Course Descriptions

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Spring 2020 Class Descriptions

Tax I (LWAA590)

Instructor(s): Jordan Barry

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

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 Policy & Research (LWTE570)

Instructor(s): Dennis Lilly

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Taxation (LLMC), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (MSLS)
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. 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. 

Trade Secrets (LWIP575)

Instructor(s): David McGowan

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

This course provides an introduction to trade secret law. Subjects include the definition of trade secrets, the means by which trade secret protection is distinguished from copyright and patent law, and issues in enforcing trade secret protection. We will study the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and California trade secrets law, as well as the relationship between trade secrets protection and California's policy against enforcing non-compete agreements. This class will have a take-home midterm and final exam administered on TWEN.

Transfer Pricing (LWTE584)

Instructor(s): David Bowen

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

The course involves a thorough study of the fundamental and practical concepts of “transfer pricing,” from U.S. and international perspectives. Transfer pricing is one of the most significant tax issues for multinational enterprises with international operations. It attracts the scrutiny of tax authorities worldwide and continues to draw attention of multiple countries’ tax legislatures. The course first analyzes the fundamental methods by which income and other items are affected – often with major financial impact - through MNE “controlled” transactions. The basic analytical framework involve critical analysis of U.S. Code provisions, Treasury Regulations, other administrative materials and important judicial decisions. These U.S. provisions are compared to other comprehensive, consensus-type guidelines, such as the recent OECD Guidelines. Practical strategies are discussed in terms of proactive strategies for resolving and avoiding cross-border disputes involving transfer pricing. Topics include allocations and apportionments of income, deductions, credits and allowances; the “arm’s length” standard and its alternatives; BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting); economic double taxation; Treaty mechanisms such as MAP (mutual agreement procedures); TIPs (taxpayer-initiated adjustments) and compensating adjustments; general legal principles and apportionment methods, including the judicial doctrines of assignment of income, the economic substance doctrine, fruit-tree, and other matters; methods to determine “true” taxable income in “controlled” transactions involving tangible and intangible property, services, and intercompany financing; relevant U.S. customs rules; tax penalties and relevant forms, including country-by-country reporting; tax planning and compliance efforts; and relevant comparisons of international transfer pricing rules within particular contexts. Grades will be based on a written exam which includes true false questions, multiple choice, and a hand-graded essay,

Note: This course is open to LLM and JD levels.

Trial Advocacy - Civil (LWLP550)

Instructor(s): Linda Lane, Lori Temko, Robert Wright

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

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 (LWTE555)

Instructor(s): Adam Hirsch

3 credit(s), 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.