Course Descriptions

Spring 2017 Class Descriptions

Mediation Skills (Lisa Maxwell)

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

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 skills 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 3 day training sessions (Friday 1:00-6:00 p.m.) & (Sat & Sunday 8:30-5:00 p.m.) as a condition of enrollment. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.  

Note: There are limitations on concentration eligibility. Check the Civil Litigation Concentration (JD) and Employment and Labor Law Concentration (JD) web pages for more information.
Additional Information:Civil Litigation Concentration, Employment and Labor Law Concentration

Medical Malpractice (Richard "Rick" D. Barton, Dov Fox)

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Health Law (JD)

Welcome to The Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Case for Physicians and Lawyers. Approximately 85,000 medical malpractice cases are filed throughout the United States each year. With medical technology and the practice of medicine constantly evolving, physicians and medical facilities are tasked with meeting higher standards of quality care. For many physicians, the potential for lawsuits cast a long shadow over the practice of medicine.

This class, taught by attorneys and including practicing physicians, will attempt to answer many questions about the realities of medical malpractice litigation in an interdisciplinary context. It will combine law students and medical residents learning together to enhance an understanding of their respective milieus. The course will examine what causes patients to seek out a lawyer after a complication; the frequency of lawsuits and costs associated with the current tort system; how the potential for litigation impacts physicians in their daily practice; and the dynamics of the various stages of litigation, from inception of the lawsuit through trial. Law students and medical residents will learn about the importance of the burden of proof and the “standard of care,” informed consent, documentation and communication with other healthcare providers, defensive medicine, the procedures for taking and defending expert depositions, how to prepare for trial, as well the practical realities and ramifications of settlement or verdict, including reporting to licensing and regulatory bodies.

The objective of the course will be to give law students the experience of handling a medical malpractice case from start to finish, including learning how to effectively represent a physician, take a deposition, and prepare for trial. For medical residents, this course will provide insight into the legal field, aid in the understanding of the mechanics of a lawsuit, and provide a practical understanding of how the legal system actually functions.

Multistate Bar Exam Review ( Staff)

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

The MBE is given as part of the bar exam in nearly all U.S. jurisdictions. USD has licensed every published MBE question from previous examinations. Students in this course will take these MBE questions each week using customized online software (also accessible from tablets and smartphones), which tracks each student’s strengths and weaknesses in every substantive area of the bar exam (constitutional, criminal, real property, torts, contracts, evidence, and civil procedure). The online software will provide real-time review material for each area of the law. Each in-class session will cover test-taking techniques and the substantive law for one of the seven areas of law. Clickers are used to answer questions and provide immediate feedback to students. Please note that BARBRI, Kaplan, and most other bar exam review courses do not provide access to all of the previously released real exam questions from the MBE. As such, the questions in this course will not be the same as most of the questions that are provided in commercial summer bar preparation courses. Students must complete each week’s MBE questions in the required online modules (approximately 5-8 hours per week of work) and an in-class, three-hour final composed of questions similar to actual MBE exams. The final grade is 20% (based on timely completion of weekly assignments) and 80% based on the final exam grade. Only students planning to graduate in May 2017 may register for the course.

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