Course Descriptions

View By Semester

Click on a semester below, then narrow your search by choosing a sub-item.

Fall 2017 Criminal Law Class Descriptions

Corrections & Sentencing (LWCR510)

Instructor(s): Staff

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Criminal Law, Criminal Litigation

Covers objectives of sentencing, plea and sentence bargaining, sentencing advocacy, sentencing alternatives, prisoner conditions, prisoners' rights, jail and prison litigation, probation and parole revocation, and extraordinary writs relating to corrections. A research paper will be required.Successful completion of the paper will fulfill the law school’s written work requirement.

Criminal Procedure I (LWCR520)

Instructor(s): Donald Dripps, Gary Schons

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law, Criminal Litigation
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Law

This course is limited to pre-trial matters, as effected by the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments. Coverage will include arrest, search and seizure, wiretap, lineups, interrogation, and the exclusionary rules.

Note: This is a required course for the Criminal Litigation Concentration (JD).

Death Penalty (LWCR530)

Instructor(s): Staff

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law, Criminal Litigation

This course will involve a written exam at the end of the semester focused to evaluating the student's understanding of case law history and practical application of the California statutory scheme. The course will address the following legal issues: 1) History of the Death Penalty; 2) Present legal parameters for trial of a death penalty case; 3) The law and procedure relating to post-conviction death penalty litigation; 4) Systemic issues such as prosecutorial discretion and budgeting concerns; 5) Policy and ethical dilemmas concerning the Death Penalty, i.e., volunteers, race discrimination, and arbitrariness.

E-Discovery Law (LWGC521)

Instructor(s): Staff

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Criminal Law, Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation
Recommended Class(es): Civil Procedure

This course examines Electronic discovery or “e-discovery” -- the growing body of law and practice on the treatment of electronically stored information (ESI) in litigation. ESI sources make up most of the universe of potential evidence in today’s technological world, including email, databases, information technology systems, metadata, personal and group network shares, instant messaging, text messaging, smartphones and mobile devices, social networking sites, and many other electronic data sources. The course will focus on the rapidly growing body of case law and the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, with some discussion of California state court procedural rules. The course will discuss best practices to properly identify, preserve, collect, review, produce and use of ESI in litigation, whether in federal or state court, criminal or civil contexts, and alternative dispute resolution forums. The course will also touch on basic technical knowledge that litigation attorneys should possess to litigate cases and will expose law students to actual litigation discovery and review tools that lawyers use in practice today. The course will have an experiential component with in-class exercises including an information custodian interview, a meet and confer session, a case management conference and a motion to compel focused on e-discovery issues. Students will also draft discovery requests and objections, and prepare memos and documentation to implement reasonable preservation hold procedures as they relate to ESI needed in litigation. Students who complete the course will have an understanding of the unique legal issues and developments related to electronic discovery, and important terminology, processes and technologies that are applied to managing ESI in litigation. Students will be graded by a take home final examination.

Evidence (LWLP529)

Instructor(s): Michael Devitt, Kevin Cole

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law, Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation

The rules of evidence in judicial tribunals, focusing on the Federal Rules of Evidence and the California Evidence Code are addressed in this course. Also covered are issues relating to: (1) judicial control and administration - functions of judge and jury, judicial notice, burden of proof presumptions, problems of relevancy, circumstantial evidence, and unfair prejudice; and (2) witnesses - competency, privileges, principles of examination and cross-examination, impeachment and support, expert and lay opinion testimony. The hearsay rule and its exceptions, rules relating to writings, real and scientific evidence are also examined.

Note: This is a required course for the Civil Litigation (JD) and Criminal Litigation (JD) concentrations.

Supreme Court & Digital Privacy (LWPP586)

Instructor(s): Donald Dripps

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation, Criminal Law
Corequisite(s): Criminal Procedure can be taken concurrently

This course asks how the Supreme Court has, will, and should apply the Fourth Amendment to digital information. This information takes different forms: documents stored on computers;
electronic communications like text messages and emails; business data, such as credit card purchases and bank deposits; and physical location data derived from “smart” devices such as cell phones or tablets. The class will be taught by Nicole Saharsky, a veteran Supreme Court lawyer who argued 29 cases in the Supreme Court while in the Office of the Solicitor General. The class will meet for four sessions -- on October 13, 14, 20 and 21 from 3 pm to 6 pm the 13th and 20th and from 1:00 to 4:00 on the 20th and 21st.

Students will be graded based on a required 1500 word paper on a topic related to the course.

Trial Advocacy (LWLP550)

Instructor(s): Monique Carter

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Criminal Law, Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation

This is an upper class course focused on the skills of case analysis and oral presentation of those cases to judges and juries in trials. The Fall course will focus on a piece of criminal litigation and will include developing skills used in a criminal jury trial as well as preliminary phases of criminal cases, including motions in limine, preliminary hearings and plea bargains. The course is specifically designed to expand the skills introduced to the student in Experiential Advocacy and Legal Research & Writing. The course methodology combines lectures, demonstrations and individual student performances in small groups with extensive critique and feedback by small group instructors who are experienced practitioners. The course culminates in a mock trial. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass/Fail basis.

Note: Students may only elect this course or Practicum--Civil to count toward the Civil Litigation Concentration (JD).