Course Descriptions

Fall 2014 Criminal Law Class Descriptions

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Agency Internships (John Sansone)

1-3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

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 contact Julie Remer, Assistant Dean, Career and Professional Development at or Professor Margaret Dalton, Faculty Director, Clinical and Placement Education at The internship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentration web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your Agency Internship qualifies for a concentration.
Additional Information:JD Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Corrections & Sentencing (Alex Landon)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

Covers objectives of sentencing, plea and sentence bargaining, sentencing advocacy, sentencing alternatives, prisoner conditions, prisoners' rights, jail and prison litigation, probation and parole revocation, and extraordinary writs relating to corrections. A research paper will be required.Successful completion of the paper will fulfill the law school’s written work requirement.

Criminal Procedure I (Donald A. Dripps, Hon. Richard Huffman)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Law

This course is limited to pre-trial matters, as effected by the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments. Coverage will include arrest, search and seizure, wiretap, lineups, interrogation, and the exclusionary rules.

Note: This is a required course for the Criminal Litigation Concentration (JD).

Criminal Tax Fraud (Richard Carpenter)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course examines the type of conduct which can trigger the imposition of criminal tax charges. We will review the various Title 26 tax crimes (including tax evasion, tax perjury, failing to file, aiding and assisting), Title 18 tax crimes (including false claims, false statements and conspiracy), and Title 31 tax crimes (including currency reporting requirements). We will also review the various methods of proof used by prosecutors and also discuss the various defenses available, along with federal sentencing guidelines and related civil tax issues.

Note: This is an advanced tax course with priority enrollment for LLM in Taxation students.

Death Penalty (John Cotsirilos)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

This course will involve a written exam at the end of the semester focused to evaluating the student's understanding of case law history and practical application of the California statutory scheme. The course will address the following legal issues: 1) History of the Death Penalty; 2) Present legal parameters for trial of a death penalty case; 3) The law and procedure relating to post-conviction death penalty litigation; 4) Systemic issues such as prosecutorial discretion and budgeting concerns; 5) Policy and ethical dilemmas concerning the Death Penalty, i.e., volunteers, race discrimination, and arbitrariness.

Evidence (Donald A. Dripps, Michael Devitt)

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

The rules of evidence in judicial tribunals, focusing on the Federal Rules of Evidence and the California Evidence Code are addressed in this course. Also covered are issues relating to: (1) judicial control and administration - functions of judge and jury, judicial notice, burden of proof presumptions, problems of relevancy, circumstantial evidence, and unfair prejudice; and (2) witnesses - competency, privileges, principles of examination and cross-examination, impeachment and support, expert and lay opinion testimony. The hearsay rule and its exceptions, rules relating to writings, real and scientific evidence are also examined.

Note: This is a required course for the Civil Litigation (JD) and Criminal Litigation (JD) concentrations.

Trial Advocacy (Linda L. Lane)

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

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).

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