Course Descriptions

Summer 2016 Class Descriptions: Electives

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

4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD)

Students work with assigned attorneys from the San Diego Office of the Public Defender, representing juveniles in delinquency court proceedings. Students are exposed to a wide variety of experiences, such as interviewing their minor clients; preparing briefs and motions; participating in hearings and conferences; coordinating with probation officers, investigators, etc.; and making court appearances as necessary and appropriate. Delinquency Clinic students must commit 20 hours per week to their Clinic work, and there is an additional one-hour classroom component each week. 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 before registering for the course.

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

Comparative Law - Paris (Pierre Legrand)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), Study Abroad (JD), International Law (JD)

Most courses in law school are about U.S. law. This course is different as it focuses on foreign law. Obviously, foreign law matters to all U.S. lawyers operating on the international scene, for example in international business or in international arbitration. And just as evidently, foreign law is very important within national law. Indeed, a huge quantity of legal situations in the U.S. involve foreign law (whether it be a contract entered into in New York governed by German law or a deceased person from San Francisco bequeathing real estate in France or the victims of a massive chemical explosion in India suing in U.S. courts). More controversially, there are those (including a number of U.S. Supreme Court Justices) who claim that, in an age of globalization when the U.S. is more interconnected with the rest of the world than ever before, U.S. law ought to derive inspiration from foreign law, for instance in constitutional litigation involving the death penalty or the rights of sexual minorities. This course will apply itself to this debate and discuss to what extent foreign law can or must act as persuasive authority. It will also consider two primordial questions. First, how could a U.S. lawyer get to know foreign law despite all the cultural differences arising across laws? Secondly, to what extent is meaningful understanding of foreign law possible? As regards these issues, various theoretical topics will be raised from an interdisciplinary perspective and some case-studies pertaining to human rights will be considered. 

Evidence (Jean Ramirez)

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

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.

Int'l Internet & Intellectual Property Law - Paris (Hon. Michael Hawkins, Hon. M. Margaret McKeown)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), International Law (LLMC), International Law (JD), Intellectual Property (JD)

A survey of international intellectual property through the lens of the Internet, this course deals with the intersection of traditional intellectual property law and the Internet. Because this area of the law is in flux, particularly in the international and constitutional arenas, the course will include a discussion of current cases and events, supplemented by presentations from outside experts. The survey includes emerging copyright, trademark, trade secret and criminal law issues in the U.S. and other jurisdictions (especially the European Union), and the applicability of key treaties. In the face of differing cultural and social norms, the course will also focus on domestic and international regulation of the Internet, privacy, speech and content regulation, and social media.

Intellectual Property & Business (Marcel Saucet, Dana Robinson)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
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)
Recommended Class(es): IP Survey or any course in patent law

The best intellectual property and tech-focused corporate lawyers have a thorough understanding of the ways clients use and are affected by IP in their daily business. This seminar will provide an introduction to how patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets (1) are used by IP owners to further their business strategies and (2) affect non-IP owners, who must often license IP rights at substantial cost. Specific topics include: the role of trademarks in promoting product “branding”; the use of patents in commercializing inventions; the effects of trade secrecy on R & D investment and employee mobility; IP and the emerging field of “microinnovation”; the effects of copyright on Internet business models; the use of IP by startup companies; private markets for buying, selling, and licensing IP rights; the role of patents in biotech deals; copyrights in the entertainment industry; and trademarks and “luxury” goods. The course will be co-taught by a law professor (Sichelman) and a business school professor (Saucet). The majority of the course will consist of lectures and classroom discussions. The only assignment is a paper, which students will present at the end of the course. Prerequisites: None. Either a course in intellectual property law or some work experience at a technology company is recommended, but not required.

International Commercial Negotiations - London (Allen C. Snyder)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Study Abroad (JD), International Law (JD)

Skills and theory of both competitive and cooperative international commercial negotiating will be taught with simulations and discussions based on readings and current commercial disputes. 

International Deals - London (Fred Heller)

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

Why are corporate transactions structured in the way that they are? This course explores the business lawyer’s role in (1) creating value by helping clients identify, assess, and manage business risks through efficient contract design while (2) simultaneously achieving the optimal legal, tax or regulatory treatment for the deal. The course includes case studies of actual transactions, with special emphasis on cross-border deals. No prior business knowledge or coursework is required.

Law of Tax Appraisals (Hon. David Laro)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)

Students will learn about the dynamic and developing tax law as it pertains to the statutes, regulations, and cases relating to qualified appraisers, qualified appraisals, the strict versus substantial compliance doctrines, and the reasonable cause exception. Students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively evaluate appraisers and appraisals taxpayers and their counsel regularly utilize to support tax benefits in circumstances ranging from estates to business transactions. Currently pending in the U.S. Tax Court are approximately 200 cases involving alleged non-compliance with qualified appraiser/appraisal tax regulations. The government estimates that there are billions involved in lost revenue due to taxpayer non-compliance. Finally students will learn the IRS penalties imposed on taxpayers, their attorneys, and appraisers for non-compliance. Students are expected to write short memoranda and make a power point presentation in lieu of a final examination.

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