This course will explore the law and practice of remedies, the concrete outcome of every litigated case. The rules governing the availability, scope, and interaction of the major remedies — compensatory damages, injunctions, declaratory judgments, restitution, and punitive damages — will be examined in commercial settings. The focus is therefore on remedial responses to violations of rights in tangible and intellectual property, exchange-based rights such as breach of contract, and marketplace rights against improper competitive conduct. Particular attention will be given to the basic concepts underlying remedies law and the policy influences of moral philosophy and economic analysis. In addition, the course will cover the practical and strategic aspects of seeking and resisting judicial relief, including quantification of monetary awards. The reading includes three "behind-the-scenes" case studies of how remedies issues are litigated, as well as a classroom visit with an expert witness. Students considering practice in commercial litigation, as well as students who intend to pursue a transactions practice (where prospective remedies are often lurking in the background), will find the course valuable.
Students should learn how to recognize and solve remedies problems. The objective is not to accumulate and catalog a lot of nuts-and-bolts rules, but to develop a critical eye for the fuzzy boundaries and ambiguities that characterize remedies law. In any event, knowing the rules of remedies law is only the starting point; whether litigating a case or negotiating a deal, the challenge is often to construct (or attack) creative arguments about difficult and unsettled remedies issues. Having a coherent understanding of the structure and operation of remedies across a range of substantive fields is essential to meeting such challenges in practice. As the saying goes, mastery lies not in what you know, but in what you do when you don't know.