Course Descriptions

Spring 2016 Criminal Law Class Descriptions

Advanced Legal Writing (Janice L. Sperow)
LWGC505

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

Advanced Legal Writing is a one-unit course specifically designed to help students strengthen their fundamental legal writing skills. The class will help students master the skills needed to be a good legal writer, including :Selecting active and powerful word choices; Constructing paragraphs; Using proper grammar and punctuation; Creating a strong micro and macro legal structure; Developing thesis and conclusion sentences; Issue spotting; Extracting, formulating, and synthesizing rules of law; Crafting explicit factual comparisons; and Revising, editing and perfecting their work product. The class will also include workshops on “The Secrets of Successful Legal Writing Students” and “How to Ace Your Final & Bar Exam Essays.” Students will learn through lecture, in-class exercises, outside-class exercises, workshops, one-on-one TA and Professor sessions and practice. The class requires no outside research. It will be graded Honors, Pass, Low Pass and Fail. 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 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 Law Student Affairs, and provide the form to the Registrar office (that is, students cannot add the second class themselves online.)

Note: This course may fulfill either the Professional Skills OR Upper Division Writing requirement. Students will be asked in class at the beginning of the semester to elect which requirement they would like this course to fulfill. The student's election is final.

Advanced Trial Advocacy (Bibianne U. Fell, Mary Jo Barr, Everett S. McAdoo Jr.)
LWLP515

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Trial Advocacy, Evidence

A course combining one hour per week of demonstrations and lecture with a two hour per week workshop involving critique of individual student performances in a number of the more difficult areas of trial practice. Students are videotaped during certain skills over the semester with feedback from instructors and practitioners. In addition to the weekly skills sessions, students perform at least one bench trial and one jury trial. The class will also address and consider the use of trial presentation technology at trial, and the intricacies of examining experts and children. There will be minor written requirements related to the skill of the week. This is an intensive course designed to focus on individual presentation skills. Prerequisites: Trial Advocacy and Evidence. Enrollment is limited. Students are graded by the standard letter grading system.

Agency Externships (formerly called Agency Internships) (John Sansone)
LWVL590

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

The Agency Externship Program provides students the opportunity to gain valuable clinical legal experience for academic credit with a government agency or non-profit organization during the fall, spring or summer semesters. (The externship program does not allow students to receive academic credit for working in a private law firm). Students may enroll in the Agency Externship Course for 1 - 3 units of credit and must complete a minimum of 60 hours per credit (120 hours for 2 credits and 180 hours for 3 credits) of Externship work and activities (e.g., observing a trial).

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 concentration web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your Agency Internship qualifies for a concentration.
Additional Information:Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

California Criminal Litigation Skills (Jean Ramirez)
LWCR505

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Law, Legal Writing & Research

If you are considering a career as a prosecutor or criminal defense attorney, or plan to intern at a prosecution or criminal defense agency, this is the course for you. This course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to litigate criminal cases in the California trial courts. The class tracks a criminal case from arrest through sentencing, but not trial, providing students with an overview of the process. Students draft practice-related documents, participate in courtroom simulations, learn fact management and development, and participate in discussions on relevant topics.

Note: Students that have taken Criminal Clinic are not eligible to enroll in this class.

Controlled Substances (Donald A. Dripps)
LWGC518

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

This course examines the criminal law’s treatment of recreational drug use and the policy controversies attending the law. The course should be of special interest to students interested in taking up criminal practice, whether as prosecutors or defenders, but should also appeal to students interested in our criminal justice system generally. Specific topics covered will include the Nature of Intoxicants, the Development of Legal Prohibitions, and Continuing Debate over Legalization; The War on Drugs, Mass Incarceration, and Questions of Equal Justice; Possession versus Distribution; Manufacture and Conspiracy Offenses; Mens Rea in Drug Crimes; Drug Testing at Work and School; Sentencing under the Guidelines; Criminal Procedure--Informants and Wiretaps; Criminal Procedure—Search and Seizure, with special emphasis on suppression hearing practice; The Controlled Substances Act and the FDCA; Medical Marijuana; and International Aspects of Drug Control.

Criminal Procedure I (Kevin Cole)
LWCR520

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

This course explores constitutional limitations upon the investigation of crime under the fourth, fifth, sixth and fourteenth amendments. Its focus is on the law governing searches, seizures, and police interrogation. Topics include the nature of a fourth amendment search; arrest and investigative detention; warrants and exceptions to the warrant requirement; confessions; and the application of the exclusionary rules.

Students are required to purchase an i>Clicker. The clicker responses are not part of the student’s grade, but the clickers will be used to give feedback and to ensure compliance with the attendance policy. The bookstore sells new and used i>Clickers and will repurchase clickers in good condition at the end of the semester. You may also purchase them from other sites. Every version, including the early, “text only” model, will suffice.

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

Criminal Procedure II (Knut S. Johnson)
LWCR525

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

In this advanced criminal procedure class, students will continue the study commenced in Criminal Procedure I, focusing on the processing of a criminal defendant through the criminal justice system. The course will address a number of issues regularly presented in criminal cases, including the charging process, the right to a speedy trial, criminal discovery and disclosure, the right to jury trial, the right to effective assistance of counsel, the right to confrontation and the exercise of the privilege against self incrimination at trial. In addition the course will include discussions of the principles of the right against double jeopardy, and post conviction remedies such as direct appeal and petitions for habeas corpus. The purpose of the course is to develop an understanding of the basic structure of the criminal process in a federal system of government as well as the basic principles underlying the constitutional and procedural protections of the criminal justice system.

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

Evidence (Kevin Cole, Donald A. Dripps)
LWLP529

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. 

In Professor Cole’s section, students are required to purchase an i>Clicker. The clicker responses are not part of the student’s grade, but the clickers will be used to give feedback and to ensure compliance with the attendance policy. The bookstore sells new and used i>Clickers and will repurchase clickers in good condition at the end of the semester. You may also purchase them from other sites. Every version, including the early, “text only” model, will suffice.

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

Evidence Advocacy Lab (Lisa Rodriguez)
LWLP530

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

This course is designed to familiarize students with the practical application of evidentiary points addressed in the traditional evidence course. Students focus on one or two evidentiary issues each week using a problem format. Each area of evidence is taught through performance. Each student is assigned as a proponent, opponent, witness and judge and is responsible for performing that role in class each week, and for submitting a short memo identifying the evidentiary issue and presenting the best approach to offering or opposing the evidence in court. The roles rotate each week. There is a new problem assigned each week. By the end of the semester, each student should be comfortably able to determine what it is he or she wished to accomplish in a courtroom with respect to specific evidentiary questions, and be able to structure the most logical, persuasive and trouble-free means to that end. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass/Fail basis.

Human Trafficking (Alessandra Parisi Serano, Andrew R. Haden)
LWCR538

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

Increased globalization and the internet have brought instances of human trafficking and child exploitation to unprecedented levels. As a result, the criminal justice system stands at a historic crossroad. We will review and discuss the various Title 18 crimes associated with human trafficking and child exploitation, accompanied by the relevant case law. We will also review the various methods of proof used by prosecutors to combat these crimes. This course will involve a written exam at the end of the semester designed to evaluate the student's understanding of the law and the challenges that are encountered during the investigation and prosecution of a human trafficking case.

Judicial Externship (Shaun P. Martin)
LWVL598

1 - 6 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG)

The Judicial Internship Program allows students to receive academic credit for work in a judge's chambers in San Diego. Students must work 60 hours per unit of credit. In addition to the work component of the Program, students enrolled in the program will have regular contact with the Program's instructor, Professor Martin, who will meet with students individually, and review samples of the student's refelctive and written work from the internship. Students can secure their own internship position or can meet with Professor Martin for guidance in securing a placement. The internship is graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must receive approval from Professor Martin to register for this program.

How to Register For A Judicial Internship For Credit

Note: Students must receive approval from Professor Martin to register for this program. There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentration web pages for more information.
Additional Information:JD Concentrations Web Page, Application

Scientific Evidence (Hon. Howard Shore)
LWCR570

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

This course will address the technical requirements under California law for admissibility of both established and new forms of scientific evidence. Possible topics include fingerprints, serology, odontology, DNA and others. Students will apply the principles of admissibility by participating in realistic foundational hearings in the classroom, and will present papers on specific forms of scientific evidence. 

Trial Advocacy (Linda L. Lane)
LWLP550

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).
Additional Information:Civil Litigation Concentration

White Collar Crime (Jason A. Forge, Eric J. Beste)
LWBC595

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

The course offers an overview of the most significant federal “white collar” crimes, with a pragmatic focus on how to investigate, prosecute and defend such cases. We place a heavy emphasis on interpreting and applying criminal statutes. In addition to the traditional Socratic methodology, we use real-world hypotheticals to help students gauge their understanding throughout the semester. The course is geared toward students interested in pursuing careers as prosecutors or criminal defense attorneys, as well as those who may represent corporate clients generally. The final written exam will count as 90% of the final grade; the remaining 10% will be based on participation in class exercises.


Note: Students may only elect this course or Federal Crimes to count toward the Criminal Litigation Concentration (JD).
Additional Information:Criminal Litigation Concentration (JD)

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