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This course provides a general introduction to the constraints upon and the procedures used by administrative agencies, sometimes referred to as “the Fourth Branch of Government,” and thus provides critical context for other subjects areas in which administrative agencies play a key role, (e.g., environmental law, securities regulation, immigration, and taxation). The course examines the relationship of administrative agencies to the President, Congress, and the courts — exploring issues such as the delegation of quasi-legislative and quasi-adjudicatory powers to agencies, and the constitutionality of various means the President and Congress have sought to use to exert control over agency decision-making. The course introduces students to the process of agency adjudication, exploring both the constitutional due process requirements and requirements imposed by the federal Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”). The course also familiarizes students with agency rule-making processes, focusing on the rule-making processes established by the APA. Students will also study judicial review of agency action, in particular considering the availability of judicial review and the scope of judicial review when it is available. Depending upon the professor, the course may also cover agencies’ powers to obtain information (by subpoena, record-keeping requirements, or inspections) and citizens’ rights to obtain government information, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, and attend public meetings, pursuant to the Sunshine Act.
Advanced Intellectual Property
Prerequisite: Copyright & Trademark, or Business Torts & Intellectual Property, or Patent Law.
Provides an intensive study of issues and concerns pertaining to the prosecution, protection, exploitation, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Practices and procedures important to obtaining, using, protecting, and defending the use of ideas, trade secrets, copyrights, patents, and trademarks are examined. Students develop their transactional, negotiation, and litigation skills through preparation of documents and mock negotiation. Current developments in intellectual property law are reviewed and integrated into the course study.
Advanced Legal Research Seminar
The objective of this seminar is to give students an in-depth knowledge of general research tools and a good working knowledge of advanced tools available in specific subject areas. Both online and hard copy resources will be examined.
Advanced Seminar in Race, Class and Metropolitan Equity
Prerequisite one or more of the following: Race, Class and Metropolitan Equity, Housing Law and Policy, Municipal Corporations, Poverty Law, and/or Land Use Controls.
This is a continuation of the interdisciplinary study of the equitable distribution of benefits and burdens in the context of cities, suburbs, race and class. The seminar represents two credits of a total of between three and five that select students may take as semester fellows of the Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) here at the law school. Students will pair the hard-credit seminar with the soft credits to comprise a fellowship during which they will be responsible for directing and publishing their own clinical research project on an approved metropolitan equity topic. (Final papers will be published on CLiME's website.) Fellows will also have secondary responsibility for assisting in website maintenance, publication editing and conference planning. This fellowship represents a rare opportunity to work independently on cutting-edge projects for publication credit as well as to contribute to building an institution with important benefits to the state and national public interest.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
This course introduces law students to the range of dispute resolution processes increasingly in use both within and outside of the courts. These techniques – including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and so-called hybrid processes such as early neutral evaluation, summary jury trials, and mini-trials — have been incorporated into both state and federal court programs and may be available through private providers. Under a recently-adopted New Jersey Court Rule, lawyers are urged to “become familiar with available CDR (Complementary Dispute Resolution) programs and inform their clients of them.”
American Legal History
This course explores the social and cultural meaning of legal texts in American history. It covers topics ranging from 1776 through the 20th century, but focuses on 19th-century themes (e.g., the women’s rights movement, the Civil War and Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments, and 19th-century morals regulation, including laws against obscenity and polygamy). A central, though by no means exclusive, organizing frame for the course will be constructions of gender and sexuality in American legal history. Readings will consist of both primary and secondary historical sources.
This course will introduce students to the various legal doctrines that impact the use and treatment of nonhuman animals. We will at the outset focus on the general problem posed by the fact that animals are chattel property and this property paradigm will inform discussion throughout the course. We will discuss standing and particular doctrines within torts, property, criminal law, and constitutional law that concern nonhuman animals, such veterinary malpractice and the operation of anti-cruelty statutes. We will also explore the operation of particular statutes concerning wild horses, animals used for food, animals used in experiments, etc.
An introduction to the law of antitrust, including the common law of restraint of trade, the basic federal antitrust statutes, the enforcement policy guidelines of the federal antitrust enforcement agencies, and the application of these statutes and guidelines to various arrangements, practices, and institutions (e.g., formal cartels, price-fixing conspiracies, “conscious parallelism,” trade association activities, resale price maintenance, mergers, boycotts, and tying arrangements) whose effects are potentially anti-competitive.
Aviation Accident Law
The course will address the most important aspects of litigating aviation accident cases from a practitioner’s viewpoint. We will introduce students to this complex interdisciplinary practice area and explore the major procedural, strategic and substantive legal issues at play when litigating an aviation accident. Specific topics to be covered include liability against airlines, owners and operators, manufacturers, maintenance companies and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); compensatory and punitive damages; choice of law analysis; international contracts of carriage and treaties; transportation and security regulations; jurisdiction and venue considerations; the challenges of discovery and use of experts; and, the role of federal agencies such as the FAA and NTSB. Case studies will include several major local aviation disasters (TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island, NY, American Airlines Flight 587 at Belle Harbor, NY and the 9/11 terrorist attacks), as well as other high profile cases. This course will bring together many areas of law including civil procedure, torts, administrative law, contracts, conflicts of law, and international law.
This course covers the standard subject matter of a general course in corporation law, including the nature, formation, promotion, and governance of corporations. Specific topics include comparison of the corporation with the partnership, as well as a discussion of non-partnership unincorporated businesses (LLC, etc.); powers of the board, officers, and shareholders; the federal proxy rules; insider trading and securities fraud; problems of the close corporation; directors’ fiduciary duties to the corporation and duties to the investing public; social concerns and their relation to corporate governance.
Child Advocacy Clinic
Students in the CAC work on a variety of cases and projects concerning children and low-income families. In many of our cases, students act as Law Guardians (attorneys) for children who have been brought before the family court because of child abuse and/or child neglect concerns. Many of these children have been removed from the care of their parents, at least temporarily, and are residing in foster care or with relatives. In these cases, students are responsible for ensuring that the legal interests and needs of these children are being met. As part of this representation, students appear in court hearings in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County, Family Part. On other cases, students represent family members in fair hearings (like mini-trials) before administrative law judges (of the Office of Administrative Law and the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) where children have been wrongly denied needed public benefits or incorrectly terminated from benefit programs. In these hearings, students do everything from interviewing clients to writing briefs to representing clients at hearings.
Community education and outreach also are an important part of the work of the CAC. Accordingly, in addition to individual casework, students are responsible for at least one community education project each semester. Past projects have included conducting educational workshops for youth aging out of foster care and youth detained at juvenile detention centers, planning and presenting at conferences for kinship caregivers, preparing written educational materials, and staffing information tables at various community gatherings.
What is unique about the CAC is its holistic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary approach to addressing the needs of children and families. In all its work, the CAC collaborates closely with all of the other clinics at Rutgers School of Law and with professionals in other disciplines in addressing the multiple issues, legal and non-legal, that the children and their families may face. In addition to fundamental lawyering skills, substantive law, and professional responsibility, the CAC’s curriculum teaches law students the importance of evaluating cases in a comprehensive manner and how to work effectively with persons from other disciplines.
Child Welfare System Seminar
This seminar will focus on the doctrinal and theoretical issues involved in the child welfare system, as well as some of the issues that occur in practice. Students will study state and federal statutes and case law, as well as various law review articles to gain a comprehensive understanding of how our child welfare system functions to protect abused and neglected children, how the courts operate alongside and in conjunction with this system, and whether all of this state intervention is always in the best interest of the children. As such, there will be classes on the concept of parens patriae and what it means in theory and in practice, how child abuse and neglect are defined, when parental rights should be terminated, what are the rights and entitlements of older youth who are forced to turn 18 as a ward of the state, and whether it is always best for children to be adopted when they cannot return to their biological families, among other topics. In addition, to provide students with a sense of what it is like to be an attorney representing a child, parent, or the state in a child protection matter, we will discuss the roles of each of these lawyers, as well as some of the complicated ethical dilemmas that inevitably arise. Finally, toward the end of the semester, the class will host a panel of attorneys practicing in this area to share some of their insights and experiences.
Credits: 4 or 5
The 4-credit course is offered in the evening for part-time students; the 5-credit course is offered during the day for full-time students. The study of adjudication in modern legal systems as well as the role of participating lawyers — from the initial decision to commence a lawsuit through to the final disposition of the suit. The course focuses upon persistent problems common to various kinds of formal adjudication, approaching the subject from functional, comparative, and historical perspectives.
A basic course in sales, secured transactions, and negotiable instruments. Depending on the professor, course coverage can include Uniform Commercial Code articles 2 (sales), 2A (leases), 3 (negotiable instruments/payments), 4 (bank deposits), 4A (funds transfers), 5 (letters of credit), 8 (investment securities), and 9 (secured transactions).
Community Law Clinic
The Community Law Clinic focuses on assistance to poor clients and poor communities other than through traditional litigation. Tasks can include providing legal information and legal counseling for individuals and groups, and representation of individuals and groups in transactional work, such as not-for-profit incorporation, microenterprises, real estate improvement and development, and other matters important for improving conditions in poor communities. Students are expected to spend substantial time meeting and working with clients and prospective clients in the field.
Comparative Health Law Seminar
Health is a fundamental and universal value across human communities. At the same time, the organization and practice of health is deeply embedded in and specific to cultures and institutions. Different nations have attempted to address the problems of health delivery and finance using a spectrum of “public” and “private” approaches. This class looks at legal regimes that bear on health and how they coincide or differ in various health systems around the world. Grades will depend on class participation, including in-class presentations, and a final paper.
Confinement, Reentry and Policy Seminar
Every day in this country, nearly 1,800 people are released from prisons, jails, and detention facilities – a number likely to rise in the ensuing months with the implementation in California of the “population reduction order” required by the U.S. Supreme Court in this year’s Coleman/Plata decision, and preemptive measures taken elsewhere). In those states with the highest rates of confinement, the communities to which offenders will return are disproportionately poor and racially segregated. Legal, physical, psychological, financial, and social barriers await their return; and, not surprisingly, more than two-thirds of them will “reoffend” within three years of release. In many circles, there is general agreement that the system, with
its chronic recidivism and ballooning cost, is “broken” and in critical need of reform. The question that remains hotly debated, and that to which we repeatedly will return over the course of the semester, is “How?”.
As its title suggests, this interdisciplinary seminar examines the roots of the challenges of reentry in the legal history of mass incarceration, while at the same time tracing the contours of policy skirmishes occurring in local, state, and federal arenas regarding “best practices” for addressing this phenomenon.
For our purposes, this requires a study of how law – constitutional, statutory, and judicially-rendered at the local, state, and federal levels – directly impacts communities, public safety, justice, and human development, and also how social categorizations of persons by gender, race, class, and sexuality reflect and refract certain assumptions about deviance and criminality. While the course takes a national arc, our focus will remain local, with appropriate consideration given to New Jersey and New York (in our assigned readings and featured guest speakers).
In addition to weekly written responses to assigned readings, a final research paper (15+ pages, in the style of a law review/scholarly article) is required (in lieu of an exam).
The study of the United States Constitution, in terms of the structure of government it establishes and the rights it confers upon individuals. The course explores the origin and operation of judicial review, the separation of powers, and more generally the interrelationship between the branches of the federal government, and the respective powers of the federal and state governments, particularly with respect to the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce. The course also provides an initial exposure to the protection of civil liberties and civil rights, including doctrines relating to equal protection of the laws and procedural and substantive due process of law.
Constitutional Litigation Clinic
The Constitutional Litigation Clinic, since its founding in 1970, has worked on cutting-edge constitutional reform. Through the clinic, students not only learn the law, they make the law. Constitutional Litigation Clinic students have litigated a remarkable array of landmark civil rights and international human rights cases. The clinic’s extensive docket has included the nation’s first suits against police surveillance of political activists; a successful challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court of Congress’ authority to refuse to seat a duly elected member; a successful defense of the right of non-profit advocates to distribute leaflets to voters door-to-door and in shopping malls; lawsuits to implement affirmative action programs and to enforce affordable housing laws; protection of immigrants’ rights; protection of the rights of alternative political parties; a successful challenge to municipal ordinances barring use of public parks by non-residents; suits against the state police for unreasonable searches of motorists on New Jersey highways; and a successful challenge to the use of electronic voting machines that don’t produce a verifiable paper ballot. In the past few years, the Constitutional Litigation Clinic has expanded its docket by litigating international human rights issues both in the United States and in international tribunals. Clinic suits have developed new law to protect political asylum seekers, including the first decision from a federal court that U.S. officials can be sued for violations of international human rights. Students are actively involved in all aspects of the clinic’s work including deciding which cases to take, interviewing clients, developing the facts, crafting legal theories, drafting legal briefs, and preparing for oral arguments.
Constitutional Theory Seminar
This seminar will focus on the use of constitutional theory in appellate advocacy and judicial opinion writing. The goal is to develop the student’s ability to make effective use of political intuitions, values, and concepts in legal argument. Topics will include textualism, original intent, natural law, and political theory (including feminist theory). Among the readings will be selections from Bruce Ackerman, Derrick Bell, Robert Bork, John Hart Ely, Catherine MacKinnon, Martha Minow, and Suzanna Sherry. In addition to reading and discussing the theories themselves, we will critically examine their use in briefs and judicial opinions.
Construction is one of the largest, if not the largest segments of the U.S. and world economy. Lawyers play a significant role in the construction process, as both counselors and litigators. The American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry is one of the largest groups within the ABA, with over 6500 members. This course will expose the law student to the legal, business and technical issues construction lawyers must master to effectively serve their clients. The legal and business relationships that define the construction process will be examined from the point of view of all participants, covering every stage of a construction project from conception through final completion and the resolution of disputes. Legal issues involving contractual relationships, damages, liens, defects, insurance and suretyship and dispute resolution will be presented from the perspective of the construction practitioner.
Contract Drafting & Negotiation
Prerequisite: Either Entertainment Law & Business or Law of the Entertainment Industry.
Contract drafting and negotiation is one of the most significant and critical functions of an attorney in the entertainment industry. This course will help students develop their knowledge of the entertainment industry and their contract drafting and negotiation skills. This will be accomplished by contracting drafting assignments, mock negotiations, critique sessions, and classroom lectures. Students will learn both the dynamics and deal points of importance in the music, motion picture, literary publishing, personal management, and related industries.
Copyright & Trademark
This course surveys all areas of intellectual property with a focus on copyright and trademark law. The student will examine the laws that protect the ideas, trade secrets, rights of publicity, copyrights, trademarks, and patents of creators. This course is based in federal statutes and interpretative case law. However, state law is also reviewed and considered, with particular emphasis on relationships between state and federal laws within the constitutional framework of federalism. The move for global harmonization of intellectual property law is explored while reviewing subject matter of cases that cover a broad spectrum of products and services from the turn of the century to modern day technologies.
Corporate and Commercial Mediation
This course will focus on the theory and practice of mediation and will address the legal, ethical, and practical issues that arise during the course of a mediation. It will explore the each stage of a mediation and compare and contrast a mediation with an arbitration or trial and will focus on the skills one must acquire to facilitate a successful conclusion of the mediation. This will satisfy the skills requirement.
Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar
This seminar will explore the role and purpose of the American business corporation in society. In the process, it will consider a range of scholarship from the school of progressive corporate law. Broadly speaking, this scholarship seeks to integrate commitments to social justice into the law that governs U.S. corporations and to challenge concepts that privilege wealth maximization for shareholders over protections for the environment, for human rights, and for the interests of corporate “stakeholders” such as workers, consumers, and local communities. The seminar will also explore case studies of the global CSR movement and investigate new ways to harness the power of corporations to create a more socially just and equitable society.
Prerequisite: Business Associations.
In this course students study a diverse mix of corporate transactions. Following the business school “case study” model, students analyze these transactions to provide a context in which to learn legal and financial principles and to understand the key agreements that implement the transactions (e.g., confidentiality agreements, letters of intent, merger agreements and legal opinions). The course involves lectures and guest speakers who participated (as accountants, intermediaries, clients or lawyers) in the transactions being studied. This is also a skills course involving negotiation exercises and the drafting of contract provisions. Ethical issues that arise in transactional matters are a key focus of the course.
Addresses the rules that govern the processing of criminal cases, with emphasis on the adjudication stage: preliminary examination, indictment, plea bargaining, trial, sentence, appeal, and collateral attack.
The study of the substantive criminal law as a means of social control. The course focuses on evaluation of the considerations which do, or should, determine what behavior warrants criminal sanctions. The course also explores the factors which bear on the treatment or punishment to be imposed for such conduct.
Criminal Motion Practice
Criminal Motions Practice will focus on the theory, practice and strategies involving criminal practice in New Jersey. Students will study the New Jersey Rules of Criminal Procedure, prepare pleadings and litigate motions in a mock court setting. Beyond the craft of drafting and oral advocacy, students will develop the strategy of criminal motions – the “why” as well as the “how.”
This course provides an overview of the constitutional amendments regulating police conduct in the administration of criminal justice with special emphasis on the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment; searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment; and police interrogations under the Fifth Amendment. Supreme Court decisions in this area have reflected intense division among the justices. Class lectures and discussion will explore the different types of arguments through which constitutional doctrine is developed and the competing assumptions and values that inform the doctrinal divisions.
Course not open to students who have taken Bankruptcy or Secured Transactions.
Course provides an introduction to the law of security interests in personal property under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the law of individual bankruptcy and corporate reorganization under the Federal Bankruptcy Code. Article 9 topics include the creation and perfection of security interests, priority among the holders of competing interests, and the enforcement of contract rights under the UCC. Bankruptcy topics include the rights of creditors in bankruptcy, individual’s right to discharge, the relationship between bankruptcy law and state law, treatment of executory contracts, bankruptcy planning, restructuring of corporations in Chapter 11, and procedure for confirming plans of reorganization.
Education Law Seminar
This seminar deals with the basic legal structure of the public education system and explores a range of current legal and educational policy issues confronting the public schools. these include: various aspects of equal educational opportunity such as school finance reform, and racial and socioeconomic diversity; state-local district relations and responsibility for the quality of education provided; student rights; and pupil classification and other means ot meet special pupil needs. To a substantial degree, the seminar uses pending cases and legislative devleopments to illuminate the issues.
Elder Law Seminar
Elder Law has been part of the curriculum since 1983-84 when the law school was among only a handful to anticipate the emergence of this new area of law. The legal community now recognizes that elder law, while not yet fully delineated, can be a self-contained area of practice in which attorneys may have to deal with their clients holistically. In addition, firms and solo practitioners recognize they can no longer conduct “business as usual” with their older clients without regard to the complex of federal and state statutory and administrative law and public and private institutions to which older Americans are beholden for their daily existence. This seminar explores the resources, issues, and substantive law in representation of older Americans in their quest for economic and personal independence. Topics include income maintenance through devices in the public and private sector; the maintenance of autonomy in the face of increasing vulnerability through use of surrogate decision-making devices; problems of health care and housing; and concerns for dying.
The course explores an essential element in modern litigation – the discovery and use of electronic information (emails, databases, and other digital data sources). Recent changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as changing judicial attitudes toward best practices in this area will be examined. For litigators of the future, basic skill in this area will be critical to success.
Covers substantive and procedural law relating to discrimination in employment on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Emphasis is placed on developments under the Federal Civil Rights Act. Considers both public and private sector problems; judicial proceedings under the Civil Rights Act; administrative procedures under the acts, under Executive Order 11246 as amended, and under state civil rights acts; the relationship among the administrative process, the judicial process, and arbitration proceedings under collective bargaining agreements; and questions of remedy (including issues relating to numerical standards, sometimes called “quotas”).
Current topics in the employment relation that fall outside the system of collective bargaining, including: regulation of employment termination; privacy rights on the job (including hiring questionnaire, disclosure of personnel information, searches and seizures, drug testing, electronic monitoring); employment relations of independent contractors and home workers; employee representation on board of directors; employee-owned businesses. Problems relating to invention agreements and covenants not to compete also may be considered.
Employment Litigation Skills
Through the use of a hypothetical case, students will engage in the full adjudication process from commencement of a lawsuit to its resolution. At the beginning of the semester, students will be assigned a specific case to adjudicate (either employer or employee side). Students will identify the key issues, develop the case strategy, and be assessed on their ability to execute that strategy throughout the semester including negotiating a settlement if that would serve their client’s best interests. Depending on the decisions made by the lawyering teams, students may have opportunities to represent their clients in simulated negotiation, mediation, state and federal agency proceedings, and in state and federal court. The instructors, as practicing attorneys will offer instruction in practical skills directly related to the progress of the simulation (such as strategic and tactical factors, settlement negotiations, etc.). Some attention will be given to the unique considerations involved in representing public sector employees and employers. Throughout this two credit course, students will have opportunities to craft their strategies and hone their skills.
Environmental law in the United States, as a distinct field of legal practice and scholarship, is younger than some of today’s law students and probably most of their teachers and parents, yet it affects profoundly our quality of life, our society, and our economy. This introductory course surveys environmental law through study of a suite of major federal environmental statutes. The evolution and current state of these laws will reveal recurrent themes and problems in the law of environmental protection. The course will also address issues of environmental justice and emerging legal responses to climate change.
Estates in Land and Future Interests:
The seminar will offer a systematic presentation of the rules and classifications of the estate law. It will largely repeat the Estates and Future Interests segment of the first year Property course — with more time devoted to understanding and applying each rule. We will be particularly focusing on practicing problems and learning how to classify estates and future interests and determine their validity or invalidity.
This course prepares the student to use the rules of evidence in the preparation and trial of civil and criminal cases. Using the Federal Rules of Evidence as a framework, all the traditional categories (relevance, hearsay, character and impeachment, writings, experts, privileges, etc.) are examined with the objective of training students to understand the rationale behind evidence rules and the strategic use of evidence, so that they can reason about and utilize all rules of evidence with maximum effectiveness in litigation.
Evidentiary Issues at Trial
Students who are enrolled in Advanced Trial Practice Seminar may not enroll in this course.
This two and a half-day evidence advocacy program focuses on special evidence issues presented at trial with respect to the legal and presentation issues that commonly arise using business records, photographs, illustrative and demonstrative aids, and summary charts. The program includes a legal and strategy analysis of the evidence advocacy issues presented by specific problems and then participants will offer the exhibits into evidence through relevant witnesses in a simulated trial setting in small group performance workshops. The analysis and performance workshops will be supplemented by a lecture on the effective advocacy with exhibits at trial, using exhibits in the courtroom, the relevant evidentiary and presentation issues presented by the specific exhibits.
Note: There is a mandatory orientation for Evidentiary Issues at Trial on Thursday, January 17, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the Baker Trial Courtroom (room 125).
Examines the legal aspects of the family unit, including establishment of the marital relationship, intrafamily rights and responsibilities, marriage dissolution, problems of support and the custody of children, and, as time allows, the role of the state in protecting the welfare of children. The changing role of women is implicated and explored in each area. The four-credit version of this course will include a greater focus on the relationship between parents, children, and the state.
Family Law ADR
This course introduces the student to the basic divorce mediation process and skills development. Through discussion, simulations, and role-play exercises, this course will highlight the structure and goals of the divorce mediation process. The course will focus on the negotiation skills and techniques mediators use to help parties in resolving their disputes and reaching a mutually acceptable durable agreement. The course also examines the underlying negotiation techniques and strategies that mediators may use; the roles of attorneys and clients; dealing with difficult people and power imbalances; cultural considerations; the ethical issues mediators may face; and drafting agreements. The course also addresses the use of other professionals, including financial mental and health practitioners in the mediation process. The course also compares the mediation process with the collaborative process.
An inquiry into the powers of the various federal courts; into their relations among themselves and to other arms of governments (state and federal); and into the science, art, and politics of successfully invoking their powers. The major focus is on the role of the federal courts in our constitutional system. Consideration of the types of cases the federal courts should adjudicate, the circumstances under which they should hear cases, when they should defer to proceedings in state courts or decisions by state officials, and the extent to which Congress can alter federal court jurisdiction.
Federal Income Tax
Basic course in the structure and operation of the federal income tax and its application to individuals and business organizations.
Federal Income Tax — Corporations & Shareholders
Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation. Business Associations is preferred but not required.
A study of federal income tax laws relating to the conduct of business in corporate form. Deals with the transactions in which tax considerations are of particular importance in business planning, including the organization of a corporation, the formulation of its capital structure, dividend distributions to shareholders, stock redemptions, sales of stock or assets, liquidations, and corporate reorganizations. Primary emphasis on matters of interest in closely held corporations, although many of the principles are also of concern to public companies.
Federal Tax Law Clinic
Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax.
The Federal Tax Law Clinic represents low-income individuals in disputes with the IRS. Students represent clients at audits, negotiate with IRS appeals, and actually litigate cases in the U.S. Tax Court. Principal educational goals include developing familiarity with tax rules and procedures and ethical considerations in tax practice. Students develop skills in interviewing, counseling and negotiation through simulation exercises and then use these skills in their cases. Students argue a mock motion and participate in a mock Tax Court trial.
Financial Crisis Seminar
This seminar examine the various financial products, financial institutions, and regulators that played a role in the crisis. We will explore the causes of the financial crisis, will consider whether the response to the financial crisis is adequate to prevent a subsequent crisis, and will explore alternative ways of handling financial firms in distress (including under the Bankruptcy Code). There will be an emphasis on the monetary implications of shadow banking and Dodd-Frank's failure to provide a mechanism for addressing the monetary consequences of defaults by financial firms.
Financial Institutions Seminar
Based on an examination of the recent financial crisis and changes in response to that crisis as embodied in the historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, students will achieve an understanding of the regulation and supervision of financial institutions in the United States. Emphasis will be placed upon practical ways to apply this understanding in representing financial institution clients, working in the regulatory field, and understanding the role of regulatory agencies.
Global Climate Change: Science, Law, and Economics
People are now faced in varying degrees by the worst pollution problem of all time, the worst environmental problem of all time, and likely the worst human problem of all time. Yet, the major greenhouse gas polluting states have not established effective policies and practices to mitigate climate change risks and most climate programs are now headed in the wrong direction. Professor Latin has recently completed a book on “Climate Change Policy Mistakes” and the syllabus of the most recent global climate change course is at www.ecovitality.org/climate/. The topics and materials are certain to change each year, which means the previous syllabus is only a general guideline to the types of issues to be addressed this coming semester.
The course will explore recent legislative and EPA efforts to impose climate regulation; cap-and-trade systems, carbon taxes, and other economic-incentive approaches; international climate treaties and continuing negotiations on climate and development issues; and alternative remedies or partial solutions for climate change hazards.
Health Care Law II
The law of Health Care is one of the most expansive and dynamic areas of law practice today, principally because of the passage in March 2010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Because the new law encourages cost reduction through the coordinated provision of health services by new entities that include hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices and insurance companies, increased demand for lawyers with expertise in health law regulation is inevitable. This is an overview introductory course that will attempt to cover the major contemporary legal and policy issues in Health Law. Topics to be covered include the following: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the doctor-patient relationship; medical malpractice; refusal of life support and physician assistance in end-of-life treatment; reproductive rights; governmental regulation (federal and state), including ERISA, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Law, False Claims Act, Civil Monetary Penalties, certificates of need and licensure; health care insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and reimbursement issues; policy issues relevant to health insurance reform.
Immigration & Naturalization Law
Survey of laws dealing with the defense of alien rights. Analysis of current law governing the admission, exclusion, and deportation of aliens. Discussion of eligibility requirements in various immigrant, and non-immigrant visa categories. Reviews of laws pertaining to acquisition of U.S. citizenship.
International Business Transactions
A study of the private law aspects of international transactions. General topics include U.S. law as it affects the entry of persons, goods, and investment to national markets, multinational corporations, export controls, international institutions that affect private transactions, such as GATT and the EEC, and the comparative study of similar topics in both developed and developing countries.
International Human Rights Law
This course will provide an overview of the international legal and institutional system for the protection of human rights. We will look at the material both from an academic perspective and from the point of view of the human rights practitioner, tackling theoretical issues in the field as well as assessing the practical strengths and weaknesses of human rights law.
International Law & a Just World Order
The content of the course will cover the role of legal processes, institutions, and organizations in the evolving world community. It covers the manner in which traditional international law arose and calls for an analysis of the basic concepts of international law: sources, subjects, sovereignty, treaties and agreements, jurisdiction, state responsibility, the use of force, and peaceful settlement of disputes. Insofar as possible, it deals with the interrelated problems of war, poverty and mal-development, social injustice, and ecological instability throughout the globe.
Internet Legal Policy – Emerging Law and Policy
This course will examine the claim that the Internet is different from matter addressed by traditional law and the statutory policy implications of this claim. Focusing on Internet communication, entertainment, and commerce, the class will address the following legal questions: Is Internet something so substantially new that it requires changing traditional laws or legal procedures? Can existing telecommunications laws, publishing laws, and broadcasting laws properly govern Internet transactions? What legal policy and procedures should be alternated to facilitate the governance of Internet transactions and yield acceptable results when Internet difficulties arise? Which special Internet legal difficulties might be best addressed through reforms in statutes? This course will cover novel legal and legislative policy issues associated with the news media and entertainment businesses, wrought by the Internet. Key doctrinal areas of inquiry include intellectual property, the First Amendment, defamation, and privacy.
Neither Internet Law or E-Commerce are prerequisites for this course. However, taking one or the other before taking this course is recommended. Needless to say, this course does not duplicate either Internet Law or e-Commerce.
Introduction to Chinese Law
This course is an introduction to the legal system of the People’s Republic of China. After a brief description of the historical and cultural roots of China’s legal system, we will turn to a variety of Chinese laws and how they are drafted, legislated and implemented in China’s political and economic context. Over the semester, topics may include, but not limited to, the Chinese constitutional law, property law, environmental law, criminal law and procedure, anti-monopoly law, labor law, administrative law, and China’s engagement with international law. There is no prerequisite for this course, and no background knowledge about China is required or expected.
Students work with a state or federal judge as a legal intern where they are assigned a progression of challenging, varied and increasingly complex projects associated with ongoing work in chambers. Students also engage in judicial-related work such as settlement conferences, attendance at trials, and the introduction of new management techniques in the courts. The externship also has a weekly seminar component that requires that students research and make a presentation on a court-related issue.
Labor & Employment Arbitration Seminar
This seminar will consider practice and procedure in public and private sector labor arbitration, and mandatory arbitration agreements for non-union employees. The purpose of the seminar is to study the practical and legal aspects of the arbitration process, and to consider the differences between labor arbitration in a union setting, and mandatory arbitration for non-union employees. Among the topics discussed will be: sources of arbitration law, discovery techniques, submission of an issue to arbitration, conduct of the hearing, rules of evidence, burdens of proof, remedies, and the enforcement and vacation of an arbitrator’s award. Each student will be required to attend one actual arbitration and to write a post-hearing brief. Guest lecturers will include a labor arbitrator and a Superior Court Judge.
A study of creation and operation of the process of collective bargaining between unions and employers under the National Labor Relations Act, the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.
Land Redevelopment Law
This course is oriented toward an understanding and analysis of the context, policy, statutory and case law structure for redevelopment of New Jersey’s urban centers, cities and towns. This is in the context of New Jersey being the most densely populated state in the country and the Smart Growth trends rendering greenfields development more difficult while creating incentives and mechanisms to facilitate redevelopment utilizing existing infrastructure, systems, and resources.
Law & the Humanities II
Students may enroll in both Law and the Humanities I and II in either sequence.
Law is not the most effective means of social control. Custom, morality, ethics, religion, and habit are more pervasive and have much to do with the way people act in their day-to-day lives. Though cultures differ radically across the planet, the experience of being a human is remarkably constant in many respects; we are always in the process of trying to become, while culture is affecting us as we affect it. Drama, music, dance, architecture, painting, and literature are some practices which are conventionally labeled as humanities. The course will be concerned primarily with fiction, albeit other domains – painting, film, drama – will also be explored. Fiction is a useful way to explore the experience of being a human in various societies over time and around the world. Illustrative books from past courses (some will be repeated) include: The Book of Job; Aeschylus, The Orestian Trilogy; Plato, Phaedrus; Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Dreiser, Sister Carrie; Eliot, Middlemarch; Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov; Morrison, Beloved; Achebe, Things Fall Apart; Mahfouz, Palace Walk; Amado, Captains of the Sands; Allende, The House of Spirits; Gordimer, None to Accompany Me; Roy, The God of Small Things; and McEwan, Atonement.
This course is intended for persons who have never studied accounting. The course begins with an explanation of double-entry bookkeeping and some practice in making bookkeeping entries, and progresses through the preparation and understanding of financial statements of corporations, the stockholders’ equity accounts, and the principles used in determining net corporate income.
Legal Research and Writing I & II
Credits: 1 and 2, respectively
This course covers how to research legal sources, analyze legal issues, and write objective and persuasive documents. Students research, draft, and revise several objective memoranda, a trial brief, and an appellate brief that cover a wide variety of legal topics. Students present an appellate oral argument in the spring semester.
Mediation, in which a neutral third party assists people in resolving their disputes, has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the last few years. Many court systems use mediation as a way to settle cases without a trial. Lawyers may urge their clients to try mediation to get better agreements less expensively, without the hostility and aggravation that often accompany litigation. The practice of mediation seems to be on its way to becoming a profession. Even if they do not act as mediators themselves, lawyers may find themselves representing parties in mediation sessions or drafting mediation clauses for contracts. But mediation raises substantial questions about fairness, accuracy, confidentiality, equity, and differences in power: Should it replace the traditional ways of resolving disputes? This course will cover the key skills that mediators should have, using simulated mediations in which students will participate. It will also cover the conceptual issues that should be understood to make sound judgments about the use of mediation. After initial skills training in the course, which may include a special weekend workshop at the Law School early in the semester, students may have the opportunity to act as mediators in real disputes, such as those pending in small claims courts, municipal courts, and other venues. Students should have enough flexibility in their schedules to make themselves available for this kind of work on a weekly basis.
Military Law: The American Armed Forces (1636-2013)
This course is intended to ground the student in the history and tradition of a separate military law for members of the armed forces. The course also includes a review of veterans benefits. Each session will contain specific legal concepts relevant to the subject matter. The student may expect to have a broad appreciation for the importance of a separate law and procedure for the armed forces and veterans. The final grade may include class participation, as well as final examination results. The final examination will be an open-book, take home essay.
Lawyers may negotiate more than they engage in any other single task. Arranging business deals, setting the terms of employment (both union and non-union), transferring real estate, guiding divorces, setting all kinds of civil litigation, and plea bargaining are all familiar features of lawyers’ work. Good negotiating involves both skill and understanding of what one is doing. This course pays attention to both. Students participate in and critique several simulated negotiation exercises, drawn from varied aspects of legal practice. The course also surveys key modern ideas about negotiation. The last few decades have seen a substantial growth in the breadth and richness of negotiation theory, and the course will pay attention to how theory can usefully inform practice. This course is designed to follow up in a more intensive way some of the concepts introduced in Alternative Dispute Resolution, but Alternative Dispute Resolution is not a prerequisite.
New Jersey Appellate Rules Seminar
This course will carry out a “project” consisting of a review of the appellate practice rules of New Jersey and will offer recommendations for revision (with commentary). In the course of this project, students will examine current NJ appellate practice from a critical perspective in order to make suggestions for revisions. If the project cannot be completed in one semester, it will be continued and concluded in the spring semester of 2014. The results will be embodied in a report which will be submitted for consideration to the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The Court has already indicated that it would welcome such report. All students who participate in the project will be appropriately acknowledged.
New Jersey Practice
This course examines New Jersey Civil Procedure, covering organization and jurisdiction of the courts, venue, civil actions, process, joinder of parties and claims, discovery, pretrial motions including discovery motions and motions for summary judgment, pretrial conferences, motions during trial, appeals, and satisfaction of judgments.
New York Practice
This course examines New York Civil Practice Law: organization and jurisdiction of the courts; civil actions, process; joinder of parties, claims and remedies, venue; discovery; pretrial motions, including summary judgment; pre-trial conference; consolidation; trial motions; verdicts, finding and judgments; post-trial motions; executions; Article 78 proceedings; contempt; attachment and capias; injunctions and special proceedings; appeals — final, interlocutory and discretionary; scope of review; mandate and judgment.
Origins of Modern Fourth Amendment Law
This course will investigate the English common law and early colonial law roots of the Fourth Amendment search and seizure provision and then track the early development of Fourth Amendment law. A paper will be required.
Patent Claim Drafting
Prerequisite: Patent Law. Course limited to 12 students.
This course focuses on the mechanics of drafting patent claims to define the protected scope of an invention. The course covers drafting and analysis of independent and dependent claims, apparatus claims, Markush groups, means-plus-function limitations, method and system claims, and other claim types. Students are given a number of claim drafting homework exercises focusing on simple inventions that persons from any technical discipline should be able to understand, and receive individualized feedback on their claims.
A study of the patent law statutes and case law. The course covers the requisites of patentability, including eligible subject matter, utility, novelty, nonobviousness and disclosure. It then turns to patent enforcement issues, including claim interpretation, the doctrine of equivalents and remedies. The course also addresses the policy underpinnings of the patent system and the international context in which patents operate. The course is designed for a broad range of students, including those who may encounter patent issues as part of a general litigation, corporate or regulatory practice. No scientific, technical or patent background is required.
Prerequisite: Patent Law.
This course will review the major events and issues in a typical patent-infringement litigation, beginning with the filing of a complaint and answer, and ending with an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The topics to be covered include pleading requirements (both as to infringement and defenses), discovery (fact and expert), patent-claim construction (a so-called Markman hearing), and motions for summary judgment (validity, infringement and enforceability). The practical application of key patent law and procedural law concepts will be explored through discussion of key Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decisions.
Personal Injury Litigation Skills
This course will provide an overview of the organization of New Jersey courts, including the Supreme Court. It will examine all stages of personal injury litigation, with emphasis placed on New Jersey practice and procedural law as to pleadings; motion practice; discovery and case management; alternative dispute resolution; trials and adjournments; and dismissals, default and enforcement of judgments.
Political & Corporate Corruption Law
Law is the primary public tool to meet the challenges posed by political and corporate corruption. Bribery, bid-rigging, undisclosed conflicts of interest, omission of material information from corporate disclosures, legal restraints on political activity by government workers, and the use of campaign contributions to gain political influence are all within the range of laws designed to limit and restrain public and private corruption. This course will examine leading corruption cases including the Watergate and Iran contra scandals; the Enron, Arthur Anderson, Worldcom fraud cases; the Abscam congressional payoff prosecutions, corporate fiduciary duty as seen in the Miliken and Martha Stewart cases; the Clinton-era Whitewater and impeachment investigations; the ethics inquiries of Senator Robert Torricelli and Representative Tom DeLay. An important feature of the course will be an extended legal analysis of corruption issues arising out of New Jersey’s political and governmental system. The full range of legal and ethical tools concerning governmental and business corruption will be explored, including the federal Hobbs Act, civil and criminal RICO applied to corporate and political corruption cases; New Jersey’ anti-bribery act; legislative disclosure rules, Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance, the status of “pay to play” donations under anti-bribery laws; obstruction of justice and destruction of corporate records. Constitutional questions as to state/federal enforcement power in political and corporate cases will also be examined.
After introduction to the some of the basic currents of American anti-poverty policy, the course will examine federal and state constitutional protections for the poor with regard to housing, access to the courts, access to the political process, and education, among other areas. It will then examine federal social welfare law and programs (both the procedural protections relevant to the award and termination of benefits and some salient substantive provisions). It will then proceed to an examination of the intersection of poverty and race and the application of civil rights law to address issues of particular concern to low-income communities and individuals of color. Finally, in whatever time remains, it may address other issues such as the legal implications of particular interdisciplinary or multifaceted problems such as homelessness or the application of international human rights law regimes on issues of world hunger and global poverty.
Professional and Academic Development
This course will introduce and reinforce bar examination study and test taking strategies for the New York and New Jersey bar exams. Students will receive substantial feedback on their written work, and learn the distinct legal writing styles specifically required by the New York and the New Jersey bar exams. This course is designed to complement the commercial courses that are traditionally taken by students each summer. Whereas the summer courses are designed to teach each student the substantive law that may be tested on the bar exam, this course will teach each student how to attack the bar exam itself. This will include teaching students the best study strategies to use during the summer commercial courses, the best test taking strategies for each segment of the respective bar exams, the best way to manage time during the summer and on the bar exam itself, which areas of the substantive law students should focus on and, more importantly, which areas students do not need to focus on. Students will become familiar with what each bar exam requires and, critically, what each bar exam does not require.
Course not open to students who have taken Legal Profession.
The number of suits against lawyers is growing, as is the law of malpractice and the involvement of other lawyers representing plaintiffs or defendants. This course considers such issues as the applicable causes of action, suits by non-clients, the role of experts and professional rules, defenses, and the prevention of malpractice.
Race, Gender & Tort Law Seminar
This seminar explores how harms involving race and gender are treated under tort law. We will attempt to define the nature of race and gender-based injuries, and evaluate the adequacy of existing tort law to address them. Through an examination of specific topics, we will consider issues such as the effect of race and gender on the development of causes of action and standards of conduct, the relationship between tort law and civil rights remedies, and questions involving damages and non-discrimination in jury selection. Problems of essentialism and the intersection of race and gender will be addressed.
Race, Class & Metropolitan Equity
Economic Discrimination and Community-wide Planning in the Urban Context: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Problem Solving. Why has the economic plight of inner-city neighborhoods remained so intractable? How can legal approaches work to combat redlining while stimulating growth? This course examines the myths, realities and conventional interventions applicable to the inner-city landscape. Drawing upon multiple areas of the law, including civil rights models, land use, local government, and consumer law, students will develop and defend workable approaches to planning and legal advocacy.
Rights and Sentiments in a Globalizing Legal Culture
The course focuses on jurisprudence, that is the study and theory of law, from a comparative perspective. It starts by analyzing law from a theoretical standpoint and continues by examining it through history and cross-cultural perspectives. On this basis, which offers a general understanding of law and jurisprudence, the course addresses issues of law/jurisprudence in a comparative fashion, especially in the contemporary context. Taking as an entry point the nature and dynamics of rights and duties and their relations with sentiments in a world going through a process of increasing globalization, it analyzes some of the key aspects of law taken from Europe, the United States, Latin America, and Asia. The course ends with exploring what the central questions studied throughout the semester mean for the future of law, both nationally and internationally.
Science & International Law Seminar
This seminar will explore international and comparative law aspects of scientific advances, with particular focus on biotechnology. It will consider issues in the areas of international trade, patent law, international public health, and international environmental law. A science background is not required.
Sexual Orientation and the Law
This course explores the different ways in which the law regulates and accounts for sexuality and gender identity. Topics covered include the right to privacy and its impact on the authority of the state to regulate sexual conduct; the right to equal protection and the permissibility of government-sponsored distinctions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; the right to free speech and association of sexual minorities (and of those who do not want to associate with them); issues of employment discrimination in the private, civilian, and military contexts; and, finally, the intersecting issues of same-sex marriage and parenting by lesbians, gay men, and transgendered individuals.
Solo or Small Firm Practice Seminar
This class focuses on the issues surrounding the development of a solo or small firm practice, spanning legal, business, and ethical concerns, in the context of how to structure a practice, how to build a client base, how to develop a sustainable practice area, and how to manage the practice once up and running. The course is designed particularly for those students who are considering this option, so that the practice they develop can survive and thrive.
Special Education Clinic
Students who take this clinic for the first time also must take, or have taken previously, the Special Education Law Seminar for an additional 2 credits.
The Special Education Clinic provides legal representation to indigent parents of children with disabilities, typically in the urban areas of Essex County, seeking special education programs and services. Representation entails everything from interviewing clients, reviewing school and expert records, researching and drafting legal documents, appearing at meetings with school personnel, mediation, emergency, and due process administrative hearings, and handling federal court proceedings either on the merits or for attorneys’ fees. The clinic is open to both second and third-year students, because all students are eligible to appear in mediation and due process hearings under the applicable rules. The clinic also engages in community education projects and activities. The Special Education Law Seminar includes substantive law, simulation exercises, and guest lecturers from both the educational and legal fields. All seminar students are required to write a paper on a designated topic related to the education of children with disabilities or draft a brief based upon a specific fact pattern.
Special Education Law Seminar
This course is open to all students, whether or not they are taking the Urban Legal Clinic II (Special Education). All students who are taking the Urban Legal Clinic II (Special Education) for the first time must take this course simultaneously, if they have not taken the class previously.
The course will start with an historical examination of the public education system’s treatment of children with disabilities, and the subsequent federal legislative response to the inadequate educational opportunities afforded them (namely the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (“IDEA”) and its predecessor Acts, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”)). We then will cover each step of the special education process, including “child find,” evaluation, eligibility and classification, individualized educational program (“IEP”) development, student discipline, procedural safeguards, court proceedings, available remedies, and the meaning of the statutory requirement that schools provide “a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.” At each stage, we will examine the applicable statutory law and regulations, the seminal cases governing the particular area and the relevant policy issues.
State and Local Government
This seminar provides an introduction to the structure and role of State and local government in New Jersey, and the interaction between branches and levels of government. Review of academic materials, statutes and case law will provide a practitioner’s perspective on the legal and public policy considerations influencing the decisions of governmental bodies in New Jersey. This seminar will require a presentation by each student to the class and the submission of a paper by the end of the semester.
State and Local Taxation
This course focuses on one of the most rapidly growing areas in taxation, examining the major types of taxation imposed and collected by state and local governments. The course will begin with a discussion of the constitutional constraints upon a state’s ability to tax out-of-state corporations based on the corporations’ “minimum contacts” with their state. The course will then focus on particular types of taxation, beginning with Corporate Income, Franchise, and Gross Receipts taxes. In studying such taxes, students will examine how states determine the appropriate proportion of such income taxable by a particular state, and the constraints upon such state determinations. The course will explore Sales/Use taxes, which have become a much greater percentage of corporations’ overall tax liability. Two major issues raised by such taxes are, first, identifying which receipts are taxable, and, second, determining the proper sourcing of receipts. Property taxes, including the different methods of valuing property and questions regarding which items are included in the tax base, will also be covered. Course will conclude with a brief overview of some issues related to payroll taxes. A basic familiarity with state and local taxation is important for anyone currently working in or interested in pursuing a career in taxation, and may well be helpful to students pursuing a corporate transactional practice.
Taxation of Donative Transfers and Philanthropy
This course will examine the life cycle of a gift, with an emphasis on charitable transfers and philanthropy. The course will appeal to students interested in estate planning and working with nonprofit organizations. Part 1, on private donative transfers, will survey the basic structure and operation of federal gift and estate tax, and the perennial controversy over whether the succession of wealth should be taxed at all, and if so, to what extent. Part 2, on charitable contributions, will examine the definition of a charitable gift and the extent of permissible donor control over charitable assets following a completed gift. Part 3, on the legal treatment of nonprofit organizations, will examine the recipients of philanthropy, charitable nonprofit organizations, which collectively comprise 10% of the American economy. This Part will include coverage of entity formation, tax exemption status and scope, and the operation and governance of charitable nonprofits.
Taxation of Financial Products
Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax.
The taxation of financial products has become an important and sometimes controversial topic during the last decade. Seemingly similar products are often taxed in different ways - why? The proper tax treatment of financial products is often determined by reference to fundamental tax principles, such as the doctrine of substance over form, the nature of true "ownership" for tax purposes, and the "open transaction" principle.
This course is an effort to provide a bridge between such fundamental tax principles and the taxation of financial products by applying these fundamental tax principles to sophisticated products. By acquiring a firm grasp of these principles, students will be able to cut through the complex details of financial products and become comfortable with a more intuitive understanding of the proper tax treatment.
Topics will include monetization transactions, the constructive ownership rules, original issue discount, and the taxation of derivatives (options, swaps, forward contracts). This course only requires the basic tax course as it builds on the theoretical concepts a student accumulated there and applies them to sophisticated financial products. This course will benefit students who want a deeper and more applied understanding of the basic fundamental concepts learned in the basic tax course and will also help students gain a general appreciation for the sophistication of products that currently exist in the marketplace.
Taxation of Real Estate Transactions
Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax.
This course will study tax aspects of the acquisition, operation, and disposition of real estate. Choice of entity is particularly important in this field of taxation. Ownership through sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and real estate investment trusts is covered in depth, with particular emphasis on partnerships and limited liability companies. The tax considerations relevant to the role of debt are discussed, as well as the ownership of real property by tax-exempt entities and foreign taxpayers. The course includes the study of operational issues such as depreciation methods and compensation to operators and disposition strategies such as sales vs. tax-free exchanges. Changes to the federal tax code are used as a backdrop to understand how the tax treatment of real estate has evidenced federal tax policy in a changing economic environment.
Practice in preparing for and conducting trials, including case analysis, development of a theory of the case and subsequent trial strategy, opening statements and summations, the making of a trial record, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, preparation and introduction of exhibits, and the strategic use of evidence. Intensive classroom simulations will culminate in full-day simulated jury trials.
Trusts and Estates
A survey of the law of wills, trusts and other testamentary documents, with an emphasis on state statutes and the Uniform Probate Code. The course also includes some estate and trust administration, guardianships, and some estate and gift tax implications. The tax coverage is limited and will not prepare the students for estate planning.
Urban Legal Clinic
Prerequisite: Evidence and status as third-year student.
The Urban Legal Clinic represents individuals and groups in a variety of cases arising from, or exacerbated by, urban poverty. These include landlord-tenant, family (divorce, child support, domestic violence, adoption), consumer (consumer fraud, debt collection defense, legal malpractice), social security disability, criminal (non-indictable offenses), and juvenile delinquency matters. Students regularly appear at hearings or in court on behalf of clinic clients. Principal educational goals include developing skills in interviewing, counseling, negotiating, fact investigation, and all phases of trial practice.