Course Descriptions

Fall 2017 Class Descriptions

California Civil Procedure (Walter Heiser)
LWJT520

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure

This course is designed for upperclass law students who intend to practice law in California and therefore may wish to learn more about California civil procedure. The course will focus on the important caselaw doctrines, statutory rules, and policies which define civil litigation in the California courts with particular attention to those areas of California civil procedure that are unique when compared to federal and to other states' procedural laws. The topics covered will include considerations before undertaking representation; statutes of limitations and related doctrines; California conflicts of law doctrine; jurisdiction, venue, forum non conveniens, and service of process; prejudgment attachment and other provisional remedies; claim and issue preclusion; pleadings and motions; joinder of parties and claims, new party cross-complaints, equitable indemnity, and good faith settlements; the California Civil Discovery Act; summary judgments, default judgments, involuntary dismissals for failure to prosecute, the “fast track” system, and judicial and contractual arbitration; right to jury trial, trial procedures, and post-trial motions; judgments, enforcement of judgments, and setting aside judgments; and appeals, extraordinary appellate writs, and administrative mandamus. The course will also provide students with a brief summary of the federal or general position on each major topic covered as a basis of comparison and as a review of basic civil procedure. Third year full-time and fourth year part-time students have registration priority for this class.

California Torts (Edmund Ursin)
LWLP522

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Health Law (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Torts

California Torts focuses on the unique body of doctrines, policies, and jurisprudential perspectives that make up California personal injury law. For the past half century the California Supreme Court has been the most influential state supreme court in the nation. Indeed, six of the seven “most followed” state supreme court decisions rendered since 1966 are tort decision of the California Supreme Court. Roughly speaking, there have been three generations of California tort law—and today’s tort law is an amalgam of the three. Beginning in the 1960s, the avowedly lawmaking court of the “Traynor era,” rewrote much of the fault-based, liability-limiting body of traditional tort doctrine, thereby establishing the doctrine of strict products liability and abolishing or limiting an array of no-duty rules and defenses that had shielded negligent defendants from liability. Beginning in the mid-1980s, however, the court—by then dominated by Republican appointees, but remaining a policy oriented lawmaking court—has created a third generation of decisions which have “refined,” or limited, the doctrines put in place by its liberal predecessor. First year torts courses inevitably obscure the unique character of California tort law—taken as a body of connected doctrines, policies, and jurisprudential perspectives. The forest, so to speak, is not seen and even “California trees” are often not in clear focus. The goal of this course is to enable students to understand the forest, see clearly—and understand—the individual trees, and to be able to anticipate new growths. This course will also serve as a review of material that will be tested on Bar examinations. Student who have taken the Enterprise, Products, and No-Fault Liability course are ineligible to take this course.

Child Advocacy Clinic: Delinquency I & II (Robert C. Fellmeth)
LWVL503

4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD)

Under the supervision of attorneys and staff from the San Diego Office of the Public Defender, students advocate on behalf of delinquent youth in order to ensure they receive appropriate educational, mental, physical, and other services while they are under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court. Students review comprehensive case files to identify areas of need and advocate on the youth’s behalf with regard to issues such as school discipline, special education services, school placement, mental health assessments/services, child welfare, and health care, in order to protect the youth’s rights with regard to those matters and to address underlying issues that might be contributing to the youth’s delinquency. Delinquency Clinic students must commit 20 hours per week to their Clinic work, in addition to a one-hour weekly classroom component. Students must have completed or be enrolled in Evidence, Civil Procedure and Child Rights and Remedies. Clinic slots are limited; students must obtain a permission slip from Professor Robert Fellmeth or Elisa Weichel in order to register for the course.
Note: This clinic may be applied as the required clinic for the Children's Rights Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Children's Rights JD Concentration

Note: This clinic may be applied towards the three required clinic credits for the Children's Rights Concentration (JD).

Child Advocacy Clinic: Dependency I (Robert C. Fellmeth)
LWVL507

4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD)

Students work with assigned attorneys from Children’s Legal Services of San Diego (representing abused and neglected children) and Dependency Legal Services of San Diego (representing parents) to provide legal services in dependency court proceedings. Students are exposed to a wide variety of experiences, such as interviewing clients; presenting evidence during bench trials; preparing briefs and memoranda; participating in settlement conferences; conducting field work with investigators; and making court appearances as necessary and appropriate. Dependency Clinic students must commit 16 hours per week to their Clinic work, in addition to a one-hour weekly classroom component. Students must have completed or be enrolled in Evidence, Civil Procedure and Child Rights and Remedies. Clinic slots are limited; students must obtain a permission slip from Professor Robert Fellmeth or Elisa Weichel in order to register for the course.

Note: This clinic may be applied as the required clinic for the Children's Rights Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Children's Rights JD Concentration

Note: This clinic may be applied towards the three required clinic credits for the Children's Rights Concentration (JD).

Child Advocacy Clinic: Policy I & II (Robert C. Fellmeth)
LWVL505

1-3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD)

Students work with CAI professional staff on state and federal legislative and regulatory policy advocacy projects, impact litigation, public education projects, and/or policy research and analysis of current applications of law and regulations as they affect children. The Policy Clinic offers students the chance to pursue a research, writing, and/or advocacy project on a variety of issues, such as foster care, child abuse, children’s health care, juvenile justice, education, etc. These projects could include petitioning an agency to adopt or amend regulations, drafting model legislation, conducting research and position papers relevant to pending legislation, researching and writing reports on children’s issues, and participating in impact litigation, among other things. Students must have completed or be enrolled in Child Rights and Remedies. Clinic slots are limited; students must obtain a permission slip from Professor Robert Fellmeth or Elisa Weichel in order to register for the course.

Note: This clinic may be applied as the required clinic for the Children's Rights Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Children's Rights JD Concentration

Note: This clinic may be applied towards the three required clinic credits for the Children's Rights Concentration (JD).

Child Rights & Remedies (Robert C. Fellmeth)
LWFC520

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD)

This is a broad course covering the basic substantive and procedural law relevant to advocacy on behalf of children. The course is taught with a combination of lecture and Socratic dialogue. It surveys the following subject areas: the rights of children, criminal prosecution of children, child abuse and protection, child tort recovery, child rights to property and support, child-related political rights and liberties, and child entitlements (including public welfare, health, nutrition, care, education, and special populations). The course includes discussion of the alternative methods of child advocacy, class action practice, writs of mandamus, administrative practice, and local government advocacy.

Note: This is a required course for the Children's Rights Concentration (JD).

Civil Clinic I (Allen C. Snyder, Allen Gruber)
LWVL510

2-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Evidence
Recommended Class(es): Trial Advocacy or Practicum

Students interview, counsel and represent clients at Superior Court or in administrative hearings in a wide variety of cases under the supervision of an attorney. Students draft pleadings and correspondence, as well as confer and negotiate with opposing counsel/parties. Weekly group meetings are combined with individual case conferences to provide intensive personal training in litigation techniques, problem solving and case management. Students also learn general civil litigation practice and procedures. Prerequisites: Civil Procedure, Evidence Recommended: Practicum or Trial Advocacy. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

 

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

Civil Clinic II (Allen C. Snyder, Allen Gruber)
LWVL511

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Evidence
Recommended Class(es): Practicum or Trial Advocacy

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. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

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

Civil Practicum (Virginia C. Nelson)
LWLP565

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing OR Experiential
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)

Civil Practicum is a hands on, practical skills course designed to enhance student’s real life lawyering skills. Welcome to Practicum Law Group (PLG) Using a model of ‘associates in training’ under the supervision of a senior partner, students will gain exposure and understanding from expert attorneys in five fields of law--Business, Wills and Trusts, Family, Employment and Personal Injury. Specific topics covered are client types, attorney skill sets required, compensation methods, go-to resources for the fields, different firm sizes, transactional vs. litigation practices, and networking and business development skills required. There will also be presentations for those students interested in public sector work, general counsel positions, lawyers in business and flex time opportunities.


Using one comprehensive hypothetical covering all fields throughout the semester, students will complete the following assignments: in class interview of prospective clients, interview memos to the senior partner, draft a term sheet, create a will, draft a complaint, conduct a meet and confer negotiation, write a motion to compel further discovery, argue the motion in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, and write a mediation brief. Completion of these assignments will assist students in developing the foundation for the figuring it out skills required in the practice of law.


The PLG ‘Associates’ will also learn about electronic records, e filing, ESI, best discovery practices, courtroom behavior from the judicial perspective, effective communication strategies, negotiation and depositions with skill building in class drills, mediations and the mediation privilege, mentors, early leadership and the importance of civility. Active class participation is required; 10% of the grade will be based on class participation. The remainder of the grading is based on the oral and written assignments. Additional guest lecturers with specific subject matter expertise will attend. Students who have taken Advanced Civil Litigation are ineligible to take this course. The course is limited to 18 students.

Civil Procedure (Staff)
LWAA510

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

Civil Procedure is the study of procedural rules governing civil actions in state and federal courts. The topics studied throughout the year include selection of the proper court and place for litigation, jurisdiction over the parties, joinder of parties and claims, contents of pleadings, discovery, pre-trial motions, conduct of trials, and conflicts between state and federal judicial systems.

Note: Required for first-year day-division students.

Civil Rights Theories Seminar (Roy L. Brooks)
LWPP521

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing

This seminar will study closely several systems of accepted knowledge about how our government regulates or should regulate race relations during this Post-Civil Rights Era. These racial paradigms provide the subtext of public and, to a lesser extent, private institutional decision making, and are often debated within the pages of Supreme Court cases. While references will be made to Supreme Court cases and to specific justices, the seminar will focus on primary sources; in other words, the texts that generate fundamental civil rights theories. The readings will be interdisciplinary (drawing on legal, sociological, economic, psychological, historical, and political themes) and will stress the importance of contextualization. A conceptual scheme will be offered to help students understand, organize, and analyze civil rights theories; but students will be asked to develop their own well-informed views about the theories. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a paper plus weekly oral and written classroom presentations. Class attendance is essential.

Climate Change Law & Policy (Tim Duane)
LWEV503

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

This course explores the most significant law and policy issues related to climate change. In the first part of the course, students will gain familiarity with the science of climate change as well as climate change law at the international and national levels. The second part of the course focuses on climate change litigation, with close study of the various legal theories used by litigants attempting to force the government to take stronger regulatory action. The third part of the course concentrates on initiatives at the state and regional level with an emphasis on California climate change policy.

Note: Either this course or Energy Law & Policy must be taken as a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD).

Community Property (Michael Christy)
LWTE544

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

In this course the non-tax aspects of estate planning are integrated, combining wills, trusts, future interests, and community property. Methods of family wealth transfer in both community property and non-community property jurisdictions are considered, including: inter vivos gifts, wills, trusts, intestate succession and will substitutes. Fiduciary administration; class gifts; powers of appointment; the rule against perpetuities; charitable trusts; classification, control and management of community property; and the distribution of property on dissolution of the community are studied.

Comparative Law (Pierre Legrand)
LWIC518

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), International Law (JD)

This three-credit course divides into three parts.

Firstly, the course addresses an ongoing paradox concerning the place of foreign law on the U.S. legal scene against the background of globalization. While foreign circumstances are more present than ever in cases coming before U.S. appellate courts on account of increasing economic, political, and institutional interdependence on the world stage, there is strong resistance, cutting across conservative/liberal lines, on the part of many U.S. legislative assemblies, judges, and commentators to the practice of U.S. cross-references to foreign law. What must be the normative reach of foreign law in the United States? Arguments from constitutionalism and democracy are examples of the claims that will be canvassed.

Secondly, the course considers various interpretive challenges necessarily arising from any U.S. legal interaction with foreign law. How much understanding of foreign law must a U.S. lawmaker, judge, teacher, or lawyer achieve before advertence to it becomes legitimate? For example, how “cultural” must U.S. legal analysis of foreign law make itself in order to prove creditable? Can U.S. understanding of foreign law ever manage to avoid ethnocentric bias? Is the fact that foreign law exists in a foreign language an obstacle to meaningful U.S. knowledge? Are there methodological keys that can optimize the acquisition of foreign knowledge? Such questions will be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Thirdly, the course investigates selected topics allowing for practical and in-depth familiarization with the difficulties and opportunities attendant upon the interplay between U.S. and foreign law. The treatment of privacy laws in Europe and in the United States and proof of foreign law in U.S. courts are two illustrations that will be examined.

This course is taught on an intensive basis during the first four weeks of the fall semester. Meetings take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays & Fridays from 1:00 to 3:55. The course concludes with a “take-home” examination. No prior knowledge of foreign law or of a foreign language is expected.

Constitutional Law II (Lawrence A. Alexander)
LWPP525

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law I

This courses covers the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection and due process clauses. Specific topics include race discrimination (including school desegregation and affirmative action), gender discrimination, discrimination against gays and lesbians, voting rights, privacy (including abortion, sexual freedom, and the right to die), and property. A final exam is required.

Contract Drafting (Elaine Edelman)
LWGC563

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing OR Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB)

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 I (Beth Baier)
LWVL591

1-4 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Intellectual Property (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

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 must work during the academic session for a minimum of 50 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-4 credits. For purposes of corporate counsel externship work, the academic session is from the official start of classes to the last day of final exams. No externship work for a corporate counsel placement is permitted outside this time period. Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, journals between student and professor relating to the field placement; periodic discussion boards on legal practice topics; 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 John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@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 clinic qualifies for the concentration.
Additional Information:JD Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Corporate Tax (Allen Walburn)
LWTE560

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD)
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 (Anthony Mauriello, Ted Sichelman)
LWVL570

3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Intellectual Property (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

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 2017-2018.

 The course application can be downloaded here and is due by Friday, April 21.

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 (Peter Molk, Frank Partnoy)
LWBC545

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

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.

Corrections & Sentencing (Alex Landon)
LWCR510

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

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 Law (Staff)
LWAA525

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

The purpose of criminal law, the development of the common law of crimes, the elements of the widely recognized criminal offenses, and the changes brought about by major statutes in connection with their effect on the present-day systems of criminal justice in the United States are explored in this course.

Criminal Procedure I (Donald A. Dripps, Gary W. Schons)
LWCR520

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (MSLS), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD)
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).

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