Course Descriptions

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Spring 2020 Class Descriptions

Mediation Skills (LWLP556)

Instructor(s): Lisa Maxwell

2 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)

Mediation is a process by which a trained and impartial third party helps others resolve a dispute. Lawyers use mediation extensively, both as advocates and as neutrals. Participants will learn to mediate a variety of disputes, using the methodology developed by San Diego's National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC). They will receive a certificate of participation upon their successful completion of the training. Participants must commit to attending each of the training sessions as a condition of enrollment. Enrollment is limited to 36 participants. This course is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. Once trained in mediation, students have the opportunity to mediate litigated disputes filed in Small Claims Court in downtown San Diego with NCRC. Students that have completed the Mediation Skills Training are eligible and can complete and submit a Field Placement Form online to the USD Office of Career and Professional Development to receive school credit through an Agency Externship with NCRC. For additional information, please refer to the Career Services website. Note: There are limitations on concentration eligibility. Check the Civil Litigation Concentration (JD) and Employment and Labor Law Concentration (JD) web pages for more information.

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

Medical Malpractice (LWGC577)

Instructor(s): Dov Fox, Richard Barton

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

Welcome to The Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Case for Physicians and Lawyers. Approximately 85,000 medical malpractice cases are filed throughout the United States each year. With medical technology and the practice of medicine constantly evolving, physicians and medical facilities are tasked with meeting higher standards of quality care. For many physicians, the potential for lawsuits cast a long shadow over the practice of medicine.

This class, taught by attorneys and including practicing physicians, will attempt to answer many questions about the realities of medical malpractice litigation in an interdisciplinary context. It will combine law students and medical residents learning together to enhance an understanding of their respective milieus. The course will examine what causes patients to seek out a lawyer after a complication; the frequency of lawsuits and costs associated with the current tort system; how the potential for litigation impacts physicians in their daily practice; and the dynamics of the various stages of litigation, from inception of the lawsuit through trial. Law students and medical residents will learn about the importance of the burden of proof and the “standard of care,” informed consent, documentation and communication with other healthcare providers, defensive medicine, the procedures for taking and defending expert depositions, how to prepare for trial, as well the practical realities and ramifications of settlement or verdict, including reporting to licensing and regulatory bodies.

The objective of the course will be to give law students the experience of handling a medical malpractice case from start to finish, including learning how to effectively represent a physician, take a deposition, and prepare for trial. For medical residents, this course will provide insight into the legal field, aid in the understanding of the mechanics of a lawsuit, and provide a practical understanding of how the legal system actually functions.

Mergers & Acquisitions (LWBC570)

Instructor(s): Thomas Smith

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

This course will examine selected economic, corporate law, and securities law aspects of the acquisition of businesses. Topics covered will include some basic (and necessary) corporate finance theory (such as valuation, efficient capital markets, event studies and option pricing theory); empirical evidence on the social costs and benefits of acquisition activity; the structuring of friendly and hostile acquisitions; the corporate law of takeover defenses; and securities law regulation of acquisition transactions. Some accounting and tax law topics may be touched upon, but they will not be a major focus of the course. Some effort will be made to examine drafting and negotiations aspects of M&A transactions. Students with substantial background in related areas may take Corporations concurrently, with permission. There will be a final exam in the class.

Mock Trial (LWWI550)

Instructor(s): Francis DiGiacco

2 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Civil Litigation (JD), Criminal Litigation (JD), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (MSLS)

Mock Trial is a competitive trial advocacy experience in which students learn techniques for effective and persuasive advocacy for trial as they prepare to compete in tournaments against teams from other law schools. Only students selected to compete as part of the National Mock Trial Team may register.

Moot Court (LWWI555)

Instructor(s): Michael Devitt

1 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential

One credit may be awarded to participating team member who represent USD in inter-school moot court competitions, whether administered by the Moot Court Board or supervised directly by a USD faculty member. A person may receive no more than one credit under this paragraph during the law school career.

Multistate Bar Exam Review (LWGC576)

Instructor(s): Ted Sichelman, Michael Kelly, Chris Wonnell

4 credit(s), Letter Graded

The MBE is given as part of the bar exam in nearly all U.S. jurisdictions. USD has licensed every published MBE question from previous examinations. Students in this course will take these MBE questions each week using customized online software (also accessible from tablets and smartphones), which tracks each student’s strengths and weaknesses in every substantive area of the bar exam (constitutional, criminal, real property, torts, contracts, evidence, and civil procedure). The online software will provide real-time review material for each area of the law. Each in-class session will cover test-taking techniques and the substantive law for one of the seven areas of law. Clickers are used to answer questions and provide immediate feedback to students. Please note that BARBRI, Kaplan, and most other bar exam review courses do not provide access to all of the previously released real exam questions from the MBE. As such, the questions in this course will not be the same as most of the questions that are provided in commercial summer bar preparation courses. Students must complete each week MBE questions in the required online modules (approximately 5-8 hours per week of work). The final grade will be based on two mid-terms and a final (plus timely completion of the weekly exams is necessary to pass the course). Only students planning to graduate in May 2019 or December 2019 may register for the course.