Course Descriptions

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Fall 2018 Criminal Law Class Descriptions

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Corrections & Sentencing (LWCR510)

Instructor(s): Alex Landon

3 credit(s), 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 Law (LWAA525)

Instructor(s): Jean Ramirez, Lawrence Alexander, Kevin Cole

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

The purpose of criminal law, the development of the common law of crimes, the elements of the widely recognized criminal offenses, and the changes brought about by major statutes in connection with their effect on the present-day systems of criminal justice in the United States are explored in this course.

Criminal Procedure I (LWCR520)

Instructor(s): Staff

3 credit(s), 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): John Cotsirilos

2 credit(s), 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): Ruth Hauswirth

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, James Waters

4 credit(s), 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.

Trial Advocacy - Criminal (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).