Course Descriptions

Spring 2018 Criminal Law Class Descriptions

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Advanced Trial Advocacy (Bibianne U. Fell)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
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 Externship I (John Sansone)

1-4 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
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 - 4 units of credit and must complete a minimum of 50 hours per credit (100 hours for 2 credits and 150 hours for 3 credits).

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 with placement questions. Contact Professor John Sansone, Academic Director, at 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)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
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.

Criminal Procedure I (Kevin Cole)

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)

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)

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.

Evidence Advocacy Lab (Lisa Rodriguez)

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
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.

Scientific Evidence (Hon. Howard Shore)

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)

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
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

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