Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program
2012 Cecil D. Branstetter Summer Fellows
The Branstetter Summer Fellows are selected as part of the summer stipend program. Recipients are selected based on the students interest in litigation and offered a summer position providing a valuable opportunity to develop practical skills and knowledge in the field of litigation and dispute resolution.
Top row (L to R): Brandon Fyffe, Zachary Roth
Middle row: William Weaver, Katherine Horton, William Marks
Bottom row: Jeremy Gove, Bryan Gramlich, Katharine Skinner, Alex Webb, Melanie Erb
The Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program
The Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution program offers students an advanced legal curriculum designed to enable them to step immediately into sophisticated litigation practice anywhere in the country. The program’s name underscores a simple fact: The vast majority of litigation in the U.S. today results in settlements rather than trials. As a result, litigation practice today primarily involves the management and resolution of disputes. Students who complete Vanderbilt’s program are prepared to enter legal practice with both a practical and conceptual understanding of the different methods that our justice system employs to resolve disputes.
The Litigation & Dispute Resolution program includes courses taught by accomplished Vanderbilt professors and by leading practitioners and judges from around the country.
Developing the Competencies Litigators Need
Students in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution program develop the core competencies essential to succeed as a litigator, including strong analytical, communication, negotiation, and writing skills. By placing litigation in the context of its role in the U.S. justice system, the program also teaches students what litigators do, how they interact with clients and other involved parties, and how litigation really works.
A Program Endowed through a Class Action Lawsuit
In 2005, the Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution program received a $2.9 million endowment to fund significant research projects, course development and academic symposia. The endowment resulted from a cy pres settlement to a class action lawsuit brought in Tennessee Circuit Court by the Nashville law firm of Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings. Because the members of the plaintiff class were too numerous and difficult to identify to make distribution of settlement funds to all class members possible, the settlement agreement provided for a $2.9 million distribution to Vanderbilt Law School to support the study of litigation and dispute resolution as a cy pres (or “next best”) use of the settlement dollars to benefit the plaintiff class.
The program is named in honor of Cecil D. Branstetter Sr., ’49, a founding partner in Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation visiting in 2010.
“The Public Life of Private Law: The Logic and Experience of Mass Litigation" -
a conference at VLS September 27-28, 2013.
Vanderbilt Law School will host a conference in honor of the late Richard Nagareda, who held the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law and was founding director of the Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program.
This conference is jointly sponsored by Vanderbilt’s Branstetter Program, the Journal of Tort Law, and the University of Texas Center on Lawyers, Civil Justice and the Media, and was organized by Tracey George, John C.P. Goldberg, Samuel Issacharoff and Charles Silver.
The Branstetter Program is hosting the 2013 New Voices in Civil Justice Scholarship Workshop at Vanderbilt on May 7, 2013.