Course Descriptions

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  • LAW 679
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course examines the theory, jurisprudence, and practice of the modern death penalty system in the United States. It focuses on constitutional and statutory issues surrounding death sentences, including: limitations on imposing the death penalty based on factors such as the type of crime, and the role and age of the defendant; pretrial and trial issues such as prosecutorial discretion in charging, jury selection, psychiatric experts, aggravating and mitigating circumstances; right to counsel at trial and on post-conviction review; processes available for judicial and executive review of death sentences; and, limits on carrying out the death penalty such as a defendant’s competency to be executed.

  • LAW 803
    (3 or 4 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC. The Civil Litigation Clinic is designed to provide students with real-client experience across a wide variety of cases. It provides students with the opportunity to apply the skills they acquired in their law school classes to actual cases or controversies. Supervised by clinical professors, the students may represent clients in administrative hearings, trial courts, appellate procedures and more. Students may appear before state and federal tribunals. They may engage in issues relating to consumer protection, landlord-tenant, employment law, and asylum. They may represent directly parties to the dispute, or file Amicus briefs to assist courts on principled matters.

    In addition to the case work, the Clinic includes a weekly seminar component, providing instruction in trial and representation skills, and requiring the students to present their cases to their peers and to give and receive constructive criticism - much like in real life.

    Permission of the instructor(s) is required.

  • LAW 513
    (4 Credit Hours)

    In Civil Procedure we study the process by which legal disputes of a civil nature are decided in an adversarial system of justice. This includes how a civil lawsuit begins, which courts may hear the dispute, where the lawsuit may be filed, who may be a party, how parties gather facts to support their claims and defenses, what law governs a case that is filed in federal court, how such a case is resolved, procedural remedies, and the binding effect of a final judgment. Specifically, topics covered may include pleadings, joinder of claims and parties, subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, venue, choice of law, discovery, resolution without trial (including summary judgment, default judgment, and dismissal), trials, and issue and claim preclusion. The course involves close examination of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as statutes and constitutional provisions that govern civil litigation. Required for graduation. 

  • LAW 635
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. Whether sued in federal or state court, whether considered rightly or wrongly initiated, class-action lawsuits are more popular today than ever. Indeed, Congress’ highest-profile litigation reform effort of late – its recently-enacted Class Action Fairness Act – goes directly to this sensation’s heart. Given class actions’ prevalence, well-rounded lawyers need to understand class actions’ substantive, procedural, political, societal, economic, and constitutional nuances and effects. This course will examine multiple substantive class-action areas, such as consumer fraud and deceptive-business practices; price-fixing and market-allocation schemes; and securities and commodities fraud. While considering these various substantive areas, we’ll analyze Federal Rule 23 and its state-court counterparts. We’ll study class-certification procedure in federal and state courts; the requirements necessary for class certification; and the defenses and tactics typically (and not so typically) asserted to defeat it. We’ll also consider competing class certifications’ Due Process, Commerce, and Full Faith and Credit Clause implications; class-action coordination among various competing or complimentary federal and state class-action cases; and class-action settlement issues, such as proper notice, damages allocation, opt-out procedures, and objections. We’ll study why class actions are considered important (or not) to our society and economy; how they contribute to redressing (or exacerbating) consumer wrongs; and how they raise our collective social consciousness or, alternatively, are abused and create (at least arguably) social chaos. Students will leave this course with an understanding and appreciation for the full range of class action issues that new lawyers can expect to encounter in their daily practices, whether their practices concentrate on class action law or other substantive areas.

  • LAW 601
    (4 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. A survey of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), except for Articles 8 and 9, with emphasis on Articles 2, 3, and 4 dealing with sales, negotiable instruments and bank collections. In addition, some consumer laws and federal regulations on sales and bank collections are addressed. Lesser emphasis is given to UCC Articles 2A, 4A, 5 and 7 on leases, wire transfers, letters of credit and documents of title; UCC Article 6 on bulk transfers is also covered briefly.

  • LAW 824
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC, approval by clinical faculty. The Community Advocacy Law Clinic is a one-semester, 3 credit experiential course where students use their legal training to assist our community’s most vulnerable populations: low-income families, children, the elderly, the homeless, and people suffering from physical and mental illness. Students, under the supervision of clinical faculty, will work with judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, social workers and others to address the legal needs of real clients in a wide variety of matters including adoption, child support, housing, public benefits and special education. Law students will attend a weekly seminar and a weekly supervisor meeting. Law students will be given the opportunity to assist clients from beginning to end - intake, through research and strategy, informal advocacy or going to court. The two goals of the Community Advocacy Law Clinic are to improve the legal skills of law students and to address the unmet legal issues of the poor. Satisfies skills and experiential skills course requirements.

  • LAW 567
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course examines and compares constitutional law and structure of governance of different countries of the world. Questions explored include: Why have constitutions? How do the structures of constitutional courts and the practice of judicial review differ in different countries? How do different constitutions deal with separation of powers, legislative process, regime changes, federalism, individual rights and social welfare? The course aims at helping students think systematically about different structures for organizing a government, and different approaches to establishing just, effective and stable forms of governments. Satisfies perspective requirement.

  • LAW 581
    (2 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course examines the legal system of the Latin Catholic Church. In addition to an historical overview of the science of canon law, lectures address specific canons of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and selected canonical issues. Subjects to be considered include: structures of governance, general norms of canon law, ecclesiastical rights, ecclesiastical sanctions (criminal law), trial procedures, marriage law, and temporal goods (i.e., property law, contracts, wills, and monetary issues). Satisfies perspective requirement.

  • LAW 632
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. The law relating to actions having elements in more than one jurisdiction; choice of law; enforcement of foreign judgments; jurisdiction of courts in such cases; constitutional questions involved application to contracts, torts, marriage and divorce, family relations, property, and procedure. Offered infrequently.

  • LAW 836
    (2 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisite: RCC. A lawyer's ability to understand the trial process, including knowing what kinds of results have a higher probability of being achieved through trial as opposed to settlement, is a critical element of an of an advocate's effectiveness. So is confidence in one's ability to conduct a trial or arbitration effectively. Together, the ability to evaluate one's case for varying outcome probabilities and honest confidence in one's ability to conduct a trial effectively have much to do with the quality of settlements pursued and obtained. Lawyers, for example, premise a great deal on the track record and known ability of their opponents. If a lawyer has a reputation for being an effective trial lawyer the quality and probability of a positive settlement for that lawyer's client is increased. The purpose of the course is to further enhance the skills of the participants by developing a strong courtroom presence and knowledge base, as they prepare for various components of a trial. Those who participate will gain heightened skills by implementing rules of evidence, criminal and civil procedure, teamwork, research, writing, analytical skills and advocacy. Satisfies Experiential Skills Requirement.

  • LAW 516
    (5 Credit Hours; 1 or 2 Semesters)

    General principles of the law of the United States Constitution; judicial function in constitutional matters; federal authority, separation of powers and the powers of the states; particular attention to the commerce clause, due process, and equal protection. A grade is entered on the student’s transcript for each term of the course. Required for graduation.

  • LAW 707
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. Discussion of selected current constitutional issues (with consideration given to areas of particular student interest). Information regarding the focus of a particular section of the course will be provided with course schedules. May include preparation of appropriate student research papers, which will satisfy the upper level writing requirement. Interested students should consult the New and Revised Courses information for the term in which the course is offered for information on the focus of the course in that term.

  • LAW 523
    (3 Credit Hours)

    This course is an experiential course that seeks to build students abilities and skills to draft and negotiate contracts. During the course, students will draft agreements and negotiate the terms of the agreements with their student colleagues. Students will learn how to evaluate and use standard form agreements and how to tailor those agreements to the client s goals and appetite for risk. Finally, students will learn that successful negotiations flow from careful drafting choices as well as how to deal with common challenges presented during negotiation including ethical and communication issues. The course is designed to provide students with a framework that supports continued learning about contract drafting and negotiation after the course is completed. Prerequisites: Law 511 (Contracts). Credit earned in this course counts toward the Experiential Skills requirement.

  • LAW 511
    (4 Credit Hours)

    The Contracts course covers the basic components of contract law: contract formation (offer, acceptance, and consideration/promissory estoppel), contract interpretation and performance, defenses to enforcement, and remedies. Required for graduation.

  • LAW 845
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC; Copyright, Patent & Trademark Law, LAW 658, recommended but not required. This course is designed for the general practitioner as well as for those who intend to specialize in the practice of copyright law. It is directed to the study of the federal Copyright Act generally, and specifically to: the constitutional basis of copyright law; the subject matter of copyright; the creation and allocation of rights under the Act; the intersection of the Copyright Act and the First Amendment; infringement actions, remedies, and defenses (including “fair use”) in federal courts; and the duration of copyright.

  • LAW 658
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course is designed for the general practitioner as well as for those who intend to specialize in the practice of intellectual property law. It is directed to the study of the patent, trademark and copyright laws, to the procedures undertaken before the various federal and state administrative agencies for obtaining patents, trademarks and copyrights, and to the protection and enforcement afforded such intellectual property by the federal and state laws and the courts.

  • LAW 732
    (2 Credit Hours)
  • LAW 702
    (3 Credit Hours)

    This online asynchronous course is designed to discuss advanced issues in corporate compliance including data security, work-place investigations, international compliance issues and enforcement issues and trends. Students will gain an understanding of the complex regulatory and financial environments that impact corporate compliance programs and enterprise risk management. Students will also learn how to assess complex compliance risks and identify solutions.

  • LAW 700
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC. This online asynchronous course is designed to provide an introduction to the ways in which organizations struggle to comply with regulations and laws and manage the risks associated with a wide variety of business activities. Students will gain an understanding of the importance and role of corporate compliance programs and the fundamental components of an effective compliance plan. Students will also learn how to assess compliance programs for effectiveness from a regulatory perspective. Offered Online, typically once per year

     

  • LAW 517
    (2 Credit Hours)

    This course will establish a working understanding of basic corporate structure, as well as alternative business forms, such as general partnerships, limited partnerships, LLCs and joint ventures. Students will understand the roles and responsibilities of key management groups within the corporation including the board of directors, committees of the board, C-suite executives, internal audit, human resources and risk management; have a basic understanding of corporate accounting concepts including the balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows; have a basic understanding of corporate finance, including common stock, preferred stock, and bonds, including a basic (non-technical) understanding of valuation techniques; understand the role of shareholders and the rights of share ownership.

  • LAW 772
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*; Corporations, LAW 692, or permission of the instructor. This research seminar will allow you to explore a topic in corporate law in more depth than is possible in the basic Corporations course. The course will provide an opportunity to step back and consider the theoretical and policy aspects of basic business law doctrine. Though the readings and preliminary discussions will focus on governance issues, the range of potential topics for your research and writing is very broad. Grades will be based on class participation (including a class presentation) and a final paper. The paper can be used to satisfy the Upper Level Writing Requirement and/or the project requirement for the Business Law concentration.

  • LAW 692
    (4 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. The course concentrates on the following aspects of the modern business corporation: formation; financing; state and federal regulations respecting the issuance of securities and insider trading; governance of the corporation; powers and duties of directors and officers; rights and remedies of shareholders and creditors; dividends and other distributions; and corporate law suits and derivative actions. It also assesses the public policy and social responsibility implications of large scale business enterprises.

  • LAW 644
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC. Creditor-Debtor Rights Law (formerly Consumer Law) will examine debtor-creditor rights under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and case law dealing with consumer issues. The course will offer students the opportunity to study and discuss debtor-creditor rights under Ohio and federal law from the filing of the lawsuit to executing upon the judgment. The course will include observing consumer cases in court and role playing the cases in class. The students will also draft consumer pleadings. The course will examine legal theories and apply them to the practice of law from the creditor's and debtor's perspective. The skills exercises occupy 10 to 20% of the class time. Grading will be based on class participation and a final exam.

  • LAW 626
    (2 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course will explore the evolution of sentencing systems in the United States since 1787, culminating in the determinate systems adopted in recent years by the State of Ohio and the U.S. Congress and Federal Sentencing Commission. These will be contrasted with the indeterminate systems that were previously employed. The uncertainty created by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Blakely v Washington will be a significant topic of discussion. Particular attention will be devoted to the allocation of power and discretion, the role of plea bargaining, the role of appellate review, the impact of mandatory minimum sentences, and issues of race. Offered infrequently.

  • LAW 575
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC; This course is designed to provide students mainly interested in pursuing criminal justice related externships or criminal law practice opportunities with an in depth examination of the significant decision points in the criminal justice process that both help define and influence the major challenges presently facing the criminal justice system: mass incarceration, addiction and mental illness, and outcome disparities. These decision points will include arrest, prosecutorial charging, pretrial release, diversion, plea bargaining, sentencing, and community control compliance. The course will include a thorough demographic snapshot of the population, historically and currently, in the system and a review of the broader values, interests, and objectives that guide practical decision-making throughout the process. The class will focus on the determinants of equity that influence various outcomes in the process and will explore the therapeutic jurisprudence model that characterize the various court diversion models that are now available in many court systems. The course will include direct student dialogue with judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and community correction officers who routinely exercise elements of discretion throughout the process. Finally, the course will also include an examination of the attorney skill sets necessary for effective representation of clients in this challenging environment.

  • LAW 506
    (3 Credit Hours; 1 Semester)

    General concepts of the criminal law; the purposes of punishment; general principles of criminal responsibility; other topics may include attempts; parties; conspiracy; specific crimes against the person, against the habitation, and against property; and, defenses available to the accused. Required for graduation.

  • LAW 706
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC; Criminal Law (LAW 506). An in-depth study of one or more selected topics in substantive criminal law. Interested students should consult the New and Revised Courses information for the term in which the course is offered for information on the focus of the course in that term. Offered infrequently.

  • LAW 621
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course focuses for the most part on police investigation techniques, such as searches, interrogations, undercover activities, electronic eavesdropping, and lineups. Closely studied will be constitutional limitations on these practices, flowing from the 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments. Other topics covered may include the right to counsel, the entrapment defense, bail, and/or plea bargaining.

  • LAW 678
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*; Criminal Procedure I, LAW 621, is recommended but not required. This course focuses on the criminal trial process from the charging decision through trial and sentencing including: case theory and role of counsel; grand jury proceedings; pretrial release and detention; discovery and other pretrial motions; plea bargaining and guilty pleas; jury selection and deliberation, sentencing procedures and guidelines. Particular emphasis is given to the protections provided by the U.S. Constitution in criminal proceedings. State and federal rules of criminal procedure may be studied.

  • LAW 763
    (3 Credit Hours)

    The first-year sequence of classes generally assumes that the law, by virtue of being the law, encourages justice or creates a neutral consistency in its application. Critical race theory, just as other critical legal studies disciplines, starts from the idea that this may not be true, focusing on the ways in which racial stratification has been, and continues to be, built into the legal framework that exists in the United States. This course traces the roots of critical race theory from its theoretical forerunners to its application in the modern day, even as the term itself is being used as an amorphous threat by those who would seek to perpetuate the very racial stratification studied by critical race theory.

  • LAW 837
    (1 Credit Hours)

    The Curricular Independent Research Project is a one-credit graded course for non-U.S. citizen JD and LLM students to receive experience working with a private law firm and reflect upon that experience. Students, after receiving permission from Cleveland State University's Center for International Services and Programs and completing the required forms, are required to complete a 12-15 page paper (exclusive of end or footnotes) that does one of the following: 1) explores a law topic related to but not directly overlapping with legal issues from the student's employment, 2) compares the law and/or procedures of their country of citizenship to those encountered in the student's employment experience, or, 3) explores a professional or ethical topic arising from their employment experience. Students are responsible for securing a faculty advisor prior to registration. The supervising faculty member must grant permission to the student to register in writing. Students may repeat the course once if the student is employed by a different employer and chooses a different writing project. The Curricular Independent Research Project does not fulfill the Upper Level Writing Requirement.

  • LAW 665
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC; Criminal Law (LAW 506). The course will cover the growing area of computer crimes. Students will learn about the different types of criminal offense, which include but are not limited to economic, gambling, child exploitation, and fraud offenses. Further, the student will study the different investigative techniques utilized by the government in curbing such offenses as well as methods of defense explored on behalf of the accused. The student will also be exposed to the various Constitutional provisions contemplated during the processing of a computer crime and/or investigation.

  • LAW 735
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This seminar considers the interaction between information technology (i.e., computer hardware, software, networks and electronic or digital content), particularly as manifest in the Internet, and the law. We will examine substantive areas of the law which bear directly on information technology (particularly, e.g., intellectual property, contract), as well as ways in which information technology is itself shaping and transforming the law (regarding, e.g., privacy, jurisdiction), economics and culture. Classes will encourage open discussion of readings (from text and select online sources) and students should expect one or more written exercises and class presentations in addition to a substantial project (e.g., research and writing) due at the end of the term. Students are encouraged to have some background training or experience (undergraduate studies, employment, other law school courses, etc.) that reflects basic knowledge of/interest in information technology and/or issues arising from its contemporary applications. Satisfies Upper Level Writing requirement.

  • LAW 741
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Business firms, universities, government entities, and hospitals are subjected to constant automated efforts to achieve electronic theft of records pertaining to their customers, students, and patients, with hundreds of millions of such records falling into the hands of criminal syndicates each year. This cutting edge course focuses on the civil law that imposes significant regulatory duties on these entities to protect this vital personal and financial information from unauthorized access. When firms fail to protect this data, their customers often find their identities stolen, their bank accounts drained, and liabilities created that they are charged to pay. The firms themselves may face huge losses (such as Target) and fines, and some -- including law firms-- have been forced to terminate operations. This course will prepare students for expansive new career opportunities available to those with expertise in data protection law, which include many in-house positions that direct corporate compliance strategies for achieving compliance with privacy and security regulation. No technical background is required; the course will include an introduction to cybersecurity and information systems as well as explore data privacy issues and the risk assessment methods that regulatory agencies and courts are demanding of business entities as basic due diligence. Grades for the course will be based on a combination of short exercises and homework, and several announced short quizzes.

  • LAW 746
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Depth examination of methods for protecting assets stored in electronic information systems, in transit over digital networks (e.g., the Internet, Ethernet), and in cyber-physical assets (such as autonomous vehicles and electric turbines). Broad range of security management topics, including relative security of digital communications options (such as email, text, fax, VPN, web portals plus Bring Your Own Device vulnerabilities); corporate managerial reporting structures that promote or retard effective security management; contractual terms and management of third-party technical service and products suppliers, such as for cloud computing and security monitoring; procurement and endpoint security management strategies; special security problems posed by the millions of insecure devices that are typed the Internet of Things (IoT). Latter weeks examine the threat landscape and particular security regulatory requirements that have been imposed on major business sectors, including financial (banking and insurance), energy, and health care. Guest security & legal experts from each sector discuss their threat landscape, regulatory environment, and major security management, risk, and liability issues. The course does not assume prior technical or computer knowledge but Cybersecurity & Privacy Protection I (L666) is helpful background. For those considering a career in the cybersecurity, cyber risk management, or privacy protection areas, the course functions as a foundational prerequisite for advanced coursework and externships in the field.

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