Business Law Courses

Business and Commercial Law Courses

AI & The Law

The recent explosion of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) demands that lawyers engage and understand the opportunities and risks posed by AI for clients and the legal industry. The purpose of this seminar is to equip students with the knowledge and skill set to address that intersection of AI and the law. To do this, the seminar will focus on a number of AI-related legal issues, ranging from what governmental agencies are and will likely be regulating AI to a discussion of data privacy, intellectual property rights, and contract and tort liability issues arising from the use of AI.

The seminar will be taught by two lawyers who work with AI issues on a regular basis. From the in-house corporate perspective, the seminar will be co-taught by Ben Odom who is vice president of Business & Legal Affairs for NASCAR. From the law firm perspective, the seminar will be co-taught by Rich Harper who is partner-in-charge of the New York office of Baker Botts, L.L.P.

Antitrust Law

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.


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.

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age

In an era defined by rapid technological innovation, the relationship between technology and civil liberties has become an issue of increasing debate and concern. Are social media companies a blessing or a curse to public discourse? Are Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) a public forum, publisher, a platform or something else? Is it appropriate that social media companies cannot be sued for posts attributed to their users, even when those posts can destroy reputations and lives? With the ubiquity of smart phones, can anyone meaningfully escape surveillance and tracking? Does remote work necessarily mean that employees live at work now? What are the consequences of the gig and sharing economy for consumer protection and data privacy? What are the consequences of technological innovation in the criminal justice system? Does AI really pose a threat to human survival? Or is it gene editing? And lastly, which branch of government is best equipped to decide these issues?

These and other questions will be explored in-depth in this seminar, which will be part of a seminar series by the new Institute for Law, Technology and Innovation.

Closely Held Business Organizations

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.

Consumer Protection Laws & Regulation

The course will fully analyze (1) the substantive federal and state laws and regulations concerning deceptive, unfair, and abusive business acts and practices (“UDAAP” and “Little FTC Act”) and (2) the role of the federal and state governmental agencies in enforcing those laws and regulations. The final weeks of the course will involve a hypothetical federal governmental investigation, where the student will play the role of defense counsel for the target of the investigation.

Corporate Finance

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 Governance and Compliance Seminar

This seminar examines recent developments in corporate governance and compliance. Topics will include the following: the relationship between boards, corporate executives and employees; common and conflicting interests among different types of investors, including those between activist hedge funds, passive index funds, and traditional institutional investors, and those between common stockholders, preferred stockholders and debt holders; regulatory compliance and risk management issues faced by corporations; financial crimes and corporate crimes; and a series of recent topics in employment law, cybersecurity, social justice, and AI and machine learning that impact corporations and their relationships with different stakeholders. Students can use this course to fulfill their upper-level writing requirement and the writing requirement for the Business Law Certificate. 

Corporate Law and Finance Seminar

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. 


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. 

Dodd-Frank Act Seminar

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.

Financial Regulation Seminar

More information coming soon!

Insurance Law

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.

Mergers & Acquisitions

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.

Nonprofit Organizations

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.

Real Estate Transactions Skills

This course will be a hands-on approach to real estate transactions including: residential and commercial real estate closings, title search review, and the lien and foreclosure process. This will include preparation of the real estate contract for purchase and sale, including analysis of the FARBAR Contract and As-Is Contract; practical review of online searches to include entity searches, public records searches and property tax searches. Closing documentation, including various real estate documentation to handle individual and entities in the role of the buyer or seller, to include resolutions and defining the parties and their authority. We will also explore contract remedies, allocating title risk by contract and deed, land descriptions, and title products. The financing options will be explored and preparation of loan documentation such as promissory note, mortgage and other loan documents. The foreclosure process will be reviewed with preparation of pleadings, complaint, lis pendens, and receivership pleadings. Samples will be provided and analyzed to fit the factual scenarios as analyzed in the classroom.

Securities Regulation

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. 

Law and Economics Courses

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.

Game Theory for Business Lawyers Seminar

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. 

Introduction to Business and Finance

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.

Law and Economics

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.

Real Estate Courses

Commercial Real Estate Transactions

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.

Condominium and Community Housing Law

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.

Land Transfer

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 Law

This course addresses legal and regulatory issues that arise during the process of developing land. It focuses on Florida but also addresses issues from other states. Students 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 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 also addresses resource-based issues associated with land development, including historic, cultural, and natural resources. Finally, students learn about private land use controls, such as covenants, conditions, and restrictions, used to further regulate projects and build and preserve property values.

Real Estate Finance

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.

Real Estate Transactions Skills

This course will be a hands-on approach to real estate transactions including: residential and commercial real estate closings, title search review, and the lien and foreclosure process. This will include preparation of the real estate contract for purchase and sale, including analysis of the FARBAR Contract and As-Is Contract; practical review of online searches to include entity searches, public records searches and property tax searches. Closing documentation, including various real estate documentation to handle individual and entities in the role of the buyer or seller, to include resolutions and defining the parties and their authority. We will also explore contract remedies, allocating title risk by contract and deed, land descriptions, and title products. The financing options will be explored and preparation of loan documentation such as promissory note, mortgage and other loan documents. The foreclosure process will be reviewed with preparation of pleadings, complaint, lis pendens, and receivership pleadings. Samples will be provided and analyzed to fit the factual scenarios as analyzed in the classroom.

Commercial Law Courses

Commercial Paper

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.

Consumer Law

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.

Transactional and Skills Courses

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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.

Business Planning

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.

Contract Drafting

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.

Financial Statements Interpretation

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.

Introduction to Business and Finance

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.


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 and First Day 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. For that reason, you should only enroll in the course if you can commit to attend every class session (on time), and all students must be present at the beginning of the first class to maintain their seats. Waitlisted students are invited to attend the first class in case a space opens up at that time.

View the syllabus

View and complete the course application

Tax Law Courses

Tax Policy Seminar

Prerequisites: Taxation 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.

Taxation I

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 of Business Entities

Prerequisites: Taxation I

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.

International Business Courses

Global Health & Pharmaceutical Law

This seminar introduces students to the global system addressing public health matters, including the international institutional framework (e.g., the World Health Organization). It examines how national legal systems integrate within this global framework. A major part of the course addresses innovation and access to pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Intellectual property and regulatory frameworks relevant to the pharmaceutical sector are considered. It is anticipated that the next several years in global public health will pay close attention to preparing for and responding to pandemics and other “pathogen events”. The evolution of negotiations in this area will be studied. Students will have the opportunity to prepare papers on a wide range of topics that may be of interest to them.

International Aspects of Intellectual Property

This course introduces the global system for the regulation of intellectual property rights (IPRs). It discusses the institutions and treaties regulating the grant and enforcement of IPRs and the policies underlying the international IP system. The course considers each major form of IP from an international perspective, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications, design rights and trade secret/data protection. Various important issues regarding the interface between IPRs, industrial policy, economic and social interests, are considered. These include the role of IPRs and transfer of technology in addressing climate change and other environmental matters, the interplay between IPRs and public health, and the set of issues affecting the digital environment.

International Business Transactions

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 Trade Law and Policy

An examination of the international trading system, its economic underpinnings, and its regulatory structures. Primary emphasis is placed on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, both as a fundamental constitutive document and as a set of rules governing such matters as subsidies, dumping, and escape clause actions. The course also reviews issues of U.S. constitutional law relevant to the conduct of international economic relations. 

International Trade Transactions

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 Intellectual Property

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. 

Other Business Courses

Business Ethics

The goal of this course is to develop the ability of prospective lawyers to recognize and handle professional responsibility issues that arise in the practice of business law. For purposes of this course, “business law” includes general business associations law and related specializations such as tax, securities, antitrust, litigation, and “white collar” criminal law. By the end of this course, prospective lawyers should (1) know the sources of governing ethical rules, (2) know the contents of the principal relevant rules, (3) recognize the difficulties attending application of the rules, including the sometimes conflicting policies served by the rules, (4) understand the importance of the particular context at hand when applying the rules, and (5) appreciate the different cultures and priorities of the relevant actors, including regulators, inside and outside counsel, and business persons contemplating or engaged in the transactions.

Consumer Protection Law

This course examines concerns, protections and regulations particular to consumer transactions in formation, substance, and remedies. Regulatory, statutory, and common law doctrines will be addressed, with an emphasis on federal and Florida consumer protection statutes. Major topics will include fraud, deceptive practices, fair and accurate credit reporting, Truth-in-Lending law, fair debt collection, and enforcement of consumer rights. We will examine the evolution of consumer protection law as well as the economic and social policies behind it, and also focus on the practical application of the law.

Employment Law

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

Energy Law and Policy

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. Specific topics that we will discuss in this course include the disputes and legal battles surrounding the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline; siting, preemption, and nuisance issues associated with renewable energy generation; 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.

Medical Malpractice Seminar

This course will focus on specific topics in medical malpractice, and provider and institutional liability generally.  Unlike a survey class, this class will explore in depth the legal issues surrounding initiating, or defending, a malpractice claim. Students will not only learn the settled law surrounding malpractice cases (or institutional liability), but they will also encounter ongoing areas of legal ambiguity. Students will not only be responsible for reading and discussing the material, but also for presenting part of it to their peers; accordingly, students will develop the ability to present concepts coherently, interact with questions or conflicting opinions, and engage in fruitful discussion. Students will write a seminar paper and present its thesis to their classmates as well. Successful completion of this course will count as fulfilling an upper level writing requirement (ULWR).

Class Format
This seminar will take a closer look at the liability of providers and institutions, focusing on medical malpractice in particular. Class sessions will involve students presenting assigned material and engaging in active discussion with one another. Students will be graded both on their in-class presentations of material but also on their ability to engage with material presented by other students and the professor.

In addition to the in-class participation, students will write a seminar paper and present it to the class. This seminar is offered in two tracks: one to fulfill an Upper Level Writing Requirement (ULWR) and one that will not. Both tracks will have intermediate graded deadlines, such as submitting a topic list /final topic and turning in an outline with a source list. The ULWR track will be required to turn in a rough draft. Non-ULWR students may turn in a rough draft if desired, but this is not required.

Any rough draft turned in will be graded and will account for 10% of the student’s raw grade.

Oil and Gas Law

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, 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.

White Collar Crime

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