Course Descriptions

Spring 2016 Class Descriptions

Scientific Evidence (Hon. Howard Shore)
LWCR570

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (MSLS), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Evidence

This course will address the technical requirements under California law for admissibility of both established and new forms of scientific evidence. Possible topics include fingerprints, serology, odontology, DNA and others. Students will apply the principles of admissibility by participating in realistic foundational hearings in the classroom, and will present papers on specific forms of scientific evidence. 

Securities Regulation (David McGowan)
LWBC580

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Public Interest Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

The Securities Regulation class will include an overview of the capital markets and the underwriting process, the structure and prohibitions of the Securities Act, the registration process, the definitions of security and exempted securities, the private and limited offering exemptions, offerings by underwriters, affiliates and dealers, civil liability under the Securities Act, fraud in connection with a purchase or sale of a Security, and general civil liability provisions. No Prerequisites.

Note: This is a required course for the Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD).

Small Claims Clinic I (Franco Simone)
LWVL545

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)

The Small Claims Clinic offers students the opportunity to develop interviewing and counseling skills as well as trial preparation skills in the Small Claims Court context. Students assist low-income families in preparing their cases for trial at Small Claims Court and can represent clients in the appeals process in Superior Court. Students must also be available to participate in outreach presentations at various community locations and times. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No Prerequisites.

Students must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in WH 3B.

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

Small Claims Clinic II (Franco Simone)
LWVL546

1-4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic.

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

Special Education and the Law (Margaret A. Dalton)
LWPP578

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD), Children's Rights (JD)

This class is designed to train students to respond to the legal needs of families whose children have physical, learning, or emotional disabilities. Course work covers the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), governing the rights of students with disabilities to special education and related services in public schools. Class includes the application of IDEA and federal regulations to the Individualized Education Program (IEP), placements, discipline provisions, procedural safeguards including due process hearings and legal remedies. Statutory and case law are utilized to assist students in understanding this complex and emerging area of specialization. No prerequisite.

Sports and the Law (Leonard B. Simon)
LWBC585

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law (JD)

This course will address the often unique manner in which various substantive laws apply to the business of professional and amateur sports. Topics will include interpretation and enforcement of player contracts, antitrust, labor law and unions, governance of professional sports leagues by Commissioners, the role and regulation of agents, governance of collegiate and other amateur sports by NCAA and others, intellectual property and new media issues, and remedies for gender discrimination in sports. Please take note that this is a serious law course, not a chat session about sports. Regular attendance and preparation is required. Some of the issues, such as antitrust, are difficult. There is a final exam, and each student does one short oral presentation during the semester. Do not register for the course unless you are prepared to take it seriously.

State Energy Policy (Robert Kelter)
LWEV597

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (JD)

Now that the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) has issued its rules on carbon emissions, we know that each state will be responsible for coming up with its own plan that meets a reduction target. This means the nation’s focus will shift to states and their plans to meet the new Clean Power Plan standards. Since EPA will be leaving the design of the plans up to the states, the class will give students insight into the different state energy laws that exist today. We will focus on Midwestern states because they play such a pivotal role in lowering emissions, and in many cases will have to make big adjustments. However, we will also examine California for comparison. The class will start with a brief overview of the EPA rules, and the legal challenges by states. Then we will move into critical issues relating to the development of the state plans, starting with state energy laws relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy portfolio standards. In order to understand how utilities will be approaching the CPP we will also examine state regulatory laws, and rate design issues such as decoupling, fixed customer charges, and net metering standards. Finally, we will examine Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authority over wholesale markets and regional dispatch of power plants, and how these regional authorities (independent system operators) maintain reliability in this changing world. Taken together these topics will give students a framework for understanding how states will meet their carbon reduction goals, and the role the state plans will play in setting the nation’s energy policy. In this process we will review the Clean Power Plan, state laws, key federal and state cases, and public utility commission orders. Students will also see how an actual case unfolds reviewing a utility commission case, expert testimony, cross-examination transcripts, briefs and a final order.

Students will be expected to write a paper, with their grade based 90% on their paper and 10% based on class participation. The paper cannot be used not satisfy the law school’s writing requirement. Students are expected to attend all classes, and will be permitted only one unexcused absence.

State Income Tax Clinic I (Craig Shaltes)
LWVL560

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)

This litigation clinic, also known as the "Taxpayer Appeals Assistance Program (TAAP) - Franchise and Income Tax," is a joint effort between the USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). Under supervision of an attorney from the BOE's Taxpayer Rights Advocate Office, students assist taxpayers with state income tax disputes against the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Students receive legal practice skills training, including gathering and identifying evidence, drafting legal briefs, and representing clients/taxpayers in negotiations with the FTB and at oral hearings before the BOE.

Students must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in WH 3B.

State Income Tax Clinic II (Craig Shaltes)
LWVL561

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic.

State Sales & Use Tax Clinic I (Michael J. Larkin)
LWVL562

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)

This clinic is a joint effort between USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). Under the supervision of an attorney from the BOE’s Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office, students will represent clients who are appealing California Sales and Use Tax determinations (tax bills). Students will have the opportunity to gain practical legal skills including client interview and counseling, evidence gathering, preparing legal briefs, and actual negotiation with auditors and attorneys. Furthermore, when necessary, students will have the opportunity to represent clients in a litigation setting at Appeals Conferences (informal hearings) and Oral Hearings (similar to court trials).

Students must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in WH 3B.

State Sales & Use Tax Clinic II (Michael J. Larkin)
LWVL563

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic.

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