Course Descriptions

Spring 2018 Class Descriptions

Mediation Skills (Lisa Maxwell)
LWLP556

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

Mediation is a process by which a trained and impartial third party helps others resolve a dispute. Lawyers use mediation extensively, both as advocates and as neutrals. Participants will learn to mediate a variety of disputes, using the methodology developed by San Diego's National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC). They will receive a certificate of participation upon their successful completion of the training. Participants must commit to attending each of the training sessions as a condition of enrollment. Enrollment is limited to 36 participants. This course is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. Once trained in mediation, students have the opportunity to mediate litigated disputes filed in Small Claims Court in downtown San Diego with NCRC. Students that have completed the Mediation Skills Training are eligible and can complete and submit a Field Placement Form online to the USD Office of Career and Professional Development to receive school credit through an Agency Externship with NCRC. For additional information, please refer to the Career Services website. 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.

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

Medical Malpractice (Richard "Rick" D. Barton, Dov Fox)
LWGC577

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Health Law (JD)

Welcome to The Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Case for Physicians and Lawyers. Approximately 85,000 medical malpractice cases are filed throughout the United States each year. With medical technology and the practice of medicine constantly evolving, physicians and medical facilities are tasked with meeting higher standards of quality care. For many physicians, the potential for lawsuits cast a long shadow over the practice of medicine.

This class, taught by attorneys and including practicing physicians, will attempt to answer many questions about the realities of medical malpractice litigation in an interdisciplinary context. It will combine law students and medical residents learning together to enhance an understanding of their respective milieus. The course will examine what causes patients to seek out a lawyer after a complication; the frequency of lawsuits and costs associated with the current tort system; how the potential for litigation impacts physicians in their daily practice; and the dynamics of the various stages of litigation, from inception of the lawsuit through trial. Law students and medical residents will learn about the importance of the burden of proof and the “standard of care,” informed consent, documentation and communication with other healthcare providers, defensive medicine, the procedures for taking and defending expert depositions, how to prepare for trial, as well the practical realities and ramifications of settlement or verdict, including reporting to licensing and regulatory bodies.

The objective of the course will be to give law students the experience of handling a medical malpractice case from start to finish, including learning how to effectively represent a physician, take a deposition, and prepare for trial. For medical residents, this course will provide insight into the legal field, aid in the understanding of the mechanics of a lawsuit, and provide a practical understanding of how the legal system actually functions.

Mental Health Law (Dov Fox)
LWPP545

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

This course will examine civil and criminal law doctrine that relates to the mental health care system in the United States. The civil aspects of mental health law we will cover include competency, informed consent and refusal, duties to warn, and involuntary commitment. On the criminal side, we will learn about such topics as the psychological profiling, child abuse, the insanity defense, and death penalty.

Multistate Bar Exam Review (Kevin Sherrill)
LWGC576

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

The MBE is given as part of the bar exam in nearly all U.S. jurisdictions. Students in this course will take MBE questions each week using online software (also accessible from tablets and smartphones), which tracks each student’s strengths and weaknesses in every substantive area of the bar exam (constitutional, criminal, real property, torts, contracts, evidence, and civil procedure). The online software will provide real-time review material for each area of the law. Students will also have the opportunity to complete some questions in paper format with scantron forms, just as they will on the actual bar exam.

While review of the relevant substantive law is a prerequisite to complete many of these questions, the class is not designed to replace a commercial bar review course. Instead, students will get a chance to review the substantive law, while also learning the necessary test-taking skills required to do well on the MBE. Therefore, this class will not include substantive law lectures, though some coverage of challenging topics will occur.

Every attempt will be made to make sure the questions in this course will not be the same as most of the questions that are provided in commercial summer bar preparation courses. However, there may be some small overlap, especially with Themis which licenses some of the same questions. Only students planning to graduate in May 2018 may register for the course.

Multistate Bar Exam Review (Michael B. Kelly)
LWGC576

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

The MBE is given as part of the bar exam in nearly all U.S. jurisdictions. USD has licensed every published MBE question from previous examinations. Students in this course will take these MBE questions each week using customized online software (also accessible from tablets and smartphones), which tracks each student’s strengths and weaknesses in every substantive area of the bar exam (constitutional, criminal, real property, torts, contracts, evidence, and civil procedure). The online software will provide real-time review material for each area of the law. Each in-class session will cover test-taking techniques and the substantive law for one of the seven areas of law. Clickers are used to answer questions and provide immediate feedback to students. Please note that BARBRI, Kaplan, and most other bar exam review courses do not provide access to all of the previously released real exam questions from the MBE. As such, the questions in this course will not be the same as most of the questions that are provided in commercial summer bar preparation courses. Students must complete each week’s MBE questions in the required online modules (approximately 5-8 hours per week of work) and an in-class, three-hour final composed of questions similar to actual MBE exams. The final grade is 20% (based on timely completion of weekly assignments) and 80% based on the final exam grade. Only students planning to graduate in May 2018 may register for the course.

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