Course Descriptions

Fall 2012 Class Descriptions

Media Law (Junichi P. Semitsu)
LWIP565

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

This course presents the legal and policy overview of the key cases, legislation, and technologies affecting 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, indecency), defamation, privacy torts, news gathering rights, and copyright and fair use. But this course can also be seen as an advanced First Amendment course concentrated on the interplay between “new” media, cutting-edge technologies, privacy, and other civil liberties. While most of the assigned cases focus on print and broadcast media, discussion topics will run the gamut from Wikileaks to TMZ, from crush videos to baseball cards, 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 Jeremy Lin’s success. One oft-explored question will be whether today’s communication laws—some established before most Americans had a home computer or cable television—hold up in the face of emerging technologies and media platforms. By analyzing Pamela Anderson’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. The final course grade will be based on a final exam 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 Legal Spanish (Jorge A. Vargas)
LWIC566

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): International Law (LLMC), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (JD)

Given the geographical contiguity of Mexico to the United States, the unprecedented volume of U.S. investments in Mexico (approx. 65% of total foreign investments), and the growing number of Mexican-Americans and Mexican nationals in this country, an increasing number of U.S. courts are deciding cases governed by Mexican law. This course will provide students already fluent in Spanish with a practical introduction to Mexican law, its codes and statutes, as well as to Mexican legal documents consisting of contracts, civil registry certificates, initial complaints, judicial judgments, Ejecutorias and Jurisprudencias. The course will also include attorney-client interviews, specialized terminology, and professional legal correspondence. This class will have a final examination.

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