Course Descriptions

Spring 2014 Class Descriptions

Advanced 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.

Advanced Corporate Tax Problems (Richard A. Shaw)

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

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 Corporate Transaction Skills (Scott Wolfe)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB)
Prerequisite(s): Corporations

This course is designed to teach each student drafting and negotiating skills relating to the documentation of major corporate transactions, including company formation, seed and venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions and IPOs. It provides hands-on practical experience for students interested in corporate practice from a corporate practitioner with over 30 years of experience. Grades are based on written assignments and class participation.

Advanced Issues in Climate & Energy Law (Jody Freeman)

1 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS), Environmental and Energy Law (JD)

This course will cover selected advanced topics in climate and energy law and policy. We will cover recent trends in fossil fuel production, including onshore fracking, offshore drilling, and coal production, which are being driven both by market forces and regulation. We will also discuss the domestic legal regime that currently governs electricity, with particular attention to renewable energy and nuclear power as alternatives to the current energy mix. We will also discuss 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 congressional inaction, largely through implementation of the Clean Air Act. Although there are no pre-requisites, the introductory course in environmental law, or the course in climate change, will be helpful. Students will be asked to write short (1 page) comment papers on the assigned readings to be submitted prior to each class session (for the long day, on Friday, students must submit two separate comment papers) and write a short (5 page) final paper.

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): Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

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. Students may only enroll in two of the following during their law school career: Advanced Legal Writing OR LWR III: Lit & Judicial Drafting OR LWR III: Legal Writing OR Legal Drafting. Students desiring to add the second class in this series must receive a signature on their add/drop form from the Office for JD Student Affairs, and provide the form to the Registrar office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Advanced Trial Advocacy (Lynne Lasry)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Trial Advocacy (Oral Advocacy/LSII), 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: Trial Advocacy (Oral Advocacy/LS 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 International Law (LLMI), Criminal Law (LLMG), International Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMC)

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), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

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): Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Public Interest Law (JD), Intellectual Property (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD), Intellectual Property Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS)

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 (JD)

Appellate Clinic (Michael Devitt)

2 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)
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.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Civil Litigation Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information:Civil Litigation Concentration

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