Course Descriptions

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  • LAW 628
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*; Tax I (LAW 607). This course examines the U.S. Federal Income Taxation of both inbound transactions (the U.S. income tax consequences of business and investment activities in the U.S. by foreigners) and outbound transactions (the U.S. income tax consequences of foreign business and investment activities by U.S. taxpayers). It will examine, in particular, (1) the jurisdictional rules regarding the right to tax income in the international context, (2) the “source” rules (domestic or foreign) for income and deductions, (3) the foreign tax credit, (4) problem of “deferral” of foreign income earned by subsidiaries of U.S. parents, and (5) the U.S. tax consequences of using foreign currency.

  • LAW 647
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*; Tax I (LAW 607). This course will provide a survey of tax procedure, including the rules for practice before the IRS under Circular 230 and various tax litigation issues. The course will also provide a survey of the tax penalties and tax crimes that transactional and controversy tax practitioners must regularly consider and mange in representing private and government clients. Transactional tax advisors need to consider penalties and crimes when structuring deals and preparing opinion letters to support those deals. Without an understanding of opinion letters and the penalty or crime risks to a client’s proposed deal structure, a transactional tax attorney fails to represent his client’s interests adequately. Indeed, this lawyer and the relvant law firm may themselves be at risk. Likewise, tax controversy attorneys must have a comprehensive understanding of penalties and crimes to represent clients effectively, whether in settlement negotiations, court or administrative proceedings. These attorneys must be able to identify the range of applicable penalties and crimes, address proof convincingly and understand relevant defenses.

    Students in this class will examine relevant statutes, regulations and case law. The course will cover both the substantive law and procedural issues. Penalties addressed will include tax shelter, return preparer, responsible person, accuracy-related, delinquency and civil fraud. Methods of proof and defenses to these penalties and crimes are, of course critical to client representation and will, therefore, be covered. Satisfies the Administrative Law requirement.

  • LAW 559
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. The course will focus on the notion of justice as seen in writings of significant philosophers. Ideas of writers such as Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bentham, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Nozick, and Rawls, among others, will be studied. Contemporary applications of the various theories of justice will be explored. The course is designed for students without a significant background in philosophy. Satisfies perspective elective requirement.

  • LAW 762
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course will explore the following idea and why it might be important for law: just exactly what is a "firm" (or any other "organization" for that matter), how does the law conceive of "firms," and what difference does it make? An underlying theme of the course, not surprisingly, is that answers to these questions might make a very big difference, and the course will ask what the law could learn from them from economics and from a specialized area of social science literature, improbably neglected among legal academics, that goes by the name “the theory of organization.” This body of thought has special value in understanding business entities and, indeed, in understanding law generally. The course will begin with generally adopted ideas about what constitutes the "firm" at use in the legal literature and those in economics. It will consider the mainstream evolution of the concept in transaction cost economics and the “nexus of contracts” theory currently predominant among legal economists. The course would then consider critiques of the traditional concept and its economic evolution, including the Legal Realist perspective, the Critical Legal Studies (CLS) perspective, and other viewpoints. Finally, in a sense as its capstone, the course would delve into general, non-normative consideration of the theory of organization, to show how organization theorists have cast doubt on the ability of traditional models and traditional critiques to explain real-world organizations. Those organizations, it turns out, are often complex and ambiguous places where traditional models of human motivation are not up to the task of explanation. At its core, the course would seek to highlight the practical and political significance of the particular theory of organizations chosen by a legal system. The course will be well suited for students with a social science background, and may also be of interest to students interested in business organizations, management, and counseling business clients.

    The grade will be based mainly on one seminar paper of sufficient length and content to justify 3 hours of credit. In addition, some portion of the grade will be based on a few short assignments in which each student identifies the “main idea” of papers that are read in the course. The course satisfies the upper level writing requirement and the perspective elective requirement. Permission of the instructor is required. Offered infrequently.

  • LAW 512
    (4 Credit Hours)

    Torts considers injuries to persons and property, both intentional and unintentional, and may include physical, dignitary, and economic harms. The course examines the three basic theories of civil liability--intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability--and considers issues of duty, causation, and defenses to liability. The course may also consider the overall goals of the torts system, the allocation of responsibility between judge and jury, and the interplay of statues and the common law process. Required for graduation.  Offered beginning Fall 2012.

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