Litigation of the modern unitary civil action. Jurisdiction of state and federal courts; law applied in federal courts; pleading, pretrial motions, and discovery; trial by jury and evidentiary law; the binding effects of adjudications.
Survey of the history and development of constitutional law in the United States, including the federal system, the commerce clause, intergovernmental relations, due process, equal protection, police power, taxation. Analysis of selected decisions of the United States Supreme Court.
Contracts defined and classified; capacity of parties; nature and legal effect of offer and acceptance; consideration; fraud, mistake and undue influence; statute of frauds; types of illegality; interpretation of language; operation of law; effect of express and implied conditions; performance of conditions; waiver of conditions; rescission of contracts; performance; excuses for nonperformance, including novation, alteration and impossibility of performance, breach of contract and remedies; damages, nominal and compensatory; quasicontracts, introduction to the Uniform Commercial Code; professional responsibility of the lawyer in contract law.
The course emphasizes the general principles, sources, and purposes of the criminal law, including the following doctrinal issues which apply to crimes in general: the act requirement, the mens rea requirement, causation, liability for attempted crimes, accomplice liability, defenses, and criminal code interpretation. Additionally, the course studies one or more specific crimes in-depth, including homicide, and repeatedly raises the question: how well does American criminal law fulfill its goals?
Legal Practice Skills
The Legal Practice Skills Program is a two-semester, three-credit program for first year students including (a) an orientation to law school, the sources of law, and the study of law; (b) instruction in the use of the law library and legal research tools; (c) practice in issue analysis and the writing of legal memoranda; (d) preparation of trial briefs and oral arguments; and (e) an introduction to computerized legal research systems. The program is designed to prepare the student for the writing and research work expected of the modern practitioner.
A study of the acquisition, ownership, and transfer of property both personal and real, including an analysis of ownership concepts, rights of possession, donative transactions, future interests, concurrent interests, landlord and tenant issues, the conveyancing system and governmental regulations.
General principles, sources and policies of modern tort law, including intentional torts (such as assault, battery and false imprisonment), negligence, strict liability, and products liability. Special attention is paid to the elements of recovery in negligence, including the standard of care, duty problems, and causation, to defenses, including comparative negligence and assumption of risk, and to principles of joint liability, contribution, and imputed liability. Recent statutory changes in these tort principles are also addressed.