Course Descriptions

Spring 2012 Class Descriptions

Tax Exempt Organizations (Kenneth Coveney, Paul J. Dostart)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course will address the concept and basis for tax exemption; classification as a Private Foundation; special issues relating to Public Charities, charities as operating entities, fundraising issues; California Law applicable to tax exempt organizations; and Unrelated Business Income Taxation (UBIT). There will be 4-8 hrs. p/wk reading assignments in Treasury Regulations. Attendance is mandatory. A student will not be permitted to sit for the final exam if she/he has not attended at least 70% of the class sessions. Grade determined by final examination. Prerequisite: Tax I

Tax I (Dennis Lilly)

3 credit(s)

Tax I provides students with an understanding of the basic principles of federal income tax, including gross income, deductions, tax accounting, capital transactions, and income shifting. Required for upper-class students.

Tax Litigation (Richard Carpenter)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)

This course provides a comprehensive review of prelitigation IRS administrative procedures, practical analysis in the selection of a choice of forum to litigate a federal tax dispute, pre-trial practice and case analysis, trial techniques and strategies when litigating a federal tax dispute before the U.S. Tax Court, and a review of refund litigation. Prerequisite: Tax I. This is an advanced tax course with priority enrollment for LLM in Taxation students.

Tax Policy (Jordan M. Barry)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)

This course will offer an introduction to the principal policy considerations raised when creating a tax system. Topics will include the merits of different tax systems (such as income and consumption taxes), questions of tax administration and legal complexity, the efficiency implications of taxation, and distributional implications. It will consider how well current legislation addresses these various issues and consider whether there are ways that they might be better addressed. The class will be conducted as a seminar and will likely include guest experts who will join us in discussions of particular topics. Tax I is a prerequisite for this course; other tax courses, especially Tax II, would be useful, but are not required.

Note: This is a required course for the LLM in Taxation degree.

Tax Policy (Hon. David Laro)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)

Tax Policy is a reflection of the country's social, economic and political history. Alongside the question of how much to tax, is the critical decision of how to allocate the tax burden among the various taxpayers. Deciding who is to be taxed and how much to tax them is the substance of this course on the tax policy. We will examine tax policy by looking at the tax legislative process, the policy makers, and various code provisions as part of the focus on various tax issues and problems. Students will be required to write short papers on tax issues throughout the course. Grades will be based on the short papers and the final paper. A final paper on an assigned subject will be due after the class ends. The final paper is not intended to and does not fulfill the JD Written Work requirement of the law school. This is an advanced tax course. Prerequisites: Tax I & II (LLM’s may take Tax II concurrently)This course begins January 9 and ends March 28, 2012.

Note: This is a required course for the LLM in Taxation degree.

Tax Research & Communication (Susan Shaler)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course involves an intensive examination of federal tax research techniques, including locating and evaluating legislative history, administrative authorities,and judicial decisions with attention to comparative weights and relationships among various authorities. Students are required to conduct various research and validation tasks, and to prepare complex tax documents, such as, ruling requests, protests, opinion letters, memoranda of law, and Tax Court petitions. Enrollment is limited to 12 students (no JDs) with priority to 1) December graduates and 2) full-time students.

Note: This class is restricted to LLM Taxation students.

Taxation of Business Conduits (Willard B. Taylor)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I, Tax II

This course will cover business entities that are not subject to the corporate tax – regulated investment companies (or RICs), real estate investment trusts (or REITs), fixed investment trusts, real estate mortgage investment conduits (or REMICs), publicly-traded (or master limited) partnerships, and S corporations. The course will consist largely of lectures, but (hopefully) with active participation by students. The goal is understand the pass-through entity rules and how they have evolved (and are evolving) and also to consider policy issues raised by the rules. As a consequence, the questions are broad (e.g., Why do we have so many pass-through entities? Why do the rules for each differ? What are the issues for different classes of investors?) and narrow (e.g., How is entity-level tax eliminated in the case of a RIC? In the case of a REMIC? In the case of an S corporation?). In addition to assigned readings, students will be asked to discuss specific questions that will be provided at the end of each class – not in writing but in a back-and-forth discussion in the following class. Class participation will be a part of the grade for the course. In addition to class participation, there will be 2 hour open book exam or, in the alternative, a student may prepare one written paper of approximately 20 pages on a topic of the student’s choice.

Taxation of Intellectual Property (John I. Forry)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)

Intellectual Property development and exploitation are very significant for many businesses. This requires attention to IP legal protection and dispute resolution, but also to IP taxation in both the US and abroad. This course addresses key tax challenges and opportunities – in both the US and selected other countries – affecting IP development and exploitation. The course first focuses on basic tax rules such as treatment of income and expenses as ordinary or capital, source of income, timing of income recognition, and the effects of tax treaties on taxation of cross-border IP transactions. The course then applies such rules to selected business arrangements involving IP such as sales, licenses and cost sharing arrangements, financing techniques such as securitization, and business combinations such as mergers and joint ventures. The aim is to impart solutions for developing and exploiting IP in light of US and other tax rules. At the beginning of the course, students are assigned to teams. Each team is provided with a brief case study proposing one or more of the IP business arrangements covered in the course. In the final sessions of the course, each team makes a presentation and provides a paper covering key tax challenges and opportunities presented by its case study. One or more previous courses in taxation and/or intellectual property law are recommended but not required.

Tech Entrepreneur Law Clinic (Ted Sichelman)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property (JD)

This course places students at local law firms to provide legal assistance to local technology startups in the areas of intellectual property prosecution and licensing, corporate formation and transactions, contracts, employment, and related areas. Students will be supervised by attorneys at local law firms as well as the professor. The course will begin with 2-3 weeks of class sessions covering the core types of transactions encountered in technology startups. There are no scheduled classes during the remainder of the semester; instead, students will work with the companies and supervising lawyers each week, and meet one-on-one with the professor on a regular basis. An application process will be used to select students for the course. Students who registered for the course during 2010-11 may not apply for the course for 2011-12. The course application and additional course information will be emailed no later than Friday, April 8, 2011. Students who do not receive an application by April 8, 2011, or who have questions about the course after reviewing the application, may email Professor Ted Sichelman, The deadline to submit an application for this course has been extended to Friday, April 29, 2011.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Intellectual Property Concentration web page for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your work in this clinic qualifies for the concentration.
Additional Information:Intellectual Property Concentration, Email Law Student Affairs

Topics in Family Law (Michael B. Kelly)

2 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Writing

This seminar permits students to explore advanced issues in family law or community property in more detail than a survey course. Each student will prepare and present a paper on a topic chosen by the student with input from the professor. Successful completion of the paper will satisfy the upper class writing requirement. Students should consider what topic they may wish to explore even before the first class. Students receive letter grades (ABCDF) for the course. The seminar will progress through three stages: a brief introduction to family law and community property; a discussion of several interesting articles addressing important issues in family law; and the presentation of student papers. Topics studied will vary, but may include the evolving definition of family, the appropriate role of the state in regulating or protecting families or family members, the role of private agreements in forming or governing families, and ways family law serves (or should serve) the needs of children.

Torts (Staff)

4 credit(s)

An exploration of the principles involved in determining whether an injured person should be compensated for harm caused by another, including such diverse topics as intentional harms, negligence, and strict liability.

Trade Secrets (Kris B. Panikowski)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG)

This course takes a theoretical and practical approach to learning trade secret law by employing both the socratic and case methods of instruction. A range of issues will be explored, including examination of what constitutes a trade secret, the intersection of trade secret law with other bodies of law, strategies for determining what constitutes a protectable trade secret, the methods for protecting trade secrets, and litigation tactics when trade secrets are at issue. Class sessions will include active discussion and analysis of the law and the policies behind the law. In addition, we will examine documents that seek to protect trade secrets and that appear in trade secret litigation. Students will be “on call” several weeks during the session. Prerequisite: Property. Grade determined by final exam, assignments and class participation.

Trusts & Estates: Community Property (Robert F. Wesley)

2-3 credit(s)

In this course the non-tax aspects of estate planning are integrated, combining wills, trusts, future interests, and community property. Methods of family wealth transfer in both community property and non-community property jurisdictions are considered, including: inter vivos gifts, wills, trusts, intestate succession and will substitutes. Fiduciary administration; class gifts; powers of appointment; the rule against perpetuities; charitable trusts; classification, control and management of community property; and the distribution of property on dissolution of the community are studied.

Trusts & Estates: Wills & Trusts (Michael Yu)

3 credit(s)

This survey course provides an introduction to non-tax aspects of estate planning and the law of gratuitous transfers, including inter vivos gifts, intestate succession, wills, will substitutes, trusts, fiduciary administration, and future interests.

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