Course Descriptions

Fall 2011 Class Descriptions

Media Law (Junichi P. Semitsu)
LWIP565

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

This course provides a legal and policy overview of the key cases, legislation, and technologies affecting mass communications in the United States. Students will be exposed to a survey of five major areas of media law: governmental speech regulation (e.g., obscenity, prior restraint), libel, privacy, news gathering rights, and copyright and fair use. While much of the assigned materials focus on print and broadcast media, the course will often examine the interplay between “new” media, cutting-edge technologies, and civil liberties. Discussion topics will run the gamut from the New York Times to TMZ, from crush videos to fantasy baseball sites, and from Nicole Richie’s fleeting expletives on Fox to Courtney Love’s disparaging rants on Twitter, leaving time to canvass the legal pitfalls awaiting YouTube when a user uploads an excerpt of the German film Downfall with the subtitles modified to suggest that Adolf Hitler is enraged about the vuvuzela’s ubiquity at the 2010 World Cup. One oft-explored question will be whether today’s communication laws – some established before most Americans had a home computer or cable television – will hold up or buckle in the face of emerging technologies and media platforms. By analyzing Mel Gibson’s privacy rights, Gizmodo bloggers’ news gathering rights, and Voyeur Dorm’s speech rights, students will learn to help clients with communications and media issues in the post-Facebook era. While there are no formal prerequisites for the course, a prior knowledge of torts, constitutional law, and some basic intellectual property concepts might be helpful. No specialized technical knowledge is necessary, although students may get lost if their idea of new media is an AOL “500 Hours Free!” CD-ROM. The final course grade will be based on a take-home exam, midterm, and class participation.

Mediation Internship (Agustin Lopez)
LWVL595

1 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills

The semester Mediation Skills course and the Mediation Internship are separate, though linked, course offerings. Upon completion of the skills course, students will be eligible to participate in a program allowing them to mediate actual cases filed with the San Diego County Small Claims Court. Students must do the skills training sessions and the mediation internship in the same semester. The student interns will meet with the internship supervisor in two group sessions during the semester and on bi-weekly TWEN sessions.

Mediation Skills (Charles B. Wiggins)
LWLP556

1 credit(s)
Requirement: Skills

Mediation is a process by which a trained and impartial third party helps others resolve a dispute. Lawyers use mediation extensively, both as advocates and as neutrals. This course consists of a twenty-four hour basic mediation sills training. Participants will learn to mediate a variety of disputes, using the methodology developed by San Diego's National Conflict Resolution Center. They will receive a certificate of participation upon their successful completion of the training. Participants must commit to attending each of the training sessions as a condition of enrollment. Enrollment is limited to 24 participants. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. Completion of Mediation Skills is a prerequisite for enrollment in the Mediation Internship. The semester Mediation Skills course and the Mediation Internship are separate, though linked, course offerings. Upon completion of the skills course, students will be eligible to participate in a program allowing them to mediate actual cases filed with the San Diego County Small Claims Court. Students must do the skills training sessions and the mediation internship in the same semester. To learn more please go to Mediation Internship course description.

Mexican Law (Jorge A. Vargas)
LWIC565

3 credit(s)
Requirement: Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (JD), International Law (LLMC)

Designed to give students the basic elements of the Mexican legal system, this course underlines the differences and similarities between the U.S. legal system and Mexico's civil law system. Particular attention will be given to the examination of certain Mexican law branches, such as civil, constitutional and "amparo," and corporations. Some reference will be made to the Mexican court system, its legal history, legal education, and legal profession. Current legal questions between U.S. and Mexico will also be covered. A research paper is required.

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