Advanced Tort Litigation

Advanced Tort Litigation

Course Description

This seminar is designed for students who have an interest in personal injury litigation. The course will focus on the basic areas of personal injury litigation as set out below. The course is based almost entirely on New Mexico case law, although frequent references will be made to legal developments and trends outside New Mexico. Considerable emphasis will be given to the practical aspects of developing and trying personal injury cases in New Mexico from first interview through discovery and into trial. This is a problem-based course in which class discussions will be centered on addressing legal issues that are raised by an assigned semester long problem. Among the areas that will be studied are the following:

  1. Basic considerations in accepting and evaluating tort cases
  2. Ethical limitations on tort practitioners
  3. The nature of the attorney-client relationship in tort cases
  4. The contingent fee agreement; Statutes of limitation
  5. Basic Jurisdictional considerations and the New Mexico Long Arm Statute
  6. Choice of venue, forum and law in tort cases
  7. The importance of insurance in tort litigation
  8. Choice of law, direct suits and conflicts of interest
  9. The duties of insurer and insured
    1. The law of bad faith
    2. Subrogation
    3. Disclosure of insurance at trial
    4. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
    5. Arbitration of disputes between insurer and insured
    6. Survey of common liability theories to expand liability to third parties
    7. Settlements
    8. Damages

To the extent class time is available, professional malpractice, governmental immunity, product liability and civil rights topics will be discussed. Class attendance, preparation and participation are expected of all students. Student grades will be based on class attendance, class participation and on the quality of the required course paper. No exam will be given in the course.