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College of Law

Florida State University

 

Course Descriptions

First-Year Courses

  • Civil Procedure

    (4 credits)

    An introduction to the principles of adjudication of the formalities of litigation in federal courts. Allocation of judicial business between state and federal judiciaries and the civil rights of defendants to be immune from inconvenient civil litigation are examined along with other aspects for jurisdiction. Phases of litigation - pleadings, complaint, discovery, answer and reply, motions for judgment on the pleadings, and summary judgment - are reviewed in depth.

  • Constitutional Law I

    (3 credits)

    A study of general principles of constitutional law under the United States Constitution. Also reviewed are the judicial function in constitutional cases, the federal system, the powers of the national government, and the powers reserved to the states.

  • Contracts

    (4 credits)

    An introduction to the basic foundations of forceability of contractual arrangements: formation, performance, breach and damages, rights of third parties, conditions, Statute of Frauds, and assignments. Inquiry is made into the historical developments of contract law and nineteenth-century notions of the doctrine of consideration in light of developing twentieth-century concepts and alterations. Economic aspects of the subject are considered along with modern statutory developments, including the Uniform Commercial Code. A primary objective of this course is for students to develop a pattern of analysis and expression central to their work as lawyers.

  • Criminal Law

    (3 credits)

    An examination of substantive requirements of criminal law offenses and defenses, the social and political forces influencing the content of the criminal law, and the constitutional limits and requirements informing its content and application.

  • Legal Writing and Research I
  • Legal Writing and Research II
  • Legislation & Regulation

    (3 credits)

    This course seeks to provide students with an introduction to the creation, interpretation and application of statutes and regulations, and the central role that they play in modern American governance.

  • Property

    (4 credits)

    A study of the extent to which various property rights come or fail to be recognized. The course includes both private sector and governmental arrangements and influences on the definition of property rights. Particular topics include the law of finders, landlord and tenant, concurrent ownership, licenses, easements, profits, restrictive covenants, an introduction of zoning and growth control and constitutional "takings" analysis.

  • Torts

    (4 credits)

    The study of civil wrongs for which the common law provides a remedy in the form of an action for damages. Topics include how accident losses are distributed; the role of trial judge, jury, and appellate judiciary; the language of negligence; and intentional wrongs.

Second- and Third-Year Courses

  • 20th Century American Legal History
  • Administrative Law

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the legislative, executive, and judicial control of administrative action. The course includes discussion of formal and informal administrative processes, the opportunity to be heard, adequacy of notice, restrictions on the deciding body, and appellate review. 

  • Administrative Law Research

    (2 credits)

    This online, asynchronous course is designed to help students develop the sophisticated research skills necessary for the effective practice of administrative law. Students will be introduced to basic concepts, sources, and specialized tools used in federal, Florida, and other state administrative law research. Skills taught will include efficiently researching secondary sources, government entities, regulations, administrative and judicial decisions, agency documents, and problem analyses. Students will learn research strategies for specialized practice areas such as securities, environmental, tax, and labor law. 

  • Admiralty Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the law of the sea, including admiralty jurisdiction, maritime liens, limitation of liability, collision, towage, charter parties, and the rights of injured maritime workers and passengers.

  • Advanced Civil Procedure

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Civil Procedure
    Evaluation: Four in-class quizzes and a final examination

    This litigation-oriented course focuses on issues that do not arise in the “everyday” lawsuit, but are rather needed only in unusually contentious, large, or complicated cases.  Topics to be covered include the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial, judicial supervision of juries, post-trial and appellate practice, claim and issue preclusion, and the use of complex joinder devices (including class actions, intervention, interpleader, mandatory joinder under Rule 19, and practice under the Multi-District Litigation statute).

  • Advanced Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers in Theory and Practice

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I

    This course will offer in-depth discussion of the separation of powers, focusing especially on executive and legislative powers. We will first explore the theoretical underpinnings of the separation-of-powers as explained by the Founders and other Enlightenment thinkers. We will then explore how the separation of powers plays out in practice, using historical and recent examples both from the federal and Florida governments. We will examine a variety of cases and disputes, focusing not only on court decisions but also on how officials and lawyers in the legislative and executive branches have handled—or should have handled—those controversies. The course may feature guest speakers who have been at the center of some of these controversies.  

  • Advanced Corporate Governance

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Corporations

    This seminar will cover the major debates in corporate law scholarship and policy, such as whether corporations should maximize profits or consider social welfare, whether corporations are distinct entities or just a nexus of relationships among various economic actors, and whether stock options are a valuable or detrimental form of executive compensation, among others.  

  • Advanced Criminal Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This class will provide students with a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of doctrines and concepts that regularly arise in criminal law cases.  These include: intention; recklessness; negligence and strict liability; causation; inchoate liability; complicity; duress and necessity; and intoxication.  We will also examine some basic procedural issues.  At various instances, we will look at how other common law jurisdictions deal with a concept or doctrine.  Students will be required to write two short papers.  There is no final exam.  This is an S/U only course.

     

  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Advanced Topics in International Law: Global Justice

    (3 credit hours)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course (seminar) will focus on global justice - a burgeoning area of intersection between international law, international ethics, and international relations. We will examine the following questions: What do we owe the global poor? What are the causes of poverty and oppression? What are the most desirable rules for controlling borders? What makes states legitimate in international law? When is war justified? What are the optimal rules for international trade? And, importantly, we will discuss the role these ideas might play in the design and the structure of international institutions. 

  • Advanced Trial Practice

    (1-2 credits)
    Prerequisites: Trial Practice and Evidence

    This course focuses on higher-level preparation and advocacy skills relating to the law, tactics, methods and ethics of civil litigation. The 1-2 credit course will be graded on an S/U basis. The course will build on the basic Trial Practice course and involves lecture, demonstration and heavy student participation in pre-trial strategies and preparation, jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, in-trial dispositive motions and closing arguments. Advanced Trial Practice will provide students with a valuable opportunity to refine and develop skills in these and other important areas, including courtroom and pretrial use of technological aids; applied social psychology (e.g., in selecting jurors and dealing with opposing counsel); creation of effective case theories and persuasive trial strategies; identification and preparation of expert witnesses; preparation of fact witnesses; development of effective trial notebooks; and effective direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses. 

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Examination of the alternative dispute resolution movement and techniques for incorporating it into your legal practice. A variety of readings and exercises are used as background for discussions of the utility of different mechanisms for resolving certain kinds of disputes. This course focuses on adjudication, negotiation, and mediation. The class includes opportunities to be involved in role-play simulations and to discuss the efficacy of these techniques with experienced professionals. 

  • Anatomy of a Deal

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Contracts, Corporations

    This course will help students develop the skills necessary to work on transactional matters, including drafting, negotiating, and analytical skills. After briefly revisiting basic contracting and corporate law principles, we will begin working on and through the various elements of a deal. We will review and discuss many of the documents and provisions that a transactional lawyer confronts, including: confidentiality agreements, non-binding letters of intent, binding agreements (including purchase agreements, lease agreements, license agreements, employment agreements, etc.), guarantees, indemnifications, representations and warranties, working capital, escrows, financing contingencies, non-competes, certificates and more. You will be taught how to perform due diligence, how to time transactions and closings, and how to negotiate transactional documents. From time to time, as appropriate, we may have guest speakers join us to provide their expertise on a particular area of law or on a particular type of transaction or document.

    You will be provided with a syllabus on the first day of class that will outline the general topics to be discussed in class as well as the class schedule. The assignment for class will be given to you at the end of the prior class (unless otherwise specifically discussed). Since this is a class that focuses on deal transactions, you will be expected to keep up with and know what is going on in the current business and economic environment, and will spend the first few minutes of class discussing current events. This course will fulfill the skills training requirement for graduation. 

  • Animal Law

    (2 credits) 

    Throughout the semester, we will examine the historical and current status of animals in our legal system.  We will examine legal issues involving animals, including veterinary malpractice, recovery for injuries to animals, dog bites, animal cruelty, regulation of agricultural animals and animal legal standing. By necessity, these legal issues involve principles of tort law, criminal law, property law and even some constitutional law. This course is not an animal rights course, but rather a survey of a burgeoning and dynamic field of law, of which animal rights is but a part. Students will explore whether the law has a place for animals as something other than mere property, and if so, where lines ought to be drawn.  

    This course will involve much class discussion.  Accordingly, the course is graded on quality class participation, an in-class debate, and a final exam.

  • Antitrust Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of judicial decisions construing and applying the federal antitrust laws ( i.e., Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman, and Federal Trade Commission Acts) to the control of the competitive process in the American economy.

  • Appellate Advocacy

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Legal Writing and Research I & II

    This course is designed for students to hone and refine their written and oral advocacy skills, with an emphasis on doing so in an appellate setting. Students will refine their research, writing, and oral argument skills through a series of experiential assignments and exercises that focus principally on brief-writing and oral arguments—and will receive extensive feedback and coaching both inside and outside of class for all such assignments. 

  • Appellate Practice: The Florida Solicitor General’s Perspective
    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: none

    Florida’s Solicitor General serves within the office of the Florida Attorney General and handles appeals of statewide importance in state and federal courts. In this two-hour, skills-based course, Florida’s current Solicitor General will offer a hands-on perspective on appellate practice. The material will be taught through lecture and example, including practice problems. The course will explore in detail appellate cases the office has handled. It will use these cases to cover the organization and operation of Florida’s appellate courts and appellate jurisdiction and court authority. The course will also explore, through example cases, appellate strategy and substantive issues relating to constitutional challenges to state laws.   S/U only.
     
  • Asylum and Refugee Law

    (2-3 credits)

    This course is a survey of international refugee and domestic asylum law. It considers both the law in theory and as practiced. Grounds for asylum under U.S. law are examined in the class, with a particular emphasis upon gender-based claims. The course has no prerequisites, and no prior immigration law study is presumed.

  • Bankruptcy

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A comprehensive study of the legal principles governing the relationship of debtors and creditors, with primary emphasis on federal bankruptcy law and focus on the rights of unsecured creditors. Traditional state remedies such as attachment, garnishment, execution, fraudulent conveyance and debtors' exemptions also are covered.

  • Behavioral Law and Economics

    This interdisciplinary seminar critically examines the “rational actor” model of legal decision making (proposed by classical economic theorists) in light of the work of social and cognitive psychology.  This course will examine cutting-edge empirical and experimental research and will challenge the descriptive assumptions that underlie legal doctrine in a variety of areas, including criminal law, contracts, torts, corporate law, administrative law, and the rules of evidence and procedure. 

    Topics include, but are not limited to: (1) how moral and social norms interact with legal rules to influence behavior (and whether they should); (2) how cognitive biases affect a party’s ability to bargain efficiently for goods; (3) the psychological factors that guide decisions regarding whether and how much to punish wrongdoers; (4) the power that group dynamics exert on board members in corporate decision making; and (5) whether the traditional “law and economics” approach to tort law fits with psychological research on risk.  Grades will be based on a presentation and research paper.

  • Business Law Clinic
    More information coming soon!
  • Business Law Legal Research
  • Business Planning

    (2-4 credits)

    This course explores the most common issues faced by small and medium-sized businesses and the lawyers representing them.  Issues that typically will be addressed include: choosing the right form (corporation, partnership, LLC) for the business, organizing and funding the enterprise, converting from one form to another, and purchase and sale of businesses.  Additional issues that may be addressed may include: buy-sell provisions, employment agreements, compensation planning, insurance, diversification, and estate, asset protection, and transition planning.  Both tax and non-tax aspects are considered.  No prerequisites.  Previous or concurrent enrollment in Corporations, Closely-Held Business Organizations, and Taxation desirable but not required.

     
  • Capital Punishment Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course examines the history of capital punishment in the United States and the substantive and procedural rules that have over time guided and limited its application. Students will become familiar with, inter alia, matters pertaining to the capital sentencing process (such as jury selection and consideration of aggravating and mitigating circumstances), the role of defense counsel, execution methods, and Florida's current and historic use of the death penalty.

  • Chinese Law

    Prerequisites: None

    This course provides an introduction to Chinese law, although it meets once a week in a seminar format in order to probe the themes of the course in as much depth as possible. Although the focus is on Chinese law, its tradition and evolution in the 20th century, the discussions and research assignment are aimed at a broader exposure, that is, to a legal system distinctive from that in the United States, and to the skills needed to research and analyze foreign law more generally. Topics include "How to Study Chinese Law," "The Historical Context," "Legislation," "Dispute Resolution," "The Judiciary and the Courts," "The Legal Profession," "Administrative Law" and "The Role of Law in Economic Development." The requirements of the course are regular attendance, participation in class discussion, and completion of a research paper of approximately 25 pages in length. If you seek to satisfy the Upper Level Writing Requirement with this paper, you must turn in at least one preliminary draft before spring break and respond to Professor Lee’s comments written on it. Where appropriate to the topic under discussion in class, you will be asked briefly to report on your research and how it relates to issues raised by that topic. 

  • Civil Discovery

    (3 Credits)
    Prerequisites: Civil Procedure (required)
    Pre/Co-requisite: Evidence (recommended)

    This is an interactive skills based course designed to assist students in developing critical thinking skills while learning winning strategies related to the discovery process.  Students will be given a mock case scenario and will be assigned a position of plaintiff or defendant.  They will decide how to approach the discovery process using all the tools in the tool box including admissions, document requests, interrogatories, subpoena duces tecum, depositions, etc.  Students will be drafting discovery requests and responding to discovery requests, learning how to incorporate the information  produced to elicit more information and data and how to incorporate the information and data obtained through the discovery process ultimately putting their client in the best position to move forward with litigation or forcing a sit down for settlement negotiations.

  • Civil Pre-Trial Practice

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    May be taken as a S/U grade only. The course provides a hands-on, experience-based exposure to civil pre-trial law and practice. Skill areas addressed include client interviewing, negotiation and dispute resolution, as well as the drafting of pleadings, motions, requests and other documents pertaining to discovery and other pre-trial matters. In addition, students will gain exposure to the theoretical, strategic and practical ramifications of civil pre-trial practice. 

  • Civil Rights Litigation

    (1 credit)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course introduces students to civil rights law and trial practice. Its subject matter envelops material portions of constitutional law, general tort law, and federal and state jurisdictional rules and statutes and rules of civil procedure. From a trial practice perspective we will examine, among other things, the use of facts and circumstances giving rise to claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the federal vehicle by which violations of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the 14th Amendment, are brought. 

  • Class Action Litigation
    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    In this seminar, we will discuss class actions from the theoretical, doctrinal, and practical perspectives.  We will examine several actual cases in great depth, including antitrust class actions, employment law class actions, and class actions brought against the federal government.  Practical exercises will include working on a motion for class certification, deposition practice, and a simulated settlement negotiation.  The final grade will be based on both performance in the practical exercises and a research paper the subject of which you will choose based on the course materials.  Students will be able to fulfill both their ULWR and skills-training requirements. 
     
  • Clean Air Act

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Through the study of cases, agency guidance documents, scholarly writings, and current events, we will explore a range of technical issues, legal issues, and policy questions relating to air pollution control, the Clean Air Act and its amendments, and the regulatory programs and activities conducted pursuant to its many provisions. The key objective of the course is for students to attain general competence in the history, major programs, and policy considerations relating to the Clean Air Act and its implementation in the United States. Students will apply theoretical and analytical tools, acquire technical knowledge, gain familiarity with case law and case studies, and analyze topics of interest in preparation for writing an original research paper or completing a final examination at the end of the semester. 

  • Client Interviewing and Counseling

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The course offers students a skills-oriented approach to client interviewing and counseling. Coverage includes recognizing the legal and non-legal dimensions of a client's problem(s); developing the fundamental skills of effective listening and questioning; and practicing information-gathering and decision-making techniques. Course may be taken for S/U grade only, with S+ (honors) and S- option. 

  • Climate Change

    (3 credits)

    This course will provide an overview of the legal, economic, psychological and other interdisciplinary aspects of global climate change. This course will include a significant review of the scientific basis for climate change, and for controlling emissions and adapting to impending climate change. The course will cover international, domestic, and subnational efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. Various legal and policy tools to address climate change are examined and evaluated, such as cap-and-trade schemes; carbon taxation; traditional regulation; litigation; adaptation; and voluntary action. Various technologies and strategies are also explored: renewable energy technologies, nuclear power, forestry and agriculture. Active class participation is expected. The course is an exam-based lecture course.

  • Closely Held Business Organizations

    Prerequisites: None

    This course covers the organizational law of small businesses, particularly those with relatively few owners or shareholders. It introduces and compares different types of legal organizations commonly used by small businesses, such as general partnerships, limited partnerships, closely held corporations, and limited-liability companies (LLCs).

    Topics include the formation of business organizations, the rights and duties of owners and managers, and the breakup of businesses. The course also covers the law of agency -- that is, the law that addresses the rights and duties that arise when one person acts for another. 

  • Commercial Paper

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: Must not have taken Commercial Law Survey

    Principles of commercial paper; system of bank deposits and collections, including the relationship of the commercial bank and its customer. The use of commercial paper in documentary exchanges is also covered. 

  • Commercial Real Estate Transactions

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisite: Property and Contracts

    This commercial real estate course focuses on three key documents that are the mainstay of a transactional real estate lawyer's practice: the contract of sale, the loan, and the lease. Over the course of the semester, students will pair up to negotiate and draft each of these documents, and to role play as counsel to the purchaser or the seller for the contract of sale, the borrower or the lender for the loan, and the landlord or the tenant for the lease. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of a commercial real estate deal by conducting due diligence and analyzing key ancillary documents that are part and parcel of a commercial deal. Students interested in careers in transactional law, real estate law, corporate law, or finance will find the skills they gain in this course fungible.

  • Communications Law

    (2 credits)

    This course will focus on the law and economics underlying the regulation of telecommunications services. It will cover, at a minimum, regulation of two-way point-to-point communication (what used to be known as telephony), use of the broadcast spectrum, wireless and broadband regulation, and regulation of the Internet. Conceptually, the course will focus on the ideas about networks, monopoly and vertical integration and the role of administrative agencies in addressing issues raised by these attributes of the telecommunications market.

  • Comparative Constitutional Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Constitutional Law II

    This seminar will explore selected topics in comparative constitutional law through readings of both scholarly articles and major foreign cases (in translation). The focus of the readings will be on non-U.S. systems, but throughout the course we will use the U.S. as a primary point of comparison. Topics will include: comparative federalism and separation of powers, appropriateness and methodologies for enforcing socio-economic rights in different contexts, and the links between domestic and international legal systems. 

     

  • Comparative Criminal Procedure
    (2 credits)
    Pre/ co-requisite: Criminal Procedure – Police

    The main comparator to U.S. law will be English law, though a vital element of that law is now provided by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which contains several provisions equivalent to those to be found in the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Relevant authority from Scotland, Australia and Canada will also be considered. The focus of the course will be upon the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures (4th Amendment), the right not to be compelled to be a witness against oneself (5th Amendment) and the right to be confronted with one’s accusers (6th Amendment), all studied comparatively with equivalent English and ECHR law. To give a flavour, the lines of authority flowing from Mapp v Ohio, Miranda v Arizona and Crawford v Washington will all be studied.
     
  • Comparative Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An introduction to the characteristic features and functioning of non-common law legal systems, with emphasis on the civil law tradition. This course seeks to provide American lawyers with a basic framework for understanding foreign legal systems. 

  • Complex Civil Litigation

    (3 credits)

    This course examines the theory and practice of complex, multiparty cases. In particular, it examines the major procedural and substantive issues in nationwide class actions and non-class aggregation. Our readings and discussions will focus on class actions (including the requirements for class certification, dueling state and federal class actions, and the implications of settlement) and other advanced procedural topics such as joinder, multidistrict litigation, large-scale discovery, phased trials and preclusion. 

  • Complex Litigation Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Civil Procedure

    This seminar will focus on complex civil litigation.  Complex cases test the ordinary assumptions of our adversary process, forcing us to reconsider the roles of litigants, lawyers, and judges, as well as the relations between them.  Central in our study will be the class action, but we will also examine several alternative means of handling complicated cases, including individual or class arbitration, interpleader, and the multi-district litigation process.  We will work to understand the legal and practical mechanics of modern aggregate litigation, and examine whether class treatment cures or worsens the pathologies of complex cases.  In addition, we will look at other ways that large and complex cases strain the trial system, covering issues that include preclusion, jurisdiction, choice-of-law, discovery, the right to trial by jury, and case-management challenges. 

  • Condominium and Community Housing Law

    (2 credits)

    The course will examine the law of Florida condominiums with emphasis on those of residential character, as well as the law of mandatory homeowners' associations, and its differences from, and similarities to, the law governing condominiums. The course will cover statutory and case components of the law; document composition and drafting for the creation of condominiums; the statutory standards for operations and governance; and dispute resolution and covenant enforcement within the community.

  • Conflict of Laws

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Involves choosing the governing law when transactions and relationships have elements in more than one jurisdiction, with particular emphasis on Florida's approach to these cases. 

  • Conservative and Libertarian Legal Thought Seminar
  • Constitutional Law II

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Constitutional Law I

    Required. An advanced study of freedom of expression and association, substantive and procedural due process of law, and the equal protection of the laws. 

  • Consumer Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study and analysis of decisional and statutory materials dealing with problems in areas such as consumer credit, deceptive and oppressive sales practices, extrajudicial collection efforts and the role of credit reporting agencies. 

  • Contract Drafting

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will teach the principles of contemporary commercial drafting, introduce documents typically used in a variety of business transactions and provide an overview of principled contract negotiation techniques. The course will be of particular interest to students pursuing a corporate law career, but the concepts are applicable to any transactional practice and will even be useful to litigators.

    Students will be exposed to:

    1) The business purpose of major contract concepts
    2) Translating the business deal into contract concepts
    3) Drafting each of a contract’s parts
    4) Techniques for principled negotiation (win-win negotiation)

    Practical examples will help students understand the importance of drafting with clarity and without ambiguity, how to work through the formal drafting process and how to review and comment on contracts. Students will participate in several multi-phase drafting exercises and mock negotiations.

  • Controlled Substances: Law, Policy & Enforcement

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This ULWR seminar examines the nation’s decades-long war on drugs.  In addition to focusing on the history behind the drug war, and its underlying moral and political choices, the course will address any number of the many important and interesting outgrowths of the war. Topics addressed will possibly include:   the substantive law concerning drug possession, manufacturing and trafficking; the sanctioning of drug offenders; common features of drug investigations (e.g., the use of informants); effects on constitutional law (especially the Fourth Amendment); and inter-jurisdictional matters (e.g., between states and the federal government).

  • Copyright Law
  • Corporate Finance

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Corporations

    An advanced corporate course designed to develop students' awareness of the range of legal issues involved in the public and private funding of the activities of a corporation or similar business entity. The course provides a basic analysis of commercial loan agreements; stocks, bonds, and other securities; mergers and acquisitions; corporate capital structure; and enterprise valuation. 

  • Corporate Governance

    This seminar focuses on corporate governance and the financial crisis. Specifically, we will examine the institutions, financial products, markets, and economic theories at the core of the recent financial crisis. Then, we will explore how, if at all, corporate law and related disciplines played a role in the crisis and/or should play a role in regulating financial firms and markets. Topics will include traditional fiduciary obligations, the shareholder empowerment movement, executive compensation, the legislative/regulatory response to the crisis, and the question of "too big to fail." 

  • Corporate Law and Finance Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Co-Requisite: Corporations

    The purpose of this seminar is to study selected corporate law and finance issues from the perspective of law and economics, including: fiduciary duties, shareholder activism, executive compensation, takeovers, securities fraud, capital structure decisions and the Efficient Capital Markets hypothesis. We will pay special attention to the incentives of corporate participants to behave strategically and the relative effectiveness of markets and legal rules in reducing the level of inefficient strategic behavior. This course may fulfill the upper-level writing requirement. 

  • Corporations

    (4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An introduction to the language and law of business organizations, including agency, partnership, and business corporations. Topics include formation and structure of the corporation, power and fiduciary responsibility of management, rights and liabilities of shareholders, corporate capital structure and finance, shareholders' derivatives litigation, acquisitions and tender offers, and insider trading. Federal securities law is introduced. 

  • Corporations & The Constitution

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Constitutional Law I

    In this seminar, we will examine the relationship between various business entities and the Constitution from historical, theoretical, and doctrinal perspectives.  Topics will include the ways in which federal courts treat cases involving companies that contract with the federal government; the nature and constitutionality of securities and other financial regulations; the historical development of federal antitrust laws and their current applications; the constitutional issues involved in large lawsuits against businesses; the role of corporations in the development of Commerce Clause doctrine; constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act; campaign finance issues; and the evolving treatment of business entities as having constitutional rights in Citizens UnitedHobby Lobby, etc.  We will use these topics as a vehicle to examine the development of judicial federalism, federal common lawmaking, and the separation of powers, among other constitutional matters.  This seminar requires the composition of a research paper and will satisfy the upper-level writing requirement (ULWR).  The seminar counts as an elective for the Business Law Certificate.

     

  • Counterterrorism Law: National, State, and Local Perspectives

    (2 credits) 
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will focus on the efforts to protect the national security of the United States, and to counter the threat of terrorism facing the nation - both at home and abroad. Through this course, students will focus on a number of topics, notably the surveillance authorities of the government, the methods in which the government may obtain information in counterterrorism cases, and the various terrorist threats facing the nation today. Students will also learn about the legality of the government’s detention, interrogation, prosecutorial, and targeted killing policies that have evolved since September 11, 2001, all while contemplating the ramifications of those policies on personal privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. Finally, students will consider the roles of the federal branches of government in determining counterterrorism law and policy, as well as the roles of state and local law enforcement, with a glimpse into their respective areas of responsibility.  

  • Criminal Litigation Skills

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Evidence is a pre- or co-requisite

    A practice course dealing with prosecuting and defending criminal cases. This course is a prerequisite for externships in state attorney and public defender offices throughout Florida. Students participate in all phases of pretrial and trial practice relating to criminal cases. Pretrial exercises include bond hearings, probable cause determinations, discovery, arraignments and motion hearings. Trial exercises focus on the individual aspects of the criminal trial including jury selection, opening statement, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, introduction of physical evidence, and closing arguments. 

  • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An examination of selected federal constitutional constraints on the criminal justice adjudicative process. Topics addressed include the right to counsel and to assistance of counsel, rights relating to pretrial procedures, plea bargaining, jury trial and jury selection, rights relating to trial, double jeopardy, sentencing, appeals, and habeas corpus. 

  • Criminal Procedure: Police

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An examination of selected federal constitutional constraints on the law enforcement evidence-gathering and investigative process. Emphasis is placed on the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Fifth Amendment protection against compelled testimony, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. 

  • Cross-Examination

    (2 credits)
    Co-requisites: Evidence

    Cross examination is a complex and difficult skill to master, but is essential to success in litigation. This skills-based course will focus on the planning and preparation for cross by identifying the nature and goals of cross, practicing case analysis, learning techniques to challenge credibility, dealing with evidentiary issues, studying storytelling during cross, and practicing cross tools and techniques. Lectures will be combined with practice problems and presentations, application and critique, “blind” cross situations, and cross games that sharpen cross skills.

  • Current Issues in Environmental Law & Policy

    (3 credits) 

    This seminar will cover important and timely issues in environmental law.  For example, the seminar may include discussion of issues that relate to various aspects of climate change adaptation and mitigation, the BP spill, and compliance with the environmental laws.  Students will be expected to write a paper that will enable them to fulfill the upper level writing requirement, in addition to other course requirements. 

  • Current Topics in Intellectual Property

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite/Co-requisite: Patent Law, Trademarks & Unfair Competition, Copyright Law, International Aspects of Intellectual Property, Introduction to Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property & Business Strategy, or by instructor permission

    In this seminar, students will survey a range of legal, political, economic and policy issues that arise in the application of Intellectual Property law. Because Intellectual Property laws originated long ago, the field faces constant challenges amid the new and ever-changing frontiers of innovation and creation. Students will read foundational materials relating to the nation’s intellectual property laws in order to explore their theoretical underpinnings in the context of current issues facing courts and scholars. 

  • Cyber Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This is a seminar covering some of the legal issues that have arisen with the growth of the Internet. Topics examined will include e-commerce, intellectual property, crime on the Internet, first amendment, privacy, tort liability, and others. Each of these topics will be explored through the lens of a series of jurisprudential themes: What are the appropriate metaphors for conceptualizing cyberspace? Is there any role for law in regulating speech and conduct in cyberspace, or will social norms suffice? If law has a role in cyberspace, are traditional legal doctrines and categories adequate? If traditional doctrines and categories are inadequate, which legal institutions are the best to implement the changes this new technology requires--courts, legislatures, or administrative agencies? 

  • Cybersecurity Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This skills training course introduces students to federal and state regulations on cybercrime, cyberespionage, and cyberwar. Topics covered in the course include:  consumer privacy protection; security protection responsibility of business entities, including disclosure requirements about privacy policies and cybersecurity breaches and employer monitoring and surveillance of employee computer activities; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA); the Electronic Communications Protections Act (ECPA); and privacy and cybersecurity regulations of the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission.

  • Depositions

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Evidence (may be taken simultaneously)

    This is a skills based course that is designed to demonstrate, familiarize and instruct students in taking the depositions of a variety of witnesses and in a variety of situations.  Students will be exposed to all aspects of a deposition and will be provided an understanding both academically and practically of the intricacies of a deposition.
    The material will be taught by lecture and example, and role playing as advocates and deponents in several mock trials throughout the semester.  Students will be expected to participate in all aspects of the mock depositions.  The instruction will also include drafting notices, motions, questions, and participation in a final mock trial.

  • Directed Individual Study

    (1-5 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    S/U grade. Provides upper-level students an opportunity to conduct independent research culminating in a written paper. Prior approval of the curriculum committee and the supervision of a faculty member is required. 

  • Disability Law

    (3 credits)

    This course examines a variety of aspects of disability, including: the legal and policy framework underpinning federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability; the legal and social implications of having a disability; and entitlement programs. Particular emphasis will be on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Fair Housing Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This course will also examine entitlement and social insurance programs (eg. Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare), the ideas of “capacity” and “competence” as legal constructs and the implication of federal healthcare policy decisions on people with disabilities.

  • Dodd-Frank Act Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: None

    The purpose of this seminar is to study the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Issues covered include: the causes of financial crises; the role of governments in regulating financial institutions, and of markets in meeting regulatory shortfalls; coordination between international financial regulators; the “too-big-to-fail” problem; risk management; financial derivatives, including mortgage-backed securities and other asset-backed securities; the role of rating agencies; the regulation of hedge funds; and consumer protection. We will study how the Dodd-Frank Act addressed each of these issues. This course may fulfill the upper-level writing requirement. 

  • Drafting Legislation for Emerging Countries

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Bankruptcy or any advance commercial course

    This course will look at the issues and solutions for drafting legislation for new and emerging countries. Objectives for this course include (1) understanding the forms and conventions of legislative drafting, (2) learning to conceptualize legislative solutions to social problems, and (3) appreciating the relationship between legislative drafting and substantive policy.

    In this effort, the course will look at the manner in which policy and procedure for enacting laws for emerging countries are identified, and then implemented through proposed legislation.  The interplay between local norms and existing international  standards of best practice in a substantive area of law will also be examined.  Particular care will be taken in developing the skills necessary to produce precise drafting.

    In all respects, the class will be informed by the fact that Professor Markell has been asked to draft a new Bankruptcy Code for Kosovo (a former Yugoslavian republic which declared independence in 2008), with a charge to draft a statute that is in accord with international best practices for bankruptcy and insolvency statutes generally.  During the course of the class, Professor Markell will be developing and submitting drafts of the new law, and may be traveling to Kosovo to meet with local officials.  Because of the commercial nature of this assignment, and thus the commercial focus of the course (and the need to assimilate and learn international best practices in bankruptcy), a course in Bankruptcy or an advanced course in commercial law (Sales, Payment Systems, Secured Credit, or equivalent) is a prerequisite or a corequisite.  Enrollment will be limited to 12 students.

    Grading will be based on a paper, the topic of which will be chosen by the student.

  • E-Discovery and Digital Evidence

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None
    Requirements:  Smart phone

    More than 90% of all information is now created in electronic form ranging from Word documents and spreadsheets to email and social media. To keep up with technological advances, e-discovery has become the fastest developing field in law today. This new form of discovery impacts every type of litigation and has significant implications for individuals, small businesses, government entities, and corporations. Understanding basic electronic technology and the applicable law associated with data preservation, retrieval, and protection is critical whether you want to be a litigator, in-house counsel, or work in a regulatory agency that brings civil and criminal actions. 

    The course will be interactive and focus on developing the skills needed to practice law in the digital age. The course will address the laws applicable to electronic discovery and the technical aspects of preserving, retrieving, and protecting electronic data. An important component of the course will be guest speakers such as a computer forensics expert, software specialist, and a representative from a data storage solution center.  Topics of discussion will include: the effect of electronic information on litigation, “litigation holds”, an overview of Florida and Federal civil procedure rules addressing electronic discovery, data collection, storage of electronic information, production issues, spoliation and sanctions, ethical issues in e-discovery, privilege issues arising out of e-discovery, and admissibility of digital evidence. 

    The text book will be Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence in a Nut Shell. Course grade will be based on a final examination and class participation throughout the semester.  No expertise of computer technology is required. The course fulfills the Skills Training requirement for graduation.  

  • Education Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course examines a variety of legal issues surrounding American public education. It covers such topics as the right to a public education, the role of religion in public schools, student rights, the implications of the equal protection clause for education, teachers' rights and responsibilities, and students with disabilities. 

  • Elder Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will focus on national and state elder law issues. The course will introduce students to the emerging specialty of elder law. It will provide students with an understanding of national and state legal issues in elder law. Students will be introduced to policy issues facing the aging population and provided with an understanding of ethical issues confronted by elder law attorneys. 

  • Election Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course surveys the legal regulation of elections and politics. Topics include the individual's right to participate in the political process, redistricting and the distribution of electoral power, the role of race in the regulation of politics, political party regulation and campaign finance reform. 

  • Emerging Issues in Energy Law: Renewables and Unconventional Fossil Fuels
    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This three-credit course, which has a ULWR option, will address the range of legal issues associated with unconventional fossil fuel development and the generation of electricity from renewable resources. The course will not, for the most part, repeat topics from Energy Law & Policy or Oil & Gas. The course will give students a basic understanding of the major steps that an attorney for a wind or solar developer has to take to have a renewable project approved, from obtaining local and/or state siting approval through signing a power purchase agreement with a utility. At the local level, at which individuals place solar panels on roofs or wind turbines in backyards, we will discuss various common law and regulatory schemes for solar and wind access as well as nuisance suits and other challenges to local energy. Moving to unconventional fossil fuels, we will explore unique regulatory and common law issues posed by hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, including changes to local and state regulation of oil and gas development, new Bureau of Land Management regulation of hydraulic fracturing, nuisance claims relating to earthquakes caused by oil and gas wastewater wells and alleged pollution from oil and gas development, and other issues. Students in the course will have the option of either taking an exam or writing a paper to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement.

    The course will be taught live, but it will also be recorded and available online. Students may elect to sign up for the online version of the course. Any ULWR students who take the course online will have to be available to meet with Professor Wiseman in person at least two times during the semester to discuss the paper topic and drafts.

    All students who take the course live must take the exam in person at the law school.  Students who enroll in the course as online students will have the option of taking the exam in person or, if they are out of town, through the online exam service “Examity.”  Online students who take the exam through Examity will  have to pay a fee of approximately $40 for Examity, and a proctor will electronically monitor these students by viewing these students through their computer camera as the students take the exam. There are no prerequisites for the course. Course is capped at 25 for students who take the course as ULWR. There is no cap for exam takers.

  • Employment Discrimination

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Review of various statutes and executive orders governing employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, and sexual preference. Emphasis is on the policy implications derived from case analysis. 

  • Employment Law Survey

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Survey of basic legal and policy concepts governing the employment relationship. 

  • Energy Law and Policy

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course introduces students to the statutes, regulations, and common law principles that apply to all aspects of the energy system, including extracting and transporting fuels by pipeline and rail and generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity.  This class does not repeat topics discussed in Professor Wiseman’s Oil & Gas course.  Specific topics that we will discuss in this course include the Keystone XL oil pipeline and disputes over the “Presidential Permit” for the pipeline; the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline proposed through Florida; siting, preemption, and nuisance issues associated with renewable energy generation; recent legal disputes over the expansion of transmission lines to carry wind energy from remote areas in the Midwest to population centers; proceedings that establish rates for customers who purchase electricity and natural gas in their homes and apartments; the construction of liquefied natural gas export terminals (including one in Florida) and coal export terminals; the regulation of transporting crude oil by rail; and restructuring of the electricity industry in the United States and abroad, among other topics.  The course will help to prepare students for work with organizations such as the Florida Public Service Commission, the Florida Office of Public Counsel (which represents the interests of electricity ratepayers), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the National Electric Reliability Corporation, energy developers, law firms that represent energy developers, and nonprofit environmental and energy groups.  The course will be taught live, but it will also be recorded, and 20 students may sign up to watch the recordings electronically and take the course online.  All live students must take the exam in person at the law school.  Students who enroll in the course as online students will have the option of taking the exam in person or, if they are out of town, through the online exam service “Examity.”  Online students who take the exam through Examity will  have to pay a fee of approximately $40 for Examity, and a proctor will electronically monitor these students by viewing these students through their computer camera as the students take the exam. There are no prerequisites for the course.

  • Entertainment Law

    (3 credits)

    This course examines key issues involved in the practice of Entertainment Law. Taught primarily by focusing on the music industry—but relevant and with sections involving book publishing, film, theater, and television—the course includes details for both future litigators and future transactional attorneys alike. Topics include: copyright law, infringement, and fair use; sampling and the law; digital media; industry trends and changes in the Digital Age; licensing; record contracts, both old and new; songwriter contracts; producer contracts; management contracts; concert touring and promotion; trademarks and enforcement; basics of film financing and production; and the changing world of television. The course will regularly include music, video, and film examples to discuss in class.

  • Environmental Crimes
    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: None

    In addition to covering the criminal provisions of the major federal environmental statutes, we will also examine the broader legal and policy issues raised by criminal liability for environmental harms and consider the role of criminal prosecution in environmental enforcement generally.

  • Environmental Federalism

    (3 credits)

    In this seminar, we will examine federalism issues that arise in environmental law and policy from a variety of theoretical, doctrinal and practical perspectives. Some environmental contexts involve state governments competing with federal agencies for regulatory primacy or being subjected to federal policy prerogatives as a condition of federal funding. More interesting, however, are cooperative federalism regimes in which state and federal agencies work together to regulate environmental issues are a provocative snapshot of the complexity and tensions of federalism in action. We will cover some of the basics of federalism theory and theories of environmental regulation; explore some contemporary theoretical treatments of federalism incorporating economic theory, game theory, decision theory, and complexity theory, among others.  We will then apply these analytic tools to carefully and critically examine federalism-oriented environmental regulatory structures covering air and water quality, fossil fuel extraction, and other subjects.

  • Environmental Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will introduce you to the core statutes, regulations, and common law principles that control humans’ impacts on environmental resources, including air, water, and soil. Environmental statutes are difficult to understand without context, so we will discuss the structure and interpretation of two statutes—the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act—in depth. By the end of the course, you will understand how to identify whether a stationary source is a “major” source of air pollution under the Clean Air Act and therefore requires a certain type of permit, whether a wetland into which a pollutant is discharged counts as “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (and why this matters), and many other core components of these Acts. We will also discuss the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (governing waste handling and disposal) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (governing the clean-up of hazardous waste sites), and we will briefly address the National Environmental Policy Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act as well as basic Administrative Law principles.

  • Environmental Legal Research
  • Estate and Gift Tax

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Gratuitous Transfers is highly recommended

    Covers federal estate and gift taxes and their impact on gratuitous property transactions during life and at death. The course includes brief consideration of the tax on generation skipping transfers. 

  • Estate Planning Workshop

    (2 credits)

    This course is a drafting seminar in which students evaluate a series of case studies and draft estate planning documents as indicated by the facts of the particular case study. Documents drafted may include an engagement letter, durable power of attorney, designation of health care surrogate, living will, revocable living trust with pour over will for married couple with minor children, standalone will with A-B trust form marital deduction planning, irrevocable insurance trust and complex will with aggressive GST tax planning.

  • European Court of Human Rights
    Course information coming soon!
  • European Human Rights (Oxford)
    Course information coming soon!
  • Evidence

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the rules of evidence developed by courts and by legislatures. Topics include competency, examination of witnesses, privilege, relevancy, expert testimony, hearsay rule and its exceptions, judicial notice and presumptions. 

  • Evidence in Criminal Litigation

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None, but Evidence recommended

    This course is designed for students who want a detailed and in-depth study of Evidence and related procedural issues most commonly arising in criminal prosecutions. The focus is on Florida law with comparative reference to federal law when it significantly differs. 

  • Family Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Legal relations and problems incident to the creation, preservation and dissolution of the family unit. The course includes marital affairs and actions, adoption, child custody, and criminal and tortious conduct pertaining to domestic relations. Emphasis is placed on possible conflicts between the interests of the state in this area and the private interests of the individuals concerned. 

  • Federal Courts

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Constitutional Law II recommended, but not required 

    A study of the federal court system and its constitutional limitations. The original and removal jurisdiction of the United States district courts, relationships between state and federal courts, venue in civil cases, and the appellate jurisdiction of the courts of appeal and the Supreme Court are reviewed. 

  • Federal Crimes

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite:Criminal Law

    This seminar will provide an introduction to the unique aspects of federal criminal law, including jurisdiction, enforcement policy, case selection, and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  It will also cover offenses relating to narcotics trafficking, firearm regulation, child pornography, and anti-terrorism efforts

  • Federal Criminal Law

    (2 credits)

    This course will study the substantive criminal law enacted by Congress, focusing on questions of statutory interpretation and federal law enforcement policy raised by prominent federal offenses. Topics to be covered include offenses relating to fraud and political corruption, narcotics and money laundering, organized crime, and false statements and obstruction of justice, and the punishment of convicted offenders pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

  • Financial Regulation Seminar

    Course information coming soon.

  • Financial Statements Interpretation

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Every lawyer should know how to read financial statements. Whether your practice concentrates in the areas of corporate, business, real estate, estate planning or family law, a lawyer will be required to read and analyze financial statements. In this skills course, students will learn basic accounting principles necessary to understand, interpret and analyze financial statements, formulate effective inquires, and communicate intelligently with business and financial professionals (as well as with their future clients). Students will read and use the information from real companies to analyze and interpret their financial statements. Specifically, this class will use real world examples to illustrate the interrelationships between financial statements and the documents underlying certain deals/transactions. The students will learn about financial reports, cash flow versus income, tax versus accounting books, the quality of earnings and analytical ratios, all of which may be necessary for a lawyer to conduct due diligence on a particular matter and to draft operative agreements. The class will also spend time analyzing past financial scandals and the financial issues that led to them (and the role a lawyer could/may have played in preventing them). This course assumes that participants have little or no background with respect to the preparation, analysis, and interpretation of financial statements. This course will fulfill the Skills Training Requirement for graduation. May be taken as a S/U grade only.

  • First Amendment

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Constitutional Law I and II

    A study of First Amendment principles and their application in modern areas of communications practice. The course will develop theory, explore policy considerations, and expose students to parties that have participated in several significant media law cases. 

  • Florida Administrative Litigation

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: Evidence

    This is a skills based course that is designed to teach students how to prepare for and try Chapter 120 administrative procedure act cases in Florida.  Students will be exposed to all aspects of administrative litigation and will provide an understanding both academically, and practically of the intricacies involved with such litigation.  The course will showcase the roles of attorneys, witnesses, expert witnesses, the Administrative Law Judge, and state agencies in administrative litigation.  

    The material will be taught by lecture and example, and role playing as advocates in a mock litigation setting.  Such instruction will range from, and include, conducting depositions, drafting an administrative complaint, and culminating in a mock final hearing and the drafting of a proposed recommended order.  Students will be grouped into opposing teams, but each is responsible for his/her own written work product.

  • Florida Administrative Practice

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the Florida Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and its interpretation by the courts. Major emphasis is placed on theories of delegation to administrative agencies, points of entry to obtain administrative review, and the relationship between the roles of administrative law judges, agency heads, and reviewing courts. Topics covered include the non-delegation doctrine, adjudication, non-rule policy, attorneys' fees, rule-making, rule challenges, bid protests, the statement of regulatory costs, judicial review, and formal legislative oversight. 

  • Florida Alternative Dispute Resolution

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This is a substantive law class relating to federal and Florida law on arbitration and Florida statutes and rules on mediation. There is also an emphasis on contract law and court jurisdiction. 

  • Florida Appellate Practice

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course includes a study of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, the provisions of the Florida Constitution establishing the appellate jurisdiction of the Florida courts and the related case law. The major topics addressed in the course are subject matter jurisdiction, appellate remedies, initiating review, preparing the record, stays, motions, briefs, oral argument, rehearing, disposition on review, discretionary review and extraordinary writs. 

  • Florida Civil Practice

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of Florida civil practice from the commencement of action through final judgment. Emphasis is on Florida Rules of Civil Procedure with preparation of materials for trial. 

  • Florida Constitutional Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of general principles of the Florida Constitution. Course covers individual rights, allocations and limitations concerning branches and levels of state government, state and local government finance and taxation powers, and judicial interpretation in Florida case law. 

  • Florida Courts and the Constitution

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Taught by Florida's Solicitor General, this course explores the operation and jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court and other Florida courts, with an emphasis on notable Florida cases. Topics include redistricting, rulemaking, historical development of Florida courts, appellate jurisdiction, and original actions. The course also includes discussion on current topics involving the Florida Solicitor General's office. 

  • Florida Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Criminal Law

    An advanced study of problems frequently encountered in prosecuting and defending criminal cases. The primary focus is on criminal prosecutions in Florida. The subject matter extends from the initial client interview to the trial. 

  • Florida Criminal Procedure: Trial

    (2 credits)

    This course covers the Florida law and some pertinent federal law affecting criminal litigation in Florida from plea negotiation through trial (including evidence issues) and sentencing. [Florida Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial) covers criminal litigation from pre-arrest investigation through pre-trial motions, and that course is a prerequisite unless you have my approval.] My hope is to convey knowledge that will have application in the practice and I recommend this course for students who think they might engage in the practice of criminal law at some point in their professional career.

  • Florida Dissolution of Marriage

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course focuses on the concepts and authorities relevant to Florida dissolution of marriage – equitable distribution, alimony, parenting, child support, modification, pre- and post marital agreements, and domestic violence. Not only does the course explore these major concepts, it delves into distinct considerations. For example, students will learn the basics of equitable distribution but will also learn about valuation and distribution of specific assets. The course also covers practical aspects of dissolution of marriage, such as the attorney’s role, the UCCJEA, pleadings, and disclosure/discovery. 

  • Florida Legislative Practice: From Bill Drafting to the Governor’s Desk

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This skills based course will train students on the fundamentals of the legislative process specifically as it relates to drafting, debating and passage of legislation. Corollary studies will include bill analysis and the committee and amendatory process. Constitutional and statutory provisions as well as rules the legislature has enacted relating to bill drafting and analysis will also be covered. Students will engage in practical exercises including: mock committee and floor debates; bill and amendment analysis and drafting. This course will be useful for students interested in working in the Florida Legislature, in state agencies, and in the legislative office of the Governor. It will also be valuable for students interested in working in lobbying firms and as in-house counsel for companies with active legislative agendas.

  • Florida Legislative Practice: The Budget and Appropriations Process

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This class will focus on the State of Florida’s budgeting and appropriations processes and requirements, including the roles of each branch of government, but with a focus on the Florida Legislature’s role and responsibilities. When the Legislature will be in session, expect to attend a budget-related meeting during the semester. Constitutional requirements, statutory processes, and agency/branch policies will be covered; as will the interplay between budgeting and policymaking in both planning and implementation. Comparisons of Florida to other states will be included. This course will be useful for students interested in working in the Florida Legislature, in state agencies, in lobbying firms, and in the Governor’s Office. It will also be valuable for students interested in working as in-house counsel for companies with active legislative agendas. This is a skills-training class.

  • Food Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The course will provide an introduction to legal issues surrounding food production and marketing. Topics to be covered include food labeling, safety regulations, assistance programs, and agricultural subsidies.

  • Foreign Relations Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Students in this course will study American constitutional law pertaining to the conduct of foreign relations. Topics include: the war powers of Congress and the president, the constitutional status of treaties and customary international law, the effect of international judgments in domestic law, federal pre-emption of state law in international affairs, international human rights litigation in American courts, the law of foreign immunity and the act of state doctrine. These topics will be examined not only from a doctrinal perspective, but in their historical, political and philosophical contexts. 

  • Gambling & Pari-Mutuel Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The class will present a detailed look at gambling laws which impact Floridians. The course will focus on Florida statutes, rules and interpretive court and administrative rulings which define the boundaries of legalized gambling in our state. An overview of federal law and its impact on gambling in Florida will also be discussed. 

  • Game Theory for Business Lawyers Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Managers, shareholders, creditors, and regulators make decisions strategically: they try to predict how others may act, and they adjust their behavior in light of those predictions. Therefore, both transactional lawyers and business litigators can benefit from learning about “game theory,” the discipline that studies this sort of strategic behavior. In this seminar, we will learn about bargaining and litigation strategy, the importance of reputation when parties transact with each other repeatedly, and the extent to which informational asymmetries can distort market transactions. We will study these and related game theory issues through the lens of corporate law and finance, giving special attention to learning a critical skill: how to apply general theoretical concepts to transactional and litigation scenarios commonly encountered by business lawyers. This course may fulfill the upper-level writing requirement. 

  • Global Health & Pharmaceutical Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Global sales of pharmaceuticals total more than $600 billion annually, with the United States constituting the world’s largest pharmaceutical market. This course addresses legal regulation of the pharmaceutical sector, from research and development to manufacturing and distribution. The principal focus is on U.S. law, including the FDA regulatory system. In addition, the course examines foreign regulation, such as the European pharmaceutical regulatory system, and the role of multilateral agencies, including the World Health Organization. 

  • Gratuitous Transfers

    (4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Covers all varieties of family wealth transactions, including attendant problems of administration. Topics may include intestate succession of property, establishment and validity of private and charitable trusts, individual and class gifts, powers of appointment, future interests, the Rule Against Perpetuities and the execution, validity, and construction of wills. 

  • Growth Management

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Whereas zoning and subdivision law focuses on where different land uses are permitted and under what conditions, growth management law focuses on the timing and dimensions of urban growth, particularly at the periphery of urban centers where suburban and rural land uses meet. This course provides a survey of growth management law as applied in many parts of the nation, using Florida as a policy case study. The first part of the course focuses on four major topics: urban sprawl; urban redevelopment; state and regional controls; and environmental regulation. The second segment of the course examines Florida’s growth management regime through a historical and policy lens, focusing on techniques such as concurrency, urban growth boundaries, ecological and rural land acquisition, affordable housing initiatives and impact fees. 

  • Health Insurance: Markets & Regulation Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The purpose of this seminar is to study the U.S. health insurance market. We will begin by evaluating historical developments that have shaped the current market for health insurance and assess the evolving roles of consumers, health care providers, employers, insurance companies, and regulators. Efforts to reform the health insurance system, including the Affordable Care Act, have faced significant challenges and have met with varying degrees of success. We will evaluate factors contributing to rising health care costs, health care utilization, and decisions to purchase insurance. Issues covered will include mechanisms to control health care spending, the conduct and performance of the private health insurance market, and the need for government intervention. This course will be useful for students interested in working for law firms representing employers, insurers, or healthcare providers, and for those interested in working in consumer protection or health care policy. This seminar satisfies the ULWR.

  • Health Law and Policy

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course studies legal issues related to the organization and delivery of healthcare. It examines regulation of health care professionals, organizational providers, and those involved in financing health care delivery. Topics include duties of individuals and organizations involved in healthcare delivery, regulation of the interaction of these entities, and the impact of financing arrangements on the delivery of healthcare. 

  • Health Reform Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The health care enterprise consists of an array of services and products intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, and conduct research on medical ailments. This enterprise encompasses preventive interventions, acute and chronic diagnostic services and treatment delivered in both inpatient and outpatient settings, biomedical and behavioral research, institutional and community-based long-term care, and mental health and addiction services. The American health care enterprise consists of participants drawn from the governmental, private not-for-profit, and proprietary (for-profit) sectors. The primary, tripartite goal of the health care enterprise is to deliver high quality health care services that are affordable and accessible to the public. This seminar will explore the ways in which recent federal and state legal and programmatic developments, as well as initiatives mounted by private actors (such as insurance companies, health care corporations, and employers), are likely to impact the accomplishment of the quality/affordability/access goal. At the federal level, main emphasis will be placed on the Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Following several class sessions during which students will discuss background material, the bulk of the seminar will consist of students preparing individual written papers on topics of their selection and making class presentations based on those papers. 

  • Human Trafficking

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None. 

    Human trafficking represents a troubling side effect of globalization, encompassing forced labor, sex trafficking and the illicit trade in people within and across borders. This course will review and critically assess a diverse literature on the traffic of migrant labor into the United States and the exploitation of U.S. and foreign-born individuals within U.S. borders, with an emphasis on the sociological and legal issues raised by human trafficking. We will consider the blurred lines between immigrant labor exploitation and trafficking, as well as the issues raised involving prostitution and sex trafficking, with due regard for the role of advocacy and the essential lawyering skills of anti-trafficking attorneys. We will draw from a variety of sources, including academic scholarship (articles, books, etc.), domestic and international laws, governmental and non-governmental reports, transcripts from recent federal and state cases, media articles and videos. 

  • Immigration Enforcement and Procedure

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    In this skills training course we will examine the procedural aspects of Immigration Law and the criminal and enforcement aspects of its application. The course focuses on the application of substantive Immigration Law as it is applied in everyday practice. The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a practical perspective on the different elements of Immigration Law. Strong emphasis will be given on the procedural aspects, organizations, agencies, and key players that interact on a continuous basis to effectuate the enforcement of immigration laws. Students will gain an understanding of how lawyers interact with the system such as, representing clients in proceedings and dealing with the separate entities.

  • Immigration Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A course addressing the legal and policy implications of U.S. immigration law including removal proceedings, family reunification and employment-based, which also incorporates a survey of international refugee and domestic asylum law issues. There are no prerequisites, and no prior immigration law study is presumed.

  • Information Privacy Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None.

    This course will examine U.S. data privacy law, including core concepts, key laws, regulations, FTC enforcement actions, and leading cases.  To the extent possible, it will also cover state data privacy laws.  Topics covered include the intersection of informa-tion privacy, technology and the law, social media, government records, consumer data and business records, government access to private sector records, and data security law.  International data privacy law may be brought in to class discussions.

    The course will be offered via synchronous and asynchronous distance education using videoconferencing, online chat, pre-taped video lectures, Skype and discussion boards. 

  • In-House Counsel

    (3 Credits)
    Prerequisites: None 

    “In-house counsel” refers to lawyers employed by corporations and similar entities. The course explores the roles of in-house attorneys, entity governance and decision-making, risk assessment, regulatory compliance and lobbying, corporate self-policing and internal investigations, and working with outside counsel. It also considers professional responsibility issues such as confidentiality, privileges, conflicts of interest, and balancing business and legal advice. Grading may be based in part on simulation exercises, including in-class role-playing and drafting documents commonly prepared by inside counsel.

  • Insurance Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course covers basic legal principles and their applicability to insurance generally. Construction of contracts, government supervision, insurance practice and litigation, and industry organization are reviewed. 

  • Insurance Law & Economics: Theory & Applications

    Prerequisites: None

    This course will focus on how insurance regulation can improve upon market outcomes, how political forces can discourage the realization of regulatory ideals and how legal, business and policy strategies can productively address such differences. 

  • International and Foreign Legal Research
  • International Aspects of Intellectual Property

    (2-3 credits)

    Advanced study of law and policy for the protection of intellectual property rights (IRPs) on an international basis, including framework created by various treaties and conventions.

  • International Business Transactions

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None
     
    This course provides an introduction to the work performed by lawyers in international business transactions and to the specific skills and knowledge needed to negotiate multinational transactions. International and several domestic regulatory frameworks for foreign trade and investment will be analyzed. We will focus on single, commodity trades; distributorships; technology transfer; and joint venture vehicles for direct foreign investment. Negotiating strategies and cultural considerations in multinational transactions will be discussed. There will be specific coverage of the business and legal contexts of Europe, China and Japan. 

  • International Criminal Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will examine the criminal law applied across national borders. This includes two broad legal regimes: transnational law, which consists of the part of any nation’s domestic criminal law which regulates actions that transcend national borders; and international crimes, that is, the wrongs criminalized under international law.  We will also study procedural issues, both domestic and international, such as extradition and immunities. In particular, we will examine the case law of the international criminal courts such as the Nuremberg court, the ICC, and the various courts adjudicating criminal law issues arising from particular conflicts (former Yugoslavia and Rwanda among them). 

  • International Criminal Tribunals
    Course information coming soon!
  • International Environmental Law

    (3 credits)
    Recommended, but not required: Public International Law

    This is a problem-oriented course focusing on issues including marine pollution, transboundary movement of hazardous waste, climate change, biodiversity, the relation of population and the environment, and other global and transboundary environmental problems. 

  • International Human Rights Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This problem-oriented course is designed for students seeking a general understanding of the subject as well as for students wishing to acquire specific skills for personal involvement in the promotion of International Human Rights, whether in government service or private practice. The course includes consideration of substantive international human rights norms, especially civil and political rights; the role of such norms in international and domestic law; fora-international, regional, and domestic-available for adjudicating or promoting the observance of human rights standards; the procedural rules that govern such fora; the methods by which decisions are made and increasingly enforced; and problems of including human rights concern as an integral part of the country's foreign policy.

    Students will take part in one or two role playing exercises - for example, a U.N. debate, an appellate court argument, a congressional hearing, an ABA debate, or a Department of State decision-making meeting. This participation, as well as class discussion based upon regular attendance and a thorough reading of the assigned materials, forms a significant part of the course and will be taken into account in determining the student's grade. 

  • International Litigation and Arbitration

    (3 credits) 
    Prerequisites: None.

    This course focuses on the process of transnational litigation in United States federal courts, and international arbitration as an alternative to litigation. This is not a class primarily on international arbitration, although it does cover some issues related to the topic. Topics covered will include: jurisdiction over foreign companies, forum selection clauses and choice of law, forum non-conveniens, the Alien Tort Statute and human rights litigation in US courts, the immunity of foreign sovereigns and the act of state doctrine, service of process and discovery over international parties, recognition of foreign judgments, and the process of international arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards. 

  • International Sales & Arbitration

    (1 credit) 

    This course is a primer on international commercial sales and the international arbitration mechanism utilized to resolve most all international sales disputes. It introduces international sales; in particular, the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), the contract law covering merchant to merchant international sales of goods. And it introduces international arbitration; particularly, international commercial arbitration tribunals, the private, consensual bodies that resolve most international sales disputes. This primer applies the CISG and arbitration principles to issues and problems facing the sales and arbitration world today.

  • International Taxation

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Taxation I

    A study of the federal income tax laws and international tax treaty provisions that apply to transactions that cross international boundaries. 

  • International Trade and Investment Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course covers the law and institutions governing the global trading system, including that of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and regional trading arrangements (e.g., the European Union and NAFTA). The WTO incorporates a dispute settlement system, including the Appellate Body, the jurisprudence of which is followed by other trading regimes. The laws and institutions of the United States that are relevant to international trade are addressed, including constitutional aspects, import and export rules, and rules providing border protection for intellectual property. For the past several decades, the United States has actively negotiated bilateral and regional trading arrangements to promote US interests, and current negotiating efforts (e.g., the TransPacific Partnership) are discussed. A substantial part of new trading arrangements address protection of investment, including in many cases investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The course covers investment rules, including ISDS, as a feature of trading arrangements. International trade policy and rules affect a range of other subject matters, including the environment, innovation, public health, labor and human rights.

  • International Trade Transactions

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This is the first Internet course for American and Chinese students of international trade. In it, American and Chinese students simultaneously participate in simulated trade transactions with one another. Using an Internet-based program and a workbook designed just for this course, students will play the role of simulated corporations in their respective countries who are seeking to trade goods between China and the United States. To do this, students at both the Florida State College of Law and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT) log on regularly to receive news about trading opportunities. Using guidance provided in introductory lectures and in the workbook, and under the guise of simulated corporations provided in the Internet environment of the course, students will contact one another across the Pacific Ocean and carry out the actual steps of an international trade transaction. Students will also regularly maintain online records of their company's transactions, in order to track the results of their deals. In addition, Florida State students will meet once a week for a two-hour session in which the week's transactions are discussed and any problems that cropped up can be analyzed and solved. Florida State and SIFT students will also log onto the program during one designated hour per week, at which time they will converse about their respective legal and business cultures and have an opportunity to collaboratively solve problems that typically crop up in Sino-American business transactions. At the end of the semester, a banquet will be held at which time stock will be taken of the financial health of each of the simulated corporations. 

  • Introduction to American Law
    Course information coming soon!
  • Introduction to Business and Finance

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The primary objective of this three credit course is to familiarize students with various analytic methods and tools and their applications to various legal fields and issues. Topics include decision analysis, risk and uncertainty, preference aggregation and voting problems, selected issues in finance (e.g. time value of money and diversification of risk), elementary game theory, financial statements, basic microeconomics and fundamental concepts in statistical analysis. 

  • Introduction to Intellectual Property

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course provides a comprehensive overview of the various forms of intellectual property for which protection is afforded in the United States, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, design, semiconductor chip and plant variety protection. It will introduce the mechanisms by which protection is secured, the scope of protection, the way protection is enforced, and discuss the various limitations on rights, such as fair use doctrines. Intellectual property is relevant to virtually all fields of business and creative activity, and lawyers will inevitably confront issues relating to intellectual property in their practice. This course is intended both for students who want a general background in this area, and for those who intend to specialize in the field and may take (or may have taken) more specific courses covering intellectual property. 

  • Jessup International Law Moot Court Course
    This course begins by providing a basic introduction to international law and research. When the Jessup Problem is released in late September, the class divides into teams to prepare memorials for their team. The class culminates in November with the intramural oral competition to choose the Florida State College of Law Jessup Team. The four-person team is chosen based both on the written memorial and the oral argument, and the winning team continues during the Spring semester to represent Florida State Law in the regional and international competitions.
  • Jurisprudence

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A survey of the philosophy of law. Includes natural law, legal positivism, legal realism and modern developments in the philosophy of law, including Critical Legal Studies. 

  • Jury Selection

    (2 credits)
    Recommended Prerequisites: Evidence and Criminal Procedure

    This course is designed to introduce prospective litigators to the elements of jury selection. It will cover the different methods by which juries are chosen in the State and Federal Courts, and how to voir dire prospective  jurors. It will also cover the different thought processes in picking jurors as a criminal prosecutor or defense lawyer, a tort/personal injury attorney (plaintiff and defense), and a commercial litigator.  The law governing jury selection will also be covered as well as (time permitting) selecting jurors in death penalty cases, jury psychologists, and juror questionnaires.

    There will be actual participation in selecting juries. Attendance is required and there will be additional assignments, involving research and writing.

  • Juvenile Law: Florida Practice

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite/Co-requisite: Evidence

    This 3 credit hour course teaches how Florida’s legal system deals with children who allegedly commit acts that would be criminal offenses if committed by adults. The course will teach and develop the practice skills essential for the future practice of juvenile law. Additionally, students will have opportunities to observe Florida’s juvenile courts in action and to hear and interact with judges, juvenile probation officers, Assistant State Attorneys; Assistant Public Defenders, and others who have special knowledge and skills in the area of Florida’s juvenile law and practice. Further, we will discuss issues such as “Direct Filing”; Competency; Collateral consequences of involvement in Florida’s juvenile law system and reforms.

  • Land Transfer

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of basic transactions in real property. Among the topics covered are the respective roles of lawyers and brokers in the conveying process, sales contracts, recording acts, title insurance, remedies for contract breach, and basic mortgage law. 

  • Land Use Regulation

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course, which will be offered only as an online course during Spring 2016, will address legal and regulatory issues that arise during the process of developing land in certain ways, such as for residential, retail, office or other land uses. It will focus on Florida but will also address issues from other states. Students will learn about the processes that landowners and developers follow to obtain local or state government approval for a project, such as applying for revisions to comprehensive plans, re-zonings, development orders, special use permits, variances, subdivision approvals, and development agreements. Students will also learn how state and local governments--again, with a focus on Florida--regulate land use and review land use and development applications. The course will also address resource-based issues associated with land development, including historic, cultural, and natural resources. Finally, students will learn about private land use controls, such as covenants, conditions, and restrictions, used to further regulate projects and build and preserve property values. 

    This will be an online only course, and it will be open to students at any accredited law school within the United States. Students will have weekly reading assignments, and they will be required to watch weekly lectures that explore these reading assignments. The course will be asynchronous, meaning that lectures will be available online for students to view at their convenience each week; students may choose any time of the week to watch the lectures. At the end of each week, students will be required to electronically submit responses to questions posed by the professor to demonstrate that they have done the readings and watched the lectures. Students’ viewing of the online lectures will be monitored in order to verify attendance. A portion of students’ grades will be based on students’ responses to questions, and the remaining portion of the grade will be based on a final open-book exam, which students will take remotely (from their home computers, for example).

    Students who are not enrolled in FSU College of Law must register with FSU in order to take the course and must obtain permission from their school if they wish to receive credit for the course at their school. 

     

  • Law & Risk Management
    (2 credit)
    Prerequisites: None 

    The course consists of lectures from industry specialists in the Florida insurance market and professors from the Risk Management division of FSU's College of Business. These lectures provide students with a wealth of valuable information on risk management policy in addition to tips for success in the practice of law and business. During the course students have the opportunity to meet with Florida's insurance regulatory officers and leaders in Florida's administration and public finance sectors. If scheduling permits, students will also be able to see the legislative process in action with coordinated trips to the Florida House and Senate to view the Banking and Insurance committees. S/U only.
     
  • Law & The Arts Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This seminar covers legal and ethical issues concerning the visual arts. The seminar brings together many disparate areas of U.S. and international law.

    International Law: We will discuss global issues related to plunder, reparations and destructions of works of art; as well as questions of cultural heritage, such as collective ownership of artifacts by nation-states, indigenous groups and others. We will also address the international trade in art.

    Intellectual Property: We will study copyright issues, as well as the artist’s “moral rights” over his or her work.

    Constitutional Law: This includes the artist’s First Amendment right to artistic freedom and the attempts by governments to censor art.

    Contract Law: We will study the artist’s relationship with museums, dealers and collectors.

    This is a paper seminar. You will write a paper on a topic of your choice, approved by the professor. As usual, attendance and careful preparation are required.

  • Law and Economics

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None
     
    Economics plays an important role in all areas of the law. This course introduces students to the economic concepts that they will need to know to be effective litigators and transactional lawyers. Among other things, we will address the following questions. How do markets work? What happens when one party to a transaction has an informational or bargaining advantage? How can we tell whether a party is acting rationally or irrationally? How can lawyers use economics to advice clients, draft contracts and make persuasive legal arguments? We will learn all the relevant economics in class — i.e., no previous knowledge of economics is required. 

  • Law and Economics Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Recommended Pre-requisite: Law & Economics

    This seminar will focus on selected law and economics topics in contracts, torts, criminal law, litigation and the regulation of capital markets and financial institutions. We will pay special attention to the strategic interaction between parties, using game theory and behavioral law and economics as our two principal theoretical frameworks. You will learn how contracts, markets and legal rules can help (or hinder) the ability of parties to coordinate their behavior, avoid bargaining breakdowns, and anticipate and address potential conflicts. This in turn will equip you with a set of tools useful in identifying and managing risks, evaluating and drafting contracts and litigating disputes, including determining the value of potential lawsuits and the decision whether to settle or proceed to trial. No prior knowledge of economics is required. This course can be used to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement.

  • Law and Entrepreneurship

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course provides a survey of business law topics typically encountered when advising small, new, and entrepreneurial businesses.  Topics range from selection of an appropriate business entity type and completing the legal formalities to establish the entity to exits from business ownership.  In between students will be exposed to legal issues of importance to entrepreneurs including basic tax considerations, debt and equity finance, employee and independent contractor issues, securing intellectual property rights, typical contract matters, insurance, creditors rights and the UCC.  Each topic will be taught from the perspective of advising a small business client on essential legal requirements for protection of their business interest with emphasis on practical ways to meet those requirements.  

  • Law and Policy of Drilling and Fracturing for Fossil Fuels

    (1 credit)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will describe the process of extracting natural gas and oil from shale and tight sands formations using the techniques of horizontal drilling and slickwater hydraulic fracturing—processes that have caused a rapid expansion of domestic oil and gas production. We will explore the potential environmental and social effects of these practices as identified through lawsuits, scientific and legal literature, and by state enforcement of regulations at hydraulically fractured well sites; the local, state, regional, and federal statutes, regulations, and/or industry standards, best management practices, and common law principles that address these effects; and the policy debates surrounding effective regulation of shale gas and oil development.  Professor Wiseman will teach the class through an informal discussion format. She will assign readings from Blackboard and/or hard-copy handouts (not a textbook) and will expect students to come to class prepared to participate extensively in discussion.  Students each will write a paper using the materials assigned for class as sources and will submit this paper at the end of the course; students’ performance in class will be graded on the basis of this paper and their participation. Students will be able to independently propose paper topics that most interest them. Due to the nature and length of the paper required, this course will not satisfy the upper-level writing requirement. 

  • Law and the Indian Scriptures

    Credits: 1
    Pre/Co-requisite: The Law, the Classics, and the Scriptures

    This one-credit course compares basic themes in the civilization of India with parallel themes in the civilization of the West, with emphasis in both cases on their relevance to contemporary law.   The initial focus will be on how the values embodied in the Scriptures of India’s two main indigenous religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, each formed the basis for a multi-ethnic imperial civilization.  The course will then look for parallels between these regimes and the ideal of the Western republican tradition:  rule by the wise for the common good.  It will also examine two matters near the core of Indian religion that are more peripheral in the West:  mysticism and meditation.  Finally, the course will examine claims, like those of Max Weber, that the values of traditional Indian civilization have undermined the cultural prerequisites of advanced capitalism, and the reaction of Indian thinkers to Western thought.

    This course will be offered in springs alternating with the offering of Law and the Chinese Classics. Students who take either course may also take the other.  

  • Law Practice Management

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisite: Professional Responsibility

    This course examines the many issues relating to the successful practice of law, whether as a solo, small, mid-size or large law firm practitioner. Possible areas of focus include: risk management (e.g., calendaring, conflicts of interest); creation and handling of trust accounts; ethical and professionalism issues, including those relating to fee sharing and advertising; how billing occurs (e.g., contingency or retainer and the handling of bill disputes); various approaches to compensation of lawyer personnel; familiarity with financial balance sheets; the logistics of opening a law practice (e.g., securing office space, choice of entity form such as an S corporation, malpractice insurance); dissolution considerations; benefits and uses of particular forms of technology in law office management; business plans; business/client development and retention skills; and selecting and working with experts and consultants. The course is offered on an S+, S, S-, U basis. 

  • Legal Negotiations
  • Legal Writing
  • Local Government Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The powers, limitations, and special legal rules concerning local governments are studied. Emphasis is given to Florida problems concerning counties, cities, and special districts. 

  • Mediation Theory and Practice

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course examines mediation theory and practice. A variety of readings, exercises and role-plays will be employed to encourage rigorous analysis of mediation concepts and critical assessment of the application of these concepts in practice. Topics covered include negotiation theory, stages of the mediation process, ethical issues in mediation, bringing parties to agreement, dealing with power imbalances, and the lawyer's role in the mediation process. 

  • Medical Malpractice

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course examines the broad array of legal and policy-related issues arising out of litigation seeking redress for harms in the context of the provision of medical services. 

  • Mergers & Acquisitions

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Business Associations (or Corporations)

    This is an advanced course in the law of mergers and acquisitions. The course will start with fundamental financial theory and proceed to examine the applicable state and federal law. (For this purpose, the only state that really matters is Delaware, although from time to time the law of other commercially important states will also appear.) The course will be most useful for students who intend to practice with a firm or government agency representing or regulating large publicly traded corporations (or with a plaintiffs' firm that brings class or derivative actions against such corporations.) It may not be useful to students who already know that their practices will not involve publicly held corporations, although they are of course welcome to take it. 

  • Natural Resources Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A survey of natural resources law, emphasizing water resources management and pollution control, wetlands regulation, and wildlife law. 

  • Natural Resources Law Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This three-credit course provides an introduction to federal natural resources law, with an emphasis on living resources.  In a mixed lecture and seminar format, we will examine the themes and theoretical conflicts that underlie natural resource management, as well as the special qualities of natural resource problems that render management efforts so difficult.  Throughout the course, we will probe the interplay between environmental, economic, cultural, and political factors in natural resource decision-making. 

    In the early weeks of the course, we will explore the regulatory tools and challenges that are common to all natural resource dilemmas.  We’ll then apply these concepts in a partial survey of the field, including the legal treatment of wildlife and biodiversity, fisheries and marine resources, water resources, forests and rangelands, protected public lands, multiple use public lands, and (as time allows) energy.  In the final weeks of the course, students will present their own research projects, each culminating in a final paper.  Students will also participate in a weekly online discussion group. 

    This course counts toward the upper-level writing and Environmental Certificate requirements, but non-certificate students and those new to environmental law are also very welcome in the class. 

     

  • Negotiation

    (4 credits)
    Prerequisites:  None

    This course introduces the theory and practice of negotiation in a workshop setting. We will examine the basic stages of a negotiation; the major tensions at play in negotiation; distributive bargaining, value-creating, and problem-solving techniques; the management of communication and emotional elements in negotiation; power dynamics and ethics; lawyer-client relationships, and other topics as time allows. The course is designed to help students develop negotiating skills and a framework for ongoing self-learning through role-playing simulations, discussion, reading assignments, and regular journal and writing exercises.  

    Attendance Policy: The course attendance policy is unusually strict, because much of our learning takes place during in-class simulated negotiation role-plays. Attendance for each class meeting is mandatory, as absences frustrate not only your own learning but the learning opportunities of the students you are partnered with in that day's simulation. If students cannot make the commitment to attend every class session on time, they are encouraged to cede their place in the course to a waitlisted student who is able to make the necessary commitment. Students who fail to maintain regular attendance or preparation may be dropped from the course. All students interested in taking the course must be present at the beginning of the first class, including waitlisted students.  To be placed on the waitlist, please contact the College of Law Registrar’s Office at records@law.fsu.edu. For students seeking additional information about the course, a sample syllabus is on reserve at the library.

  • Nonprofit Organizations

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This is a 2-credit class surveying the comprehensive law of nonprofit organizations. The course will begin with an overview of the nonprofit sector and provide an understanding of the various dimensions and rationales for nonprofit organizations.  We’ll then dissect the legal framework of these organizations, including formation, dissolution, and restructuring; operation and governance; and state and federal requirements for existence.  The course will conclude with a discussion of the taxation of charitable organizations, the impact commercial activities have on exempt status, and special constitutional issues private membership associations face. 

  • Nonpunitive Detention

    (3 credits)

    The seminar will cover a range of ostensibly non-punitive grounds for detention, including pretrial detention, confinement for mental illness, sexual predator laws, and material witness detention. 

  • Ocean and Coastal Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of aspects of land use, water law, natural resources law, property, and constitutional law, but from the perspective of the special needs of the coast. The course examines the common law and major acts protecting coastal zones and natural resources. The course includes discussion of the important interrelations of water, habitat, wildlife, and land use, as well as issues concerning jurisdictional conflicts.

  • Oil and Gas Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will explore the law that applies to extracting and transporting oil and gas resources in the United States. The first several days of the course will describe the process of locating minerals underground and drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil, as these processes and technical terms for these processes will arise in many of the cases that we will explore. After students have a basic understanding of the oil and gas development process, we will address the many types of law that apply to oil and gas extraction and transportation, including public law regulations and statutes as well as common law property, contract, and tort, among other laws. Using recent cases (most from 2000 and beyond), we will explore who owns minerals and in what form; how mineral owners commonly “lease” minerals to energy companies and obtain bonuses, royalties and other payments in return; disputes that arise between mineral lessors and lessees over royalty payments and other lease issues; disputes between those who own minerals and those who own the surface; and environmental and social issues that arise during the drilling process and the lease terms and regulations that address these issues. We will also address recent court decisions that address state preemption of local oil and gas regulation. Finally, we will spend several days exploring the regulation of natural gas and oil pipelines, including the construction, siting, and operation of pipelines, and we will briefly touch upon export policies.

    This will be an online only course, and it will be open to students at any accredited law school within the United States. Students will have weekly reading assignments, and they will be required to watch weekly lectures that explore these reading assignments. The course will be asynchronous, meaning that lectures will be available online for students to view at their convenience each week; students may choose any time of the week to watch the lectures. At the end of each week, students will be required to electronically submit responses to questions posed by the professor to demonstrate that they have done the readings and watched the lectures. Students’ viewing of the online lectures will be monitored in order to verify attendance. 30 percent of students’ grades will be based on students’ responses to questions, and 70 percent will be based on a final open-book exam, which students will take remotely (from their home computers, for example).

    Students who are not enrolled in FSU College of Law must register with FSU in order to take the course and must obtain permission from their school if they wish to receive credit for the course at their school. 

  • Patent Law

    (3 credits)

    This course involves an in-depth study of the law applicable to patents. The patent is the form of intellectual property protecting "inventions.” It is the most important form of protection for enterprises competing on the basis of technological advantage. The course covers patentable subject matter, application for grant, the criteria of patentability, rights of patent holders, causes of action against alleged infringers, defenses, remedies, licensing, the relevant application of competition/antitrust law and patent policy.

  • Postconviction Remedies

    (3 credits)

    According to Department of Justice statistics, the United States currently has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world, having exceeded Russia's rate in 2000. This course examines the legal remedies available inmates under state and federal confinement to challenge the legality of their custody. Primary topics will include:

    1) Introduction and historical overview: The common law writs of habeas corpus and coram nobis; constitutional status of the writ of habeas corpus. 

    2) State postconviction remedies: Current state remedies, emphasizing the Florida statues and rules governing postconviction relief. Detailed examination of FRCPro Chapter XVII, the primary vehicle for state postconviction relief, including FRCPro 3.853, authorizing motions for postconviction DNA testing. Availability of parallel proceedings for common law writs considered, and the constitutional status of state postconviction relief examined. 

    3) Federal postconviction remedies: Study of the federal statutes authorizing habeas corpus relief for state and federal prisoners, sections 2241, 2254, and 2255; federal coram nobis remedies under section 1651; and the "Rule 35 remedies" available for correcting or reducing sentences for persons convicted in a federal district court. Along the way, examination of custody requirements, exhaustion requirements, and procedural default issues.

    4) Clemency and other executive relief: Consideration of procedures for seeking relief from the executive branches; forms of relief available and grounds for granting clemency petitions.

    Course Format and Requirements:

    The course will be taught in both classroom and clinical settings. The material will be presented in lectures and discussion; students will also participate in the development of cases brought by Florida inmates seeking postconviction relief, based on DNA testing which the inmates claim will tend to exonerate them. The clinical component of the course will be conducted in collaboration with the Innocence Project, which has established a Florida program in Tallahassee. Students will also take a final exam. Materials will be prepared by the professor.

  • Poverty Law

    (2 credits)

    Poverty Law examines the role played by the law and lawyers in protecting the rights and interests of the poor. We will review general information about poverty, the history of anti-poverty advocacy in the United States, the institutional development of free legal services for the poor, and the effect of constitutional norms in providing such services. Students will gain insight into several substantive areas of poverty law practice, including housing, government benefits, consumer and child welfare law. The instructor will use a variety of teaching methods with an emphasis on experiential learning.

  • Practical Skills in Land Use
    (1 credit)
    Pre/Co-requisites: Land Use Regulation

    This course is offered in tandem with Land Use Regulation. Students in this course will apply the doctrine they learn in Professor Wiseman’s course to a realistic, hypothetical master-planned community located in coastal Florida, in order to consider how multiple regulatory programs are applied to a single project. The hypothetical planned community was designed for use in this course by the adjunct who will teach it with assistance from one of the nation’s leading land planning firms and has single- and multi-family residential, commercial, institutional, recreational, open space, and ancillary uses on an environmentally sensitive site. The site has a number of attributes that require careful attention during the planning and approval process in order to comply with a range of regulatory requirements and minimize the risk of litigation. Students will learn how to analyze a broad range of issues that can arise during the approval process for a complex project in Florida and how to work with clients, regulators, and stakeholders in the community. Practical exercises will include writing a strategy memorandum to the developer who is seeking land use approval for the new community, review a transportation analysis prepared for this project, consider ethical issues for lawyers representing developers and regulators, and gain experience with other practical aspects of this specialized practice in Florida. The course will be pass-fail and is capped at 20 students.

    In order to participate in this course, students must either:

    1) Take Professor Wiseman’s Spring 2015 Land Use Regulation Class

    2) Have previously taken Land Use and participate in a half-day “refresher course” on land use regulation taught by Professor Wiseman within the first two weeks of Spring 2015 classes.
  • Products Liability

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the legal responsibility for product-related harm. Topics include the legal theories of liability for product injury, definitions of product defectiveness, government regulation of product safety, evidentiary issues in products liability litigation, and the politics and economics of contemporary products liability reform. Course uses problem method of instructions, with students occupying roles as attorneys and judges. 

  • Professional Responsibility

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Satisfies the Florida Bar requirement for curricular study of the regulation of the integrated bar. Studies include the exclusionary and anti-competitive practices of the organized bar, problems in the allocation of legal services, controversies over the deficiencies of various methods of regulating lawyer behavior, customs and courtesies of the bar, and the socioeconomic expectations of lawyers, clients, and the public. 

  • Public Health Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course offers an overview of basic concepts and principles in public health law, examined in the context of issues such as government planning for natural and manmade disasters, mandatory immunization programs, mandatory medical screening of particular population groups, mandatory disease reporting laws, infectious disease control methods like quarantine, public health research, and regulation and litigation concerning tobacco, alcohol, firearms, and drugs with abuse potential. The focus will be on identification and analysis of the duties, powers and limits of government in its pursuit of protecting and promoting the public’s health. 

  • Public International Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    An introduction to a wide range of legal and policy issues centered around the relationships among nations and the role of law in world order. Problems studied include the nature and sources of international law, the existence and activities of states, the status of individuals and associations within the international legal system, and issues of war, development, and environmental protection. 

  • Race and the Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This seminar explores the role of law and the courts in the creation and evolution of the ideologies of racial differences in the United States from the colonial era to the present.  Students will be asked to utilize legal and historical tools to examine various topics, including the institution and operation of slavery and race on the framing of the Constitution, the Civil War Amendments, and Reconstruction; the social ostracism and political disenfranchisement of minorities from the late nineteenth century until the present; the implications of Brown v. Board of Education and various cases and civil rights statutes on minority progress; the constitutionality and limits of affirmative action; the role of race in the criminal justice system as well as other topics. 

  • Real Estate Finance

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course is designed to train students to analyze complex commercial real estate transactions. It is interdisciplinary within law, attempting to integrate topics including basic mortgage law, usury law, subordination agreements, mechanics lien law, selected uniform commercial code issues, choice of business entity, federal and state securities law and, importantly, federal income tax law. Condominia and cooperatives are discussed as security devices. The federal income tax coverage concentrates on a handful of issues fundamental to commercial real estate transactions, especially the tax treatment of indebtedness and tax aspects of leasing arrangements, including synthetic lease transactions. 

  • Reform and Revision of the Florida Constitution

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course is a seminar on state constitution revision/reform focusing on the Constitution of Florida Constitution Revision Commission.  It is a three-hour course with students watching on-line lectures on the Florida Constitution, submitting weekly critiques of the current Constitution, attending a two-hour lecture/discussion session each week, and working individually to develop a publishable paper on revision/reform. The course material will include articles and books on constitutional revision and on Florida’s two other experiences with constitution revision commissions. The paper will be on a proposal for revision or reform of the Constitution of Florida on a topic selected by each student and approved by the instructor.  It is expected that the paper will be in publishable format and it may be presented to the members of the 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission.

  • Remedies

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course covers the remedies available to successful litigants, including money damages, injunctive relief and restitution. It surveys these remedies from a broad variety of subjects, including especially traditional common-law causes of action such as contract, tort and property, as well as family law, civil rights and constitutional law. Attention is paid to how the available remedies shape both the underlying substantive law and the parties’ litigation strategies. 

  • Risk, Public Policy & Law

    (3 credits)

    This seminar will focus on how concepts of risk serve to justify and shape public policies, legal rules, and risk management practices. It will introduce some of the primary methods for analyzing potentially risky policies and managing risk. We will begin with a focus on the definition of risk as it applies to public policy, and as it has been used to analyze and inform policies and laws designed to address risks. We will then turn to the differences between formal assessments of risk and the “perceived risks” and social, political and institutional responses that typically drive public policy. These concepts will then be applied to a set of specific cases in current public policies that involve the intersection of environmental, energy, natural disaster, and security concerns.

  • Sales and Leases

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the rights and responsibilities of sellers, buyers, lessors and lessees of personal property, including transactions in documents of title and letters of credit. The emphasis will rest on Articles 2 and 2A of the Uniform Commercial Code and the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods, with some additional attention paid to Articles 5, 6 and 7 of the Code and the corresponding international law on documents of title and letter of credit. 

  • Scientific Evidence

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course examines the nature of scientific evidence, the recent revolution in the scientific gate-keeping role for judges following the Supreme Court's decision in Daubert, and a variety of controversies regarding the admissibility and weight of particular types of expert testimony. After covering the basic legal tests for the admission of scientific evidence, we will proceed to examine several recurring topics in the law of expert testimony. We will give special attention to questions of scientific identification (common in criminal cases) and questions of scientific proof of causality (common in products liability and toxic tort cases). We will also consider common types of expert evidence from the behavioral sciences, including syndrome evidence and evidence regarding defects in human memory. In each instance we will examine the bases for claims of expertise and survey how these claims have fared in the courts. 

  • Secured Transactions

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of security interests in personal property. Emphasis is on the creation and operation of financing arrangements under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Consideration of the effect of the Bankruptcy Act on Article 9 transactions also is included. 

  • Securities Regulation

    (3 credits)
    Co-requisites: Corporations OR Closely Held Business Organizations

    A study of the regulation of securities under the federal securities laws. Topics include registration of public offerings, exempt sales, insider trading, anti-fraud rules, mergers and tender offers, and the professional responsibility of securities lawyers. 

  • Seminar on Constitution Revision

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This seminar will focus on the possible revision and reform of the Florida Constitution.  This is in part to begin preparation for the Constitution Revision Commission that will meet in 2017 - 2018. That Commission made up of 37 appointed members has the opportunity to place on the ballot recommendations for reform and revision and those do not have to be approved by the Legislature. The Seminar will be a 3 credit hour paper course with assigned readings and class presentations for each class. The papers are expected to be of publishable quality and may be submitted to the Revision Commission when it is organized. 

  • Sentencing Law

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Courses determined by professor.

    This course examines the ways in which U.S. governments sanction criminal offenders, the goals and rationales of such sanctions, and the limiting role potentially played by the Constitution in their imposition. The sanctions themselves range from the nominally civil sanctions of monetary fines and sex offender registration and community notification to the indisputably criminal sanctions of prison and death. These and other sanctions are examined, providing students with a theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary U.S. crime control strategies. 

  • Separation of Powers Seminar

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I

    This seminar will offer in-depth discussion of the separation of powers, focusing especially on the allocation of power between the executive and legislative branches of government. We will first address the theoretical underpinnings of the separation-of-powers doctrine as explained by the Founders and other Enlightenment thinkers. We will then explore how the separation of powers plays out in practice, using historical and recent examples. We will examine a variety of real-world cases and disputes, focusing not only on court decisions but also on how officials and lawyers in the legislative and executive branches have handled—or should have handled—those controversies. This seminar satisfies the ULWR.

  • Sexuality and the Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: Constitutional Law II

    This course will explore the relationship among sexuality, gender, and the law on both a theoretical and a practical level.  The first four weeks will explore the definition of sexuality/sexual orientation as well as the basis for laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender non-conformity. Weeks 1-4 will ask the question of “What Is a Sexual Orientation?”, and will explore, respectively, gender/race parallels to sexual orientation, bisexuality, polyamory/polygamy, and transgenderism/gender non-conformity.  Week 5 will look more closely at the interrelationship among sexuality, disgust, and the law, and at what sustains laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.

    The remainder of this course will be divided according to major substantive areas of the law, including:

    1) The legal regulation of non-traditional sexuality, intimate relationships (marriage), and familial structures

    2) Sexuality, the First Amendment, and the conflict between liberty (e.g., free speech, free exercise of religion) and equality (e.g., anti-discrimination) guarantees under the law

    3) Gender, sexuality, and employment discrimination (Title VII).  

    We will likely spend at least two weeks on the movement for marriage equality, one week on the normative critique of the marriage equality movement, one week on family formation (assisted reproduction/artificial insemination), and two weeks on the First Amendment. That leaves two more weeks. For one of those weeks we’ll read Kenji Yoshino’s very important book Covering. The last week is still to be determined. 

    All readings (aside from Yoshino’s book) are from packets that are available for purchase in the copy center. 

  • Spanish for Lawyers

    (2 credits) (S/U)
    Prerequisites: Conversational Spanish skills are required. Listening, speaking, reading and writing at an intermediate level of proficiency is preferred.

    The objective of this class is to increase the skills and ability of Spanish speaking law students to communicate with Spanish speaking clients. Students will be exposed to legal terms in various subject areas of law including criminal law, torts, immigration, family law, contracts and consumer protection. Students will be given various reading assignments and expected to discuss the topics in Spanish. Additionally, students will be given writing assignments that may involve either drafting legal documents or client correspondence in Spanish, or the translation of legal documents into Spanish. Students will also participate in mock interviews with Spanish speaking clients seeking legal advice or representation. 

  • Sports and the Law

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of state and federal laws relating to the business of sporting competitions as entertainment, including matters such as the creation of a free market for players' services, the relationships of franchise owners to the league commissioner, player/agent relationships and contract negotiation. There is also some study of the NCAA regulation of collegiate athletics. 

  • State Constitutional Law

    (3 credits)
    Some prior study of federal constitutional rights is preferred, but not required.

    As the Supreme Court becomes ever stingier in its interpretation of federal constitutional rights and powers, state constitutions become ever more important as the organizing charters for the exercise of American government power. This course introduces students to the largely neglected area of state constitutional law. We will approach the subject from both a comparative and integrated perspective by examining how state constitutions differ from the federal constitution, and how they fit into the larger power distribution system of federalism. Significant attention will also be devoted to the proper methodology for interpreting state constitutions. The course is primarily a survey course addressing the constitutional law of American states; however, the course will conclude with a short unit focusing on some highlights of Florida constitutional law. 

  • Statistical Inference in Law

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    Statistical evidence plays a key role in many types of litigation including employment discrimination, products liability, securities fraud, and environmental crimes. The primary objective of this course is to provide an overview of statistical concepts used in legal decision making, with an emphasis on the logic of statistical evidence and inference, i.e., determining when the use of statistics is appropriate, and when assumptions based on statistical evidence are plausible or controversial. Topics for discussion will include profiling in criminal cases, DNA evidence in paternity suits, proving causation, determining future economic values, medical testing, and jury selection. Students will develop a basic understanding of the quantitative methods of statistics and probability, skill and comfort with working with statistical evidence, and confidence in communicating statistical issues in the law. The course does not require previous study in statistics or any particular mathematical background. 

  • Supreme Court Role-Play

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Constitutional Law I and II

    Extensive role-playing in which nine students, acting as current members of the United States Supreme Court, decide three cases pending on the Court's docket after briefing and oral argument by student advocates. 

  • Tax Crimes

    (3 Credits)
    Prerequisites: none

    Although useful to both criminal law-interested students and tax-interested students, this is principally a criminal law course. This is a skill training course in which students will learn core criminal law concepts such as scienter, criminal tax procedure constitutional issues, and post-conviction remedies and achieve basic competence in working with the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other considerations bearing on sentencing. Students will also learn how to effectively employ standard strategies of defense and will gain awareness of ethical obligations in handling potential or actual criminal matters. You need know nothing about tax  to take the course, and technical tax rules form no part of the teaching or grading in the course. The main basis of grading will be performance on three take-home written assignments. These assignments simulate documents practicing criminal tax attorneys typically prepare, such as pleadings, proposed jury instructions, advocacy letters, and strategy memos. There is no final exam. Meets skills training requirement.

  • Tax Policy Seminar

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: Tax I

    This seminar evaluates topics such as the choice of a tax base (income or consumption), rate structure (flat or progressive), taxable unit (individual or family), and method of government spending (direct or through the tax system via tax expenditures) against the tax policy norms of equity, efficiency and administrability to determine how well the present tax system satisfies these norms. 

  • Tax Procedure
    Course information coming soon!
  • Taxation

    (3-4 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    A study of the fundamental concepts employed in federal income taxation, the public policies that underlie the current system and the impact of that system on individuals and business entities. Could be called Federal Income Tax, Income Tax or Tax. 

  • Taxation Legal Research
  • Taxation of Business Entities

    (4 credits)
    Prerequisites: Taxation

    This course is an introduction to the federal income taxation of business entities. The course covers the taxation of C corporations and their shareholders. C corporations are generally taxed as entities separate and distinct from their shareholders. The course will also cover the taxation of LLCs/partnerships and their owners. Under subchapter K, there is no entity-level tax on an LLC or partnership, and amounts of income and deductions recognized by the entity flow through to its owners to be reported on the owner’s tax return. Finally, the course will also cover S corporations, which are certain closely held corporations that are generally not taxed separately. The course will include discussion of the tax consequences of formation, operation and liquidation of business entities, as well as distributions of cash and other property by the entity.

  • Technology for Lawyers

    (3 Credits) 
    Prerequisites: None

    Technology is changing the practice of law in all fields and venues. This course will provide students with the theoretical and practical background to understand these changes and to have a positive impact on a firm’s or an organization’s responses to such challenges. Areas of special focus include: litigation technologies; document management; electronic discovery; legal process and project management; eLawyering and virtual law practice; and the ethical, security and privacy issues implicated by these technological changes.

  • The Law & The Chinese Classics

    (1 credit)
    Pre/co-requisite: The Law, the Classics, and the Scriptures 

    This one-credit course compares classical Chinese and Western culture on two basic points. The first is a remarkable convergence: The strikingly similar treatment in the basic writings attributed to Confucius and Lao Tzu, the Analects and the Tao Te Ching, respectively, and the works of Plato and Aristotle, particularly on the role of “scholar-administrators” or “philosopher-kings” in a just state and the importance of their pursuing the public good if they are to establish and advance such a state. The other point is an equally remarkable divergence: Classical Chinese thought has virtually no parallel to Western theism. Classical Chinese thought rests on secular classics very like those of the West, but China has no equivalent of the West’s sacred scriptures. Classical Chinese culture comes very close to the West’s “Athens,” even as it has nothing approaching the West’s “Jerusalem.” This course will explore the implications of these points – convergence in politics, divergence in religion – for the global law of the new millennium.

  • The Law, The Classics, and the Scriptures

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The purpose of this three-credit course is to show how the humanities stands as one of three pillars of law as a learned profession, along with jurisprudence and social science. In this course we will first examine the role of the humanities in the context of the claim that law is a learned profession. We will then survey the general relationship of law and the areas of study traditionally grouped together as the humanities: history, philosophy, literature, religion, the performing arts (music, theater, and dance), and the plastic arts (painting and sculpture). With that background, the bulk of the course will first situate the two cultures of the Classical Mediterranean world most significant in our law, “Athens” and “Jerusalem,” then offer parallel accounts of their rise and decline, their common inclusion in the Roman Empire, and their reciprocal influence, after the decline of Rome itself, on the Medieval syntheses of Averroes, Maimonides and Abelard in their respective faiths: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. 

  • Topics I: Florida Practice

    (3 credits) (S/U)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course covers the topics in Florida law that have been tested by multiple choice questions on the Florida Bar Exam: Civil and criminal procedure and the rules of judicial administration; partnerships and corporations; evidence; and wills and administration of estates. The course is team taught by law school faculty and adjuncts. Students learn the subject matter in depth and have numerous opportunities to practice taking multiple choice examinations. Essay writing for the Bar Exam will also be covered. 

  • Topics II: Federal and Common Law Principles

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will review federal and common law principles in certain fundamental areas of the law, including Contracts, Real Property, Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence. These are all Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) subjects. Students learn the subject matter in depth and have numerous opportunities to practice taking multiple choice examinations.

  • Topics in Real Property and Contracts

    (1 credit)
    Prerequisites: None

    This writing course for second and third year students will help to further develop a student’s analytical and legal writing skills. It does so by examining various topics in Real Property and Contracts (including Article 2 of the UCC). Real Property topics include present possessory estates, creation and termination of concurrent estates, future interests, conveyancing of real property, and mortgages. Contracts topics covered include formation, defenses, breach, and damages including equitable remedies. This course will not fulfill the upper-level writing requirement for graduation. S/U grade only. 

  • Topics in Torts, Commercial Paper & Secured Transactions

    (1 credit)
    Prerequisites: None

    This writing course for second and third year students will help to further develop a student’s analytical and legal writing skills. It does so by examining various topics in Torts (intentional torts, negligence, harm to dignitary interests, misrepresentation, and damages), Commercial Paper, and Secured Transactions. This course will not fulfill the upper-level writing requirement for graduation. S/U grade only.

  • Trademark Law Practicum

    (1 credit)
    Pre/co-requisite:  Trademarks & Unfair Competition

    This course will introduce skills required for practice in the domain of U.S. Trademark law including obtaining, maintaining, and defending trade identity rights.  Through a series of hypothetical exercises, students will learn about evaluating the strength of proposed marks, registering marks, advising clients on various trademark issues, enforcement of rights, and other topics that routinely arise in trademark practice.

    Students will complete practical exercises such as drafting client memoranda, preparing trademark registrations, responding to office action notices, and writing cease and desist letters.  Grading will be on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory scale based on attendance, participation in class, and timely completion of assignments.  

  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition

    (3 credits)

    A trademark identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. In this course, we will consider how and when trademark rights are secured; what rights are accorded to trademark owners under the federal Lanham Act and state laws; how trademark can be infringed or diluted; the circumstances under which trademark protection can be lost; the limitations placed on trademark rights; and federal registration regimes and the related right of publicity.

  • Transactional Drafting

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisite: Corporations

    This course provides law students with practical skills necessary to master the craft of drafting and analyzing transaction documents and managing transactions. The course is recommended for all law students, especially for those students who are interested in a transactional practice (be it corporate, finance, intellectual property, environmental, real estate, etc.). For those law students who are interested in litigation, this course will provide a basic understanding of contract analysis and drafting, which may assist in better understanding the work of transactional lawyers.

    We will work on legal writing and drafting exercises that are meant to improve a law student’s writing, drafting, and editing skills.  In addition, we will negotiate transactions based on draft documents prepared by students.  The class should also provide law students with a realistic understanding and appreciation of a client’s demands and expectations. Students should expect to finish this class with the tools necessary to analyze a variety of transactions and with the ability to write documents in clear plain English.

  • Trial Practice

    (2 credits) (S/U)
    Prerequisites: Evidence

    Focus on trial tactics and techniques. All students participate as counsel and perform the assignments. All phases of an actual trial are examined, including direct and cross-examination, and opening and closing arguments. 

  • U.S. Space Law

    (1 credit)
    Prerequisites: None

    Overview of legislative & regulatory frameworks for United States space law, including licensing of spacecraft and satellites; use of Government property & equipment by commercial entities; and the establishment of NASA as America's civil space agency. Designed to provide students with a broad understanding of historical legal theories underlying space law and their application to today's marketplace with an emphasis on the U.S. as a customer of private sector space services. 

  • War

    (3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    In this course we will study the legal, ethical and political aspects of war. The course is in three parts. The first part will cover the theoretical frameworks used to explain war: just war theory, realism and pacifism. The second part will explore the law of the use of force, with special emphasis on the UN Charter and past and current cases. Finally, we will conduct an introductory survey of the laws of war as established in the Geneva Conventions. Students must read the assigned materials, participate in class, and write a final examination.

  • Water Law

    3 credits
    Prerequisites:  None

    This course provides an introduction to Water Law and Policy, a subject of great import to practitioners of environmental law, property law, international law, and other fields that contend with the allocation of scarce water resources among competing human, economic, and environmental needs.  Water management is especially important in Florida, which lies over the largest freshwater aquifer in the world, and Florida has become a leader in modern regulatory approaches.  The course explores the mechanics of water governance and how it has confronted classic dilemmas of legal theory, navigating the tensions between public and private rights in common pool resources, and between the rule of law and legal instrumentalism.  Water Law continues to grapple with unforeseeable changes in technology, societal needs, and scientific understanding, each forcing questions about the degree to which law should, must, and/or can adapt to new circumstances. 

    The first half of the course will cover the major doctrines of private water allocation in the eastern and western United States—riparian rights, prior appropriations, and hybrid permit systems.  The second half of the course will explore special topics that intersect with Water Law, including groundwater, constitutional takings, the public trust doctrine, federal reserved rights, interstate and international disputes, water institutions, and Florida water governance.  To experience these issues in living color, the class will take a mid-semester field trip to a regional site of Water Law interest.  This course will be useful for students interested in careers in environmental law, land use law, urban planning, real estate development, agriculture and food law, and municipal and state government.  The course may be used to count toward the Upper-Level Writing and Environmental Certificate requirements, but other students are also very welcome in the class. 

  • White Collar Crime

    (2 credits)

    The course will cover a range of topics, including, among  others, corporate criminal liability, mail fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, and environmental crimes.

  • Workers' Compensation

    (2-3 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    This course surveys the statutory no-fault insurance system that displaces tort law in the workplace. Class discussion centers on the scope of coverage and benefits under compensation legislation.

  • Writing for the Court

    (2 credits)
    Prerequisites: None

    The primary focus of this course is on preparing the students to do the kind of writing expected of appellate court law clerks. Students will work with actual appellate briefs and appellate record documents, including trial-level pleadings and transcripts. Criminal and civil cases will be used. There will be weekly writing assignments, which may require students to conduct legal research. The weekly assignments will assist students in producing a fully-researched and analyzed bench memorandum recommending a case disposition to the court. It is expected the written product will be of sufficient quality to be used as a writing sample when applying for court clerkships or other employment. During the semester, students will have the opportunity to hear from current law clerks and to attend oral arguments at the First District Court of Appeal.