Course Descriptions

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Spring 2020 Class Descriptions

California Civil Discovery Practice (LWLP521)

Instructor(s): Staff

2 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential OR Writing
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)

This course focuses on the primary written discovery procedures in California, a major component of pre-trial litigation. Students will learn the critical references, rules and resources required to create a discovery plan, as well as creation and use of interrogatories (form and special), requests for production, requests for admission, and requests for physical and mental exams.  Objections to these discovery devices, responses to discovery requests, meet and confer requirements, discovery motions, protective orders and sanctions will also be covered. The form and format for depositions will be examined as well as simulation training in conducting a basic deposition. The California Civil Discovery Act will be compared to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for all devices addressed. Non-Party Discovery and Preservation of Testimony or Evidence Before Filing an Action is also covered. The class follows a hypothetical case as well as an actual case, from the perspective of all sides conducting discovery.  Students who complete this course will gain an understanding of the broad framework of California pre-trial discovery, effective and ineffective discovery devices, as well as some of the key differences between the state and federal discovery systems. This class does not cover E-discovery except to include some of the pertinent statutes, as ESI is covered in the ESI Discovery Law course. This class is limited to 19 students.

California Civil Procedure (LWLP520)

Instructor(s): Shaun Martin

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure

This course is designed for upperclass law students who intend to practice law in California and therefore may wish to learn more about California civil procedure. The course will focus on the important caselaw doctrines, statutory rules, and policies which define civil litigation in the California courts with particular attention to those areas of California civil procedure that are unique when compared to federal and to other states' procedural laws. The topics covered will include considerations before undertaking representation; statutes of limitations and related doctrines; California conflicts of law doctrine; jurisdiction, venue, forum non conveniens, and service of process; prejudgment attachment and other provisional remedies; claim and issue preclusion; pleadings and motions; joinder of parties and claims, new party cross-complaints, equitable indemnity, and good faith settlements; the California Civil Discovery Act; summary judgments, default judgments, involuntary dismissals for failure to prosecute, the “fast track” system, and judicial and contractual arbitration; right to jury trial, trial procedures, and post-trial motions; judgments, enforcement of judgments, and setting aside judgments; and appeals, extraordinary appellate writs, and administrative mandamus. The course will also provide students with a brief summary of the federal or general position on each major topic covered as a basis of comparison and as a review of basic civil procedure. Third year full-time and fourth year part-time students have registration priority for this class.

California Criminal Litigation Skills (LWCR505)

Instructor(s): Jean Ramirez

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation (JD), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMG)
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Law, Legal Writing & Research

If you are considering a career as a prosecutor or criminal defense attorney, or plan to intern at a prosecution or criminal defense agency, this is the course for you. This course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to litigate criminal cases in the California trial courts. The class tracks a criminal case from arrest through sentencing, but not trial, providing students with an overview of the process. Students draft practice-related documents, participate in courtroom simulations, learn fact management and development, and participate in discussions on relevant topics.

Note: Students that have taken Criminal Clinic are not eligible to enroll in this class.

California Torts (LWLP522)

Instructor(s): Edmund Ursin

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

California Torts focuses on the unique body of doctrines, policies, and jurisprudential perspectives that make up California personal injury law. For the past half century the California Supreme Court has been the most influential state supreme court in the nation. Indeed, six of the seven “most followed” state supreme court decisions rendered since 1966 are tort decision of the California Supreme Court. Roughly speaking, there have been three generations of California tort law—and today’s tort law is an amalgam of the three. Beginning in the 1960s, the avowedly lawmaking court of the “Traynor era,” rewrote much of the fault-based, liability-limiting body of traditional tort doctrine, thereby establishing the doctrine of strict products liability and abolishing or limiting an array of no-duty rules and defenses that had shielded negligent defendants from liability. Beginning in the mid-1980s, however, the court—by then dominated by Republican appointees, but remaining a policy oriented lawmaking court—has created a third generation of decisions which have “refined,” or limited, the doctrines put in place by its liberal predecessor. First year torts courses inevitably obscure the unique character of California tort law—taken as a body of connected doctrines, policies, and jurisprudential perspectives. The forest, so to speak, is not seen and even “California trees” are often not in clear focus. The goal of this course is to enable students to understand the forest, see clearly—and understand—the individual trees, and to be able to anticipate new growths. This course will also serve as a review of material that will be tested on Bar examinations. 

Child Advocacy Clinic: Delinquency I (LWVL503)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth, Jessica Heldman

4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD)
Prerequisite(s): See course description

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).
Additional Information: Children's Rights JD Concentration

Child Advocacy Clinic: Dependency I & II (LWVL507)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth, Jessica Heldman

4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD)
Prerequisite(s): See course description

Students work with assigned attorneys from the Dependency Legal Group of San Diego, representing abused and neglected children in dependency court proceedings. Students are exposed to a wide variety of experiences, such as interviewing child clients; presenting evidence during bench trials; preparing briefs and memoranda; participating in settlement conferences; conducting field work with investigators; and making court appearances as necessary and appropriate. Dependency Clinic students must commit 16 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).
Additional Information: Children's Rights JD Concentration

Child Advocacy Clinic: Policy I & II (LWVL505)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth

1-3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Child Rights & Remedies

Students work with CAI professional staff on legislative and regulatory policy advocacy projects, impact litigation, public education projects, and/or policy research and analysis of current applications of law and regulations as they affect children. Policy Clinic students are also able to serve as Educational Representatives for at-risk youth and/or assist CAI’s Homeless Youth Outreach Project. Students must have completed or be enrolled in 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).
Additional Information: Children's Rights JD Concentration

Civil Clinic I (LWVL510)

Instructor(s): Allen Snyder, Allen Gruber, Joe Villasenor

2-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Evidence
Recommended Class(es): Trial Advocacy or Practicum

Students interview, counsel and represent clients at Superior Court or in administrative hearings in a wide variety of cases under the supervision of an attorney. Students draft pleadings and correspondence, as well as confer and negotiate with opposing counsel/parties. Weekly group meetings are combined with individual case conferences to provide intensive personal training in litigation techniques, problem solving and case management. Students also learn general civil litigation practice and procedures. Prerequisites: Civil Procedure, Evidence Recommended: Practicum or Trial Advocacy. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

 

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Civil Litigation Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Civil Litigation Concentration

Civil Clinic II (LWVL511)

Instructor(s): Allen Snyder, Allen Gruber, Joe Villasenor

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD)
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure, Evidence
Recommended Class(es): Practicum or Trial Advocacy

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. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Civil Litigation Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Civil Litigation Concentration

Community Property (LWFC554)

Instructor(s): Dennis Lilly

3 credit(s), Letter Graded

This course covers the California community property law, the system for ownership and management of marital property by spouses. California law is the focus of the course, but the materials include comparison of the community property systems of other US states for parallel issues. The approach in the course is to examine both the policy and concepts of the community property system and the detailed rules and legislation applicable in California.

Complex Litigation (LWLP523)

Instructor(s): Scott Metzger

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

This class is important for anyone interested in a civil litigation practice. While we will spend the majority of our time on class actions, we will also cover derivative, qui tam (“whistle blower”), and Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims. This is an experiential class which will be graded based on a mid-term and final brief, each followed by oral argument. Class participation will also be considered.

Constitutional Law I (LWAA515)

Instructor(s): Michael Rappaport, Michael Ramsey, Maimon Schwarzschild

4 credit(s), Letter Graded

This course provides an introduction to the United States Constitution, stressing the theory and practice of judicial interpretation and review, the separation of federal powers, the relation of the states to the federal government, and specific powers of the federal government. It also provides an introduction to the Bill of Rights and its limitations on the exercise of governmental power, with emphasis on freedom of speech.

Constitutional Law II (LWPP525)

Instructor(s): Miranda McGowan, Maimon Schwarzschild

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law I

This courses covers the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection and due process clauses. Specific topics include race discrimination (including school desegregation and affirmative action), gender discrimination, discrimination against gays and lesbians, voting rights, privacy (including abortion, sexual freedom, and the right to die), and property. A final exam is required. 

Contract Drafting (LWGC563)

Instructor(s): Elaine Edelman, Tony Roberts

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

Transactional drafting is crucial to the legal profession. It refers to the process of creating documents to formalize agreements between parties. This course trains students to be able to use the process comfortably. You will learn to structure agreements, and express them in clear and concise language that will benefit clients and maximize the likelihood of favorable interpretation. The course emphasizes both cooperative and individual drafting work. Each week in class, you will focus on selected components of the drafting process, and prepare a document or exercise requiring you to practice what you learn. You will receive immediate feedback on that day’s drafting activity, and written comments on individual weekly homework assignments. Visits by attorneys who draft contracts in their practice will provide a view of how the legal profession depends on this skill. This class will use various types of contracts that touch on various areas of substantive law: contracts for the sale of goods, business or property (contract law, commercial transactions); residential and commercial leases (landlord-tenant and real estate law); settlement agreements (torts); employment, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements (employment law); retainer agreements (legal ethics); intellectual property rights (intellectual property); corporate acquisitions (corporations, securities law); entertainment contracts (entertainment law); vendors’ contracts (sports law). Grades are based on the scores on individual weekly assignments.

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.

Contracts (LWAA520)

Instructor(s): Laurence Claus, David McGowan, Jordan Barry

4 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS)

An introduction to legal reasoning and analytical skills through an investigation of how the law enforces agreements. Included are such topics as: the requirements for the formation of a contract; problems of interpretation; damages for breach; the statute of frauds; illegality; and problems which arise during the performance stage of a contract, such as the creation and failure of express and implied conditions, excuse through impossibility or frustration of purpose, and discharge. Article II of the Uniform Commercial Code is introduced and compared with the common law of contracts.

Copyright Law (LWIP525)

Instructor(s): Abraham Bell

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

This course surveys the law relating to rights in expressive works. We will study what copyright covers – such as books, movies, musical recordings, and software – and distinguish copyright from other forms of intellectual property, such as trademark and patent. We will focus on the exclusive rights granted in copyrightable works, rules governing the transfer of those rights, what acts infringe those rights, what remedies the law provides for infringement, and what limitations the law places on those rights, such as the fair use doctrine. We will discuss some topics of current interest, such as the rules governing the copying and distribution of music over peer-to-peer networks, digital rights management, and open-source software development.  This class features a take home final exam.

Note: May be applied as part of the six required credits for the Intellectual Property Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Intellectual Property JD Concentration

Corporate Counsel Externship I (LWVL591)

Instructor(s): Beth Baier

1-6 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (JD), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Health Law (JD), Intellectual Property (JD), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG)

The Corporate Counsel Externship Program consists of a work component and a class component and allows students to earn academic credit working in the legal department of a corporation, company or other business entity. Students may also work in other departments of a corporation as long as they are supervised by an on-site licensed attorney. Students must work during the academic session for a minimum of 50 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-6 credits. For purposes of corporate counsel externship work, the academic session is from the official start of classes to the last day of final exams. No academic credit may be earned for corporate counsel externship work outside this time period.

Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, student journals submitted to the professor relating to the field placement work; discussion boards on legal practice topics; a three-five page reflective paper at the end of the semester; an externship work product for professor review; and an on-site supervisor evaluation showing satisfactory completion of work experience. The Externship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

If you have been offered and have accepted a field placement, meet the eligibility requirements, agree to meet the course obligations and want to register for the Externship course, fill out the Field Placement Form here. After you submit the form, the Office of Career and Professional Development will review it and send you an email with directions on how to enroll.

If you have any placements questions, read the FAQ's available at that link.  If the FAQ's do not answer your field placement questions, contact the Office of Career and Professional Development at lawcareers@sandiego.edu. If you have academic questions, contact Professor John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@sandiego.edu.

Note:

There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentrations web pages for more information.


Additional Information: Concentrations, Here

Corporate Counsel Externship II (LWVL589)

Instructor(s): Beth Baier

1-6 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (JD), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Health Law (JD), Intellectual Property (JD), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG)

Externship II students refine their skills, with a longer opportunity to specialize their training in a specific area. Externship II is limited to students who have previously worked at a Corporate Counsel Externship placement. Please refer to Corporate Counsel Externship I description for additional requirements.

Contact lawcareers@sandiego.edu with placement questions. Contact Professor John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@sandiego.edu with academic questions.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentrations web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your work in this clinic qualifies for the concentration.
Additional Information: Concentrations, Law Student Affairs

Corporate Reorganization (LWTE510)

Instructor(s): M. Carr Ferguson

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

This course considers the tax treatment of corporations and shareholders in corporate acquisitive reorganizations, single corporation reorganizations and corporate divisions, including carryovers. Prerequisite: Tax I.  This class will have a take-home final exam.

 

Corporate Tax (LWTE560)

Instructor(s): Ariel Jurow Kleiman

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

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

The real subject matter of this course is the business issues that arise when people work together, how the laws of business organizations resolve these issues, and what a lawyer can do to custom tailor these resolutions. We will examine the laws of sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and especially corporations. When we turn to the law of corporations, we will focus on the relationships among shareholders, directors, and officers, their respective rights and duties. These rights and duties vary with context, one critical element of which is whether the corporation’s shares are publicly traded. To understand the significance of this element, one must understand some elementary financial economics, so the course will cover this topic.

Criminal Procedure I (LWCR520)

Instructor(s): Donald Dripps

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation (JD), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (MSLS)

This course is limited to pre-trial matters, as effected by the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments. Coverage will include arrest, search and seizure, wiretap, lineups, interrogation, and the exclusionary rules.

Note: This is a required course for the Criminal Litigation Concentration (JD).

Criminal Procedure II (LWCR525)

Instructor(s): Knut Johnson

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Criminal Litigation (JD), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (MSLS)
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Procedure I

In this advanced criminal procedure class, students will continue the study commenced in Criminal Procedure I, focusing on the processing of a criminal defendant through the criminal justice system. The course will address a number of issues regularly presented in criminal cases, including the charging process, the right to a speedy trial, criminal discovery and disclosure, the right to jury trial, the right to effective assistance of counsel, the right to confrontation and the exercise of the privilege against self incrimination at trial. In addition the course will include discussions of the principles of the right against double jeopardy, and post conviction remedies such as direct appeal and petitions for habeas corpus. The purpose of the course is to develop an understanding of the basic structure of the criminal process in a federal system of government as well as the basic principles underlying the constitutional and procedural protections of the criminal justice system.

Note: This is a required course for the Criminal Litigation Concentration (JD).