Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Word on Course Materials (Updated)

The assigned book for the semester is Understanding Civil Rights Litigation (Carolina Academic Press) (2d ed. 2018).

The hard-copy will not be available until the third or fourth week of class. It is now available as an ebook from RedShelf. Note that you can only print out parts of the ebook, not the whole thing. But you are permitted to bring the book to class in electronic form form.

To order, go to: and order from there.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Civil Rights and Civil Rights Blog

Welcome to Civil Rights and the FIU Civil Rights Blog. There are three posts that you must read and follow prior to our first class meeting on Tuesday, January 9.

To read the blog, go to; posts can be read going down from most recent to least recent. To post to the blog, go to; you can log-in with a username and password. For complete information on the purposes and uses of the blog, see the Syllabus.

To be able to post, you must register as an author and a reader. To register as an author, please send an e-mail to me ( In the subject line, type “Civil Rights Blog Registration;” in the body of the e-mail, please type your name and your e-mail address. You then will receive an e-mail “Invitation” inviting you to join as an author on the blog. You must follow the steps outlined in the invitation e-mail to register (under your full name, no handles or usernames) as an author. Please register under your full (first and last) name. Please do this at the beginning of the semester, as soon as you receive the invitation.

Once you have registered, take a few minutes to explore how to write a post. Note that you can put up photographs and video. You also can put web links in the text by highlighting the text you want to use for the hyperlink and clicking the "Link" button.

Course Materials and First Week Assignments

Download and read the Syllabus (or at right) for complete details about the course, assignments, pedagogical approach, course rules, and grading methods. You should bring the Syllabus with you to every class. Review the Course Evaluation Information (or at right) for details on your graded written and oral projects.

Technology and Class Conduct: 
• Use of laptops is prohibited.
  • You may bring a bookreader, iPad, phone, or similar device solely for reading assigned cases, statutes, rules, and texts, rather than printing out all the cases. You may not take notes on the device. 
   • You must be in class on time, unless I have previously given you permission to come late. You may not enter the room once class has begun, unless I have given you permission to come late. Once class has begun, you must remain in your seat, unless I have given you permission to leave during class. In all cases, permission will be freely given when appropriate.

Panels: Details in the syllabus. Panel I will be up when we begin discussing Elements of a Claim in the second class.

Required Course Materials: 
Howard M. Wasserman, Understanding Civil Rights Litigation (2d ed. 2018)
     Appendix A: Constitution of the United States
     Appendix C: United States Code and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (selected provisions)

Assignments for the first day of class, Tuesday, January 9:

Introduction/Historical Context                   Understanding Ch. 1
      U.S. Const. amend. XIII, XIV

Elements of Civil Rights Claims
Introduction                                                 Understanding § 2.01

 “Under Color of Law” and State Action (first part) Understanding §§ 2.02, 2.03[1], 2.03 [2]
      42 U.S.C. § 1983
      18 U.S.C. § 242
      Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167 (1961)