Course Descriptions

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Spring 2021 Criminal Law Class Descriptions

Advanced Trial Advocacy (LWLP515)

Instructor(s): Bibianne Fell, Mary Jo Barr, Everett McAdoo

2 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 intensive course is designed to improve each student’s individual trial presentation skills. Over two weekends, students will watch lectures and demonstrations from experienced practitioners, practice trial skills based on a hypothetical case file in workshops, receive individual critique, and participate in skills drills designed to have students repetitively practice the skill and think on their feet. 

 

The course will address advanced issues in trial advocacy including expert witnesses, trial technology, differences in advocacy between plaintiff/defense and criminal/civil practices, and civility in the courtroom.

California Criminal Litigation Skills (LWCR505)

Instructor(s): Jean Ramirez, Kristen Haden

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.

Criminal Procedure I (LWCR520)

Instructor(s): Kevin Cole

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).

Evidence (LWLP529)

Instructor(s): Donald Dripps

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

The rules of evidence in judicial tribunals, focusing on the Federal Rules of Evidence and the California Evidence Code are addressed in this course. Also covered are issues relating to: (1) judicial control and administration - functions of judge and jury, judicial notice, burden of proof presumptions, problems of relevancy, circumstantial evidence, and unfair prejudice; and (2) witnesses - competency, privileges, principles of examination and cross-examination, impeachment and support, expert and lay opinion testimony. The hearsay rule and its exceptions, rules relating to writings, real and scientific evidence are also examined. 

 

Note: This is a required course for the Civil Litigation (JD) and Criminal Litigation (JD) concentrations.

Evidence Advocacy Lab (LWLP530)

Instructor(s): Lisa Rodriguez

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

This course is designed to familiarize students with the practical application of evidentiary points addressed in the traditional evidence course. Students focus on one or two evidentiary issues each week using a problem format. Each area of evidence is taught through performance. Each student is assigned as a proponent, opponent, witness and judge and is responsible for performing that role in class each week, and for submitting a short memo identifying the evidentiary issue and presenting the best approach to offering or opposing the evidence in court. The roles rotate each week. There is a new problem assigned each week. By the end of the semester, each student should be comfortably able to determine what it is he or she wished to accomplish in a courtroom with respect to specific evidentiary questions, and be able to structure the most logical, persuasive and trouble-free means to that end. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass/Fail basis.

Human Trafficking (LWCR538)

Instructor(s): Andrew Haden, Alessandra Serano

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD), Criminal Litigation (JD), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (MSLS)

Increased globalization and the internet have brought instances of human trafficking and child exploitation to unprecedented levels. As a result, the criminal justice system stands at a historic crossroad. We will review and discuss the various Title 18 crimes associated with human trafficking and child exploitation, accompanied by the relevant case law. We will also review the various methods of proof used by prosecutors to combat these crimes. This course will involve a written exam at the end of the semester designed to evaluate the student\'s understanding of the law and the challenges that are encountered during the investigation and prosecution of a human trafficking case.

Juvenile Law (LWFC546)

Instructor(s): Jean Ramirez

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD), Criminal Litigation (JD), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (MSLS)

The course examines practice and procedure in the juvenile courts, specifically, juvenile justice and juvenile dependency cases. With respect to juvenile justice, the course will consider the law and procedure applicable to juveniles accused of criminal conduct and status offenses. With respect to juvenile dependency, the course will consider the law and procedure applicable when parental figures abuse, neglect, and/or  endanger their children, triggering state intervention. In addition to a casebook, the course will utilize class speakers, films, field trips–pandemic allowing, practice-oriented writing, and simulation,  to teach the lawyering skills required in the juvenile courts. Students will be graded on the basis of their writing and argument of two motions commonly brought in juvenile justice cases (40%), their videotaped negotiations and write-ups in two dependency cases (40%), and class participation (20%). Students will be required to engage in self and peer evaluation and this work will be factored into class participation.  This class will be taught remotely. 

 

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.

Scientific Evidence (LWCR570)

Instructor(s): Howard Shore

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

This course will address the technical requirements under California law for admissibility of both established and new forms of scientific evidence. Possible topics include fingerprints, serology, odontology, DNA and others. Students will apply the principles of admissibility by participating in realistic foundational hearings in the classroom, and will present papers on specific forms of scientific evidence. 

Trial Advocacy - Civil (LWLP550)

Instructor(s): Linda Lane, 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