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Schwartz on Section 1983: Law and Commentary

Author(s): Martin A. Schwartz
Practice Area: Civil rights, Civil rights litigation, Litigation, Malicious prosecution (Civil rights), Municipal law, Municipal liability, Pro bono, Section 1983 litigation (Civil rights)
Date: Jan 2021 i Other versions can be found in the Related Items tab.
ISBN: 9781402435720
PLI Item #: 293922

As the remedial machinery for enforcing individual federal constitutional rights against municipalities, state and local officials, and other defendants who acted under color of state law, Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code is a fundamental part of American law. Professor Emeritus of Law Martin A. Schwartz, one of the nation’s leading experts on Section 1983 litigation, examines the essential aspects of Section 1983 law in Schwartz on Section 1983. Carefully organized to follow the progression of Section 1983 litigation, the comprehensive and incisive discussions provide practitioners with the guidance they need to successfully deal with all aspects of litigation. Throughout the chapters, the author provides invaluable “Practical Commentary” in which he shares personal observations from over 50 years of litigating, consulting, teaching, and writing about the law of Section 1983, as well as advice through each step of litigation, including in:

  • Determining whether to assert a claim in federal or in state court
  • Determining whether to name an official in her personal or official capacity, or in both capacities
  • Evaluating false arrest, malicious prosecution, and other related claims
  • Understanding the standard of judicial review governing the plaintiff’s equal protection claim and the litigation significance of that standard
  • Evaluating whether a claim has factual or legal basis or a realistic chance of success to name a municipal entity as a defendant
  • Understanding the separate issues of supervisory liability and municipal liability
  • Understanding the various abstention doctrines that provide defendants’ attorneys with a wide array of potential defenses that can lead to dismissal of a federal court action and a stay of federal court proceedings
  • Understanding the law governing remedies
Providing essential insight into the complex statue and accompanying case law, Schwartz on Section 1983 is an indispensable resource for practitioners.
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Professor Emeritus of Law Martin A. Schwartz is one of the nation's leading authorities on Section 1983 civil rights litigation and is the author of a multi-volume treatise on that subject.  He has argued three Section 1983 cases in the United States Supreme Court. He is the author of Essential Trial Evidence, Brought to Life by Famous Trials, Film, and Fiction (2017).  He recently published Schwartz on Section 1983, Law and Commentary (PLI Press 2021).  He has been a columnist for the New York Law Journal for over 45 years.  He also chaired the Practising Law Institute’s program on Trial Evidence, and chairs the Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation program.