Course Descriptions

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Fall 2018 LLM in International Law Class Descriptions

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Bus Transactions in Emerging Markets (LWBC512)

Instructor(s): Frederick Heller

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law
Recommended Class(es): International Business Transactions , International Trade & Investment

International lawyers face difficult challenges when their clients transact business in emerging markets. While local legal systems—including the courts and regulators—pose a range of distinct problems, problems also frequently arise outside of the legal systems—from the political, economic, financial and cultural dynamics of the emerging markets. Students will first explore the attributes that define emerging markets and how they differ from developed markets. Using what they learn about emerging markets, students will identify challenges that impact a business transaction in an emerging market. Students will then study illustrative real-life emerging market transactions, including legal documents, and propose ways to meet emerging market challenges through provisions in legal documents and other means. The goal of the course is to provide students with the tools to assist clients in emerging market business transactions.

Comparative Law (LWIC518)

Instructor(s): Pierre Legrand

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, LLM in International Law

Most courses in law school are about U.S. law. This 4-week course is different. Convening for the first four weeks of the fall semester, it focuses on foreign law. Obviously, foreign law matters to all U.S. lawyers operating on the international scene, for example in international business or in international arbitration. And just as evidently, foreign law is very important within national law. Indeed, a huge quantity of legal situations in the United States involve foreign law (whether it be a contract entered into in New York governed by Swiss law or a deceased person from San Francisco bequeathing real estate in France or the victims of a massive chemical explosion in India suing in U.S. courts). More controversially, there are many (including a number of U.S. Supreme Court Justices) who claim that, in an age of globalization when the United States is more interconnected with the rest of the world than ever before, U.S. law ought to derive inspiration from foreign law, for instance in constitutional litigation involving the death penalty or the rights of sexual minorities. This course will apply itself to this debate and discuss to what extent foreign law can or must act as persuasive authority in the United States -- in other words, why, if at all, foreign law ought to matter from a normative standpoint. This course will also consider a primordial question: how can a U.S. lawyer get to know foreign law despite all the cultural differences arising across laws? To what extent is meaningful understanding of foreign law possible? As regards this issue, various theoretical topics will be raised from an interdisciplinary perspective and some case-studies will be considered. Teaching: Lectures with opportunity for discussion. Readings: Texts to be assigned in class (all materials will be made available electronically). Assessment: "Take-home" examination. Prerequisites: None (specifically, no prior knowledge of foreign law or of a foreign language is expected).

Immigration Clinic I (LWVL530)

Instructor(s): Sandra Wagner

2-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law, International Law, Public Interest Law

Students gain practical experience through interviewing, counseling, and representing clients with immigration-related problems. Students have the opportunity to assist clients with a range of immigration issues such as naturalization, lawful permanent residency, derivative citizenship, deferred action, and U-visa and VAWA for domestic violence and abuse victims. Students may attend U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews related to their client’s applications. Students may also attend and participate in community immigration outreach. Weekly meetings are held with the clinic supervisor and other interns to discuss immigration law, practical application and casework. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No Prerequisites.

 

Immigration Clinic II (LWVL531)

Instructor(s): Sandra Wagner

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law, International Law, Public Interest Law

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. 

International Asia-Pacific Commercial Arbitration (LWIC531)

Instructor(s): David Brennan

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law, Civil Litigation

This course is the study of international commercial arbitration that emphasizes the Asia/Pacific region’s practices and arbitral regimes. The study will use The Convention on the International Sale of Good (CISG) to study all facets of sales and trade in goods from contract formation, terms, obligations, performance, breaches, excuses and remedies. The study of arbitration clauses and the practices of the arbitral institutions in the Asia-Pacific region is a focus. The steps from initiating arbitration, appointing arbitrators, composition of arbitral tribunals, procedures including written and oral submissions and the scope and limits on evidence are all considered. The course will address the UNCITRAL Model Law for arbitration and compare it to Asia-Pacific arbitral systems including CIETAC, HKIAC, and CEAC. The substance, procedural and conflicts of law situations will be addressed. The course objective is to develop the capacity to be able to engage in arbitration processes in the Asia-Pacific Region for international commercial sales and trade disputes. The classes, materials and certain model problems will facilitate that objective. The class also builds the very different research approaches and skills required to determine issues under The CISG, including those from recognized international principles, writings of scholars, rules and guidelines together with principles from arbitral decisions. The course will be required for incoming 2L VICAM candidates and is also open to all other eligible students. The only prerequisite for this course is for JD students who should have completed all of the required first-year courses and be in their second year. The course will be letter-graded based on a final examination to be held in October.

International Business Transactions (LWIC533)

Instructor(s): Michael Ramsey

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law

This is an introductory course on international business law. The course book employed is problem-oriented, focusing student attention on practical problem solving. The course coverage is global, and may include problems related to international sales transactions, letters of credit, customs, import and export trade law, technology transfers across borders, foreign investment law, and international business dispute settlement. Grading is by final exam and midterm. 

This course will principally focus via lectures on the extensive law of the World Trade Organization, Brexit, and NAFTA and its "re-negotiation". 

Note: This is a required course for the International Law Concentration (JD).

International Contracts (LWIC537)

Instructor(s): Herbert Lazerow

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law

Legal aspects of contracts for the international sale of goods under the UN Convention. Topics include the applicability of the convention and its most important substantive provisions including contract formation, choice of forum, choice of law, warranties, risk of loss, excuse and dispute resolution.

International Negotiation (LWIC548)

Instructor(s): Allen Snyder

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, International Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law, Civil Litigation

The course will include specific materials and skill-building exercises on cross-cultural aspects of the bargaining process. Participants will include lawyers from other nations who are enrolled in USD's LLMC program, and upper class American JD students. Four-tier Pass/Fail grading.

Note: There are limitations on concentration eligibility. Check the Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD) and Civil Litigation Concentration (JD) web pages for more information.
Additional Information: Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD), Civil Litigation Concentration (JD)

International Taxation (LWTE539)

Instructor(s): Dennis Lilly

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation, International Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, LLM in Taxation, LLM in Business and Corporate Law
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This basic course in international taxation will focus on the principles relating to the taxation of foreign persons (individuals as well as legal entities) by the United States and the U.S. taxation of income received by U.S. individuals and entities from activities abroad. Topics will include principles of international tax jurisdiction; rules relating to the source of income and deductions; the foreign tax credit; Section 482 and transfer pricing; foreign currency translations; international double taxation treaties and an introduction to controlled foreign corporations.

International Trade & Investment (LWIC558)

Instructor(s): Robert Bowen

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): International Law, LLM in International Law

This course will provide a conceptual perspective on international economic relations by analyzing the role played by legal systems. To do so, it will assess critical legal, policy, and commercial issues intrinsic to international trade and investment, with an emphasis on the World Trade Organization, its institutional history, and the rights and responsibilities of its Member States. The challenges encountered by national governments attempting to regulate international trade and investment will be closely examined. Additional topics will include legal aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the European Union (including the Brexit process) as well as the most prominent United States laws and government bodies associated with international trade and investment. Substantial emphasis will be placed on matters of prevailing interest and controversy, including the global impact of regional and bilateral trade agreements, the prominence of China in global trade, and the major legal challenges to prevailing systems of international economic interactions. Throughout this course, the functions and attributes of legal counsel will be explored. The grade will be entirely based on a research paper suitable for USD written work requirements.

Legal & Constitutional Challenges in the Middle East (LWIC563)

Instructor(s): Staff

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, LLM in International Law

The Middle East is in turmoil. The course will focus on the ways in which legal systems in the Middle East face the challenges of the region with a special focus on constitutional law. Several challenges are common to the different legal systems in the Middle East. First is the tension between traditionalism and progress, which is reflected, amongst others, in the highly contentious relationship between state and religion in the countries of the region. Second is the issue of constitutional change, and constitutional revolution - the Arab Spring has witnessed the downfall of regimes and the rise of new ones, a process usually accompanied by constitutional conventions, and sometimes, as in Egypt, by multiple constitutional conventions. Iraq is another example of rapid constitutional change. Third are issues relating to security threats and the fight against terrorism. And fourth are issues of multiculturalism and ethnic and cultural diversity. Israel, shares all these challenges but in different ways owing to its own special place in the Middle East. A special emphasis will be given in the course to Israeli law and Israeli constitutional law. Beyond attending class and reading the class materials, each student will be required to conduct a short research on the constitutional system of a particular country in the Middle East, or on a particular aspect of a countries' constitutional system, and present it in class during in the second half of the course. The presentation should highlight the main constitutional characteristics of the chosen country (history, text, judiciary.) Your final grade will be based on a final exam and on class presentations.

Transitional Justice (LWIC590)

Instructor(s): Dustin Sharp

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law, LLM in International Law, Public Interest Law, Criminal Litigation, Children's Rights

“Transitional Justice” is an emerging field of policy, practice, and study that focuses on the moral, legal, and political dilemmas encountered as individuals, communities, and nations attempt to grapple with historical legacies of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other large-scale human rights violations. In such circumstances: Who must be punished and who may be pardoned? Do vigorous efforts to promote legal accountability jeopardize the emerging and fragile peace? What is the proper role and responsibility of the so-called international community? In this class, we will examine the complementarity and conflict between the often overlapping demands that nations face in the wake of large-scale human rights abuses, including retribution, reconciliation, restitution, memory, and other forms of accountability. This will include study of the traditional range of transitional justice tools and interventions that have evolved, including international tribunals from Nuremburg to the ICC, truth commissions, reparations programs, public memorials, vetting and lustration initiatives, and broader institutional reform. Along the way, we will probe the blind spots, assumptions, and limitations of varying transitional justice mechanisms, together with the transitional justice project in general. Course grades will be determined on the basis of class participation, short reaction papers, a group oral presentation, and a final research paper. Please be advised that this course does not fulfill the law school’s written work requirement.

This class starts in September.