Course Descriptions

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Spring 2021 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. 

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): Richard Barton, Dov Fox, Julian Lean

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.

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

4 credit(s), Letter Graded

The MBE is given as part of the bar exam in nearly all U.S. jurisdictions and covers seven different areas of law (constitutional, criminal, real property, torts, contracts, evidence, and civil procedure). This primarily online course prepares students to excel on the MBE questions in all seven areas of law. There are four major components of the course. First, two pre-recorded lectures of about two hours each for each subject area, which may be accessed any time and on any device. Second, weekly practice exams composed of actual MBE questions using customized online software, which tracks each student’s strengths and weaknesses in every substantive area of the bar exam. The weekly exams may be taken at any time during the week and on any device. Third, after the practice exams are completed, two pre-recorded lectures, again accessible at any time, of about 1.5 hours each that explain the answers to select weekly exam questions. Fourth, the professor will host weekly live “office hours” sessions each week on Zoom to answer student questions and review more MBE questions in a live, Q & A format. One Zoom session will be offered during the day and the other in the evening, with recordings available to all students who cannot attend. Zoom sessions are not mandatory, but are highly recommended to maximize the benefits of the course.

This course provides students access to every available, released MBE question. Please note that most commercial bar exam review courses do not provide access to all of the previously released real exam questions from the MBE. Students must watch all pre-recorded lectures and complete the weekly practice exams to pass the course. Assuming these requirements are met, the final grade will be based solely on two midterms and a final. Only students planning to graduate in May 2021 or December 2021 may register for the course.