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.
This exercise is in three parts. First, the student surveys the basic law of preclusion (both claim preclusion and issue preclusion) to test and to solidify understanding of the area. The questions explore the elements of the doctrines, such as the requirements of a final judgment and necessary decision of an issue, as applied to various fact situations. Hypertext is available at all times for quick review or checking of the elements. The second part of the exercise becomes more complex as it turns to heavy emphasis on the policies behind issue preclusion. The student analyzes each fact situation from two perspectives: Blackletter Bart, who takes a rule-bound approach to issue preclusion, and Functional Felicia, who takes a policy-oriented approach to issue preclusion. Third, the student answers questions developing the abandonment by the courts of the requirement of mutuality for issue preclusion. Both defensive collateral estoppel and offensive collateral estoppel, from the perspectives of both the plaintiff and the defendant, are analyzed.