Course Descriptions

Fall 2014 Class Descriptions

Partnership Tax (Howard Abrams)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course considers the federal tax consequences of entity classification of partnership and limited liability companies; formation of a partnership; basis of partnership interests and assets; effect of liabilities on basis; allocation of income and deductions; partnership elections; continuation, merger, and termination of partnerships; family partnerships; sales and exchanges of partnership interests; liquidating and non-liquidating distributions; retiring partners; and pertinent policy considerations.

Patent Law (Maria V. Stout, Joseph M. Reisman)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD)

The purpose of this course is to prepare students to understand the law and analyze the problems involved in protecting inventions under U.S. Patent Laws and in protecting trade secrets under the common law and the California Trade Secret Statute. Although the protection of state-of-the-art technology, including software and biotechnology, is included in portions of the course, technical or scientific expertise of the student is not a prerequisite.

Note: May be applied as part of the six required credits for the Intellectual Property Concentration (JD).

Patent Litigation I (Lara S. Garner, Michael Amon, Christopher Marchese)

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Patent Law or concurrent enrollment

The patent litigation course provides substantive patent law knowledge with a focus on the practical application and litigation skills. This course is appropriate for students who have taken or are taking patent law and other intellectual property courses and who are seeking to deepen and refine their understanding of how patent litigation actually works. This course will be of particular interest to students who envision practicing in the areas of patent litigation or patent prosecution. Previous coursework in general patent law is recommended but not required. Patent Law is a pre-or-co-requisite.The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis

Pre-Trial Practice (Shaun P. Martin)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)

This course discusses the procedural rules that control the pretrial stage of a civil lawsuit, as well as the strategic and tactic utilization of those rules. The course is practice-oriented and particularly focuses on the discovery process, but also discusses pleadings as well as a wide variety of law and motion procedures. The course focuses on practice and procedure in both federal courts in California as well as in California state court.

Professional Responsibility (David McGowan, David W. Brennan)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

The roles of the lawyer in society and the obligations implied in those roles are examined. Topics include disciplinary standards and procedures, the history and organization of the legal profession; avoiding conflict of interest; obligations to clients, the courts, and society, and conflicts presented by the adversary system for settlements of disputes; and responsibilities of lawyers as public servants and citizens. American Bar standards will be reviewed.

Public Interest Law & Practice (Robert C. Fellmeth)

2-3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD), Children's Rights (JD)

4 or 5 credits - Year-long course Students study the substantive laws governing the functioning and decision making of state administrative agencies. These laws include the "sunshine statutes" which require most agency decision making to take place in public and guarantee public access to most agency records (the open meetings acts and the California Public Records Act) and the state Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process agencies must follow to adopt regulations or take disciplinary action against the license of a licensee. Students also study important limitations on the power of agencies (including constitutional and antitrust limitations), and the functioning of the state legislature, which may enact, repeal, or amend the enabling acts of most agencies. As part of their coursework, students are assigned to monitor two California agencies; they travel all over the state to attend agency meetings, monitor and analyze their activities, interview agency officials and licensees, and track rulemaking, legislation, and litigation affecting their agencies. Twice during the year, students submit written reports on the activities of their assigned agencies. These reports are edited by CPIL professional staff and published, with attribution to the student author, in the Center's California Regulatory Law Reporter, the only legal journal of its kind in the nation; the Reporter is reprinted in full on Westlaw. Students wishing to take Public Interest Law and Practice should pre-register for the course. Public Interest and Practice is subject to a special application procedure or visit the CPIL’s offices (rear door of the LRC) for further information.

Note: This is a required course for the Public Interest Law Concentration (JD). This course only counts towards the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD) if your course focus is on environmental or energy law.
Additional Information:Public Interest Concentration, Environmental & Energy Law Concentration

Public Interest Law Clinic (Robert C. Fellmeth)

1-3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD)

Students who enjoy Public Interest Law and Practice frequently go on to take Public Interest Law Clinic, in which they may design their own writing or advocacy project related to regulatory or public interest law. In the past, these projects have included written critiques of agencies or agency programs; petitioning an agency to adopt regulations; drafting model legislation; participating in litigation to enforce the state's "sunshine statutes"; or submitting amicus curiae briefs on public interest issues pending appeal. Student critiques of publishable quality may satisfy USD's written work requirement. Students interested in Public Interest Law Clinic must secure a permission slip prior to pre-registration from Professor Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth at CPIL's offices. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information:Environmental & Energy Law Concentration

Public International Law (Maimon Schwarzschild)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), International Law (JD)

Public International Law examines the origin, content and operation of the law applicable to the conduct of nation states and international organizations and to their relations with one another. Particular attention is given to the relationship between international law and national law, international agreements, use of force, terrorism, peaceful settlement of disputes, jurisdictional principles, human rights, the status of individuals under international law, state responsibility and remedies, legal protection of foreign investment and the law of the sea.

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

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