Course Descriptions

Spring 2017 Class Descriptions

Immigration Clinic I (Sandra M. Wagner)

2-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD)

Students gain practical experience through interviewing, counseling, and representing clients with immigration-related problems. Students have the opportunity to assist clients with a range of immigration issues such as naturalization, lawful permanent residency, derivative citizenship, deferred action, and U-visa and VAWA for domestic violence and abuse victims. Students may attend U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews related to their client’s applications. Students may also attend and participate in community immigration outreach. Weekly meetings are held with the clinic supervisor and other interns to discuss immigration law, practical application and casework. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No Prerequisites.


Immigration Clinic II (Sandra M. Wagner)

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Public Interest Law (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Immigration Clinic I

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic.

Immigration Law (Sandra M. Wagner)

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

This is a general survey course on the topic of U.S. immigration and nationality law. This class will introduce substantive immigration law and procedure, core immigration statutes and federal regulations, and interrelationship of federal agencies that affect U.S. immigration law and policy. Depending on availability, guest speakers may be invited to give a practical understanding of immigration law and policy.
Prerequisites: none. Grades will be based on a proctored final examination.

In-House Corporate Counseling (Stephen C. Ferruolo, Roy Hoffinger)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

In-house lawyers practice in the law departments of for-profit business entities, non-profits, and in government at the federal, state, and local levels. (It is estimated that 20 to 30% of all lawyers will practice in-house at some time in their careers.) This course will be conducted by Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo with experienced corporate counsel from San Diego based corporations. Topics to be addressed include: The Roles of the In-house lawyer; Professional Responsibility Issues for In-house Lawyers; Practicing Preventive Law; Corporate Business Ethics Programs; Compliance Programs and Internal Investigations; Corporate Governance Best Practices; Risk Management and Crisis Management; Why and How to Teach Your Clients Contracts 101; Litigation Outside Counsel Management; Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property; International Operations and Transactions; Counseling the Public Company Board and Officers, Shareholder Meetings, and Compliance with Federal and State Securities Laws. The class will also discuss what In-House lawyers should know about labor and employment law, and accounting and finance.

Income Tax of Trusts & Estates (Ann Harris)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I, Trusts & Estates
Recommended Class(es): Federal Estate & Gift Taxation

The federal income taxation of trusts, estates, and their beneficiaries; distributable net income; distribution deductions for simple and complex trusts and estates; grantor trusts; income in respect of a decedent; and throwback rules. 


Int'l Estate Planning (Raúl Villarreal Garza, Patrick W. Martin , Elettra Menarini)

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

The course will address U.S. federal taxation issues (both income and transfer taxes) for multi-national families in this modern day of global living, investment and travel. A detailed review of the income tax rules under Subchapter J and the transfer tax rules for persons who are not U.S. persons will be addressed. Additionally, strategic planning considerations will address pre-immigration and emigration taxation and estate/wealth planning. Grades will be based on quizzes, take home assignments/projects and a final exam.

Intellectual Property Research (Jane Larrington)

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

This course focuses on legal research materials and techniques used in the practice of intellectual property law. Course will cover the use of basic primary sources such as the U.S. Constitution, statutes, and cases, as well as research tools and techniques unique to IP, including patent and trademark searching, the activities and publications of the Copyright Office and Patent and Trademark. Research tools and sources are compared and contrasted to help students learn economical and efficient research skills necessary to be a successful IP lawyer, including both litigation and transactional tools. Weekly exercises will allow students to track their progress in gaining mastery of the materials. The final grade will be based on class participation, weekly exercises, and a final project.

International Business Transactions (Ralph H. Folsom)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), International Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

This is an introductory course on international business law. The course book employed is problem-oriented, focusing student attention on practical problem solving. The course coverage is global, and may include problems related to international sales transactions, letters of credit, customs, import and export trade law, technology transfers across borders, foreign investment law, and international business dispute settlement. Grading is by final exam. 


Note: This is a required course for the International Law Concentration (JD).

International Civil Litigation (Walter Heiser)

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

International Civil Litigation will deal with a variety of issues which arise in international litigation in courts of the United States. Likely to be included are Judicial jurisdiction; service of process abroad; forum selection; taking evidence abroad; Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976; subject matter and legislative jurisdiction; the Act of State Doctrine; recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments; and international arbitration.

International Energy Regulation (Nilmini Silva-Send)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), International Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), International Law (JD), International Law (MSLS), Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), Environmental and Energy Law (JD)

This 3 credit course on a contemporary global topic will introduce students to international legal principles (sovereignty, territoriality, no harm, compensation for expropriation, liability etc) and relevant treaties, especially the ECT, that govern the interaction between states, agreements/contracts and negotiations between states (public) and multinationals (private), and other legal issues facing the exploration, supply of and investment in energy resources. It will examine the role of major international organizations in the energy sector, such as OPEC, the OECD, the IEA, the UN, the EU as well as the role of NGOs. International energy disputes can be investment disputes most often resolved by arbitration as the preferred mode with ICSID the largest forum of choice. International energy disputes can also be environmental and human rights disputes, litigated in international courts and national courts. While using oil, natural gas and nuclear power as examples for the course, we will look toward the future and evaluate the international legal and policy issues facing the development and expansion of renewable energy, such as biofuels and solar power. This course will be examined by a research paper in place of a final examination. Successful completion of the paper will fulfill the writing requirements of the school of law.

International Human Rights (Dustin N. Sharp)

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

In the brief span of 60 years, the idea of human rights has grown tremendously. What began as a marginal utopian discourse has today arguably become “the dominant moral narrative for thinking about world affairs.” At the same time, rights remain controversial and contested, and gaps in enforcement of human rights norms are conspicuous. This course examines the actors, organizations and ideas behind these developments, as well as the vast challenges we face today in attempting to enforce human rights norms globally. The course begins by examining the philosophical and political bases for the international human rights idea, probing the ongoing debate over universality, culture, and human rights. Aspart of this inquiry, we also examine the normative pillars of international human rights law. In the second part of the course, we will analyze various dimensions and challenges of human rights enforcement, including the main United Nations and regional human rights systems, prosecutions and transitional justice, the advocacy work of NGOs and human rights activists, and the new concept of the “responsibility to protect,” or R2P. In the final part of the semester, we will engage in a more in-depth examination of several distinct human rights issues, including torture and women’s rights. In all this, the course aims to provide students with knowledge of human rights at the level of intellectual theory and discourse, as well as a realm of concrete, “real world” action, controversy, and struggle. The final course grade will be based on a written paper, an oral presentation, and several short assignments. Please be advised that this course does not fulfill the law school’s written work requirement.  

This class starts on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

International Legal Research (Melissa Abernathy)

1 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), International Law (JD)

This course is designed to introduce students to basic concepts, sources, and specialized research tools used in foreign and international legal research. This course will include segments on researching international treaties, international courts and tribunals, United Nations documents, the European Union, as well as foreign legal systems.

There will be three research assignments and three CALI lessons assigned during the first six classes in the semester; they are due at the beginning of class. In addition, a final capstone project will require each student to research a foreign or international law topic (approved by the instructor) and present a written research plan and oral report to the class. 

International Redress for Human Injustice (Roy L. Brooks)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), Public Interest Law (JD), International Law (JD), International Law (MSLS)

Introduced into the law school curriculum in 1999, this seminar is based on the classic study of atrocities, When Sorry Isn’t Enough: The Controversy Over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustice (1999), written by Professor Brooks. Today, the subject matter of this seminar is taught in various forms (e.g., small or large classes as well as seminars) under various titles (e.g., “Transitional Justice,” “Atrocities,” “Reparations”) in schools across the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Commonwealth countries. Professor Brooks continues to teach the seminar at USD, and in recent years has added as one of its topics “modern slavery”(defined by international conventions and U.S. domestic law as “human exploitation over a period of time effectuated through coercion, fraud or trickery”) Yet, the main portion of the seminar, like all spinoffs of the seminar, continues to be on post-conflict justice. What does justice demand in the aftermath of atrocities like the Holocaust, Apartheid, and genocides in Armenia, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and America? This question is framed by the international redress movement (consisting of scholars, activists, and government officials) in which Professor Brooks has played a key role. The focus of the movement is on claims from around the world that seek redress for human injustice under post-Holocaust conditions. Hence, in addition to studying the aftermath of modern slavery in Africa involving the “child soldiers” and in Thailand for sexual slaves liberated from bondage, the seminar studies issues of post-conflict justice involving Nazi persecution, Japan’s "comfort women" system, Apartheid in South Africa, and our own country’s internment of Japanese Americans (why was there no internment in Hawaii where many more Japanese Americans lived?), genocidal treatment of Native Americans, and enslavement of African Americans. We shall draw on legal and political analyses, government documents, personal testimonies, and historical narratives. The seminar meets one time each week. A paper is required. Successful completion of this course satisfies the written-work requirement.

International Sales (William H. Lawrence)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): International Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), International Law (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), International Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

This course focuses on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), with comparisons to domestic law (the UCC in particular). Considerable time is devoted to the application of the CISG to problems that typically arise in international sales transactions. The course does not include an exam. Students instead prepare written memos that reflect the type of assignments they can expect in practice with a law firm.

Intro to US Law (Herbert I. Lazerow)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

Introduction to United States Law is a required course for Master of Comparative Law students. No other students may enroll. This course comparatively introduces distinctly American approaches to law, lawyering and legal processes. Special emphasis is placed on the common law tradition.

Note: This course is for LLMC students only.

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