Trending@RWULaw

09/15/2014
By Laurie Barron
How many students, alumni, faculty and staff can fit into the neither small nor large backyard of the Barron-Yelnosky home for the Fall Public Interest Pot Luck dinner?  Turns out at least 112....

Fast Facts

In October of 2012, the federal Legal Services Corporation published the Report of the Pro Bono Task Force and described the Pro Bono Collaborative as "one great example of how much can be accomplished through collaboration." 



Fall Electives

Course Number Descriptionsort icon Credits
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.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 and Washington State. The course also covers essay and performance test writing techniques. The Fall Semester (1 credit) will cover Torts, Criminal Law, & Criminal Procedure. The Spring course (2 credits) will cover Evidence, Contracts, Property, & Constitutional Law. The Fall Semester course is not a formal prerequisite for the Spring Semester, but is highly recommended.

2 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)
LSM.729.A

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.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.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.AH1

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.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)
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.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)
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.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.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.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.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)
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.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.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)
LSM.856.AH4

Mandela: Lawyer Extraordinary

Mandela: Lawyer Extraordinary will be taught by Professor Robert Kent. The course will focus on the life and work of Nelson Mandela, one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: a lawyer and international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.   Requires Honors enrollment.

1 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)
LSM.856.AH5

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.  The course will be taught by Donald Migliori.

1 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.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)
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.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.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.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)
LSM.856.A1

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.A3

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)
LSM.856.AH2

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)