Course Descriptions

Fall 2012 Criminal Law Class Descriptions

Advanced Legal Writing (Janice L. Sperow)
LWGC505

1 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

Advanced Legal Writing is a new one-unit course specifically designed to help students strengthen their fundamental legal writing skills. The class will help students master the skills needed to be a good legal writer, including:Selecting active and powerful word choices; Constructing paragraphs; Using proper grammar and punctuation; Creating a strong micro and macro legal structure; Developing thesis and conclusion sentences; Issue spotting; Extracting, formulating, and synthesizing rules of law; Crafting explicit factual comparisons; and Revising, editing and perfecting their work product. The class will also include workshops on “The Secrets of Successful Legal Writing Students” and “How to Ace Your Final & Bar Exam Essays.” Students will learn through lecture, in-class exercises, outside-class exercises, workshops, one-on-one TA and Professor sessions and practice. The class requires no outside research. It will be graded H, P, LP and F. Students may only enroll in two of the following during their law school career: Advanced Legal Writing OR LWR III: Lit & Judicial Drafting OR LWR III: Legal Writing OR Legal Drafting. Students desiring to add the second class in this series must receive a signature on their add/drop form from the Office for JD Student Affairs, and provide the form to the Records office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Note: Students interested in taking this course need pre-approval from the professor.

Corrections & Sentencing (Alex Landon)
LWCR510

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Writing
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

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.

Crime: The People, The Process (Laura M. Berend)
LWCR515

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Law

This course offers a unique opportunity to examine the criminal justice system from the perspectives of a law enforcement officer, a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, a judge, a defendant and a homeless person. There is a class component and two placement components. NOTE: PLEASE PLAN YOUR CLASS SCHEDULE ACCORDINGLY. In class on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., you will address the legal, procedural, ethical, social, and cultural issues that arise in the course of your field work. Some additional classes are scheduled on Friday afternoons to introduce you to the Department of the Public Defender, the courthouse, the jail, and law enforcement use of force training. (See current course syllabus on TWEN.) There are two placement requirements. The first involves assisting the Deputy Public Defender in the Felony Arraignment Department of the Superior Court one afternoon of your choosing each week throughout the semester by interviewing and advising defendants charged with felony offenses on a criminal complaint to prepare them for arraignment and a bail hearing. The second placement requirement involves interviewing and counseling people who are chronically homeless at the Welcome Door Foundation offered by the Pacific Beach United Methodist Church later on in the semester on several Wednesday evenings beginning at 5:30 p.m. Enrollment is limited to ten. This course is graded on a four-tier pass-fail basis. A security clearance by the Department of the Public Defender is required BEFORE the beginning of the semester, and requires about four weeks to complete. The State Bar of California requires completion of or enrollment in evidence and civil procedure before a student can be certified to appear in court.

Criminal Clinic I (Laura M. Berend)
LWVL515

4 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure I, Oral Advocacy Skills (LS II)
Recommended Class(es): Criminal Procedure II

This is a clinical course that places students with a prosecuting or defending trial agency in the criminal justice system. Criminal Clinic I has a two-hour per week advanced trial practice class component that requires students to engage in courtroom simulations, prepare motions, and participate in discussions in the most common areas of criminal practice. An academic subject matter foundation provided by completion of the prerequisites is required. Prerequisites: Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure I, and Oral Advocacy Skills (LS II) or equivalent experience at the discretion of the instructor. Recommended but not required: Criminal Procedure II. Important Note: The application deadline is Friday, April 13, 2012. Eligible students must submit an application to obtain approval to enroll. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Criminal Litigation Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Criminal Litigation Concentration

Criminal Clinic II
LWVL516

2-6 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure I, Oral Advocacy Skills (LS II)
Recommended Class(es): Criminal Procedure II

This is a clinical course that places students with a prosecuting or defending trial agency in the criminal justice system following completion of Criminal Clinic I. Students earn one credit for each four hours of work per week. Placements must be substantially different than placements completed for Criminal Clinic I. Students meet individually with the professor several times during the semester to evaluate their placement experience, maintain journals documenting their work, and prepare two papers. Recommended but not required: Criminal Procedure II. Important Note: The application deadline April 13, 2012. Please contact Professor Berend for information and additional registration materials. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Criminal Litigation Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Criminal Litigation Concentration

Criminal Law (Lawrence A. Alexander)
LWAA525

4 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

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 (Maimon Schwarzschild)
LWCR520

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Law

This course explores constitutional limitations upon the investigation of crime under the fourth, fifth, sixth and fourteenth amendments. Its focus is on the law governing searches, seizures, and police interrogation. Topics include the nature of a fourth amendment search; arrest and investigative detention; warrants and exceptions to the warrant requirement; confessions; and the application of the exclusionary rules.

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

Criminal Procedure I (Hon. Richard Huffman)
LWCR520

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
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 (John Cotsirilos)
LWCR530

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

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.

Evidence (Jean Ramirez)
LWLP529

4 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

This course is about how facts are proved at trial and other evidentiary hearings. The course focuses on the Federal Rule of Evidence. Among the topics covered are the following: relevance, character evidence, habit, impeachment, objections and motions in limine, authentication of real and demonstrative evidence, the Best Evidence Rule, hearsay, privileges, lay witness opinion, expert witnesses, and judicial notice.

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

Evidence (Michael Devitt)
LWLP529

4 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

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.

International Criminal Law (David W. Brennan)
LWIC535

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Writing
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

This course will initially address the general nature of international criminal law and the hierarchy of crimes as it relates to individual, state and other responsibilities along with the important concept of universal jurisdiction for certain classes of crimes. The study will then focus on the United States Constitution and our approaches to international criminal law in case law that includes military commissions and court martial processes. The legal rationales for states to exercise of jurisdiction over the person will be examined under the processes of extradition, rendition, deportation and extraterritorial abductions. Considerable attention will be given to the international tribunals that followed World War II and the later ad hoc tribunals that preceded the creation of the Rome Statute (1998) for the International Criminal Court in The Hague with its jurisdiction over the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. The course will review some of the major jurisprudence from domestic and international tribunals on the subject of international criminal law as well as decisions from the International Court of Justice. The contemporary issues of piracy, terrorism, genocide, torture & inhumane treatment, drug trafficking, money laundering and human trafficking will cover most of the final segment of the course. A lecture-seminar approach will be used for the classes that will require class participation. The final grade for the class will be based primarily on the submission of an approved-topic paper that will satisfy the writing requirement for graduation.

Oral Advocacy Skills (LSII) (Theresa J. Player)
LWLP550

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Evidence (or concurrent enrollment)

This is an upper class course focused on the skills of case analysis and oral presentation of those cases to judges and juries on civil or criminal trials. The course also includes developing skills used in the discovery phase of civil cases, especially depositions. The course is specifically designed to expand the skills introduced to the student in 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. The previous name of this course was Lawyering Skills II.

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

Responsibility and the Criminal Law (David O. Brink)
LWCR560

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Writing
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

The topic of the seminar is responsibility, both moral and criminal. Our approach will be guided by two methodological ideas. First, we will bring together philosophical and jurisprudential perspectives on responsibility. Whereas philosophers tend to focus on foundational questions involving skepticism about responsibility, jurisprudential discussions tend to assume we are responsible in some cases and patrol the border of responsibility and excuse. But these different starting points don't make disagreement inevitable. Indeed, I am especially interested in looking at potential for common ground, in particular, comparing the reasons-responsive wing in the compatibilist tradition (e.g. John Fischer and Mark Ravizza, R.J. Wallace, Susan Wolf, and Dana Nelkin) and what might be called the rational choice model of criminal responsibility (e.g. Michael Moore and Stephen Morse). Second, because blame and punishment are appropriate responses to culpable or responsible wrongdoing and excuses deny culpability or responsibility, we can study responsibility by studying excuses. In particular, we will see what we can learn about normal responsibility from cases of diminished or partial responsibility, including insanity and psychopathy, immaturity, addiction, duress and provocation. This seminar can be used to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

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