Course Descriptions

Spring 2015 Class Descriptions

Tax I (Dennis Lilly)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), Taxation (LLMC)

Tax I provides students with an understanding of the basic principles of federal income tax, including gross income, deductions, tax accounting, capital transactions, and income shifting. Required for upper-class students.

Tax II (Victor Fleischer)

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) and the LLM in Taxation.

Tax Litigation (Richard Carpenter)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course provides a comprehensive review of prelitigation IRS administrative procedures, practical analysis in the selection of a choice of forum to litigate a federal tax dispute, pre-trial practice and case analysis, trial techniques and strategies when litigating a federal tax dispute before the U.S. Tax Court, and a review of refund litigation. This is an advanced tax course with priority enrollment for LLM in Taxation students.

Tax Policy (Victor Fleischer)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course will offer an introduction to the principal policy considerations raised when creating a tax system. Topics will include the merits of different tax systems (such as income and consumption taxes), questions of tax administration and legal complexity, the efficiency implications of taxation, and distributional implications. It will consider how well current legislation addresses these various issues and consider whether there are ways that they might be better addressed. The class will be conducted as a seminar and will likely include guest experts who will join us in discussions of particular topics. Tax I is a prerequisite for this course; other tax courses, especially Corporate Tax, would be useful, but are not required. This courses fullfills the written work requirement. 

Note: This is a required course for the LLM in Taxation degree.

Tax Research & Communication (Susan Shaler)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course involves an intensive examination of federal tax research techniques, including locating and evaluating legislative history, administrative authorities,and judicial decisions with attention to comparative weights and relationships among various authorities. Students are required to conduct various research and validation tasks, and to prepare complex tax documents, such as, ruling requests, protests, opinion letters, memoranda of law, and Tax Court petitions. Enrollment is limited to 12 students (no JDs).

Note: This class is restricted to LLM Taxation students.

Taxation of Intellectual Property (John I. Forry)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

Intellectual Property development and exploitation are very significant for many businesses. This requires attention to IP legal protection and dispute resolution, but also to IP taxation in both the US and abroad. This course addresses key tax challenges and opportunities – in both the US and selected other countries – affecting IP development and exploitation. The course first focuses on basic tax rules such as treatment of income and expenses as ordinary or capital, source of income, timing of income recognition, and the effects of tax treaties on taxation of cross-border IP transactions. The course then applies such rules to selected business arrangements involving IP such as sales, licenses and cost sharing arrangements, financing techniques such as securitization, and business combinations such as mergers and joint ventures. The aim is to impart solutions for developing and exploiting IP in light of US and other tax rules. At the beginning of the course, students are assigned to teams. Each team is provided with a brief case study proposing one or more of the IP business arrangements covered in the course. In the final sessions of the course, each team makes a presentation and provides a paper covering key tax challenges and opportunities presented by its case study. One or more previous courses in taxation and/or intellectual property law are recommended but not required. This is an advanced tax course with priority enrollment for LLM in Taxation students.

Tech Entrepreneur Law Clinic (Ted Sichelman)

3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
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 intellectual property prosecution and licensing, 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 2-3 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.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Business & Corporate Law Concentration and Intellectual Property Concentration web pages for more information. Email to see if your work qualifies.
Additional Information:Business & Corporate Law Concentration, Intellectual Property Concentration

Trade Secrets (Kris B. Panikowski)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Intellectual Property Law (MSLS)

This course explores the intriguing and ever-changing landscape of trade secret law. We will explore both the civil and criminal side of this body of law and, in doing so, delve into the reasons behind an intellectual property owner’s decision to protect their property as a trade secret and the ways in which trade secret law intersects with other areas of law. The California Uniform Trade Secret Act and the body of law surrounding it will drive a significant part of our exploration, but we will compare and contrast California law with the law in other jurisdictions. In addition, we will examine the U.S. Economic Espionage Act of 1996. This course centers on an active learning model, which means that our class sessions will include robust class discussion, small group and individual exercises, and case studies. A student’s class participation and performance on the final exam determine his/her grade in the course.

Trademark Litigation (Licia E. Vaughn, Lisa P. Ramsey)

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD), Intellectual Property Law (MSLS)

This advanced trademark class will provide students with the legal and practical skills necessary to become successful trademark litigators. Students will learn how to litigate a trademark case, including how to develop a case strategy, write cease and desist letters, prepare a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction (key motions in trademark cases), and utilize a trademark expert. In addition to cease and desist letters, document drafting will include pleadings, written discovery, and other motions frequently used in trademark litigation. Students will also strengthen their oral communication skills through class participation and in-class exercises simulating oral arguments before a judge or meetings with partners and clients. They will perform tasks and legal research and analysis similar to junior attorneys involved in actual trademark litigation. The grade will be based on the writing assignments and in-class oral exercises. Prerequisite: Intellectual Property Survey, Trademark Law, or Trademarks Seminar. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass/Fail basis.

Transitional Justice and Responding to Mass Atrocities (Dustin N. Sharp)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD), International Law (JD), Criminal Litigation (JD), Children's Rights (JD), International Law (LLMC), International Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI)

“Transitional Justice” is an emerging field of policy, practice, and study that focuses on the moral, legal, and political dilemmas encountered as individuals, communities, and nations attempt to grapple with historical legacies of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other large-scale human rights violations. In such circumstances: Who must be punished and who may be pardoned? Do vigorous efforts to promote legal accountability jeopardize the emerging and fragile peace? What is the proper role and responsibility of the so-called international community? In this class, we will examine the complementarity and conflict between the often overlapping demands that nations face in the wake of large-scale human rights abuses, including retribution, reconciliation, restitution, memory, and other forms of accountability. This will include study of the traditional range of transitional justice tools and interventions that have evolved, including international tribunals from Nuremburg to the ICC, truth commissions, reparations programs, public memorials, vetting and lustration initiatives, and broader institutional reform. Along the way, we will probe the blind spots, assumptions, and limitations of varying transitional justice mechanisms, together with the transitional justice project in general. Course grades will be determined on the basis of class participation, short reaction papers, a group oral presentation, and a final research paper. Please be advised that this course does not fulfill the law school’s written work requirement

Trial Advocacy (Linda L. Lane)

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

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

Trusts & Estates (Dennis Lilly)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

This survey course provides an introduction to non-tax aspects of estate planning and the law of gratuitous transfers, including inter vivos gifts, intestate succession, wills, will substitutes, trusts, fiduciary administration, and future interests.

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