Course Descriptions

Fall 2013 Class Descriptions

Partnership Tax (Victor Fleischer)

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

This course considers the federal tax consequences of entity classification of partnership and limited liability companies; formation of a partnership; basis of partnership interests and assets; effect of liabilities on basis; allocation of income and deductions; partnership elections; continuation, merger, and termination of partnerships; family partnerships; sales and exchanges of partnership interests; liquidating and non-liquidating distributions; retiring partners; and pertinent policy considerations. Tax I is a prerequisite.

Patent Law (Ted Sichelman)

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

Patent law generally concerns the provision and enforcement of rights for novel, non-obvious, and useful inventions. This course will cover (1) the legal requirements and process to obtain a U.S. patent (i.e., patent prosecution); (2) methods of valuing, selling, and licensing patent rights; (3) patent litigation; and (4) public policy issues, particularly the role patents play in technological innovation and recent efforts to "reform" the patent laws. In addition to readings from a casebook, course materials will include actual documents from patent prosecution, licensing, and litigation matters. Thus, students will not only learn patent law doctrine, but will be introduced to the types of work done by practicing patent lawyers. No science or engineering background is required, nor important, for the course. Introduction to IP or previous work experience with basic patent law is recommended but not required. Grades will be assigned on the basis of a take home final exam.

Note: May be applied as part of the six required credits for the Intellectual Property Concentration (JD).

Patent Litigation I (Michael M. Rosen, Michael Amon, Christopher Marchese)

2 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Patent Law or concurrent enrollment

The patent litigation course provides substantive patent law knowledge with a focus on the practical application and litigation skills. This course is appropriate for students who have taken or are taking patent law and other intellectual property courses and who are seeking to deepen and refine their understanding of how patent litigation actually works. This course will be of particular interest to students who envision practicing in the areas of patent litigation or patent prosecution. Previous coursework in general patent law is recommended but not required. Patent Law is a pre-or-co-requisite.The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis

Philosophical Foundations of US Constitution (Thomas A. Smith)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Writing

The U.S. Constitution has extraordinarily rich intellectual roots. In this seminar, we will explore them, concentrating on the ideas of natural rights, republicanism and constitutionalism. We will look at such major thinkers as Locke, Montesquieu, the authors of the Federalist Papers, Jefferson, and some of their opponents and critics, such as Machiavelli and Hobbes, and how their ideas bore on the framing. We will also look at some contemporary interpreters of theories of rights, constitutionalism and republicanism. Students will write a paper. Participation in the seminar discussions is required. This course fulfills the writing requirement for students who successfully complete the research paper.

Pre-Trial Practice (Shaun P. Martin)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)

This course discusses the procedural rules that control the pretrial stage of a civil lawsuit, as well as the strategic and tactic utilization of those rules. The course is practice-oriented and particularly focuses on the discovery process, but also discusses pleadings as well as a wide variety of law and motion procedures. The course focuses on practice and procedure in both federal courts in California as well as in California state court.

Products Liability (Vickie E. Turner)

3 credit(s)

Products Liability is a 3-credit course covering the concepts of product defect, including manufacturing, design, and failure to warn, causation, and strategic defenses. The course will include extensive class discussion based on stimulating hypothetical problems. Students will explore the history of product liability law from its common law origins through the present. Students will also examine current trends in product liability litigation and the impact of tort reform efforts. Students will learn the elements of specific causes of action, recognize such claims as they arise from a variety of defects, identify appropriate parties for such disputes, understand policy concerns raised by such claims and consider the manner in which claims may be litigated. The class will be highly interactive. Students will be graded on the basis of a written exam at the end of the course.

Professional Responsibility (David McGowan, Junichi P. Semitsu)

3 credit(s)

The roles of the lawyer in society and the obligations implied in those roles are examined. Topics include disciplinary standards and procedures, the history and organization of the legal profession; avoiding conflict of interest; obligations to clients, the courts, and society, and conflicts presented by the adversary system for settlements of disputes; and responsibilities of lawyers as public servants and citizens. American Bar standards will be reviewed.

Public Interest Law & Practice (Robert C. Fellmeth)

2-3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD), Children's Rights (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC)

4 or 5 credits - Year-long course Students study the substantive laws governing the functioning and decision making of state administrative agencies. These laws include the "sunshine statutes" which require most agency decision making to take place in public and guarantee public access to most agency records (the open meetings acts and the California Public Records Act) and the state Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process agencies must follow to adopt regulations or take disciplinary action against the license of a licensee. Students also study important limitations on the power of agencies (including constitutional and antitrust limitations), and the functioning of the state legislature, which may enact, repeal, or amend the enabling acts of most agencies. As part of their coursework, students are assigned to monitor two California agencies; they travel all over the state to attend agency meetings, monitor and analyze their activities, interview agency officials and licensees, and track rulemaking, legislation, and litigation affecting their agencies. Twice during the year, students submit written reports on the activities of their assigned agencies. These reports are edited by CPIL professional staff and published, with attribution to the student author, in the Center's California Regulatory Law Reporter, the only legal journal of its kind in the nation; the Reporter is reprinted in full on Westlaw. Students wishing to take Public Interest Law and Practice should pre-register for the course. Public Interest and Practice is subject to a special application procedure or visit the CPIL’s offices (rear door of the LRC) for further information.

Note: This is a required course for the Public Interest Law Concentration (JD). This course only counts towards the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD) if your course focus is on environmental or energy law.
Additional Information:Public Interest Concentration, Environmental & Energy Law Concentration

Public International Law (Maimon Schwarzschild)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), International Law (JD)

Public International Law examines the origin, content and operation of the law applicable to the conduct of nation states and international organizations and to their relations with one another. Particular attention is given to the relationship between international law and national law, international agreements, use of force, terrorism, peaceful settlement of disputes, jurisdictional principles, human rights, the status of individuals under international law, state responsibility and remedies, legal protection of foreign investment and the law of the sea.

Note: This is a required course for the International Law Concentration (JD).

Public Land & Natural Resource Law (Tim Duane)

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

This course surveys the laws and policies governing the management of lands and natural resources under federal ownership (some one-third of the nation’s continental land area). After a brief review of the history of federal land policy, topics will include environmental impact assessment, national forests, minerals, protected lands, tribal lands, endangered species, water, and fire. Special attention is given to the historical, normative, economic, scientific, and political factors that influence land and resource law.

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