Civil (that is, non-criminal) lawsuits proceed according to rules and practices tied to a range of values and principles, which sometimes conflict with one another. These rules, practices, and principles are deeply implicated in American legal life beyond the courtroom. This course introduces students to the basic structure of the civil lawsuit. We take the litigants¿ perspective to cover how people start, pursue, and try to end lawsuits. We take the courts¿ perspective to see how judges manage litigation. And we take a systemic perspective to understand how the authority of courts is constructed, constrained, and distributed in our dispersed system of adjudication. Throughout the course, we track how competing values play out in seemingly neutral choices about adjudicative process. Through class discussion and application problems, students practice placing themselves in the position of the attorneys they will become, and facing the legal and the ethical dilemmas that are key to legal work.