Course Descriptions

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  • LAW 639
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course affords students an opportunity to delve deeply into the problems and legal solutions to employment discrimination, one of the most publicly contested areas of the law. While its primary focus is Title VII, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, and national origin, the course also examines the more recently enacted remedial statutes, particularly those proscribing age and disability discrimination. The course also explores sexual orientation discrimination, constitutional protections, 42 USC sections 1981 and 1983, and the Equal Pay Act. Students will master the substantive law of discrimination, the special procedural requirements for administrative claims, and the array of remedies available to aggrieved parties, including affirmative action. This course is a foundation requirement for the Employment and Labor Law Concentration. It is recommended that students planning to take the Employment Law Clinic take either this course or Employment Law, LAW 684, prior to or in conjunction with the Clinic. Beginning Fall 2010, the course no longer satisfies the administrative law requirement.

  • LAW 684AR
    (3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. This course functions as an introduction to Employment and Labor law. It primarily focuses on the law governing the non-unionized workforce. Three broad areas of inquiry constitute its subject matter. First, we study the newly developing law often referred to as common law wrongful discharge, by which an employee can assert claims of unlawful termination of employment because the employer violated fundamental public policy, contractual provisions, duties imposed by tort law (which can result in defamation, intentional infliction, invasion of privacy, and fraud cases) or the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Second, we examine the duties the law imposes on employees that run to the benefit of the employer, including non-competition and the duty of loyalty. Third, we study the law of compensation and benefits, focusing on two pivotal federal states that govern the workplace – the Fair Labor Standards Act (which includes minimum wage regulation) and the Family and Medical Leave Act – as well as the federal pension and benefits law (ERISA) and the law of unemployment insurance. Finally, we will study issues surrounding workplace safety and workers’ compensation. Discrimination law is generally not covered in this course, as it is the sole subject of Employment Discrimination Law, LAW 639. It is recommended that students planning to take the Employment Law Clinic take either this course or Employment Discrimination Law, LAW 639, prior to or in conjunction with the Clinic. Satisfies the administrative law requirement.

  • LAW 802
    (2-5 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*; approval of the Clinic faculty; Employment Discrimination Law (LAW 639) or Employment Law (LAW 684) recommended (may be taken concurrently). Students, supervised by Clinic faculty, provide representation to real clients with employment cases in federal sand state courts and administrative agencies. Students participate at all stages of representation from client interviewing through settlement, trial and appeal. A weekly seminar is devoted to in-depth discussion of the cases (including case evaluation, strategy, legal, factual and ethical issues); and instruction in litigation and lawyering skills, using assigned readings, written assignments and simulations. Through both casework and the seminars, students learn such representation skills as: interviewing clients and witnesses, investigating facts, counseling, drafting pleadings, planning and conducting discovery, negotiation, motion practice, brief writing and oral argument. Normally, students enroll over the course of two semesters, registering for 3-5 credit hours each semester. With permission of Clinic faculty, may be taken for a third semester for additional credit hours. Satisfies project and/or advanced course requirement of Employment and Labor Law Concentration. Satisfies skills course requirement.

  • LAW 636
    (2 or 3 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*. Entertainment Law surveys the issues affecting performers, practitioners, and producers in the music, motion picture, television, theatre, print, and multimedia industries. Special attention will be given to those areas most predominant in the Cleveland metropolitan area. Issues such as copyright, licensing, contract, compensation, and impact of unions on the industry will be addressed.

  • LAW 808
    (2-4 Credit Hours)

    Prerequisites: RCC*; Environmental Law (LAW 671); permission of the instructor. The Clinic provides students with the opportunity to learn environmental law through practical experience including litigation support as well as participating in drafting legislation and reports on environmental needs and solutions in the greater Cleveland area and the midwest. Students provide legal support on environmental issues to citizens, environmental organizations, legislators and government officials. This includes investigation, counseling, research, drafting of legal documents, reviewing and drafting legislation, and negotiating. The Clinic is normally elected for four (4) credit hours but may, with permission of the instructor, be taken for 2 or 3 credits. Satisfies skills course requirement.

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