Course Descriptions

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  • 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.

  • LAW 502
    ((6 Credit Hours through 2004-2005; 2 Semesters) (5 Credit Hours beginning 2005-2006; 2 Semesters))

    The course considers injuries to and interference with persons or property, including intentional wrongs such as assault, battery and false imprisonment, and unintentional wrongs grounded in negligence or strict liability. The course also treats such concepts as causation, duty, contributory and comparative negligence, and assumption of risk. Other wrongs, such as products liability, defamation and nuisance may be covered. The course may also include the following: workings of the legal process; immunities; insurance; damages; the social, economic and political implications of decisional and statutory law; and topics of current interest. A grade is entered on the student’s transcript for each semester of the course. Required for graduation. Offered through 2011-12 academic year.

  • LAW 653
    (2 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC; Copyright, Patent & Trademark Law, LAW 658, recommended but not required. This course will cover the constitutional, statutory, and common law attributes of trademark law; the rights and remedies that trademark law provides for producers; the protection that trademark law provides for competitors and consumers; and the intersection of American trademark law with other forms of intellectual property protection, with the First Amendment, and with international law. Students are expected to master the substantive law of trademark, but the major goal of the course is to teach students how to use the law to advance their clients' interests in commercial symbols by requiring students to use their professional judgment in a counseling context. Grading will be based on three short open research memos.

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