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Nuts and Bolts on Section 1983 and Qualified Immunity: (Nearly) Everything There is to Know

April 5 @ 11:45 am - 5:00 pm

| Free

The FBA Chapter for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Civil Rights Section of the FBA Proudly Announce: Civil Rights Étouffée on the Road in Detroit

Nuts and Bolts on Section 1983 and Qualified Immunity: (Nearly) Everything There is to Know

Friday, April 5th, 2024, in the Detroit Room of the Theodore Levin Courthouse, 231 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48226-2700

April 5 @ 11:45 am – 3:30 pm

EVENT COST: $0  For both MEMBERS and NON-MEMBERS/GUESTS  (Suggested donation is $20 to defray event costs).

Thank you to our Sponsors thus far:

Gold – Pitt McGehee



Gold $650
Silver $500
Bronze $350

All should register at link (far) below.


Program Agenda:

Doors Open @ 11:45 am to grab food/get settled

Noon to 1:15 – Lunch and Speaker

Section 1983 and Qualified Immunity: Where it’s Been and Where it Might be Headed

Professor Alexander A. Reinert, the Max Freund Professor of Litigation and Advocacy at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

1:30 to 3:30 – Section 1983 Nuts and Bolts for Litigators

Judge Judith Levy will introduce the afternoon event, explaining the importance of Section 1983 cases to the Court as the largest portion of the docket as well as the substance of the cases. The panel will address a range of topics related to Section 1983 litigation.


District Judge Judith E. Levy

District Judge Terrence G Berg

Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford

Cary S. McGehee

Nolan J. Moody

Michael Hanchett

Assistant Attorney General (Adam de Bear )

Moderator: Robin Wagner

3:30 to 4:30 – Questions and Answers for the Panel  

Including Special Guest Speaker Alexander A. Reinert



Section 1983 Nuts and Bolts for Litigators is intended not only for newer attorneys and law clerks, but also anyone who wants to participate in the Court’s pro bono program or who supervises attorneys on such cases. The program is also a great primer for anyone looking to expand into Section 1983 litigation.

 The panel will endeavor to cover topics including:

  1. The core of the complaint and the facts
  2. how to understand and recognize the key elements of a Section 1983 claim
  3. Unique considerations in the prison context, like exhaustion
  4. The typical procedural postures of a case that is referred for pro bono counsel
  5. Representing incarcerated persons in civil matters
  6. Discovery challenges unique to prisoner-rights cases – what kinds of documents might exist particular to this context that you need to look for? What questions to ask?
  7. How to use the specific tools of discovery in the prison context
  8. When and why you might need a request to permit entry on land
  9. Client communications
  10. Depositions in the prison context
  11. Special orders needed if client/witnesses must appear in court
  12. Understanding the concerns of the government entity defendant
    1. Client management issues
    2. Time it takes to make decisions and get responses to questions related to clients and witnesses
    3. Security concerns
  13. How to handle discovery disputes in these cases
  14. Pre-trial motions: how to be effective and strategic with Motions in Limine, exhibits, other pre-trial planning
  15. Damages – what’s available, how to evaluate and understand the value of the case
  16. Mediation/settlement conferences
  17. Trial nuts and bolts





April 5
11:45 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:




Detroit Room, Theodore Levin Courthouse
231 West Lafayette
Detroit, 48226 United States
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