Course Descriptions - %1
Conflicts of Law
This course will focus on the problems of choosing the law to be applied to transactions, relationships and occurrences having contacts with more than one of the United States and with this country and a foreign court. Issues of adjudicatory jurisdiction and recognition of foreign judgments will also be examined.
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.
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.
Constitutional Law: The Warren Court
This course will provide an overview of the Warren Court, covering the constitutional issues, such as Congressional powers, equal protection, implied fundamental rights, free speech, freedom of religion and criminal law. Each student will select a Justice who served on the Warren Court, provide some biographical background, and write about a topic on which the Justice wrote while on the Warren Court.
This course will survey federal and state consumer protection laws in three areas: 1) fraud and deceptive practices, 2) product quality, and 3) credit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.