“The Work Will Teach You How To Do It: Lessons from Patent Litigation Courts On The Use of Limits on Case Activity to Effectively Manage Litigation Costs – Thesis for Litigation Management LL.M.

I am happy to report that they let me walk the stage Friday in Waco after finishing the last on-campus week for my Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management at Baylor Law School – the only LL.M program in the nation for litigation management. We covered every stage of the litigation process to identify efficiencies and current trends, and while there was little in the program I didn’t know at least something about from 31 years in a litigation-only practice, I learned valuable new skills and tools to do things better than I had been doing them.

I doubled down on the subject of litigation efficiency in my thesis, “The Work Will Teach You How To Do It: Lessons from Patent Litigation Courts On The Use of Limits on Case Activity to Effectively Manage Litigation Costs.  We were required to prepare two versions of the the paper – a full version (approx. 29 pages with over 60 citations, mostly to case management orders in patent litigation) and a shorter five-page version. The five page version is here – the full version is available to subscribers and court staff below, and I hope all will be interested in the comparative analysis of the procedures across some of the more popular patent courts.

Baylor Litigation Management LL.M. – Final Semester

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Just started the last semester of what’s been a very enjoyable and informative LL.M. at Baylor on litigation management. This semester I’ll be doing a deep dive into current trends in e-discovery using the Scheindlin & Capra text, as well as ethical issues in litigation management, expert witnesses, management of complex litigation, complex arbitration & negotiation, and small firm litigation management. And I’ll be wrapping up my research paper – actually two since we do both a short and a long version of our topic. Of course some of these topics are old friends – but one thing I’ve learned in this program is that there’s so much more to learn, even on subjects I’ve been dealing with for over 30 years now, some on a daily basis.

What Is An LL.M. in Litigation Management, Why Does Baylor Have One, and Why Am I In It? BU LLM Post 001


The idea behind the program and my participation is that, candidly, things can be done better in litigation – and I want to study how.

Law firms often have a lot of bad processes, which could benefit from informed evaluation and change.  The program – the first of its kind in the nation – is to carry the banner of ”doing things better” in litigation.  As one of the program’s alumni, Amazon risk manager Aaron Mutnick puts it “the LL.M. in Litigation Management is a world-class program that enables lawyers to manage a team, and lead their company or firm’s efforts to manage a high-volume, high-stakes docket.”  That was attractive to me because I’d like to have in my personal toolbox the state of the art approach to litigation management to help my firm and our clients better manage our clients’ interests in litigation. 

To that end, the program’s mission is a good place to start:

MISSION STATEMENT

  1. Equip national thought leaders for solving litigation justice system problems.
  2. Equip litigation management specialists for providing results – oriented, cost – effective client solutions
  3. Equip litigation firms and departments to deliver outstanding client results with profitability; and
  4. Prevent the disappearance of our Seventh Amendment right to jury trial

In short, to preserve our right to a jury trial, we have to find a way to show that things can be done better in litigation.

At our orientation to the program last week the Baylor LL.M. faculty explained to us what the program is about, using the Baylor “R6” framework.

“R6” stands for the six “rights” that the program seeks to study and help effectuate.  It is explained more fully in the attached white paper, but in short, they are :

  • The right WAY
  • The right PLAN
  • The right TEAM
  • The right COST
  • The right TOOLS; and
  • The right RESULT

CURRICULUM

I will save the precise curriculum for later posts, but essentially the program consists of three semesters of work with about 12 credit hours of work per semester.  The number of courses per semester varies, but as an example, the first semester has six courses plus the research project. 

The work includes readings, assignments, and lecture components, some of which are pre-recorded, and some of which are live, or “synchronous” as the program puts it.   Most of this is presented via the familiar Canvas platform, which I used in my last masters project at Arizona State.  Assignments can be completed using a case packet provided as fodder, but students are encouraged to use their own active cases (with appropriate confidentiality of course) to fulfill assignments.  For example, you could fulfil an assignment to come up with a damages model for a case using the provided case packet, or you could (as I intend to do) take a fact situation from an existing case, modify it to eliminate case identifying information, and do that analysis in that.  It could, for example, provide an opportunity to try a different strategy that wasn’t tried in the actual case to see what the pros and cons of that alternative strategy would have been.

RESEARCH PROJECT

The program concludes with a research project which consists of three semesters preparing a short and a long paper on a topic of my choosing.  The short piece must be under five pages and is intended for publication in a bar Journal of some kind.  The longer piece must be at least 20 pages and include substantial research.  The program will provide a paid law student research assistant to help with the long paper

The show begins on Monday when the courses open in Canvas, but I’m already busy outlining what I think will be the topic of my papers, based on what I already know I’m interested in. 


Baylor-Law-R6-WhitePaper-0621

Baylor Law Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management


Well, I’m at it again. Just finished the introductory course in Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. program in Litigation Management. https://www.baylor.edu/law/llm/ “Courageous Conversations: Hearing Every Voice” helps educate members of the Baylor community on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

It was enjoyable and informative, and I think prepared me to play a more positive role as a (returning) member of the Baylor community. If schedule holds, I’ll graduate January 2024.
Next course up is Law 9130 “Forum Issues Affecting Major Litigation”. Okay.