Course Descriptions

Fall 2016 Class Descriptions

Tax I (Jordan M. Barry, Howard Abrams)

3/4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), Taxation (LLMC)

Tax I provides students with an understanding of the basic principles of federal income tax, including gross income, deductions, tax accounting, capital transactions, and income shifting. Required for upper-class students.

Tax Practice & Penalties (Ronson J. Shamoun)

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

This course will examine the range of penalties that must be considered when advising on transactional tax and tax controversy matters, and it will provide a thorough background for preparing opinion letters in an effort to prevent and defend against penalties. Both transactional tax advisers and tax controversy attorneys must have a comprehensive knowledge of these penalties in order to satisfy their professional obligations. Transactional tax advisers must consider penalties when structuring business deals and will need to reference them when preparing opinion letters. Tax controversy attorneys will need to understand and be able to adequately defend against the assessment of penalties to effectively represent their client in settlement and court proceedings.

In this class we will examine relevant statutes, regulations, and case law. The class will focus on substantive and procedural law and on practical legal strategies when confronted with these issues. We will examine the statutory, regulatory, and ethical standards governing those who practice in the tax field, including the applicability of Circular 230 and other state rules regulating an attorney’s professional conduct. There will be a few guest speakers throughout the course from various firms and agencies who will discuss the application of tax penalties to their practice and work along with examples of current cases they are working on. Nearly every class will touch on a tax practitioner’s ethical obligations as they pertain to Circular 230. In addition to the statutes and opinion letters, we will also be discussing methods of proof and defenses of penalties, which are crucial to successfully representing a client.

Taxation of Intellectual Property (John I. Forry)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD)

Intellectual Property development and exploitation are very significant for many businesses. This requires attention to IP legal protection and dispute resolution, but also to IP taxation in both the US and abroad. This course addresses key tax challenges and opportunities – in both the US and selected other countries – affecting IP development and exploitation. The course first focuses on basic tax rules such as treatment of income and expenses as ordinary or capital, source of income, timing of income recognition, and the effects of tax treaties on taxation of cross-border IP transactions. The course then applies such rules to selected business arrangements involving IP such as sales, licenses and cost sharing arrangements, financing techniques such as securitization, and business combinations such as mergers and joint ventures. The aim is to impart solutions for developing and exploiting IP in light of US and other tax rules. At the beginning of the course, students are assigned to teams. Each team is provided with a brief case study proposing one or more of the IP business arrangements covered in the course. In the final sessions of the course, each team makes a presentation and provides a paper covering key tax challenges and opportunities presented by its case study. One or more previous courses in taxation and/or intellectual property law are recommended but not required.

Taxation of Property Transactions (Phillip L. Jelsma)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I (LLM students may take this concurrently)

This course examines practical planning opportunities involving closed sales, open sales, deferred payment reporting, installment sales elections, imputed interest, cost recovery reporting, two-way and three-way real estate exchanges, all-inclusive trust deeds, subordinated financing, midpoint refinancing, and negative basis. Considerable emphasis is placed on understanding interest concepts such as mortgage annual constant percentages, lump sum and annuity present value analysis, and real rate of return (after inflation) analysis.

Torts (Staff)

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

An exploration of the principles involved in determining whether an injured person should be compensated for harm caused by another, including such diverse topics as intentional harms, negligence, and strict liability.

Trial Advocacy (Linda L. Lane)

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

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.

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

Trusts & Estates (Adam Hirsch)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

This survey course provides an introduction to non-tax aspects of estate planning and the law of gratuitous transfers, including inter vivos gifts, intestate succession, wills, will substitutes, trusts, fiduciary administration, and future interests.

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