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Course Descriptions
USC Gould School of Law

Suing the Government     LAW-684

Civil suits against the federal government occupy a significant portion of the docket of the U.S. federal courts—fully 20% of all federal civil cases in some recent years. Those who sue the government include businesses or industries challenging regulations or enforcement actions, individuals alleging tort, contract, civil rights, or constitutional claims, nonprofits and citizen groups alleging civil rights or environmental violations, and even branches of government suing each other.  This course will cover both the theoretical/doctrinal background of litigation against the government, including sovereign immunity and the practical aspects of who can sue the government, for what, where, and how. We will cover the primary statutes waiving federal sovereign immunity, including the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Tucker Act, and the Freedom of Information Act, as well as related issues including the award of attorneys’ fees against the government and estoppel against the government. We will also examine suits against the state of California. Students will draft a simple complaint against the federal or state government as well as an answer or motion to dismiss.

Units 3
Grading Options Numeric Only
Exam Type In-class or Take-home Exam
Writing Requirement No
Skills/Experiential Requirement No

Grading Options: vary with the professor

Professors Teaching This Course