Course Descriptions

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Fall 2019 Business and Corporate Law Class Descriptions

Bankruptcy (LWBC510)

Instructor(s): Mary Jo Wiggins

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD)
Recommended Class(es): UCC: Secured Transactions

This course will provide an detailed examination of the liquidation and reorganization dynamics in both corporate and consumer cases under the Bankruptcy Code, and the effects of bankruptcy on non-bankruptcy debtor-creditor law, corporate workouts, and a variety of pre-bankruptcy transactions. The objective of this course is to give students a working knowledge of the Code and associated rules, cases and history; an understanding of the policies reflected in and relevant to bankruptcy law and non-bankruptcy debtor-creditor law; and an appreciation of the reality of modern bankruptcy practice. There are no course prerequisites. The course grade will be based on a traditional final exam and possibly a midterm.

Bus Transactions in Emerging Markets (LWBC512)

Instructor(s): Frederick Heller

2 credit(s), 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)
Recommended Class(es): International Business Transactions

International lawyers face difficult challenges when their clients transact business in emerging markets. While local legal systems—including the courts and regulators—pose a range of distinct problems, problems also frequently arise outside of the legal systems—from the political, economic, financial and cultural dynamics of the emerging markets. Students will first explore the attributes that define emerging markets and how they differ from developed markets. Using what they learn about emerging markets, students will identify challenges that impact a business transaction in an emerging market. Students will then study illustrative real-life emerging market transactions, including legal documents, and propose ways to meet emerging market challenges through provisions in legal documents and other means. The goal of the course is to provide students with the tools to assist clients in emerging market business transactions.

Contract Drafting (LWGC563)

Instructor(s): Elaine Edelman, David Leatherberry

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing OR Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB)

Transactional drafting is a skill used in most areas of law. It refers to the process of composing documents to formalize agreements and settlements between parties. This course will train students to be comfortable with the drafting process, which includes expressing agreements and settlements in language that will benefit clients, and composing documents that contain this language in a form that will maximize favorable interpretation in court. The course emphasizes both cooperative and individual drafting work. Each week in class, students will learn about selected components of the process, draft a document or exercise requiring the use of that component, and receive feedback on that day’s drafting activity. Students will have weekly individual homework assignments that reinforce that week’s skill. One or more attorneys whose practices include drafting work will appear in class to give students practical feedback on their work. Grades will be based on individual weekly written homework assignments and an end-of-semester individual drafting project, and are subject to the upper class curve requirements.

Note: This course may fulfill either the Experiential OR Upper Division Writing requirement. Students will be asked in class at the beginning of the semester to elect which requirement they would like this course to fulfill. The student's election is final.

Corporate Finance (LWBC530)

Instructor(s): Jordan Barry

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD)
Corequisite(s): Corporations

This course covers the core concepts of finance as they relate to the study and practice of law. The course is designed to accommodate both students with no background in finance as well as those with substantial knowledge of the field. It will start with basic financial literacy and will build toward more advanced topics, such as financial statement analysis, valuation of stocks and bonds, risk management, portfolio theory, derivatives, and corporate financial management. The course includes quantitative concepts and exercises, and students will be required to use a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel. This class will be of particular value to students who intend to pursue transactional legal practice, but it will also be valuable to litigators.

Corporate Tax (LWTE560)

Instructor(s): Ariel Jurow Kleiman

3 credit(s), 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).

Corporations (LWBC545)

Instructor(s): Thomas Smith, Chris Wonnell

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

This course examines the structure and the rights and obligations of directors, officers, and shareholders mainly under state corporations law. Other topics include partnerships and limited liability entities. The course covers, among other subjects, the characteristics of the corporation as distinct from other forms of business association, the special problems of the closely-held corporations (a corporation owned by a few persons), the fiduciary obligations of directors and controlling shareholders in closely-held and public corporations, procedures for decision making by directors and shareholders, shareholder voting rights, and certain federal securities law subjects, such as insider trading.

Note: This is a required course for the Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD) and for the LLM in Business & Corporate Law.

Deals (LWBC550)

Instructor(s): David Snyder

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Corporations or Corequisite
Corequisite(s): Corporations

This course will focus on the role of lawyers in a variety of corporate transactions. It is designed for students interested in practicing corporate or securities law or in careers in business. Among the types of deals typically covered are compensation agreements, venture capital financing, initial public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. The course also typically covers certain specialized deals, which in the past have included securitizations, international trade financing, spinoffs, tracking stock, and director/officer insurance. Students will complete one or more individual assignments, which will involve the creation and editing of documents related to one or more deals on a real-time basis. Depending on the number of students enrolled, students also might form teams to write papers and give presentations on a particular deal. Corporations is a prerequisite.

Finance & Accounting for Lawyers (LWBC555)

Instructor(s): Brian Brinig

2 credit(s), 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)

Much of the practice of law relates to financial issues. This two-credit course deals with understanding and analyzing financial statements, basic business valuation techniques and their importance in litigation matters, economic damages calculations (both personal injury and business damages), and concepts of present value. Understanding these financial concepts is critical to lawyers who encounter them daily in their practices. The course is designed for the student who does not have a sophisticated background in accounting or finance.

International Asia-Pacific Commercial Arbitration (LWIC531)

Instructor(s): David Brennan

2 credit(s), 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), Civil Litigation (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

This course is the study of international commercial arbitration that emphasizes the Asia/Pacific region’s practices and arbitral regimes. The study will use The Convention on the International Sale of Good (CISG) to study all facets of sales and trade in goods from contract formation, terms, obligations, performance, breaches, excuses and remedies. The study of arbitration clauses and the practices of the arbitral institutions in the Asia-Pacific region is a focus. The steps from initiating arbitration, appointing arbitrators, composition of arbitral tribunals, procedures including written and oral submissions and the scope and limits on evidence are all considered. The course will address the UNCITRAL Model Law for arbitration and compare it to Asia-Pacific arbitral systems including CIETAC, HKIAC, and CEAC. The substance, procedural and conflicts of law situations will be addressed. The course objective is to develop the capacity to be able to engage in arbitration processes in the Asia-Pacific Region for international commercial sales and trade disputes. The classes, materials and certain model problems will facilitate that objective. The class also builds the very different research approaches and skills required to determine issues under The CISG, including those from recognized international principles, writings of scholars, rules and guidelines together with principles from arbitral decisions. The course will be required for incoming 2L VICAM candidates and is also open to all other eligible students. The only prerequisite for this course is for JD students who should have completed all of the required first-year courses and be in their second year. The course will be letter-graded based on a final examination to be held in October.

International Contracts (LWIC537)

Instructor(s): Herbert Lazerow

3 credit(s), 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)

Legal aspects of contracts for the international sale of goods under the UN Convention. Topics include the applicability of the convention and its most important substantive provisions including contract formation, choice of forum, choice of law, warranties, risk of loss, excuse and dispute resolution.

International Taxation (LWTE539)

Instructor(s): Ariel Jurow Kleiman

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), International Law (MSLS), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in International Law (LLMI), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), International Law (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This basic course in international taxation will focus on the principles relating to the taxation of foreign persons (individuals as well as legal entities) by the United States and the U.S. taxation of income received by U.S. individuals and entities from activities abroad. Topics will include principles of international tax jurisdiction, rules relating to the source of income and deductions, the foreign tax credit, corporate inversions, and an introduction to controlled foreign corporations and Subpart F.

Negotiation (LWLP560)

Instructor(s): Herbert Lazerow, Gregg Relyea

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Civil Litigation (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)
Recommended Class(es): Trial Advocacy

Effective negotiation skills are essential to the successful practice of law. Most legal disputes are resolved through direct negotiation. This course will teach students effective communication techniques and negotiation strategies in a workshop style setting. The course will introduce students to different types of bargaining, different approaches to bargaining, specialized communication techniques used by effective negotiators, and techniques for overcoming negotiating impasses. Negotiation practices will be taught using both lecture and experiential methods (interactive exercise, role play exercises). This course will be practical in its orientation, with an emphasis on prevailing negotiation techniques and strategies customarily used by practicing lawyers. Due to the participatory nature of the course, enrollment will be limited. Grades are based upon in class participation, in class exercises, student reflection/self-assessment, and homework assignments. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass/Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on concentration eligibility. Check the Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD), Civil Litigation Concentration (JD), and Employment and Labor Law Concentration (JD) web pages for more information.
Additional Information: Business and Corporate Law Concentration (JD), Civil Litigation Concentration (JD)

Tax Planning Lab (LWTE568)

Instructor(s): Paul Yong

3 credit(s), 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
Corequisite(s): Corporate Tax

The course will be held on select Fridays during the fall semester. Students will work in teams on simulated tax planning exercises with lawyers from Sempra Energy & KPMG. Exercises will include planning, counseling, and negotiating on matters related to mergers & acquisitions, corporate tax, international tax, and financial statement impact. Federal Income Tax (Tax I) is a pre-requisite for the course and Corporate Tax is a co-requisite and which may be taken concurrently. The course is open to both JD and LLM students. Grades will be assessed based on group projects, written work, and participation.

The first class will be held at USD. All other sessions will be held offsite.

UCC: Sales (LWBC592)

Instructor(s): William Lawrence

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

The course on sales of goods addresses the provisions of Article 2 of the U.C.C., with some comparisons with the new Article 2A on leases of goods. The primary topics include contract formation and enforceability, terms of the contract, risk of loss, warranties, performance and breach, remedies for breach, and transfer of goods. A problem-solving approach is used extensively.

UCC: Secured Transactions (LWBC594)

Instructor(s): William Lawrence

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

This course deals with the creation, perfection, enforcement, and priorities of security interest in personal property, including goods, "paper" collateral, and intangibles such as accounts, in both commercial and consumer settings. The treatment of security interests in bankruptcy, and in priority contexts with various non-Article 9 interests, is also examined.