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04/26/2016
By Dean Michael J. Yelnosky
This law school values diversity and inclusion.  Our commitment is based on three shared principles: First, we believe that the more diverse the law school community is, the more our students...

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.



Seminars

Course Number Descriptionsort icon Credits
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)
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.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.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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.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)
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)
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.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)