Course Descriptions

Spring 2012 Class Descriptions

Adv. Chapter 11 Reorganization (Philip J. Giacinti, Jr.)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Prerequisite(s): Bankruptcy

This course focuses on business reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. It features lectures followed by practical application by teams of students divided into the roles of debtor-in-possession counsel, official creditors committee counsel, and secured creditor counsel. The teams of students will be provided a troubled business, inclusive of assets, liabilities, secured and unsecured debt. Presented with financial statements, schedules and a statement of affairs, the student teams will rotate roles as debtor-in-possession counsel, creditor committee counsel, secured creditor counsel and U.S. Trustee. The teams will prepare pleadings, present and argue critical phases of the business reorganization process and seek confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. A basic Bankruptcy course is a prerequisite. Grading will be in the traditional letter grading scale. Final grade will be based on exam, plus plan and disclosure statement presentations.

Adv. Issues in Climate & Energy Law (Jody Freeman)

1 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG)

This course will cover selected advanced topics in energy and climate law and policy, including biofuels, renewable energy, and nuclear energy. We will also discuss challenges associated with traditional fossil fuel production, including natural gas fracking and offshore drilling (using lessons from the BP oil spill). We will also discuss other salient issues that have come to the fore during the Obama administration, including the president’s authority to use executive power to address climate change in the face of legislative inaction. Although there are no pre-requisites, the introductory course in environmental law, or the course in climate change, will be helpful. This course will be graded on daily comment papers of 1-2 pages and a short final paper (approximately 5 pages) on a topic of the student’s choice.

Advanced Corporate Tax Problems (Richard A. Shaw)

2 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (JD), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB)

A series of planning and structural problems involving advanced issues in corporate taxation will be discussed. The topics to be covered include advanced corporate asset disposition and distribution problems; redemptions; stock transfers and dividends; collapsible corporations; accumulated earnings tax; personal holding companies and S corporations. Prerequisite: Tax II (Corporate Tax). This is an advanced tax course with priority enrollment for LLM in Taxation students. This class meets for 10 sessions TBA.

Advanced Legal Research (Karl Gruben)

2 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills

This class will offer an in-depth analysis of legal research methods and sources, covering both print and electronic formats, to develop an understanding of legal research as a process. Classes include a combination of lectures, discussions of readings and techniques, online training, and might include presentations by guest lecturers. Emphasis is placed on critically evaluating the content and organization of research resources, regardless of format, and understanding their appropriate use, to illustrate that research is approached as both a skill and an intellectual endeavor. The student should finish the class with a deeper understanding of the tools of legal research and with an ability to use those tools, either print or electronic, commercial or free, to engage in high quality, cost effective legal research. Students are graded by the standard letter grading system.

Advanced Legal Writing (Janice L. Sperow)

1 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD), Criminal Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Permission Required

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.

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

Advanced Trial Advocacy (Lynne Lasry)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Lawyering Skills II, Evidence

A course combining one hour per week of demonstrations and lecture with a two hour per week workshop involving critique of individual student performances in a number of the more difficult areas of trial practice. Students are videotaped during certain skills over the semester with feedback from instructors and practitioners. In addition to the weekly skills sessions, students perform at least one bench trial and one jury trial. The class will also address and consider the use of trial presentation technology at trial, and the intricacies of examining experts and children. There will be minor written requirements related to the skill of the week. This is an intensive course designed to focus on individual presentation skills. Prerequisites: Lawyering Skills II and Evidence. Enrollment is limited. Students are graded by the standard letter grading system.

Agency Internships (John Sansone)

1-3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD), LLM in Taxation (LLMT)

The Agency Internship Program consists of a work component and a class component. The Agency Internship Program allows students to earn academic credit for working in a law related internship position. Students work a minimum of 60 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-3 credits. For the work component, students intern with a government agency or a nonprofit organization. During the school year, the internship employer must be in the civil field or criminal appellate law field. Students participate in primarily on-line class sessions involving small group discussions, prepare weekly summaries of their work and complete a writing assignment. If you have been accepted into an internship placement and want to apply for the internship course, fill out the Internship application. If you have any other questions, email Lizzette Herrera Castellanos, Director of Agency Internship Programs or call(619) 260-2342. The internship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the concentration web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your Agency Internship qualifies for a concentration.
Additional Information:Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Agency, Partnership & the LLC (Mark Lee)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB)

This course is about the business issues that inevitably confront people working together and how the laws of the various forms of non-corporate business organizations -- agency, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), and limited liability company (LLC) -- resolve these issues. The focus will be on what, if anything, a lawyer can and should do about the resolutions provided by these laws. Students will be asked to provide advice to hypothetical clients about how they might achieve some of their goals while reducing the chances of pricey litigation. Because the focus of this course is the development of a set of skills, students will be asked to practice using these skills every day in class; the professor will ask sets of interrelated questions and will work with students to answer these questions. The instructor treats students as junior partners, according them the respect due and expecting them to shoulder the responsibilities of a junior partner.

Antitrust (Mark Lee)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD), Intellectual Property (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB)

In the name of two vaguely worded statutes, the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act, courts have regulated a wide variety of business practices including price-setting cartels, trade associations activities, distribution agreements, franchising, package selling, boycotts, long-term contracting, and mergers. This course focuses on the issues raised by this regulation. Understanding and formulating the arguments bearing on these issues requires the use of elementary microeconomics. Students without any economics background usually constitute the plurality of the class population. If you are among this plurality, you may experience a little intellectual discomfort, but you may take solace in the fact that, in several other years, some similarly situated students outperformed their classmates. The trick is to avoid falling into the trap of believing that wishing makes something so. I will assume that you have engaged in no prior study of microeconomics (unless each of you informs me otherwise), so I will explain the relevant economic concepts as they arise. When I am not explaining economic concepts – or summarizing a course unit – I will direct class discussion about cases and problems. I will do this by asking a set of interrelated questions designed to (a) lead students to a particular insight and (b) serve as a model for analysis. Your course grade will not be less than the grade that you achieve on the (very traditional) final examination, but it may be one grading increment higher if you make a relatively strong net intellectual contribution to class.

Note: There are limitations on Intellectual Property (JD) concentration eligibility. Please check the Intellectual Property Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information:Intellectual Property Concentration

Appellate Clinic (Michael Devitt, Candace M. Carroll, Pamela M. Parker)

2 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Evidence or concurrent enrollment, Professional Responsibility or concurrently, Crim Pro I or concurrent enrollment

The Appellate Clinic is a year-long clinic opportunity in which teams of students will enjoy the hands-on experience of litigating from start to finish an appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. During the fall semester, students will write an opening brief; and in the spring semester students will write a reply brief and participate in oral argument. Additional periodic classroom sessions held throughout the academic year will focus upon appellate procedure and persuasive written and oral advocacy. From time to time, class sessions will feature guest speakers such as judges and local practicing attorneys. Students will receive four credits (two in the fall semester and two in the spring semester) for successfully completing the year long Appellate Clinic. This clinic will be graded on a four-tier pass/fail basis. The Appellate Clinic is open only to third and fourth year law students; and students must have completed or take concurrently with the Appellate Clinic the following courses: Civil Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, and Criminal Procedure.

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