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11/16/2016
By Deborah Johnson
Last week – just hours after the next President of the United States of America was announced – RWU Law students, faculty and staff (joined by undergraduates and University faculty and staff)...

Fast Facts

Each year, the Marine Affairs Institute takes RWU Law students on an educational cruise on Narragansett Bay. This trip helps first year students  better understand many of the marine and maritime issues affecting Rhode Island and New England.



All Courses

Course Number Descriptionsort icon Credits
LAW.716

Accounting for Lawyers

Accounting is the fundamental language of business.  Businesses speak many different languages but the essential, core language, the one that deals directly with business performance and viability is accounting.  In this course we will study some of the basic concepts of accounting such as debits and credits, double entry bookkeeping, financial statements, assets, liabilities, shareholders’ equity, accrual and cash methods of accounting, time value of money, depreciation, auditing, and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  We will explore how a working knowledge of these concepts is helpful to attorneys in a wide variety of different contexts so that, when you find yourself in a situation that requires at least a basic understanding of accounting concepts, you will be able to use that knowledge to successfully fulfill your role as an attorney.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.631

Administrative Law

This course introduces the growth and development of administrative law and procedure. Topics include constitutionality and delegation of power, discretion, policy, regulatory and adjudicative functions, rules orders, jurisdiction, investigative functions, procedures, due process and judicial review.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.780

Admiralty Law

This course involves a study of the jurisdiction of admiralty courts and the laws affecting maritime rights and obligations. Areas included are the history of maritime law, choice of law in admiralty cases, maritime property interests, rights of seamen, carriage of goods, salvage, and
collision.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.680

Advanced Appellate Advocacy: Criminal Law

This is a skills-based course that will utilize the vehicle of an actual criminal trial transcript to learn the basics of persuasive writing and good oral advocacy.  Instead of the soup-to-nuts approach of moot court, which covers every step in an appeal at a rather surface level, we will focus intensively on particular skills: issue-identification and framing, developing strategies for written and oral presentations, advanced research skills and analysis, partisan writing.   Throughout the course, there will be opportunities to improve writing skills, to learn how to handle both helpful and harmful precedent, to structure oral arguments and field hard questions.   Students should be prepared to critique their own writing and practice oral advocacy in class.    Graded assignments will occur throughout the semester; there will be no final exam and no “big” paper.  This course will help good researchers, writers and oralists become better, but even those whose skills are at a basic level will improve.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.813

Advanced Business Planning

This course combines advanced work in corporate law and federal corporate taxation in a problem context of business planning and counseling. The course focuses on several complex fact situations, giving students the opportunities to analyze and resolve the advanced issues presented.  Business Planning and Federal Income Tax are  prerequisites

2 Credit(s)
LAW.862

Advanced Criminal Procedure

This course is an analysis of selected and evolving criminal justice issues arising under the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  Within this context, emphasis is placed on the workings of the advocacy system, prosecution and defense functions.

 

3 Credit(s)
LAW.684

Advanced Torts

This course provides an in-depth coverage to a number of classic torts cases including Palsgraf, U.S. v. Carroll Towing, MacPherson Buick and others. It also covers the torts of defamation and invasion of privacy. 

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856

American Jury System

This course will discuss the origins and evolution of the present day American jury system.  We will also explore whether changes need to be made to that system and what those changes might be.  

1 Credit(s)
LAW.781

Antitrust

This course examines the limitations imposed by the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Federal Trade Commission Act on anti-competitive practices of businesses. The course includes price fixing, monopolization, mergers, tying, restraints in distribution, boycotts, price discrimination, procedural issues in private enforcement, and the relationship between state and  federal laws and enforcement.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Appellate Practice through the Lens of the Standard of Review

This course, taught be Judge Francis Flaherty will examine appellate practice through the lens of the standard of review. The standard of review is as important a consideration to an appellate court as the substantive law but is often overlooked or misunderstood by attorneys.  Using sample cases, including some where the courts may have strayed, students will learn about the nuances of these various standards ranging from de novo to the “any evidence” test.    Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.889

Applied Legal Reasoning

This class is the bridge between the three-year law school curriculum and the two months of bar review following graduation. The course teaches much of the law tested on the bar exam, yet focuses primarily on thinking skills and test-taking strategies. Extensive coverage is given to the most difficult part of the bar exam: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the 200-question multiple-choice test that is part of the bar exam of every state except Louisiana. The course also covers essay writing techniques. The fall course (1.5 credits) will cover Torts, Evidence, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure. The spring course (1.5 credits) will cover Contracts, Property, and Constitutional Law. The fall course is not a formal prerequisite for the spring course, but is highly recommended.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.784

Bankruptcy

This course examines the federal law of bankruptcy of individuals and corporations.  The role of the bankruptcy courts, the coverage of claims subject to bankruptcy, and reorganization plans will be among the matters studied.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.805

Business and Partnership Tax

This course will examine primarily the taxation of corporations and other business organizations under the federal tax law.  Consideration will also be given to international taxation issues, as well as the systems of taxation developed in the various states.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.635

Business Organizations

This course surveys and analyzes the various forms of business enterprises. Organizations include sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Topics include the legal relationships between the corporation and its directors, officers, stockholders, and creditors; risk reduction devices; formation, dissolution, and termination; and agency relationships and responsibilities. Consideration is given to cases, statutes, model acts, and securities laws.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.808

Business Planning

This course combines work in corporate law and federal corporate taxation in a problem context of business planning and counseling. The course focuses on several complex fact situations, giving students the opportunities to analyze and resolve issues presented.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.869

Business Start-up Clinic

The Roger Williams University Business Start-up Clinic, our newest clinical offering, opened in the fall semester of 2013.  The focus of the clinic is to provide services to small, low-income businesses and not-for-profit organizations in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts.  Students enrolled in the clinic work with small business owners or operators in determining and facilitating their legal needs.  This includes determining the best legal entity choice, assisting with the filing of organizational documents, creating agreements, and creating leases and other contracts.  The primary goal of the clinic is to teach the practice of transactional lawyering while providing service to under-served entrepreneurs and organizations. Business Organizations is a prerequisite.

8 Credit(s)
LAW.600

Civil Procedure I & II

This two-semester course provides an introduction to the adversary system and the historical basis and evolving functions of both the state and the federal systems of civil procedure. Topics include an introduction to claims and remedies, jurisdiction, venue, pleading, discovery, joinder of claims and parties, res judicata, collateral estoppel, disposition without trial, court selection, jury and non-jury trials, post-trial motions and appellate review. The drafting of pleadings for a case is included.

6 Credit(s)
LSM.729

Civil Rights: Equalilty Discrimination

This course focuses on constitutional tort damage actions brought against federal and state officials and governments based on 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the United States Constitution.  Attention will be given to both the substantive constitutional rights that form the basis of the damages actions and to the procedure, defenses, and immunities that pertain to constitutional torts.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.729

Civil Rights: Suing the Government

This course focuses on constitutional tort damage actions brought against federal and state officials and governments based on 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the United States Constitution.  Attention will be given to both the substantive constitutional rights that form the basis of the damages actions and to the procedure, defenses, and immunities that pertain to constitutional torts.

1.5 Credit(s)
LSM.730

Class Actions

When class actions became a feature of the American civil litigation landscape in the 1960’s, few people anticipated how pervasive and powerful they would become. However, as loudly as supporters have applauded the ability of courageous plaintiffs and their innovative attorneys to use class actions to seek redress for social and economic wrongs, critics have just as vocally attacked what they perceive as unaccountable, attorney-driven litigation. This seminar is designed to provide a basic introduction to the fascinating world of class action litigation. Topics to be covered include: the purpose of class actions; class certification; notice and opt-out rights; litigation strategy and settlement. Throughout the course, students will also explore the thorny academic and practical questions raised by class actions.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.888

Climate Change

This course explores the impact that climatic changes are having, and will continue to have, on law and policy in the United States.  Recent reports anticipate increased climate change impacts including water scarcity and decreased quality, ocean warming and acidification, sea level rise and coastal impacts, extreme weather events, risks to public health, increased forest wildfires, and national security risks.  Coastal states on the forefront for these climate change impacts.  Many coastal states are beginning to address adaptation through changes in law and policy.  This course will examine the framework for federal and state policy and law changes to adapt to climate change, and the status of efforts throughout the United States.  While the focus will be on efforts within the nation in coastal areas, the course will briefly discuss non-coastal and international climate change laws and policies.  Students will be evaluated based on class participation and a paper that can fulfill their writing requirements.    

2 Credit(s)
LAW.785

Collision and Limitation of Liability

This course presents the general principles of maritime collision law, including causation, legal presumptions, the effect of statutory violations, apportionment of fault, damage and an overview of the navigation rules.  It will also examine the theory and effect of the principles of limitation, and particularly the Limitation of Liability Act of 1854.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.737

Conflict of Laws

Callie from California and Max from Massachusetts get into a car accident with each other in the parking lot of Disney World (Florida).  Max returns home to Massachusetts and sues Callie and Disney World in Massachusetts state court.  Does the Massachusetts court have jurisdiction over Callie and/or Disney World?  If so, what law would a Massachusetts court apply to the dispute – Massachusetts law? California law?  Florida law?   If Max obtains judgment against Callie and Disney World, are these judgments enforceable in California and Florida?  If Callie moves to France and obtains a declaratory judgment there that she is not liable to Max for the car accident, would this French judgment be recognized by a Massachusetts court to preclude Max’s lawsuit?  These are the questions to be explored in this Conflict of Laws course.  The course will focus on three broad questions: 1. Jurisdiction: When does a court have jurisdiction over a dispute?  2. Choice of Law: What law will a court apply to a dispute?  3. Enforcement of Judgments: When will a judgment from a foreign court (U.S. state or foreign country) be recognized and/or enforced?  The approach taken is a mix between academic and practical.  The ultimate goal is to have students not only understand the doctrines that comprise the conflict of laws, but be able to apply and manipulate them to achieve a desired result.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.639

Constitutional Law I

This course examines the basic principles of constitutional law through the analysis of the opinions of the United States Supreme Court. Topics include judicial review, federal system relationships, commerce clause, governmental powers and civil rights.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.760

Constitutional Law II

This course examines the basic constitutional protection of individual rights including equal protection implied fundamental rights or modern substantive due process (including rights of privacy, privileges and immunities, and the incorporation controversy), due process and the first amendment freedoms of expression and religion.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.836

Consumer Bankruptcy In Practice

This course offers a hands-on approach to learning how to intake, analyze, process, file and complete consumer bankruptcy cases in Federal Bankruptcy Court. We will discuss the rights debtors and creditors under state law outside of bankruptcy, and in which cases bankruptcy is an appropriate option for addressing financial difficulties. Bankruptcy relief will be reviewed for debtors under Chapters 7 and Chapter 13. The primary goal of this course is to develop a working understanding of how to represent consumer debtors in Federal Bankruptcy Court.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.835

Consumer Law

This course will survey federal and state consumer protection laws in three areas: 1) fraud and deceptive practices, 2) product quality, and 3) credit.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.756

Contract Drafting and Transactional Lawyering

This course teaches students the fundamentals of drafting contracts. Students learn how to understand a client's business deal, and how to translate the deal into contract concepts, the building blocks of contracts. Students learn the process for drafting the contract concepts in clear and unambiguous provisions in a well-organized complete contract that reflects accurately the parties' deal. Students learn how to add value to a client's deal by drafting and recognizing nuances in language that change the deal and shift risk between the parties. Students learn how to analyze and comment on a contract that another lawyer has drafted. Students will learn the best drafting style and usage techniques necessary to enhance clarity and avoid ambiguity.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Contract Law Practicum: In the Matter of Dr. B.

This Honors course is centered around a real-life breach of contract problem involving “Dr. B.”  Dr. B entered into a recruitment agreement with a Hospital in Florida, whereby he would serve as the hospital’s ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor.  As part of the recruitment agreement, Dr. B accepted a “loan” from the hospital (or an advance on his salary) in the amount of approximately $140,000.  The loan was contingent upon Dr. B staying with the hospital for 3 years.  Dr. B left the hospital after 2.5 years and did not repay any amounts advanced to him.  Two years after leaving the hospital, the hospital is now demanding repayment.  This course will focus on developing the skills to help Dr. B with his legal issues.  The course will involve fact-gathering, identifying and researching factual and legal issues, communicating with the client and with the senior partner, making concrete recommendations to Dr. B on what he should do, critically evaluating the case for Dr. B and for the senior partner, assessing the benefits and drawbacks to various courses of action, communicating with opposing counsel, etc.  This will not be a traditional course.  Rather, it is designed as a practicum which will enable students to develop and practice the skills that they will need to respond to real-life contracts disputes.  Students will be evaluated based on a series of assignments (e.g. drafting a memo to the senior partner, writing a letter to the client, writing to opposing counsel, etc.), and based on their interactions with the client and with the senior partner.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.604

Contracts I & II

This two-semester course provides an introduction to the law of agreements. Topics include contract formation, the doctrine of consideration and its substitutes, the Statute of Frauds, contract regulation, the parole evidence rule, interpretation, performance and breach, conditions, anticipatory breach, remedies for breach, specific performance, damages, restitution and impracticability and frustration. Both the common law and the Uniform Commercial Code are emphasized. The rights and duties of non-parties are covered to the extent possible.

6 Credit(s)
LSM.815

Copyright

This class provides an in-depth study of copyright law, which grants a limited monopoly to authors of creative works, and related state law doctrines such as unfair competition law.  The course will focus on the constitutional basis for copyright, the statutory requirements for copyright protection, the scope of rights granted to copyright owners, the elements of a copyright infringement action, related state law claims, and licensing issues related to copyright.  Discussion and readings will encompass topics of current interest in copyright law, including the impact of the internet, digital copying capabilities, new technologies, and the information-based economy.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.797

Corporate Counsel Externship & Corporate Counsel Seminar

Through our Corporate Counsel Clinical Externship Program, students earn academic credit while working two to three days per week in the in-house legal offices of prominent for-profit corporations in and around Rhode Island and southern New England.  Student externs will be exposed to the various ways in which law is practiced in-house and for corporate clients, gaining hands-on experience working side-by-side with some of the region’s leading corporate attorneys.  Students attend a two-hour weekly seminar to teach the professionalism and lawyering skills required in an in-house legal practice.

4-6 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Corporate Scandals & Business Ethics

This seminar looks at high-profile corporate scandals to understand how deep-rooted conflicts of interest can trigger crimes, and examines the role of scandals in prompting corporate reforms and government regulation intended to improve the practice of corporate governance.  We will explore how the response to scandal comprises both market (economic) and non-market (social, political, legal) components. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.860

Criminal Defense Clinic

The Criminal Defense Clinic is a one semester program in which students represent indigent criminal defendants in the District Court and Traffic Tribunal of the State of Rhode Island. The caseload consists largely of misdemeanor and traffic offenses, including allegations of assault, domestic violence, disorderly conduct, drug possession, petty theft, drunk driving and breathalyser refusal. Students will handle every stage of representation in each of their cases, including motion practice, discovery and investigation, negotiation, pre-trial litigation and, when the case demands it, trial and appellate work.  Trial Advocacy is a prerequisite.

8 Credit(s)
LAW.623

Criminal Law

This course examines the general principles of substantive criminal law and concepts of mens rea, causation, parties, elements, criminal responsibility and capacity, justification, excuse and defenses.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.750

Criminal Litigation: Drafting & Advocacy

While less than ten percent of criminal cases go to trial, every criminal case involves reviewing and drafting critical documents.  This course will focus on pleadings, motions and related documents in the various stages of criminal cases – from the indictment through post conviction proceedings.  Students will learn how to review and draft such documents as indictments, motions to suppress, plea agreements, jury instructions, post-trial motions, applications for post conviction relief and governmental oppositions to such applications -- from both prosecutorial and defense perspectives.   The course is designed for prospective criminal attorneys, appellate attorneys, and judicial law clerks in state and federal courts.  Course assignments will include drafting of pleadings, motions, memoranda of law as well as class presentations.   Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Criminal Procedure is considered helpful.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.862

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication

This course is an analysis of selected and evolving criminal justice issues arising under the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  The course covers the criminal justice process from the prosecutor’s decision to charge the suspect to sentencing, including pre-trial proceedings and trial.  Within this context, emphasis is placed on the workings of the advocacy system, prosecution and defense functions.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.627

Criminal Procedure: Investigation

This course examines the procedural aspects of the criminal justice system with emphasis on the impact of the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments to the United States Constitution on state and federal prosecutions. Topics include the law of arrest, search and seizure, police interrogation and the privilege against self-incrimination.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.726

Critical Race Theory

This seminar will examine the ways in which race has played a role in the development of American law.  We will look at how race is defined in America and look at the experience of different racial minorities both historically and in the present day.   The ways in which race plays a role in particular areas of law, such as criminal law and housing law, will also be examined.  The course material for this seminar will be the work of scholars who have explored the historical and on-going subordination of racial minorities and provided critiques of legal regimes which have enforced racial subordination.      

2 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Current Issues in The Law Of Piracy

This course will consider various current legal issues in the law of piracy, including: the use of force by private vessel; insurance and the payment of ransom money; the extent of Congress' power to define piracy; the appropriate forum for piracy trials; the duty to suppress piracy and flags of convenience; and environmental activism as piracy.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.890

Domestic Violence Law

This course will examine the dramatic changes in domestic violence laws and policy over the past twenty years, assess their impact, and explore potential new practices in this rapidly developing area.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.719

Education Law

This course provides a basic overview of key issues in contemporary education law and policy. Relevant local, state, and federal laws will be considered as will education policy issues, which raise fundamental questions about how to balance the interests of the public, schools, students, and parents. The course will include a focus on the Constitutional right to public education, both under the United States and state constitutions.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.715

Elder Law

Elder Law is a rapidly growing and intellectually challenging practice area. This course will focus on the legal issues and client situations most frequently encountered by Elder Law attorneys. The course will begin with an overview of how Elder Law differs from a traditional trusts and estates practice, including a review of the particular ethical challenges faced by the Elder Law practitioner. An examination of the major substantive law competencies needed by the Elder Law practitioner will follow. The course will conclude with an analysis of how the practitioner serves elders facing challenges such as diminished capacity and the need for long-term care. 

2 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Election Law & Campaign Finance

This seminar will explore political campaigns and elections in the United States.  Selected topics in law and politics will include the right to vote, political participation, political parties, and campaign finance, as well as special attention to the issues arising in the 2012 elections.  The goal of this seminar is to provide students with an overview of the basic principles of election law and campaign finance in this country.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.819

Employment Discrimination

An analysis of selected problems in the law of employment discrimination.  Topics will be selected that address the historical, economic, and social dimensions and implications of the problem of employment discrimination.  Included will be coverage of federal statutory prohibitions of discrimination in employment, the procedures for enforcement, standards of proof, and remedies for violation of applicable

3 Credit(s)
LAW.820

Employment Law

This course will examine government regulation of the relationship of the individual employee and his or her employer. The propriety of regulating particular areas of the employment relationship and the efficacy of alternative regulatory schemes will be recurring themes. Areas of coverage may include employment at-will, wrongful termination, employment discrimination, regulation of compensation, workplace health and safety, unemployment compensation, and pensions.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Employment Law Stories

Employment Law Stories will be taught by Paul Stanzler a partner at the law firm of Burns &  Levinson in Boston. This course examines nine cases that have shaped the trajectory of contemporary employment law. The text delves into the history, background, parties and arguments made to the court in creating major doctrinal areas of employment law. Topics covered include employment at will, employee privacy, wrongful discharge and employment contracts.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.804

Environmental and Land Use Law Clinical Externship Program

Through the Environmental and Land Use Law Clinical Externship, students train in legal offices or departments of government agencies and non-government organizations doing environmental and land use legal work in Rhode Island and southern New England.  Externs are exposed to the various ways in which environmental and land use law is practiced by government agencies and non-government organizations through litigation, administrative rulemaking and adjudication, and engagement in the legislative process.  The students also participate in a two-credit, graded seminar “Advanced Topics in Environmental and Land Use Law” that will be designed by the professor, after consultation with the field supervisors, to teach substantive law, regulation, and policy directly relevant to the students’ field work, as well as the ethics and legal skills required of an environmental attorney. 

4-6 Credit(s)
LAW.672

Environmental Law

The regulation and control of water, air and land is the broad subject matter of this course.  The emphasis is on federal statutory and regulatory law but international issues and state and local regulation will be reviewed in areas in which they have broad relevance.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Environmental Moot Court

This course is geared toward those interested in competing in the Pace Environmental Moot Court Completion.  The competition should be of interest to anyone interested in the moot court experience, but will be of special interest to those interested in pursuing careers in administrative law, in general, and in environmental law, in particular.  The course is meant to prepare students for both the brief writing and oral argument required by the Pace competition.  In order to enroll in the course a student must be currently taking either Environmental Law or Administrative Law or have already taken either one of those courses.  

1 Credit(s)
LAW.754

Estate Planning And Drafting

This course deals with the practical application of estate planning principles to various client situations. Topics include client interviews; estate planning for young adults, individuals contemplating marriage, unmarried couples, young couples with children, and older clients with children; transfers to grandchildren; planning for second marriages; asset protection; retirement planning; perpetual trusts; charitable gifts; and an overview of estate administration.  Wills and Trusts is a prerequisite.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.645

Evidence

This course introduces the law controlling the introduction and exclusion of evidence in civil and criminal trials. Topics include burden of proof, presumption, judicial notice, burden of production, burden of persuasion, competency of witnesses, relevancy, examinations of witnesses, privileges, hearsay, demonstrative evidence, documents and the function of judge and jury.

4 Credit(s)
LAW.705

Family & Divorce Mediation

This upper level legal skills development course is intended to provide the student with an understanding of the contexts in which family conflict arises, the various legal and practical issues in play when families disintegrate, and with in-depth training in the skills that a mediator might employ to help the divorcing parties resolve their differences.  The course exposes the student to relevant factors and normative approaches used by courts in dividing property, determining child support, custody, visitation, and spousal support among other issues, while recognizing that parties in mediation are empowered to reach their own agreements with the aid of the mediator.  Role playing exercises are used to integrate theory with practice.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.722

Family Law

This course examines the underlying social and economic principles of family life, its regulation by government, and constitutional limitations on regulation. Direct laws covering marriage, divorce, and child custody will be examined but also the course will cover those areas of law--property, income maintenance, medical care, schooling and crime--that also have direct impact on families in this society.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.764

Federal Courts

This course will examine the relationship of federal courts to other organs of federal government and to the states, including an analysis of congressional control over jurisdiction; federal review of state court decisions; the relationship between state and federal substantive and procedural law; the scope of federal questions and diversity of citizenship jurisdiction in federal courts; abstention; federal injunctions of state criminal proceedings; and problems of justiciability and mootness.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.647

Federal Income Tax

This course provides a survey of the federal income tax system as it relates to individual and business activity. Topics include code, regulation, and case analysis; tax policy, economics, and public finance; and tax legislation. Specific concepts included are income, exclusions, deductions, credits, tax accounting, and tax procedure.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.965

Federal Practice/Commercial Litigation

This course combines what has traditionally been taught in two separate courses on Pretrial Practice and Trial Advocacy. The idea behind this course is that federal litigation must be viewed holistically, meaning with an understanding and appreciation for the reality that litigation, from the filing of a complaint through trial, is an integrated process that begins with a well-pled complaint, proceeds through discovery, often involves substantive and dispositive motion practice, and ends (if it is not resolved earlier) at trial. The course is a full year long in order to mimic the actual life cycle of a case in federal court. Students will work on an actual case by drafting pleadings, taking/defending depositions, filing and arguing at least one dispositive motion, and ultimately trying the case before a judge and jury. In addition, throughout the year, students will receive lectures, practice exercises, and guest lectures on key aspects of litigation, including complaint drafting, deposition skills, settlement process and strategy, and trial tactics. This course will be taught primarily by a seasoned litigator and a faculty member, both of whom have practiced in federal court. The students will be split into teams and each team with have a lawyer-coach assigned to assist them. Judge William Smith of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island will attend a limited number of the class sessions and preside over some courtroom activities, as his schedule permits

2 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Feminist Legal Theory

This course examines how feminist legal theorists have understood and critiqued our legal system and its norms. The course will explore various schools and debates within feminist legal theory, and how feminist scholars bring feminist analysis to bear on a number of contemporary issues of law and public policy, including intimate and familial relationships, work and wealth distribution, and the regulation of sexuality.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.789

Fisheries Law & Policy

This course will examine the law and policies of federal, state, and international regulations of fishing, with the primary focus on federal regulation under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act. The course will examine the science of fisheries stocks and various approaches that have been tried or proposed for managing and conserving fisheries. The course will also examine the administrative law framework governing fisheries. Among the issues the course will examine are the competing policies at issue in managing fisheries and the ways that law seeks to address the competing interests in exploitation and conservation, commercial and recreational fishing, national and international interests, and the selection of local, national, and international control.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Genocide and Atrocity Crimes

Genocide in the 20th Century: In this course, which meets on Friday and Saturday on two separate weeks, Professor Noone explores the phenomenon of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and the legal instruments available to identify and punish atrocity crimes.

 

1 Credit(s)
LAW.720

Health Law and Policy

This course will provide an overview of the complex laws, regulations and underlying policies that govern health care delivery. Issues to be examined include access to medical care; Medicare and Medicaid; health insurance and payment systems; informed consent; confidentiality; and end¬of¬life decision making.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.811

Housing Law & Policy

This course considers the law and policy of fair housing and of housing and urban development in the United States. There will be a focus on anti¬discrimination laws in housing and on legal mechanisms and government programs designed to improve the access of lower¬income people to housing opportunities.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.728

Human Rights

This course introduces students to the global human rights regime. It employs a variety of perspectives--including historical, political, theoretical, and legal--in order to cultivate a broad understanding of human rights. Core human rights treaties will be examined, as will mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement. General issues recurring in the course are: the enduring divide between human rights theory and practice; the changing dimensions of state sovereignty; the potential for international law to bring about a “good society” and its substantive vision for the same; and the ability of the human rights regime to influence the course of both international relations and domestic politics.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.870

Immigration Clinic

The Immigration Clinic is a one semester program in which students represent noncitizens in removal proceedings in immigration court and applications for immigration benefits. Students represent clients in their applications for asylum, visas for victims of violent crime, benefits for noncitizen victims of domestic violence, waivers for long-term permanent residents and visas for juvenile victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect. Students also conduct “Know Your Rights” presentations for immigration detainees and similar presentations for immigrant communities in Rhode Island.

8 Credit(s)
LAW.772

Immigration Law

This seminar will focus on legal responses to immigration over history, as well as present and suggested legislation, enforcement and informal policies. The federal¬state division of jurisdiction will be examined, as well as suggestions for future action.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.788

Insurance Law

 This course will focus on the types of insurance most likely to be encountered in private practice -- property and casualty (liability) insurance. Topics covered will include the theory and basic concepts of insurance; the insurance contract and principles of interpretation; application, underwriting, and risk analysis concepts; insurance contract formation and carrier issues/responses; types and structure of typical property and casualty policies to include policy declarations, definitions of insureds, insuring clauses, coverages, exclusions, and limitations; duties imposed on insurance carriers and insureds; typical policy conditions and application; statutory requirements and policies; first and third party claim handling processes; duty to defend and duty to indemnify; fair claim handling practice requirements and extra-contractual liability; insurance fraud issues, and; insurance regulation.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.740

Intellectual Property

The rights and obligations of those who possess and use property in the form of patents, copyrights, trademarks and other areas of ideas and invention are the subject matter of this course. International as well as federal and state controls and policies will be studied.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.792

International Business Transactions

This course is designed to introduce students to fundamental legal problems encountered by U.S. enterprises engaged in international business. The course will focus on some major legal problems encountered in commercial and financial business ventures that cross national borders, analyzing basic international business transactions and the effects of U.S. law, specific foreign law, and treaties on the conduct of the parties involved.  Topics include an introduction to: commercial law, formation of contracts, choice of law, international sale of goods (including the CISG), letters of credit, foreign direct investment,  the organization and operations of  international (World Trade Organization) and regional trade institutions (European Union),  international dispute resolution, and corporate social responsibility. 

The goal of the course is for students to develop an understanding of the U.S. laws applicable to private international transactions and an awareness of the risks inherent in doing business in or with other countries and their nationals.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.770

International Law

This basic course introduces students to the central topics, ideas and principles of present-day public international law. It will also cover the judicial and other structures including the United Nations, that are central to the determination and enforcement of this legal regime.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.862

International Litigation

This course is intended to prepare a student for practice that increasingly involves a cross-border element, such as foreign parties, transactions, or events occurring outside the US. The course focuses on contemporary problems raised in international private dispute resolution, including civil litigation of international cases in US courts, with a look at comparative procedure in European Union law and practice and to a lesser extent also international arbitration. The course includes the following topics: jurisdiction over foreign parties; extraterritorial application of US law; service of process abroad; discovery/obtaining evidence abroad; proof of foreign law in US courts; choice of forum issues, including both federal and state courts, here and abroad; parallel litigation and forum non conveniens; choice of law in the international context; enforcement of foreign judgments; foreign sovereign immunity and Act of State doctrine.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.769

International Trade Law

This course will examine the law of international trade in goods and services.  It will focus on the rules and institutional framework for the regulation of trade between nations, as embodied in the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as well as on aspects of the foreign trade law of the United States.  The course will cover the dispute settlement process of the WTO and the specific rules that seek to restrain state behavior in relation to discriminatory trade practices, the dumping of goods and services, subsidies and safeguard measures. The course will pay particular attention to the interaction of trade norms and institutions with important social values and concerns such as environmental protection human rights, health, product standards and the democratic deficit.  These are broad policy issues implicated in all trade regimes, including the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA and the European Union.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.640

Interviewing & Counseling: Civil Rights Client

This skills course develops the craft of client interviewing and counseling in the context of a civil rights action. Using the framework of civil actions against governments and individuals for the violation of constitutional rights, the skills of information gathering and counseling will be honed. The class will be conducted with lectures, demonstrations, simulations and critiques.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.640

Interviewing and Counseling

This skills course develops the craft of the lawyer in client interviewing and counseling. The course provides a theoretical framework for and experience with simulated interviewing and counseling in the legal setting. Skills are introduced and honed through lecture, demonstrations, discussion, role playing, simulations, practical exercises and critiques.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.796

Judicial Clerkship Internship Program

Students are assigned to selected judges in Rhode Island and federal trial and appellate courts. The student interns conduct legal research, prepare memoranda of law, observe trial and appellate proceedings, participate in discussions with the court, and perform the duties of a judicial law clerk under the supervision of the assigned judge and a faculty
member. The program requires the devotion of substantial amounts of time both in and out of the judge's chambers and must be taken in conjunction with Seminar: Judicial Process and Ethics.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.713

Juvenile Justice

This course will examine both the theory and practice of juvenile justice.  After exploring the historical foundations of juvenile law, we will study several issues in current practice, including: status offenses and control of juveniles in schools and public places; the application of criminal procedure to juveniles in such areas as search and seizure, police interrogations, and pre-trial detention; juvenile court jurisdiction and the decision whether to prosecute as an adult or a child; trial rights and sentencing dispositions. We will also discuss some recent developments in juvenile law practice and consider the future of juvenile justice policy. 

3 Credit(s)
LAW.822

Labor Law

This course surveys the federal regulation of the union¬management relationship in the private sector. The principal focus of the course is the National Labor Relations Act. The course will examine the establishment of the collective bargaining relationship, the negotiation of the collective agreement, unfair labor practice proceedings, economic pressure tactics, the enforcement of the collective agreement, and the duty of fair representation.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.743

Land Use Planning

This course focuses on the public regulation of land and its use. Various planning theories will be reviewed in the course of studying the law of zoning, subdivision control, eminent domain, and renewal of urban and rural areas. There may also be coverage of environmental impacts on land use.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.852

Law & Literature

This course explores how literature depicts the legal system and what that depiction reflects about society’s view of the law.  Through close readings of fiction, we will explore the following questions:  Is the lawyer a hero and crusader for justice?  Can the law unveil the truth?  Does fiction portray the reality of the legal system?  Can the legal system adequately address complex moral problems?  Readings include To Kill A Mockingbird and 12 Angry Men.  Final paper required. 

2 Credit(s)
LAW.726

Law and Medicine

The two professions of law and medicine intersect in many parts of American society. Issues such as expert testimony, the doctor-patient relationship, malpractice, and ethical issues, including the right to die, and their legal ramifications will be reviewed.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.795

Law of the Sea

This course reviews the basic principles of International law, both customary and treaty-based, that apply to the territorial sea, the high seas, continental shelf, seabed, and ocean floor. The course analyzes the allocation of jurisdictional powers among individual states and the international community over the various maritime zones involved; the use and management of ocean resources, such as regional and global fisheries regimes and seabed mining; marine environmental protection and pollution control; military uses of the ocean; and freedom of navigation.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Law Office Management

Law Office Management is a practical course to explore starting, running, and growing a law practice.  Students will create a business plan and draft various documents essential to any law practice.  A broad range of practice management topics will be discussed, including the choice of entity, practice specialization, business development, marketing, and various ethical issues.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Lawyering in an Evil System

The sad truth is that legal systems do not always comply with the law, whether measured by existing positive law or more general notions of natural rights.  This course will consider the difficult issues facing lawyers and judges in such trying circumstances, over time and in different legal systems, and will challenge students to reflect upon how they would react if placed in similar situations. Among the topics will be lawyers practicing in racist legal systems in the United States, like Atticus Finch; lawyers under Apartheid in South Africa, like Nelson Mandela; lawyers in France and Germany during WWII; and lawyers representing “War on Terror” detainees at Guantanamo. Guest experts will be joining the conversations. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.750

Legal Drafting

This course introduces students to forms of practical legal writing not covered in Legal Practice I and II. The fundamentals of legal drafting are addressed, with an emphasis on the principles of good writing and editing. Assignments reflect the types of legal writing an attorney encounters in daily office practice - documents for litigation, as well as those designed to avoid litigation. Typical projects include correspondence, simple contracts, pleadings, discovery documents, motion papers, jury instructions, orders, and settlement papers. Students may be asked to write from the perspective of a judge or legislator, as well as a practitioner.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.757

Legal Drafting & Advocacy: Environmental Law

This course introduces students to legal drafting and advocacy on behalf of clients facing environmental regulatory issues, both in the administrative and business planning contexts.  The course will cover land/water use issues regarding residential, mixed use and industrial development and operational permitting and compliance under a myriad of Federal and State laws including the Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act: Rivers and Harbors Act, RCRA, CERCLA; CZMA and various selected state statutes and regulations.  Students will learn about agency investigations, enforcement, and appeals and engage in document drafting and simulated agency proceedings.  Students will also learn how to counsel clients about environmental risks in different kinds of business transactions to develop practical lawyering skills in this complex field.  Prerequisite or contemporaneous enrollment in Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law or Coastal and Ocean Law.  Students will be evaluated based upon drafting assignments and mock agency proceedings and client counseling simulations.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.855

Legal Drafting: Commercial Transaction

The area of commercial law involves the application of practical skills introduced in payment systems, secured transactions and bankruptcy.  This course will offer the student the opportunity to acquire ‘hands on’ experience in the drafting of ‘workout’ documents and pleadings arising from commercial loan transactions.  Specifically, this drafting course will continue the topics presented in Legal Drafting: Commercial Loan Documents and take the student through the particulars of dealing with commercial lending transactions that go awry.  Specifically, each student will be introduced to the ‘workout’ process and prepare and submit documents and/or pleadings in state or federal proceedings (including Bankruptcy Court) to protect the interests of each of the lender and the borrower.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.758

Legal Drafting: Commercial Leasing

This class will focus on lease agreements between landlords and tenants of commercial real estate, including leases for office space, for retail stores, and for dustrial/manufacturing property.  Almost every business will be a party to a commercial real estate lease agreement, either as landlord or tenant, at some point in the life of that business. Knowledge of commercial real estate leases is an essential skill for real estate lawyers, as well as corporate lawyers. Litigators will also need to know the fundamentals of commercial real estate leases because these agreements often result in disputes and lawsuits.  This class will also explore some of the alternative uses for leases, such as leases being used as financing alternatives.  Class sessions will be devoted to section-by-section analysis of leases followed by student exercises to draft and revision of these documents.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.747

Legal Drafting: Commercial Real Estate Development & Finance Law

This course will focus on the development and finance components within commercial real estate transactions. We will review the land development process, including site acquisition, due diligence, permitting and construction of commercial retail properties and large scale condominiums projects. We will also analyze, from the perspective of both borrower and lender, the use of different finance mechanisms utilized in the development of real estate, such as term and revolving loans, bridge loans, construction loans and mezzanine financing.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.756

Legal Drafting: Contracts

This course teaches students the fundamentals of drafting contracts. Students learn how to understand a client's business deal, and how to translate the deal into contract concepts, the building blocks of contracts. Students learn the process for drafting the contract concepts in clear and unambiguous provisions in a well-organized complete contract that reflects accurately the parties' deal. Students learn how to add value to a client's deal by drafting and recognizing nuances in language that change the deal and shift risk between the parties. Students learn how to analyze and comment on a contract that another lawyer has drafted. Students will learn the best drafting style and usage techniques necessary to enhance clarity and avoid ambiguity.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.610

Legal Practice I

This skills course trains students in the traditional methods of case and statutory analysis, legal research and writing. The skills are developed through graded exercises, library research, and written work. Students prepare a client opinion letter and two office memoranda.

2.5 Credit(s)
LAW.611

Legal Practice II

This skills course complements Legal Practice I. The emphasis is on the development of advocacy skills through problem analysis, legal research, the writing of an appellate brief and the presentation of oral argument. Students are trained in computer-aided legal research.

2.5 Credit(s)
LAW.646

Legal Practice III

This course is designed to provide in-depth instruction in legal writing and analysis, and to help prepare students for legal practice. Students will complete a series of in-class and take-home exercises and will receive feedback on their writing throughout the semester. In addition, students will meet individually with their professor to discuss assignments, and to enhance their writing and analytical skills.
(requirement begins with class of 2017)

2 Credit(s)
LAW.757

Legislative Drafting & Advocacy

Our lives are bordered by statutes. This course will teach the fundamentals of enacting statutes from policy concept to enacted legislation at the State level. Topics to be covered include bill and resolution drafting; effective Committee presentations; ethical and regulatory reporting issues; and campaign finance. Students will draft bills, advocacy pieces to legislators, reports to clients, and grassroots issue coordination plans.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.849

Lessons of Litigation Law

This course will focus on a particular case each week, typically evidenced by a judicial opinion or series of opinions. Each case will be selected to emphasize some phase or facet of the litigation process, and discussion will center on strategic and tactical choices. Note: since students who take this course will be required to think like lawyers, they will be required to dress like lawyers when attending class sessions (i.e., coats and ties for men, appropriate business attire for women).

2 Credit(s)
LAW.787

Marine Insurance

This course examines the legal problems involved in insurance against physical loss or damage to maritime property (hull), against maritime liabilities (protection and indemnity), and for damage to goods (cargo).

2 Credit(s)
LAW.793

Marine Pollution

This course will cover the major United States laws imposing liability for pollution of inland and costal waters and the high seas, including CERCLA, the Clean Water Act, and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Special attention will be given to the relation between these laws and the general maritime law of the United States; problems of federalism and uniformity; comparison of the United States law with international conventions; and administrative decision making. Some prior knowledge of United States admiralty practice and administrative law would be helpful.

3 Credit(s)
LMA.788

Marine Salvage

Marine salvage is the law of rewarding parties for rescuing goods and preventing damage in cases of marine peril.  The concept is unique to maritime law and involves both a different calculation than the Common-Law concept of quantum meruit and give rise to a maritime lien, a ownership interest, in the property subject to salvage.  We'll consider the elements of a salvage claim, and the distinction between salvage and other maritime claims, calculation of the salvage award, salvage for prevention of environmental damage, and problem involved in the recovery of sunken treasure including the relation of salvage to the law of finds and abandonment and issues involved in dealing with the United States and foreign sovereigns.  In addition procedural issues of arbitration and forum selection will be considered. No prior knowledge of maritime law will be assumed.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.708.W

Maritime Litigation: The Whips and Whirls of an Admiralty Practice

This course is designed to explore various maritime topics typically encountered by an associate in a maritime law firm.  Each class will dissect one or more discrete topics related to the resolution of disputes arising in the context of personal injury and cargo damage (including conducting a shipboard investigation), port entry and clearance (including vessel detention issues), limitation of liability claims (including shipyard fires), the International Maritime Organization's Conventions (including Safety of Life At Sea), and various maritime safety issues arising out of offshore wind farms (including examination of domestic and foreign legal frameworks).  This course will rely heavily on class participation, will encourage discussion as to how to identify and respond to legal issues and will include mock deposition, drafting and interview exercises.  This class should be of interest to the would-be admiralty attorney, or to anyone seeking to further his or her understanding of how to identify, analyze and treat a case from when it first comes in the lawyer’s door.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.782

Maritime Practice & Procedure

This course examines the procedural aspects of maritime practice. It focuses on the jurisdictional and legal basis of actions in rem, quasi in rem, and in personam. Special emphasis is on the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.792

Maritime Security Law

The course addresses the law of maritime security in the United States in the context of the post-September 11 global economy.  Recent, essential measures such as the International Ship & Port Security Code and the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 will be covered in addition to traditional statutory and regulatory schemes such as port state control and the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.  An underlying premise of the course is the relationship between environmental considerations and maritime security risk management in the practical implementation of legal principles. Students will learn principles of U.S. and international maritime security law in a context of transactional practice, including simulated client counseling and formulation of transaction documents such as legal opinions.  Prior maritime and/or environmental law courses will be helpful, but are not a prerequisite.

 

LSM.856

Mass Torts vs. Torts Reform

A mass tort is a civil action in which multiple plaintiffs are injured in a similar fashion by a defective product, hazardous substance or disaster. This course will review a selection of mass tort lawsuits, including tobacco, medical devices, environmental and occupational diseases.  The class will take an in-depth look at the issues raised by complex mass tort lawsuits: issues of substantive tort law, civil procedure, litigation strategy, lawyer-client relationships, the economics of settlement, ethics, the judicial role, and societal impacts.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
Law.671

Massachussetts Civil Practice

This course will cover Massachusetts civil procedure from the commencement of a lawsuit through final adjudication.  Topics will likely include the discovery process, the trial process, alternative dispute resolution, equitable remedies, and recent developments in Massachusetts law.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.733

Mediation

When parties are unable to resolve their dispute through discussion or negotiation, a logical next step is to seek the assistance of a third party mediator to facilitate communication and the search for a solution. This workshop course is intended to familiarize students with the norms of the mediation process and to develop the lawyering skills that will enable students to either serve as mediators or to better represent clients in this increasingly important form of ADR. Attention is given to both facilitative and evaluative styles of mediation. Significant emphasis is placed on role playing exercises and on the legal consequences of the mediation process.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.711

Mental Health Law: A Multidisciplinary Approach

This course is designed to create a cross disciplinary environment where students can explore some of the critical issues that cross the boundaries between law and behavioral health. It will focus on selected topics, exploring each of them from a medical as well as legal perspective. The course will begin with an overview of the mental health system and its history, as well as an outline of the specialized legal environment in which it works. There will then be a series of focus sessions that zoom in on specific issues. There will be three skills workshops providing practical application of the material to common types of psychiatric hearings: civil certification; dangerousness; and competency/diversion. Brown University graduate students in psychiatry and psychology will be registered students in this course.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.809

Mergers & Acquisitions

The course will explore corporate acquisitions, including mergers and consolidations, in the form of asset sale, stock sale, or statutory merger. The consequences of these transactions will be discussed, including, potentially, successor liability, securities regulations, antitrust, tax, accounting, environmental, intellectual property, ERISA, and other legal issues. Due diligence review, negotiation, and documentation will also be discussed. Business Organizations is a prerequisite.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.794

National Security Law

This course is a survey of the major legal components of national security, including counter¬terrorism; the Law of Armed Conflict; war powers issues; emergency powers of government and their relationship to civil liberties; counter¬intelligence, surveillance, intelligence gathering and other covert operations; the role of international and war crimes tribunals; and analysis; and issues pertaining to access to and release of national security information. Particular emphasis will be placed on legal issues relevant to the events of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath, including recent counter¬terrorism legislation and the war in the Middle East.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.673

Natural Resources Law

This course will focus on the regulation of natural resources and will cover common law and statutory implications to wildlife regulation, water and air pollution efforts, water law, land use controls, mining and mineral law. Issues related to conserving recreational resources and historical artefacts and landmarks will also be explored.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.736

Negotiation

This course explores both the theoretical and practical aspects of negotiation and focuses on the techniques, strategies, tactics, ethical restraints and responsibilities of the lawyer. The course is designed to give students experience by engaging in negotiation exercises, and in reviewing and critiquing simulations. Students will participate as negotiators, third parties, and observers. A short paper is required in addition to the exercises.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.821

Ny Pro Bono Scholars Program & Prosecution Seminar

The New York Pro Bono Scholars Program (NYPBSP) bridges law school education and the practice of law while engaging students in the provision of critical legal assistance to low-income people. Students will provide approximately 520 hours of pro bono legal service over a 12-week period for which they will receive 12 fieldwork credits.  In addition, students will take a two-credit weekly seminar on pro bono practice, access to justice and public interest lawyering.  The field work will be graded Pass/Fail.  The seminar will be graded.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.674

Ocean & Coastal Law

The areas in which oceans and their branches and land masses meet are the source of many relationships largely peculiar to those areas. Coastal protection, wetlands, environment and ecological issues, the position of the area in terms of industry and commerce including such international rules as those governing fisheries, whaling and other trapping and hunting, are a part of the special problems facing this zone and the areas of water and land nearby. The course examines the various legal regimes with a consideration of policy issues that are involved in the complex relationships generated in these areas.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.888

Ocean Management & Policy

This course explores the basis for contemplated and ongoing changes to ocean governance and the status of current governance reform efforts in the United States.  As ocean resource conditions have deteriorated and trends in ocean use changed, it has become clear that the existing legal and policy regime is inadequate to respond to current and future management challenges.  Reports by the Pew Oceans Commission and U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in 2003 and 2004, respectively, called for significant changes to management of coastal and ocean resources.  Since then, reform has been contemplated via various state and federal initiatives, involving legal, policy and political considerations, including cutting-edge efforts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  This course will examine the historical and political background for ocean management reform, the findings of federal and state bodies regarding needed changes to ocean governance, and the status of legal, management and policy reform efforts, using ongoing efforts in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and other states as real time examples.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.888

Ocean Management Policy and Reform

This course explores the basis for contemplated and ongoing changes to ocean governance and the status of current governance reform efforts.  Reports by the Pew Oceans Commission and U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in 2003 and 2004, respectively, called for significant changes to management of coastal and ocean resources.  Since then, reform has been contemplated via various state and federal  initiatives, involving legal, policy and political considerations.  This course will examine the background for ocean management reform, the findings of federal and state bodies, and the status of current reform efforts.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.744

Patent Law

Creativity and productive ideas have proven essential to economic progress. The federal government has developed an elaborate set of laws and regulations to protect these ideas from appropriation by others. This body of law, and elements of the practice under it, will be covered in detail.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.651

Payment Systems

This course covers Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code. It surveys the legal concept of money, negotiability, usury laws, commercial paper and bank credit as a money substitute, doctrines of holder in due course, liability and discharge and paper/electronic transfers. Consideration is given also to letters of credit and documents of title.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.706

Poverty Law

This course will provide a broad introduction to the theory and practice of poverty law. The course will be divided into four parts: (1) an overview of poverty and theories about poverty in the United States; (2) poverty and constitutional doctrine (due process, equal protection and fundamental rights) (3) federal and state government safety net programs (4) and the role of lawyers and the civil justice system in poverty law and policy.  Substantive topics will include demographics of poverty in the United States, policy arguments about the causes of poverty, access to justice, welfare reform, food and income programs, health care access, low-wage work, housing, education and child protection.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.731

Poverty, Health, and Law: The Medical/Legal Collaborative

This course explores the connections between social justice and health and the ways in which lawyers and doctors can partner to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Six class sessions are held jointly with medical students from Brown University in which students work together on case simulations. Topics include: professional ethical responsibilities of doctors and lawyers to serve the poor; access to justice and health care; poverty and public benefits; substandard housing and health; family violence; and educational rights of special needs children.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.677

Privacy Law

This course introduces students to the various frameworks of law governing the collection, use, access and disclosure of private sector data.  Students will learn the Fair Information Practice Principles and the laws and regulations administering these principles by area of sensitive data: identity, medical, financial, education, and sales and marketing.  Other topics include state privacy laws and legal limitations on government and court access to private-sector information.  This course will also cover information tested for certification as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP).

3 Credit(s)
LAW.742

Products Liability Law

This course explores the history, theory, and doctrine of strict liability for unreasonably dangerous products, a significant component of modern tort litigation. Students discuss manufacturing, design, and warning defects; the risk/utility and consumer expectation models; generic risk liability; assumption of risk, state of art, and other defenses; whether rules should be modified for specific industries such as pharmaceuticals, tobacco, and firearms; and the differing approaches of the Second and Third Restatement of Torts. Finally, this course will examine contemporary debates about products liability, including the impact of the tort reform movement.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.655

Professional Responsibility

This course analyzes the responsibility of lawyers and judges from the perspectives of the rules and case law, the profession and the client/consumer. Topics include the historical, political, and sociological bases of legal ethics; conflicts of interests; attorney-client privilege; admission to the bar; disciplinary matters and procedures; unauthorized practice of law; attitudes toward bench and bar; professional liability; and canons of ethics and codes of professional responsibility.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.622

Property

This course provides an introduction to the law of property, both real and personal. Real property concepts are emphasized. Topics include historical development, common law principles, gifts, estates in land, licenses, easements, restrictive covenants, future interests, contracts for the sale of land, conveyancing, mortgages, the recording system and possessory rights. Land-use regulation will be introduced if time permits.

5 Credit(s)
LAW.801

Prosecution Clinical Externship Program

Through our Prosecution Clinical Externship Program, students earn academic credit while working two to three days per week in a prosecution office on the federal, state or municipal level.  Students are eligible to appear in court as student attorneys in federal and state courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Students gain valuable hands-on experience representing the government in criminal prosecutions.  Students participate in a weekly seminar with classmates who are working in a variety of prosecutorial settings.

4-6 Credit(s)
LAW.798

Public Interest Internship Program

Students are assigned to state or federal government agencies or to non-profit legal services organizations. The student clerks conduct legal research, prepare memoranda of law, observe administrative, trial or appellate proceedings, participate in discussions with public officials, and perform the duties of a law clerk under the supervision of a supervising attorney and a faculty member. Students in their final year of school may also appear in court on behalf of the state or clients in limited types of proceedings. The program requires the devotion of substantial amounts of time both in and out of the assigned office and must be taken in conjunction with Seminar: Public Interest Lawyering and Ethics.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856.W

Racial Privilege and Post-Racial Politics

The course will examine the reality of continued race discrimination and racial privilege against the backdrop of a legal regime and political system that claim to foster a color blind meritocracy. The readings will be from several sources including the work of Tim Wise in Between Barack and A Hard Place:  Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama.

 

1 Credit(s)
LAW.746

Real Estate Transactions

This course is designed to introduce students to the complexities of land development and redevelopment, the financing of these transactions, and the tax planning required. It will also more lightly note the environmental and land use issues in these areas. Various documents will be prepared by the students during the course. Several classes will focus on negotiation and mediation strategies as issues arise among the various parties to these transactions.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.869

Refugee and Asylum Law

This seminar explores US asylum law and practice employing a comparative and international approach. After establishing the international context within which refugee law has developed, the seminar focuses on U.S. practice, procedure, and doctrine. Through case law and comparative analysis, the substantive elements of refugee status are covered in greater detail. Specific topics to be addressed include the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the Refugee Act of 1980, Convention Against Torture and other related policies and statutes. To expose students to the practical aspects of asylum advocacy, the class will watch a video about the asylum process, and observe an asylum hearing in immigration court.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.831

Regulatory Compliance

This course is intended to introduce students to the growing field of corporate compliance.   Students will learn the fundamental elements of an effective corporate compliance program and will analyze the practical and legal issues involved in designing, implementing and operating such a program.  A compliance program is an organization’s policies, procedures, and practices designed to create an ethical corporate culture and to prevent and detect wrongdoing. 

3 Credit(s)
LAW.823

Religion, Law and Lawyering

This course considers how religious perspectives might illuminate various issues of secular law and lawyering.  Topics that will be addressed include: parallels between law and religion; religious language in public and legal discourse; religious perspectives on civil liability, criminal law and punishment, and reconciliation with injustice;  interpretation of secular and sacred text; and spiritual dimensions of lawyering.  The course will consider a variety of religious perspectives, including Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, and Islamic.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.738

Remedies

The remedies course surveys what a court can do for a claimant who has been, or might be, wronged by the defendant. We will address the principal remedies: damages; injunctions (orders to do or refrain from doing certain conduct); restitution (including the possibility of recovering the defendant's gains from a wrongful act, even if those gains exceed the amount of the plaintiff's loss); remedies that simply declare the rights of the parties; pre-judgment remedies before a determination of liability; and the various means of enforcing remedies (including contempt and seizure of property). Throughout the course, we will discuss which of the several remedies are best for the plaintiff, and how to determine the extent of the remedy that the plaintiff may obtain.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.810

Residential Real Estate Transactions

This course is designed to introduce students to the complexities of land development and redevelopment, the financing of these transactions, and the tax planning required. It will also more lightly note the environmental and land use issues in these areas. Various documents will be prepared by the students during the course. Several classes will focus on negotiation and mediation strategies as issues arise among the various parties to these transactions.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.739

Rhode Island Civil Practice

A study of Civil Procedure in Rhode Island, its transition in 1966 from a common law and equity system to a procedure patterned upon the Federal Procedure and its substantial revision in 1995.  In depth consideration of the progression of a civil action from its commencement in the Superior Court to appellate review in the Supreme Court.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.652

Sales

This course focuses primarily on Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. A study of the law governing the sale of goods and financing thereof is covered including the law governing the formation and interpretation of commercial contracts, perfection of security interests and available remedies upon breach of contract. Implied and express warranties, risk of loss allocation and default are discussed.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.653

Secured Transactions

This course surveys Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and focuses on financing and creation of a secured interest in personal property and fixtures.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.832

Securities Regulation

This course covers two of the most active and critical legislative acts adopted in the field of economic regulation, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. It discusses the disclosure and other provisions imposed on companies issuing and dealing in stock and other securities, as well as remedies available. Ethical issues facing lawyers servicing clients in this area are also examined. Business Organization is a prerequisite.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.737

Selected Issues in Conflict of Laws

Callie from California and Max from Massachusetts get into a car accident with each other in the parking lot of Disney World (Florida).  Max returns home to Massachusetts and sues Callie and Disney World in Massachusetts state court.  Does the Massachusetts court have jurisdiction over Callie and/or Disney World?  If so, what law would a Massachusetts court apply to the dispute – Massachusetts law? California law?  Florida law?   If Max obtains judgment against Callie and Disney World, are these judgments enforceable in California and Florida?  If Callie moves to France and obtains a declaratory judgment there that she is not liable to Max for the car accident, would this French judgment be recognized by a Massachusetts court to preclude Max’s lawsuit?  These are the questions to be explored in this Conflict of Laws seminar.  The seminar will focus on three broad questions: 1. Jurisdiction: When does a court have jurisdiction over a dispute?  2. Choice of Law: What law will a court apply to a dispute?  3. Enforcement of Judgments: When will a judgment from a foreign court (U.S. state or foreign country) be recognized and/or enforced?  The approach taken is a mix between academic and practical.  The ultimate goal is to have students not only understand the doctrines that comprise the conflict of laws, but be able to apply and manipulate them to achieve a desired result.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.816

Selected Issues in Criminal Procedure

This seminar will use several full-length, award-winning documentaries regarding specific criminal cases as fodder for the examination of timely criminal justice issues, primarily with a constitutional inquiry. Film verities allow the overlapping of doctrinal and practical problems for analysis, deconstruction, and reconstruction. Role-playing may be utilized. Topics covered will include: character evidence, investigative techniques, a variety of police and prosecutorial misconduct, racial and gender assumptions, mental health issues, evidence and emotions, the forensic science paradox, and epistemological questions regarding truth. The required paper may fulfill the graduation legal-writing requirement.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Senior Abuse Neglect and Injuries

Litigation involving nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and financial exploitation of the elderly is an expanding and complicated area of civil litigation.  These cases provide a complex interaction between traditional tort law as embodied in medical malpractice cases along with contract issues, corporate law, access to the civil justice system and an understanding of state and federal regulations. This course will provide an academic and practical analysis of this complex niche practice area. 

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

September 11th Litigation: Aviation Security & Terrorism Financing

This class will focus on materials selected by Professor Migliori, whose law firm is working on cases involving the September 11th attacks on the United States. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.721

Sexuality and the Law

This course explores aspects of the legal regulation of sexuality.  Among the questions on which we will focus throughout the semester are these:  How has sexuality (and related notions such as sexuality and gender) been defined, posed and addressed as a problem in and for the U.S. legal system?  What role do various conceptions of sexuality play in framing the terms, the argumentative strategies and resolution of legal disputes?  What shaping functions do legal constructions of sexuality exert in and on broader political conversations about sex and social justice in the contemporary U.S.?  Topics to be discussed include the scope and limits of the “public/private” distinction as a conceptual framework in U.S. sex law; legal efforts to define and distinguish sex, gender and sexuality, sexual acts, gender identities and expressions (male, female, transgender, transsexual, intersex), and sexual identities (“homosexuality,” “heterosexuality,” and “bisexuality”); law, sexuality and intimate association; sexuality, gender, and reproduction; gender, sexuality, surveillance and citizenship; law, sexuality, kinship and family relations; gender identity, sexuality and the legal construction, and regulation, of the human body; sex.

3 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Simple Justice: The History of Brown V. Board Of Education

The text is the Pulitzer-Prize winning Simple Justice, by Richard Kluger.  The book traces the line of cases from Plessy v. Ferguson to Brown v. Board of Education, blending constitutional and historical analysis with fascinating portraits of the lawyers (and their litigation strategy) and the judges (and their personal struggles with how to dispense justice a changing society) who were involved in the history-making journey from “separate but equal” to the death of state-sponsored racial segregation in public schools. 

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Spiritual Dimensions of Lawyering

This course  explores a lawyer’s identity and purpose beyond the “material” aspects of practicing law.  The readings in the course, evidencing a variety of religious and secular perspectives, address topics such as the integration of deeply-held personal values into the practice of law; clients who have deeply held values that are in tension with the dominant values of the legal system; exploring with the client whether justice, peace, or reconciliation is the client’s true goal; and the extent to which a lawyer might engage the client in moral conversation.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.717

Technology and Law Practice

This course surveys software systems that embody specialized legal knowledge and know-how, considers the role of technology on lawyering and the legal services delivery system, and provides hands-on instruction in current technologies including document assembly, automated client interviews,  social media marketing, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data analytics, project management, and virtual law practice.  The course will also examine the burgeoning literature on the practicalities and ethics of “e-lawyering,” with attention to the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  Student projects will provide hands-on experience in current technologies with broad application in public interest and pro bono contexts, as well as application appropriate to solo and small firm practitioners.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.856

The Nature of the Judicial Process

The Nature of the Judicial Process was published in 1921 by Justice Benjamin J. Cardozo and remains one of the most important and influential treatments of the topic.  The professor, the Honorable Stephen J. Fortunato, is a retired Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

This course will ask students to take a hard look at crime and punishment in the United States in the age of mass incarceration. The phenomenon of mass incarceration commonly refers to the historic increase in the prison population in this country over the past 40 years, unexplained by the crime rate and in stark contrast to the incarceration rates of other countries, that has had a disproportionate impact on certain racial, ethnic and social classes (particularly younger African American men living in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage).  A critical examination of Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book, The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, will guide us in exploring the phenomenon of mass incarceration, its historical context, causes and consequences, and the future of crime and punishment in America.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

The Voice of the Child - The Role of Guardian

This course  (taught by Professor Teresa Paiva-Weed) will review the role of the Guardian ad Litem in both domestic cases as well as child abuse and neglect  cases. The class will include an overview of the law and its practical application in a variety of custody disputes, including religious and education disagreements and relocation issues.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.616

Torts I & II

These courses provide an introduction to the law of liability for civil wrongs. Topics include intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, nuisance and damages.

5 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Trademark Stories

This class will examine recent developments in trademark law and practice.  The course will explore:  the impact of the Internet; international aspects of trademark usage and law; practical considerations of enforcing a trademark; and how small and large companies seek to gain brand identity.  Lalitha Rao will teach is course.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.641

Trial Advocacy

The trial advocacy course employs a learning-by-doing approach. Thus, most of the course will involve the practice of trial skills including direct and cross examination, opening statements, closing arguments, and jury selection, in a simulated courtroom environment. During the last two weeks of the course, each student will participate as co-counsel in a full-length simulated civil or criminal trial with a sitting Rhode Island judge or professor presiding.

2 Credit(s)
LSM.856

U.S. Supreme Court Cases

This class will focus on the art of appellate advocacy with particular focus on two cases that will be argued this spring before the United States Supreme Court.  The class will include a trip to the Court to hear those two cases argued and for a meeting with Justice Alito. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LAW.876

Veteran's Disability Appeals Field Clinic

The Veterans Disability Appeals Field Clinic is a one semester program in which law students represent military veterans whose applications for disability benefits have either been denied or granted at a level that is inappropriate to the level of disability.  Working with experienced attorneys from Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick, a nationally recognized law firm specializing in this work, students will research and draft legal memoranda and briefs, participate in pre-briefing conferences and, when appropriate, argue cases before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

6 Credit(s)
LSM.870

White Collar Crime

This seminar deals with policy, doctrine and jurisprudence implicated by corporate and other business entities' criminality. The course will cover the criminal liability of business entities and their officers, involving the study of federal criminal statutes used to prosecute corporate and white collar crime, including mail & wire fraud, conspiracy, racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations (RICO), anti-trust, securities and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.749

Wills & Trusts

This course is intended to prepare a student to advise clients about ordering their personal and financial affairs to more effectively provide for themselves and the people about whom they care. Various dispositive mechanisms, inter vivos testamentary and in trust, will be covered, as well as devices to appoint health care and financial proxies. The course will also address the ethical and professional responsibilities of lawyers representing clients in this area.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.703

Workers Compensation

This course will consider and evaluate benefit delivery systems for those who suffer work related injuries.  Class discussion will trace the evolution of the law from common law tort system and the use of the affirmative defenses to bar most claims to the development of benefit systems which do not utilize fault as a liability measure.  The structure of the benefit system will be evaluated and distinctions considered between the various state systems as well as the federal longshore and harbor workers compensation act.

2 Credit(s)