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Monday, January 30, 2012

Interesting pedagogical divide

AttachmentOn the Civ Pro Prof Listserv,  Tom Rowe conducted a survey of preferences for which recent Erie case to use and how--Gasperini or Shady Grove, major or note case, etc. Tom and his co-authors, Suzanna Sherry and Jay Tidmarsh, are trying to put together the new edition of their casebook.

The always-delicious pie chart at right shows the result. A strong plurality prefers Shady Grove as the major case, a smaller percentage prefers both as major cases, and a still-smaller prefers Gasperini only.

I am in the third camp, so the results at least give me pause. My logic has been that I don't teach class actions in my four-hour course and some basic understanding of class actions is needed to fully grasp Shady Grove. By contrast, Gaspeini involved FRCP 59, so the case is a nice opportunity to introduce basic post-trial motions and standards of appellate review. But perhaps there is benefit to covering a three-year-old case instead of a 16-year-old case, especially given the new line-up of justices.

A numeric and percentage breakdown is after the jump.

Include Gasperini but not Shady Grove as a principal case 15.7% (14 responses of 89 total)

Include Shady Grove but not Gasperini as a principal case 36.0% (32)

Include BOTH Gasperini and Shady Grove as principal cases 21.3% (19)

Include NEITHER Gasperini nor Shady Grove as a principal case because I won’t teach them 11.2% (10)

Include BOTH as note cases 14.6% (13)

"I don’t care enough to choose – that’s why I use someone else’s casebook!” 1.1% (1)


Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM in Civil Procedure, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink


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