class in federal court jurisdiction. Nor is this a class in trial advocacy. Rather, this class will expose you to the basics of federal jurisdiction, federal criminal practice, federal civil litigation, as well as federal habeas corpus law and federal employment law. We will invite several guest speakers, including Magistrate Judges, Assistant United States Attorneys, Criminal Defense Attorneys, and Civil Litigators, to share their real-world experiences with you.
This class, which I co-taught with the Honorable Kim R. Gibson, was taught at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.
For my final class of the semester, I gave the students an intensive lecture, taking them on a tour of over 300 Supreme Court cases decided over two centuries, and explored how studying the Court chronologically yields certain trends and patterns that are difficult to perceive studying topics separately. Unfortunately, my Flip camera died about 55 minutes into the 1 hour, 55 minute class, so I only made it to 1944. The audio version is available at this JoshCast. 150 Years of Constitutional History in 55 Minutes from Josh Blackman on Vimeo. I...read more
The Case of the Speluncean Explorers by Lon Fuller is a classic 1949 law review article that all law students should read. Many thanks to Professor Michael Krauss who first introduced this article to me. I hope my students enjoyed it as much as I did. The story is set in the year 4300 AD in the fictional state of Newgarth. It tells the story of explorers who are trapped in a cave without adequate supplies. The explorers know that the rescuers will be unable to reach them in time, so they decide they must resort to cannibalism in order to...read more
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Iqbal, Twombley, and the new pleading standard for Complaints. Also, hear an interesting discussion that begins, “How open should our courts be.” Download the JoshCast here.read more
In this lecture, I explore the intersection of disparate impact analysis and the Equal Protection Clause in Ricci v. DeStefano. As well I discuss the Ledbetter opinion, and the resulting Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I also provide a brief introduction to the ADA and sexual harassment law. I’d like to note that I gave this lecture the night before Justice Stevens announced his retirement, and I did give my picks about who would replace JPS. Though, I was off, and predicted JPS make the announcement step at the end of...read more
In this lecture, I provide a brief overview of employment discrimination law, with a focus on the United States Constitution, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other related topics.read more
I opened up this lecture with a timely reference to Senator Schumer’s attempt to “overturn” (a term I reject) Citizens United. Discussion of the privilege against self incrimination starts at 6:00.Discussion of federal immunity starts at 15:00. I discuss Miranda and the aftermath of Miranda, including my interview with Bob Corbin, who prosecuted Miranda at 24:00. Discussion of Nixon’s attempt to overturn Miranda at 28:00.A talk of Dickerson at 31:00.Plus I give an extended discussion of McDonald v. Chicago. Trust me,...read more
JoshCast: Lecture on History of the Fourth Amendment, Including George Mason, VA Declaration of RIghts, Exclusionary Rule, and Terry
For the first 6 minutes, I give an overview of the history of the Fourth Amendment, focusing on my man, George Mason, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, Writs of Assistance, and sprinkle in a bit of John Locke. I had to make this topic my own. Starting at the 6 minute mark, I go into the text of the Fourth Amendment, and justifications for the exclusionary rule. Around the 30 minute mark I talk about the structural protections of our Constitution, and why it is so important to protect the rights of the accused. At 38:30 I begin a discussion...read more
In this lecture we cover: Exclusive jurisdiction (14:00), with a fun discussion of the constitutionality of exclusive jurisdiction at 17:00 Mottley and the well-pleaded complaint rule (17:00)) Advisory opinions, and make a timely Alito, J. joke at 52:10 the constitutionality of advisory opinions at 56:00 the meaning of “arising under” for purposes of federal questions with a focus on American Well Works, Smith, Merrell Dow, and Grabel v. Darue. Pendent Jurisdiction & Gibbs Finley, Supplemental Jurisdiction and 28 U.S.C....read more
For those of you not able to attend my Federal Court Practice class, I just uploaded a JoshCast of my lecture on Marbury v. Madison. I tell the untold history of Marbury, the underlying political battle between Marshall and Jeferson, and writs of Mandamus in plain English. Take a look at slides 29-35 to follow along. Download Audio File Subscribe to my iTunes...read more
I’m off for class, but here are the slides we will be working of f of. We cover Article III, Federalist 78-83, Brutus XI, XII, XV, an Marbury.read more
This Spring, Judge Gibson and I are teaching a Federal Court Practice class at the Dickinson School of Law. You can download the syllabus here. Here is the Course Summary: This course aims to provide you with an understanding of federal court practice. This is not a class in federal court jurisdiction. Nor is this a class in trial advocacy. Rather, this class will expose you to the basics of federal jurisdiction, federal criminal practice, federal civil litigation, as well as federal habeas corpus law and federal employment law. We will invite...read more