This lesson has been revised to reflect the December 1, 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as they were re-written effective December 1, 2007.
The student is presented with a hypothetical defamation case and instructed to compose a complaint for a diversity action in federal court. The student is told that the complaint must be drafted so that it would completely satisfy even the most punctilious judge. The student composes the complaint by choosing from a menu of paragraphs contained in the Park and McFarland computer booklet. The computer asks the student to explain the grounds upon which rejected paragraphs were not used. The student explains by choosing from a multiple choice format, and the computer responds by asking further questions or by criticizing the student’s answer. The exercise requires the student to compose a complaint which pleads grounds for jurisdiction and the elements of the claim at a proper level of generality, while avoiding superfluity or violation of Rule 11.