Thursday, July 5, 2007
First, let me thank Jeremy and Rory for giving me the opportunity to guest blog on Civil Procedure Prof Blog this month. The blogging industry is really changing the way the academy shares ideas, and I am delighted to be a part of it.
It's been a crazy couple of months for civil procedure mavens as the Supreme Court kept issuing important civil procedure decisions. I previously posted some thoughts on Bell Atlantic, Erickson, and Powerex (respectively, here, here, and here), and I would be remiss if I didn't add one on Bowles, which I will do next week. But the term is now over, and, as a breather, I wanted to start with a pedagogical thought raised at the AALS's New Law Teachers Conference last weekend.
A problem that I encountered last year was how to teach supplemental jurisdiction and joinder. Civil procedure is a year long course at my school, and I taught jurisdiction first semester and rules second semester. I found supplemental jurisdiction difficult to teach without explaining some of the joinder rules. And, when joinder rolled around second semester, I had to spend a significant amount of class time reviewing supplemental jurisdiction (and deciding how to answer the repeated question from students, "Will jurisdiction material from first semester be covered on the second semester final exam?").
Well, at the conference, someone suggested teaching them together, at the end of the course. That struck me as a decent idea. I also wonder if joinder could stay where it naturally belongs and supplemental jurisdiction could just move to be taught as part of joinder. That might not work for those who teach rules first. It also might work better for a semester-long course than for a year-long course.
What do others think?