Course Descriptions - %1
Art, Artistic Freedom and the Law
The law is often called upon to judge the question of what is art and to resolve disputes between artists and society and institutions. Art works can raise questions of obscenity, such as Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos, or questions of use and ownership, such as Andy Warhol’s soup cans. This class will discuss what, if any, limitations society can impose on artists and where those boundaries are. The course will also explore issues such as the artist’s rights in a work of art; fair use and sampling; artistic freedom; and obscene or offensive artworks as free speech.
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.
Bridging the Gap Between Law Firms & Community Organization's Legal Needs
This course will introduce students to pro bono including the history and ethical underpinnings. Students will learn about the extent of the need for pro bono legal assistance (e.g. research re: numbers served, prevalent legal issues among the poor, the role of LSC and Bar Association programs). They will then begin developing a pro bono project using the PBC partnership model that will involve identifying an issue or organization, research, contacting a community organization, developing a project proposal and pitch for a hypothetical law firm (each student will get a unique hypothetical law firm). Ultimately, each student will produce a paper that will include a description of the legal need their project addresses based on their research, the project parameters, the project’s goals and how the project meets the community organization’s and the law firm’s specific needs/interests, what role a law student would have in the project, a project pitch, how they would evaluate the success of the project.
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.
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.
Civil Procedure I
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.
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.
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.
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.
Community Economic Development Clinic
The Roger Williams University Community Economic Development 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.