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.  Offered beginning Fall 2012.

  • 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.

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