Course Descriptions

Fall 2016 Business and Corporate Law Class Descriptions

Advanced Business Planning (Richard A. Shaw)
LWTE505

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I or its equivalent, Corporations or its equivalent (at the JD level)

The course consists of a series of planning problems that arise in connection with the formation and operation of a corporation. Attention will be directed to the corporate law, securities law and tax law issues related to each event with emphasis placed on active class participation in problem solving and selection of alternative solutions. For each seminar meeting there will be ungraded homework assignments directed to issues raised with each problem. The final examination will consist of a 72 hour take-home examination and problem.

Bankruptcy (Mary Jo Wiggins)
LWBC510

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Recommended Class(es): UCC: Secured Transactions

This course will provide an detailed examination of the liquidation and reorganization dynamics in both corporate and consumer cases under the Bankruptcy Code, and the effects of bankruptcy on non-bankruptcy debtor-creditor law, corporate workouts, and a variety of pre-bankruptcy transactions. The objective of this course is to give students a working knowledge of the Code and associated rules, cases and history; an understanding of the policies reflected in and relevant to bankruptcy law and non-bankruptcy debtor-creditor law; and an appreciation of the reality of modern bankruptcy practice. There are no course prerequisites. However, prior enrollment or concurrent enrollment in UCC: Secured Transactions is suggested. The course grade will be based on a traditional final exam and possibly a midterm.

Business Planning (Dennis Doucette)
LWBC520

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I, Corporations

This seminar combines advance work in Corporations, Federal and State Securities laws, and Federal Taxation in the context of business planning and counseling. The course is based upon a series of problems involving common business transactions which present corporate securities law and tax issues for analysis, and resolution. The problems cover such topics as factors in the decision to incorporate; the formation of partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations, both closely held and publicly owned; securities law considerations in raising capital; corporate distributions; the sale and purchase of businesses; mergers and other forms of acquisition; and recapitalization, division, and dissolution of corporations.

Contract Drafting (formerly called Legal Drafting) (Elaine Edelman)
LWGC563

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing OR Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

Transactional drafting is a skill used in most areas of law. It refers to the process of composing documents to formalize agreements and settlements between parties. This course will train students to be comfortable with the drafting process, which includes expressing agreements and settlements in language that will benefit clients, and composing documents that contain this language in a form that will maximize favorable interpretation in court. The course emphasizes both cooperative and individual drafting work. Each week in class, students will learn about selected components of the process, draft a document or exercise requiring the use of that component, and receive feedback on that day’s drafting activity. Students will have weekly individual homework assignments that reinforce that week’s skill. One or more attorneys whose practices include drafting work will appear in class to give students practical feedback on their work. Grades will be based on individual weekly written homework assignments and an end-of-semester individual drafting project, and are subject to the upper class curve requirements. 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 Contract/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's office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Corporate Counsel Externship (Beth Baier)
LWVL591

1-3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

The Corporate Counsel Externship Program consists of a work component and a class component and allows students to earn academic credit working in the legal department of a corporation, company or other business entity. Students may also work in other departments of a corporation as long as they are supervised by an on-site licensed attorney.

Students work a minimum of 50 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-3 credits. Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, journals between student and professor relating to the field placement; a three-five page reflective paper at the end of the semester; an example of work product for professor review; and, satisfactory completion of work experience. The Externship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

If you have been offered and have accepted a field placement, meet the eligibility requirements, agree to meet the course obligations and want to register for the Externship course, fill out the Field Placement Form. The Office of Career and Professional Development will then confirm your placement and instruct you on registering for the course.

Contact lawcareers@sandiego.edu with placement questions. Contact Professor Margaret Dalton, Faculty Director, at mdalton@sandiego.edu with academic questions.

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

Corporate Finance (Jordan M. Barry)
LWBC530

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Corequisite(s): Corporations

This course covers the core concepts of finance as they relate to the study and practice of law. The course is designed to accommodate both students with no background in finance as well as those with substantial knowledge of the field. It will start with basic financial literacy and will build toward more advanced topics, such as financial statement analysis, valuation of stocks and bonds, risk management, portfolio theory, derivatives, and corporate financial management. The course includes quantitative concepts and exercises, and students will be required to use a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel. This class will be of particular value to students who intend to pursue transactional legal practice, but it will also be valuable to litigators.

Corporate Tax (Howard Abrams)
LWTE560

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

The course involves a study of the basic concepts of federal income taxation of C corporations and their shareholders, including organization of corporations; cash and stock dividends; redemptions of stock; partial and complete liquidations; sales of corporate businesses and reorganizations. Taxation of corporations is compared with taxation of partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations. The emphasis is on careful analysis of Code provisions, Treasury Regulations, other administrative materials and important judicial decisions in relation to problems that are frequently assigned in advance of class discussion.

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

Corporate Technology Externship (Ted Sichelman)
LWVL570

3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

This course places students at local law firms to provide legal assistance to local technology startups in the areas of corporate formation and transactions, contracts, employment, and related areas. Students will be supervised by attorneys at local law firms as well as the professor. The course will begin with 5-6 weeks of class sessions covering the core types of transactions encountered in technology startups. There are no scheduled classes during the remainder of the semester; instead, students will work with the companies and supervising lawyers each week, and meet one-on-one with the professor on a regular basis. An application process will be used to select students for the course. Students who registered for the Technology Entrepreneurship Clinic (TEC) or IP Clinic course in previous academic years may not apply for the course for 2016-2017.

The course application can be downloaded here and is due by Friday, April 22.

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 work in this clinic qualifies for the concentration.
Additional Information:JD Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Corporations (Lynne L. Dallas, Frank Partnoy)
LWBC545

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

This course examines the structure and the rights and obligations of directors, officers, and shareholders mainly under state corporations law. Other topics include partnerships and limited liability entities. The course covers, among other subjects, the characteristics of the corporation as distinct from other forms of business association, the special problems of the closely-held corporations (a corporation owned by a few persons), the fiduciary obligations of directors and controlling shareholders in closely-held and public corporations, procedures for decision making by directors and shareholders, shareholder voting rights, and certain federal securities law subjects, such as insider trading.

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

European Union Commercial Law (Jens Schovsbo, Vibe Ulfbeck)
LWIC522

1 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

As business is becoming more international so must the law and lawyers. In a world of international trade and transactions companies and their advisers need to have a global legal horizon. Until quite recently, it would not have made any practical sense to talk about an “EU commercial law”. However, due to the ongoing harmonization of the law of the EU countries a body of truly common European law is emerging from the melting pot of the national laws and traditions and EU institutions and courts. The course draws on the results of 30 years of continued and ongoing EU harmonization to provide US law students with an overview of some of the central aspects of European commercial law. The course focuses on the practical legal problems facing an American enterprise doing business in Europe but at the same time provides for a basic understanding of the EU legal framework. After a brief general introduction to EU law the course falls in two parts. Part I deals with the transfer of goods and covers such topics as general contract law (PECL Principles of European Contract Law), the EC directive on Unfair Contract Terms, and the EC directive on Products Liability. Part II deals with the trade in intangible rights notably patents and trademarks. This part opens with a general presentation of the European systems for the protection of inventions and trademarks. It then moves on to discuss aspects relating to the exercise of those rights in regard to the Treaty rules on the free movement of goods (“parallel importation” and the principle of “exhaustion of rights”) and to tech-trans agreements and other issues involving competition law. The course requires no prior knowledge of European law.  There will be a final exam scheduled in March.

Finance & Accounting for Lawyers (Brian P. Brinig)
LWBC555

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

Much of the practice of law relates to financial issues. This two-credit course deals with understanding and analyzing financial statements, basic business valuation techniques and their importance in litigation matters, economic damages calculations (both personal injury and business damages), and concepts of present value. Understanding these financial concepts is critical to lawyers who encounter them daily in their practices. The course is designed for the student who does not have a sophisticated background in accounting or finance.

International Asia-Pacific Commercial Arbitration (David W. Brennan)
LWIC531

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

This course is the study of international commercial arbitration that emphasizes the Asia/Pacific region’s practices and arbitral regimes. The study will use The Convention on the International Sale of Good (CISG) to study all facets of sales and trade in goods from contract formation, terms, obligations, performance, breaches, excuses and remedies. The study of arbitration clauses and the practices of the arbitral institutions in the Asia-Pacific region is a focus. The steps from initiating arbitration, appointing arbitrators, composition of arbitral tribunals, procedures including written and oral submissions and the scope and limits on evidence are all considered. The course will address the UNCITRAL Model Law for arbitration and compare it to Asia-Pacific arbitral systems including CIETAC, HKIAC, and CEAC. The substance, procedural and conflicts of law situations will be addressed. The course objective is to develop the capacity to be able to engage in arbitration processes in the Asia-Pacific Region for international commercial sales and trade disputes. The classes, materials and certain model problems will facilitate that objective. The class also builds the very different research approaches and skills required to determine issues under The CISG, including those from recognized international principles, writings of scholars, rules and guidelines together with principles from arbitral decisions. The course will be required for incoming 2L VICAM candidates and is also open to all other eligible students. The only prerequisite for this course is for JD students who should have completed all of the required first-year courses and be in their second year. The course will be letter-graded based on a final examination to be held in October.

International Contracts (Herbert I. Lazerow)
LWIC537

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

Legal aspects of contracts for the international sale of goods under the UN Convention. Topics include the applicability of the convention and its most important substantive provisions including contract formation, choice of forum, choice of law, warranties, risk of loss, excuse and dispute resolution.

International Taxation (Dennis Lilly)
LWTE539

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This basic course in international taxation will focus on the principles relating to the taxation of foreign persons (individuals as well as legal entities) by the United States and the U.S. taxation of income received by U.S. individuals and entities from activities abroad. Topics will include principles of international tax jurisdiction; rules relating to the source of income and deductions; the foreign tax credit; Section 482 and transfer pricing; foreign currency translations; international double taxation treaties and an introduction to controlled foreign corporations.

Mergers & Acquisitions (Thomas A. Smith)
LWBC570

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Corporations

This course will examine selected economic, corporate law, and securities law aspects of the acquisition of businesses. Topics covered will include some basic (and necessary) corporate finance theory (such as valuation, efficient capital markets, event studies and option pricing theory); empirical evidence on the social costs and benefits of acquisition activity; the structuring of friendly and hostile acquisitions; the corporate law of takeover defenses; and securities law regulation of acquisition transactions. Some accounting and tax law topics may be touched upon, but they will not be a major focus of the course. Some effort will be made to examine drafting and negotiations aspects of M&A transactions. Students with substantial background in related areas may take Corporations concurrently, with permission. There will be a final exam in the class.

Negotiation (Neal W. Smith)
LWLP560

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential OR Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)
Recommended Class(es): Trial Advocacy

Effective negotiation skills are essential to the successful practice of law. Most legal and business disputes are resolved through direct negotiation. This course will teach students effective techniques and negotiation strategies in a work shop style setting. This course will introduce students to different types and styles of bargaining and specialized communication skills currently used by effective and successful negotiators. Negotiation competencies will be taught through lecture and experiential methods (interactive and role play exercises). Practical in its orientation, emphasis is placed on prevailing negotiation techniques and strategies used by practicing lawyers and professional business negotiators. Due to the participatory nature of the course, enrollment is limited. Grades will be based on class participation, homework assignments, quizzes, an out of class negotiation assignment and a take-home final. The course is graded on a four 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

Negotiation (Gregg Relyea)
LWLP560

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential OR Skills
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

Effective negotiation skills are essential to the successful practice of law. Most legal disputes are resolved through direct negotiation. This course will teach students effective communication techniques and negotiation strategies in a workshop style setting. The course will introduce students to different types of bargaining, different approaches to bargaining, specialized communication techniques used by effective negotiators, and techniques for overcoming negotiating impasses. Negotiation practices will be taught using both lecture and experiential methods (interactive exercise, role play exercises). This course will be practical in its orientation, with an emphasis on prevailing negotiation techniques and strategies customarily used by practicing lawyers. Due to the participatory nature of the course, enrollment will be limited. Grades will be based on a written final examination, homework assignments, and class participation. 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

UCC: Sales (William H. Lawrence)
LWBC592

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

The course on sales of goods addresses the provisions of Article 2 of the U.C.C., with some comparisons with the new Article 2A on leases of goods. The primary topics include contract formation and enforceability, terms of the contract, risk of loss, warranties, performance and breach, remedies for breach, and transfer of goods. A problem-solving approach is used extensively.

UCC: Secured Transactions (William H. Lawrence)
LWBC594

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

This course deals with the creation, perfection, enforcement, and priorities of security interest in personal property, including goods, "paper" collateral, and intangibles such as accounts, in both commercial and consumer settings. The treatment of security interests in bankruptcy, and in priority contexts with various non-Article 9 interests, is also examined.

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