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.
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.
An introduction to the basic foundations of enforceability 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.
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.
Development of skills in analysis, writing and research in the context of writing primarily interoffice or predictive memoranda; introduction to the legal research process and to selected primary and secondary sources; emphasis on plain English. Students build from early exercises applying a rule to a short set of facts to synthesizing and applying complex rules to more extensive fact patterns.
Introduction of persuasive writing techniques; building on analytical skills developed in first semester, with increased emphasis on organizing arguments to a trial or appellate court; introduction to standards of review and other aspects of appellate practice; instruction in on-line research and additional primary and secondary sources. The major project of the semester is the production of an appellate brief and presentation of oral argument to members of the local bar.
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.
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.
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
This course is designed to acquaint you with salient themes and developments in American jurisprudence since the end of the nineteenth century. Special attention is given to the erosion of the concept of private law, the rise of legal realism, and the problems of devising standards of decision making peculiar to the judiciary.
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.
The course introduces students to effective legal research techniques used to find the law of federal and state agencies. This course provides students with practical, hands-on experience with legal resources and research tools. This course emphasizes building the practical research skills required to succeed in an increasingly complex legal and regulatory environment.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Description to be posted soon.
This online, asynchronous course is designed to help students develop the sophisticated research skills necessary for the effective practice of law in, but not limited to, Florida. Topics covered include federal and state legislative and administrative history, increasing research efficiency through the use of secondary sources, and the use of a variety of legal and non-legal online resources.
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.
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.
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.
The animal law litigation, legislation, and policy course will illustrate how animal laws are drafted and become law, and ultimately litigated. The class will include a discussion of alternative dispute resolution, negotiated settlements, and oral and written advocacy, including appeals. “Real world” lawyering skills will be taught through writing assignments, advocacy role-playing, and mock oral arguments. Legal and political considerations will be included, as well as drafting of animal law legislation, ordinances, and legal documents. Also included will be mock trial practice, pre- and post-trial proceedings, and ethical considerations. Students will learn the policy and practical considerations associated with animal law advocacy.
Students will be evaluated based on class participation, writing assignments, and in-class role-playing.
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.
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.
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.
Applied Legal Concepts is a 2-credit course designed to help students improve their work in law school and their process for preparing for the bar examination. The course focuses on honing and improving students’ analytical and writing skills, with a special emphasis on the skills necessary to engage in effective self-directed study and self-assessment of learning. Students will analyze and apply core concepts using practice-oriented problems as well as bar exam essay and multiple choice questions. Students will receive extensive individual formative feedback on critical reading skills, issue identification, answer organization and structure, and time management, and they will practice techniques for crafting effective rule statements, factual analyses and conclusions. The course will review selected topics of substantive law, complementing and building on concepts studied in the first year in areas including torts, contracts and real property. The course will also explore selected concepts that are covered briefly or not at all in the introductory courses in these areas, and that students will be expected to master in preparation for high-stakes examinations. Students will have access to substantive outlines and study materials and will spend the majority of class time working on and reviewing practice problems.
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.
This course introduces students to the key legal principles governing the relationship of debtors and creditors, with primary emphasis on federal bankruptcy law.
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.
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.
Prerequisites: Florida Legislative Practice
The Business Law and Legislation Experiential Addendum provides students the opportunity to put into practice what they are learning in the legislative practice course. Students will assist the Florida Bar Business Law Section (FBBLS) committees working on 2021 business law legislation. During the legislative session, FBBLS will be working on legislation related to foreclosure, corporations, cyber security and privacy, and other issues. Professor Farach will oversee the work and is also Chair of the Legislative Committee for FBBLS. Students will work closely with FBBLS attorney lobbyists. Students will gain hands-on experience in the legislative process and connections with leading attorneys practicing business law. Students will enhance substantive knowledge of business law that are the subject of legislation. The course requires approximately 6 hours of work per week, (which could vary weekly). Students will keep weekly journals of their experience to be reviewed mid-term and end of semester. Participation in legislative assignments related to FBBLS activity is also a factor in determining performance for purposes of an S or U grade.
This clinic will give students opportunities to develop skills in key business law topics by providing service to clients starting or operating entrepreneurial businesses. Initially, the target client base will be limited to FSU faculty, staff, and student led enterprises and preference will be given to clients seeking to commercialize “University IP.” Students will work on a variety of legal issues typically of importance to entrepreneurs including:
- selecting forms for and establishing business entities;
- working with founders to formalize relations among them;
- negotiating and drafting IP related agreements; and,
- general contract issues such as independent contractor relations, real property leases, etc.
This online, asynchronous course will help students develop the sophisticated research skills necessary for the effective practice of business law, including the ability to efficiently research issues concerning business formation and regulation. Students will explore business topics using secondary and primary sources, including databases, treatises, practice materials, and materials produced by law firms.
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.
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.
S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The Children in Prison Project (CIPP) provides legal advocacy on behalf of children who have been incarcerated in Florida’s adult prison system. In addition to direct representation of clients, CIPP students may also participate in law reform projects to advocate for changes in statutes and administrative rules to improve prison conditions for children. Students participate in every aspect of litigation, gaining experience in areas from motion practice to conducting full resentencing proceedings for CIPP clients, and have the opportunity to litigate in State court, Federal court, and administrative forums. Presentations to the Florida Legislature and participation in legislative sessions teach students additional advocacy skills and provide an opportunity to create broader legal impact while networking with state lawmakers and other stakeholders. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.
(6 credits in fall/spring; 3 credits in summer)
S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The Children’s Advocacy Clinic (CAC) provides free legal services to children across Florida on a variety of issues such as healthcare, disability, education, dependency (foster care), delinquency, and adoption. Through direct representation of children, students develop and hone litigation, negotiation, and interviewing skills, as well as learning substantive legal topics regarding the legal representation of children. CAC Students are responsible for every aspect of their cases and have the opportunity to practice their skills in circuit court, administrative proceedings, and other forums. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.
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.
Prerequisites: Civil Procedure, Evidence
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.
This skills training class will focus on civil discovery and depositions. In the first half of the course, students will learn how to approach the discovery process, including admissions, document requests, interrogatories and subpoena duces tecum. The course will also address the laws applicable to electronic discovery, and the technical aspects of preserving, retrieving and protecting electronic data, an increasingly important facet of civil discovery practice. In the second half of the course, students will learn about the deposition process, including the rules governing deposition practice as well as practical skills for successfully taking and defending depositions in civil cases.
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.
This course provides an overview of civil rights law through the historical lens of the Modern Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968), as well as examination of contemporary movements for social change. The course will examine influence of direct-action campaigns on the federal judicial system.
In this skills-training class, we will examine several actual class action and multi-party litigation cases, including tobacco cases, employment law class actions, medical product litigation, and other complex commercial and civil litigation cases. Practical exercises will include working on a motion for class certification, deposition practice, and a simulated settlement negotiation.
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.
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.
This class explores the interdisciplinary issues surrounding the problem of climate change, perhaps the most vexing and dangerous of environmental or social problems ever to confront humankind. The objective is to prepare students for areas of law – most of which are in early developmental stages – that affect climate change or adapt to climate change. In so doing, this seminar will require students to delve into not only the developing legal issues of climate change, but also the scientific, economic, technological, and psychological aspects of climate change.
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.
This is a course that explores the state, federal and international laws governing the use and development of resources in coastal areas and the oceans. Such an exploration covers the federal and state common law, major federal statutes, international treaties, all from the perspective of the special needs of coastal areas and oceans. Prominent in this course are the ecological underpinnings of wildlife regulation, relationships between water, habitat, wildlife, and land use, and legal issues stemming from jurisdictional conflicts. For students planning to practice law in a coastal area, this course offers a useful survey of laws that may come up in a wide variety of practices, including but not limited to land use, development of energy resources, tourism and recreation, and commercial and recreational fishing.
This survey course covers topics that such as (1) the rights and responsibilities of sellers, buyers, lessors and lessees of personal property, including transactions in documents of title and letters of credit; and (2) studying the security interests in personal property. There is particular emphasis on Articles 2, 2A and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
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.
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.
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.
This course provides an introduction to family law in foreign jurisdictions and compares that approach to the law in the United States. The course is likely to be useful to those with an interest in family law and, like other courses in comparative law, to those who seek to learn more in general about how foreign legal jurisdictions approach basic legal questions.
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.
Prerequisites: Civil Procedure
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.
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.
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.
This course examines the legal problems that arise when an occurrence or a case cuts across state or national boundaries: jurisdiction of courts, enforceability of foreign judgments, and choice of applicable law. The focus is on the policies, the rules of law, and the constitutional requirements in private interstate law.
The seminar will discuss an important but often neglected area of American legal thinking. The goal is to locate conservative and libertarian thinking within both general jurisprudential thinking and the political and legal spectrum. The seminar will also examine the contribution of conservatives and libertarians to the debate of current issues and legal doctrine. Readings will include writings by leading conservative and libertarian theorists and jurists. These will be critically contrasted to each other, and to left-of-center liberal thinking. In order to get credit, students must write a paper on a topic of their choice. The seminar satisfies the upper level legal writing requirement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course is a comprehensive, three-credit introduction to U.S. copyright law. The course begins with an analysis of copyright's underlying policies and theoretical framework. It then examines the substantive and formal requirements for copyright protection; the rights accorded to authors and other copyright holders; the fair use defense; issues involving copyright ownership and transfer; copyright duration; possible Constitutional limitations on copyright; contributory and vicarious liability (focusing on music file trading services like Napster and Kazaa); and the Copyright Act preemption of state law.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant death, illness and disruption, and it has required private parties, legislators and courts to balance claims of legal rights and community health. As a result of the pandemic, the legal profession will need to address questions about healthcare, employment, liability, the social safety net, limited access to the courts, changes to the delivery of legal services, restrictions of civil rights and liberties, the spread of virus in prisons, the disproportionate harms to people of color, and the interaction between a pandemic and public protests. Through weekly readings, class discussions, student presentations and seminar papers, students will examine COVID-19’s current impacts and lasting effects.
The purpose of this course is to learn the basics of policy analysis, including regression analysis (focusing on causal inference), basic microeconomics, and cost benefit analysis, as they apply to current issues in crime policy. Policing in particular will receive special attention. A final paper (reporting either a literature review or original empirical research) will be required.
While the United States continues to house more prisoners per capita than any country in the world, there is also growing momentum around criminal justice reform. This course will highlight the roles and interests of key stakeholders in the criminal justice system—including prosecutors, police, sheriffs, correctional officers, and private prison executives—to assess prospects for and resistance to reform. We will also consider a broader, comparative frame, situating the U.S. criminal justice system in a global context. Readings will include case law, social science literature, and comparative law texts.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Seminar class with limited enrollment.
This course will revolve around a series of colloquia, in which distinguished guest speakers make presentations on current legal topics. This semester, we will focus on Current Issues in Constitutional Law. Topics may include: Social media and the First Amendment, and whether there is a right to access social network websites or to access social media network accounts by which government official publically communicate; Voting and voter restrictions, and to what extent can access to vote be denied, why and how; Is there right under the Florida Constitution to safe environment, and how can such right be enforced; Truthful accounts and rational decisions by agencies and officials of state and local government, and advancement of substantive due process under the Florida Constitution is imperative; Local funding of charter schools under the Florida Constitution; Whether there is any right to representative democracy under the Florida Constitution that entitles election primaries in Florida be open and primary runoffs to be held to assure adequate opportunity to voters for election of candidates that will fairly represent the majority of their constituents. Among other things, students are expected to analyze material on the chosen topics, participate in class discussion, attend the colloquia, and write critiques.
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.
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?
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.
This seminar introduces students to federal and state regulations on cybersecurity and cybercrime. Topics covered may include: consumer privacy protection; security protection responsibility of business entities, including disclosure requirements about privacy policies and cybersecurity breaches; employer monitoring and surveillance of employee computer activities; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA); the Electronic Communications Protections Act (ECPA). Fulfills ULWR.
This skills training class focuses on the United States Supreme Court decisions on capital punishment beginning with Furman v. Georgia (1972) and continuing to the Court’s current docket. There are two capital cases before the Court (so far) this term. Students will: study the Court’s fundamental Eighth Amendment decisions and apply those holdings to current capital cases; listen to the actual oral arguments before the Court; review the record and lower court opinions; and write an “opinion” for the Court in a pending case. This class counts towards the skills training requirement.
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.
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.
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.
This course develops pretrial skills associated with the discovery phase of litigation. Topics include litigation holds, initial disclosures, depositions, interrogatories, requests for production or inspection of documents, production and collection of ESI, subpoenas, requests for admission, and expert testimony.
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.
This skills training course offers upper level students opportunities to learn due diligence techniques that practicing attorneys use; to practice recognizing the breadth and depth of a client’s due diligence needs; and to develop the skills for the effective and efficient due diligent review of people, entities, places, and property. You will learn why these issues matter to various parties involved in a transaction, and how your findings could impact the final terms on which the transaction closes. Over the course of the semester, you will work independently to examine the details of a transaction for a new client. You will (i) identify the issues about which verification or further information is necessary, (ii) create and maintain an organized, current, cohesive, and concise due diligence checklist for the transaction, (iii) conduct the research and writing exercises appropriate to address those bulleted items, and (iv) maintain and update a due diligence report summarizing the findings of your due diligence examination.
In this skills training course, we will examine the principal legal and business issues that arise in Mergers & Acquisitions transactions. Topics include: the rationale for mergers and acquisitions (from both seller and buyer perspectives); the three primary M&A transaction structures (asset deal, stock deal, merger deal); business valuation (buyer and seller perspectives and basic financial statement review), confidential agreements (aka NDA—non-disclosure agreements); due diligence requests (financial and legal information); basic negotiating strategies; drafting of the relevant legal documents; common structures for financing M&A transactions; overview of relevant state and federal statutes and case laws. The course will be geared toward the student intending to practice transactional law, but should also be relevant for any law or business student who wants a better understanding of mergers and acquisitions practice and strategy.
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.
Covers the major legal issues facing K-12 and higher education across the country, with a focus on Florida, where many of the issues facing education systems across the country have been intensely litigated. Issues to be covered will include equal educational opportunity, free speech, desegregation, discrimination, school finance, special education, vouchers, charter schools and discipline.
This skills training class, focuses on helping students develop effective communication skills in the courtroom. Particular focus will be given to communications between lawyers and judges, lawyers and witnesses, and lawyers and juries, as well as communications among lawyers. This class counts towards the skills training requirement.
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.
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.
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.
Survey of basic legal and policy concepts governing the employment relationship.
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.
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.
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.
This course addresses environmental justice as a legal and social concern. Using case studies, academic literature, and other materials, we will engage with the history of environmental injustices inflicted upon traditionally disenfranchised communities and the rise of the environmental justice movement in response. In doing so, we examine the legal and social tools with which the environmental justice movement operates, and the barriers to achieving environmental justice. In looking to the future, the course will then focus on the unique environmental justice issues arising from anthropogenic climate change, also known as climate justice.
This course introduces students to the core federal statutes, regulations, and common law principles that control humans’ impacts on environmental resources, including air, water, and soil. The course explores different types of approaches to controlling these impacts, such as market mechanisms, liability regimes, or regulations requiring specific pollution control technologies. The course addresses in depth several federal statutes that regulate many aspects of industrial and individual behavior, including requiring specific pollutant reductions and permits prior to engaging in a polluting activity. Further, Environmental Law includes discussion of mechanisms for implementing and enforcing these federal statutes.
This course will help students develop the sophisticated research skills necessary for the effective practice of environmental law. Topics include: Statutes and legislative history documents, regulations, judicial opinions, agency documents, international environmental conventions and interpretations, and scientific and economic literature related to environmental law. Grading will be based upon short weekly assignments, class participation and the creation of a research guide in one specific area of environmental law.
This course provides an introduction to federal natural resources law, with an emphasis on living resources. In a mixed seminar format, we’ll survey the legal treatment of wildlife and biodiversity, fisheries and marine resources, water resources, forests and rangelands, protected public lands, multiple use public lands, and energy (as time allows). We’ll draw lessons from these fields to understand the themes and conflicts of environmental management generally, and the unique qualities of natural resources that render management efforts so difficult. Throughout the course, we will probe the interplay between environmental, economic, cultural, and political factors that complicate natural resource decision-making—especially in a resource rich state like Florida, where each of the surveyed resources plays a foundational role.
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. Our materials of study will include but not be limited to judicial materials; we will also study natural resource law problems, case studies, statutes and implementing regulations, and other means of probing contemporary natural resource dilemmas. Our goal is to educate you not only about the statutes and cases, but also the underlying problems that each are struggling to resolve, in order to best equip you to participate in this process in all legal contexts. This course counts toward the Upper Level Writing Requirement and the Environmental Certificate, but non-certificate students and those new to environmental law are also very welcome in the class.
Prerequisites: Gratuitous Transfers and Taxation
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.
There are a number of issues that arise in the course of our lives each day that are philosophically perplexing and interesting. This course is devoted to discussing several of these and to exploring the various ways in which law and morality have responded to them.
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.
This course will afford law students with opportunity to observe the governor and Florida Cabinet members--the Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services -- at the Capitol in their capacity as Florida’s Board of Executive Clemency. Law students also will have opportunity to gain perspective from senior level guest speakers. Emphasis will include analysis of the Florida Supreme Court’s recent response to the Governor’s Request for an Advisory Opinion regarding whether the ballot initiative known as Amendment 4 that addressed extensive felony disenfranchisement in Florida and approved by voters in November 2018 contemplates payment of all fines, fees and restitution as a threshold requirement for restoration of voting eligibility. This course is jointly offered by the College of Law with the Colleges of Social Science and Public Policy, and Social Work, although law students constitute a separate section of the course.
This course, taught by the two top lawyers for the Florida governor, provides students with a detailed overview of the executive branch, both federal and state. Students learn the constitutional authority of the president of the United States, and of the governor of Florida, along with challenges to the limits of that authority. Issues explored include the full expanse of what is involved in executing the law, including the role of commander-in-chief, the decision to veto legislation, the duty to enforce the law, and the ability to appoint judges. The course deals with current constitutional issues involving the president or governor, historical crises in executive leadership, and the breadth of the administrative stale. Students read and discuss portions of historical documents, relevant litigation and current affairs involving executive power. Students deliberate current affairs involving the president and the governor. Further, in-class exercises simulate the executive process and allow students to apply skills.
The course will be structured to provide a broad base of information for students seeking opportunities to serve as lawyers in federal or state government, as well as those students generally interested in increasing their knowledge of the workings of the government.
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.
(6 credits in fall/spring; 3 credits in summer)
S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
In this clinic, students gain experience in client representation, community outreach, and law reform advocacy. First, students represent clients in the filing of immigrant petitions such as Asylum, U Visa, T Visa, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ). Students represent clients in removal proceedings including appearances in Immigration Court. Students may also represent farmworkers in labor disputes. Second, students engage in community outreach in the rural counties of the Second Judicial Circuit focusing on educating immigrants and farmworkers about their rights. Finally, students advocate for the implementation of laws and rules favorable to the immigrant/farmworker community by engaging in various law reform activities such as administrative rule changes; researching, drafting and promoting supportive legislation; monitoring changes in the law; preparing and filing amicus briefs; litigating impact cases that affect large groups of people; attending legislative events, committees or meetings; meeting with lawmakers; or otherwise engaging in the legislative and policy-making process on a local, state, or national level. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Ashley Hamill with any questions.
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.
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
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.
An introduction to legal sources relevant to banking law, consumer protection, and various other issues related to financial regulation. Students will also learn advanced research techniques.
More information coming soon!
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.
This course examines the history, theory, and jurisprudence of the First Amendment. Particular attention is given to the Free Speech Clause. The rights of expression recognized by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution cover a broad range of subjects. They include categories of core expression (e.g. politics and philosophy), unprotected expression (e.g., obscenity and incitement), and less-protected expression (e.g., commercial speech). Other issues include doctrines concerned with time/place/manner, public fora, and political campaign regulations. Materials covered focus mainly on Supreme Court decisions and touch on secondary literature about these subjects.
The course is about Florida state executive branch agencies, executive branch governmental power, and the processes and standards applicable to the exercise of executive branch agency power with respect to persons regulated by the executive branch. The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of various administrative processes established in Chapter 120, Florida Statutes (the Florida Administrative Procedure Act, or “APA”), and to provide students with an understanding of the role of the Florida APA in creating and determining the substantive and procedural legal rights of persons regulated by the executive branch agencies of Florida government.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prerequisites: Criminal Law
This course focuses on criminal prosecutions in Florida from initial arrest through post-conviction motions. Students will learn the relevant rules of criminal procedure as well as in depth studies of real cases they may encounter prosecuting or defending criminal cases in Florida. The course will explore ethical issues prosecutors and defense attorneys face in daily practice and issues affecting the criminal justice system on a global scale.
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.
The course will explore a range of technical issues, legal issues, and policy questions relating to environmental law and regulation in the State of Florida. Students are expected to learn how to apply legal reasoning and research methods to determine obligations under various Florida environmental statutes and rules; to gain familiarity with case law and case studies interpreting Florida Statutes Chapters 373 (Water Resources) and 403 (Environmental Control); to gain technical knowledge relating to the geology, meteorology, and ecosystems of Florida; and explore a range of specific topics including surface water and wetlands regulation, environmental resource permitting, mitigation assessment and banking, minimum flows and levels, total maximum daily loads, consumptive use permitting, groundwater protection, sovereign lands, and coastal construction permitting.
This course will provide an overview of environmental regulatory programs in Florida. While the course will broadly cover environmental permitting across a variety of media, we will focus our attention on a case study: the permitting requirements that would typically be associated with greenfield construction. We will examine the substantive permitting requirements, explore the types of issues that might complicate the process, and discuss how public involvement can shape the outcome. Students will be introduced to the Florida Administrative Procedure Act through the vehicle of a mock permit challenge. While federal permitting will be incorporated, the primary focus will be on Florida permitting. The course will be useful for students interested in careers in environmental law, administrative law, land use planning, real estate development, and state government.
This course focuses on family law concepts under Florida law. Among other things, this course will cover the Florida law on: dissolution of marriage (equitable distribution, alimony, parenting, child support, modification, pre- and post-marital agreements, and domestic violence); determination of parentage (paternity); adoption; assisted reproduction; and annulment.
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 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.
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.
In this skills training course, students will acquire a working knowledge of transactional and litigation issues that arise from the acquisition, ownership and encumbrance of real property. The course will focus on practical real estate related problems that students will encounter as new attorneys. Emphasis will be on Florida law. Topics include: financial analysis of real estate transactions; business entities used in real estate transactions; due diligence; real estate finance; condominiums; homeowner’s and community associations; title insurance; land trusts; construction law; surveys and legal descriptions; leasing; and foreclosure.
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.
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.
This course is a practical introduction to the law and business of investment products. It will examine the financial industry’s most important structures (including mutual funds, ETFs, and REITs), strategies (such as private equity, venture capital, and hedge fund styles), and financial engineering tools (like securitizations and derivatives). In each case, students will consider not only the relevant legal issues, but the underlying investment ideas and the ways in which resulting products are distributed and sold.
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.
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.
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.
This interdisciplinary seminar will focus on global justice: 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?
S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The Health Care Access Project (HCAP) represents children in need of greater access to health care services. HCAP focuses on impact litigation, and has litigated several Federal class action suits on behalf of children with disabilities. This project offers students the opportunity to advocate on behalf of children with disabilities in Federal court as well as administrative forums. In addition to litigation, students will participate in administrative rulemaking proceedings, providing research and comments to government agencies during the rulemaking process. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.
A study of federal and state laws regulating fraud and abuse within health care, including the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act, the Stark I and Stark II (physician self-referral).
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.
This course will provide a survey of issues related to health law. Students will learn about the distinct nature of the health care market and how it raises the potential need for legal intervention. The course will touch on the duties arising from the provider-patient relationship and the liability of providers and health care organizations. Students will explore the structure and weaknesses of health care and insurance markets, the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the ongoing litigation surrounding the PPACA, and some new health care reform proposals. Other topics include an overview of the main tools used to control fraud and abuse of public programs as well as selected issues in bioethics. Students will leave with an understanding of the inherent conflict in the current healthcare system, tools for addressing these market failures (both already implemented and potential), and current controversies in this field.
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.
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.
This course surveys tensions between human rights interests and national security imperatives as well as the extent to which such might be reconciled placing emphasis on but not limited to the period since the September 11, 2001. A two-credit course that will explore aspects of U.S. law, international law, and other human rights and national security considerations relevant to what has been characterized as the U.S.-led “Global War On Terror” but also will include issues that transcend, like climate change, refugee protection and global health by surveying treaty frameworks and exploring what have been characterized as derogable v. non-derogable rights. The mantra for this course will be challenge all givens, in an effort to promote critical thinking and awareness of implications while attempting to disabuse various popular and sometimes unfounded narratives. Toward these ends, we’ll also explore military commissions and Guantanamo Bay, and corresponding US Supreme Court precedent regarding these and a range of issues framed within the ambit of national security that have human rights implications.
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.
S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Law Project (HELP) focuses on legal advocacy for child victims of human trafficking, among the most vulnerable children in Florida. Students have the opportunity to work directly with victims of human trafficking, providing them legal representation in areas such as dependency (foster care), delinquency, criminal record expungement, and injunctions for protection. Students will engage in community outreach, providing educational presentations in and around Tallahassee on topics related to human trafficking. HELP students will also participate in law reform projects, advocating before the Florida Legislature and in administrative forums to improve laws and services for victims of human trafficking. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.
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.
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.
“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.
This course is usually taught as a seminar, with grades based upon student papers. Alternatively, this course may be taught as a non-seminar, in which case grading may be based on simulation exercises including drafting documents commonly prepared by in-house counsel.
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.
This course will introduce students to basic concepts, sources, and specialized tools used in foreign and international legal research. Students will learn how to efficiently locate needed information for particular legal systems including cases, statutes, and codes. Students will also learn how to access the primary sources of public and private international law. The topics include, subjects such as secondary sources, treaties, custom and general principles, international jurisprudence, and human rights law.
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.
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.
(6 credits in fall/spring; 3 credits in summer)
S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The International Human Rights Advocacy Clinic (IHRAC) offers students hands-on experience representing individual human rights survivors and international non-governmental organizations engaged in human rights advocacy. Participating students gain experience in areas including fact-finding, evidence collection, research, reports, advisory memos, viability assessments, litigation, amicus briefs, UN standard setting, and norm development. They also develop a variety of skills including interviewing, persuasive writing, media, collaboration, leadership, professional identity, trauma-informed advocacy, and methods to cope with vicarious trauma. In addition, students discuss current events in human rights and the role lawyers play in the human rights movement (values, obligations, opportunities, and constraints).
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.
This course addresses the field of women’s human rights in an international context. Various topics will be covered in terms of their impact on women’s human rights globally including discrimination and intersectionality; gender-based violence; sexual orientation and gender identity; COVID-19; #MeToo, non-state actors, and social protest; sexual and reproductive rights; economic, social, and cultural rights; the environment and climate change; regional human rights systems; culture and religion; and the digital world.
This course provides an introduction to the field of international organization. We will study rule-making, trusteeship, human rights, dispute settlement, and enforcement, as well as the privileges and immunities of international organizations and relations between the United States and the United Nations.
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.
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.
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.
(International LL.M. Students Only)
The course provides an introduction to American law in a comparative perspective which will be particularly valuable for students with experience in non-US legal systems. I will focus on the basics of the American legal system with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary and mechanisms of the system, but will also provide concepts critical to learning to think as an American counselor and advocate.
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 students to business law, finance, and commercial transactions. The course covers key topics in business, economics, and finance that students will need to know if they plan to do transactional work or commercial litigations. It covers these topics through the lens of corporate law and commercial law (sales, secured transactions, commercial paper). Second-year students taking the course will be introduced to a set of foundational concepts that they will revisit in greater detail if they take more advanced courses in the area. Third year students with little or no prior exposure to corporate and commercial law will learn basic legal concepts that they will likely see in practice, and in the bar exam.
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.
This course provides an introduction to International Criminal Law (“ICL”). Essential topics include the nature, scope, and purpose of ICL, and the broader goal of ending impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Students will learn how the definition of each crime came about and has evolved to facilitate investigation and prosecution in times of crisis and conflict. The course will also familiarize students with ICL history, beginning with its origins in the attempt to prosecute the German Kaiser after WWI and continuing through the Nuremberg Trials, the UN War Crimes Commission, establishment of UN ad hoc Tribunals in the 1990s, and finally the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
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.
This course provides students with in-depth perspectives and understanding of the role of a judge. The course teaches students the constitutional authority of the judicial branch, the interpretative methods of judges, types of persuasive arguments and of judicial opinions, and the confirmation and appointment processes for Supreme Court justices. Current events involving the judiciary and the rule of law will be discussed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The functioning of the law is based on how language is interpreted. This course focuses on the role language plays in the interpretation of legal texts, such as constitutions, statutes, and contracts. These formal scenarios involving the interpretation of texts will be contrasted with informal scenarios involving the interpretation of oral statements, such as in police/citizen interactions. Issues of interpretation are constantly before the courts, even in relatively homogeneous, monolingual cultures. We will consider how the heterogeneous, multilingual nature of our society should impact both formal and informal legal interpretation. Thus, for instance, what does it mean for an “ordinary person” to have “fair notice” of the law? Is that a value that courts should promote? Should a court interpret a legal text according to its “ordinary meaning”? Is there such a thing as “ordinary meaning,” and if so, how can an attorney or court identify it? How should the language of a law, such as a civil rights statute, be interpreted over time? Is it inevitable that such a law will be interpreted dynamically? We will also critically analyze new research methods that courts are increasingly embracing, such as corpus linguistics, that purport to turn legal interpretation into an empirical endeavor.
This seminar will explore topics in religion and the law, with a focus on the U.S. Constitution’s Religion Clauses. Each class will be structured around short discussion papers that students will prepare in advance and present to the rest of the class. Beyond these short papers, students will also write a longer research paper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New technologies and our uses of them can reinforce inequality and other problematic social structures. This seminar will provide an opportunity to examine changes in legal structures and implementations of technology that can address inequality.
The course will evaluate the intersection of the criminal law, civil law and social justice advocacy through the lens of the extrajudicial police killing of George Floyd. Students will begin by examining the legal, media and social justice strategy that led to the arrest and criminal prosecution of George Floyd’s killer and an exploration of potential State and Federal law civil remedies available to families of victims, including enforcement of constitutional and civil rights. The course will explore police brutality and the relationship between police killings and White vigilante killings of unarmed Black men. Students will be challenged to conceptualize the role of the attorney outside of the courtroom and will be taught how attorneys strategically utilize media, social media, the arts and strategic partnerships to advance social-justice movements, to accomplish specific legal goals and to pressure systemic reform.
This course will help students recognize and develop their leadership potential, for both future employment and within their communities at large. Students will engage in guided self-examination to identify interests, strengths, and potential areas for growth. Leaders from various fields of practice will share their leadership experiences, informing students of the opportunities available to them and providing advice for building the skills necessary to obtain and succeed in those opportunities. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to challenge pre-existing self-imposed limitations and to consider previously dismissed and overlooked abilities and opportunities.
This course explores the nature and scope of the power vested in the legislature by the Florida Constitution and how that power differs from powers vested in the other two branches of state government and from the power vested in Congress. It covers the philosophical underpinnings of legislative power; how the exercise of that power is limited both by vertical and horizontal separation of powers and by other textual and structural components of the Florida Constitution; and how competition between the legislature and the other two branches manifests itself in various ways. Throughout the semester, there also will be some discussion about litigation fundamentals and strategy, research and writing techniques, and the basics of the legislative process.
This seminar provides students an opportunity to research and discuss a variety of doctrines that can be employed to enable the contract and tort claimants against one entity to access the resources of another entity. Doctrines in various stages of development include alter ego, fraudulent transfer, integrated business, joint venture, nominee, partnership, principal/agent, successor liability, veil piercing. Students will orally present their papers and write after receiving comment from the instructor.
This seminar will examine a series of legal issues raised by (1) the flow of personal information through social media, (2) the emergence of business models that make money from those information flows, and (3) the role of social media companies as information gatekeepers. Together we will explore the interplay of law (like the rights and freedoms the media enjoy under the First Amendment), and ethics (the professional responsibilities that historically have cabined the exercise of these rights). We will consider how legal and ethical frameworks shape access to information, as well as the quality and truthfulness of information with which consumers interact. We will also consider the central role of online gatekeepers that provide access to much of the news consumed in today’s society, but do not see themselves as bound by the same laws and ethics that have shaped the role of traditional information gatekeepers.
This class allows students to meet the Upper Level Writing Requirement. Each student will write a paper for the class, subject to the professor's approval. Attendance and careful preparation are required.
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.
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).
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.
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.
This is a survey course of federal and state laws pertaining to the use and governance of natural resources, such as water, wetlands, forests, rangeland, wildlife, and energy resources. As opposed to Environmental Law (which is a complement to this course), Natural Resources Law deals with the exploitation of resources, rather than the pollution of them, and as such, contemplates a vastly different system of laws and regulations. This course briefly explores some simple ecological and economic concepts, and how some federal and state laws reflect these concepts. Prominent in this course is the concept of natural resource planning, the primary means by which federal and state governments make decisions about the exploitation of resources.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prerequisite: Land Use Regulation
The purpose of this course is to give students practical experience with the challenging, inter-related issues that arise during the planning, review, approval, and development of a complex real estate project in Florida. The course will focus on various regulatory approvals required to develop a large master-planned community in coastal Florida. Topics will include local comprehensive planning, land development regulations, project review and approval, natural resource protection, transportation, hurricane preparedness, historic resources protection, listed species protection, public involvement, and infrastructure financing. We will also examine the ethical considerations and “best practices” for a lawyer engaged in such representation.
A comprehensive review of laws, rules and regulations that an attorney will encounter while representing clients in the federal, state and local political law arena. Areas of law include federal and state campaign finance and election law issues, lobbying registration and disclosure, the representation of foreign clients, the regulation of gifts to federal and state government officials, the political activities of non-profit organizations, developing corporate ethics compliance programs, representing clients in congressional investigations, impeachment, and legislative drafting.
This class explores both state and federal postconviction mechanisms for challenging both unlawful detention and convictions and sentences after one has been convicted and completed their direct appeal. Some refer to postconviction as the “red-headed step-child” of the criminal justice system, mostly because it is cumbersome, it seems like it never ends, and practitioners, even the ones who practice it regularly, may not even fully understand it. But state and federal postconviction offers the last avenue of relief for those whose convictions or sentences were obtained in an unconstitutional or unjust manner. Thus, there is a constant struggle between the interests of federalism, bringing closure to criminal cases and guaranteeing fundamental fairness of criminal proceedings. This struggle will be a consistent theme as we examine the reasoning behind why postconviction procedures are what they are and think about how they could be improved.
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 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.
Much federal environmental law depends critically on the implementation of compatible state law. This is a survey course in environmental, natural resource, energy, and land use law in the State of Florida emphasizing the importance of this cooperative federalism relationship in environmental protection. The course is intended to provide a combination of review of substantive state law and skills training especially for, but not limited to students expecting to practice in the State of Florida. The course has a strong component in skills training, and the interaction of state laws with federal ones.
This course examines information privacy, an individual's right to control his or her personal information held by others. The aim of the course is to understand how courts and Congress seek to protect information privacy as new technologies and institutional practices emerge. The course traces the origins of the right to information privacy in American law through Constitutional law, tort law, and modern statutory law. Case studies of landmark privacy legislation illustrate how expectations of privacy are translated into legal frameworks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course will examine how stereotypes, prejudice, and various forms of bias shape outcomes for marginalized groups and the role of law in protecting individuals from bias. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating perspectives from social psychology, political science, sociology, business, and law. The course covers multiple legal settings (e.g. employment, housing, criminal justice, education, health) and group memberships (e.g. race, class, citizenship, gender, religion, sexual orientation), but special attention will be given to the current state of race/ethnic relations in the United States. Through class discussion and final projects, students will analyze research, current events, and policy developments, including how laws and policies reduce, create, or exacerbate existing inequalities.
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.
This course teaches students the fundamentals of Florida real property law. Broadly speaking, students will learn four areas of real property law: what type of property right do you have (running from the Spanish land grants to present day forms of ownership), how does the government regulate that right (zoning, environmental regulation, etc.), how do you extract value from your property rights (sale, leases, etc.), and what are the different forms of litigation that arise over property rights?
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.
An introduction to basic statutes, regulation and administrative practices relevant to regulatory compliance by business entities, financial institutions, and healthcare organizations and practitioners. The course will also introduce students to basic concepts of risk management. Students will learn how to: identify applicable laws, regulations and industry standards necessary to develop an effective compliance management program; construct and implement effective compliance policies and procedures; develop appropriate audit procedures in order to analyze the effectiveness of current policies and procedures, and organize and lead the organization’s response to a regulatory audit or investigation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This seminar examines the legal regulation of sexuality, gender, and, to some extent, reproduction. The questions and issues explored during the first six weeks of this seminar are more overarching and theoretical in scope. They include: 1. What is identity? How do we define it? Which aspects of identity does the law protect and why?; 2. Bisexuality; 3. Transgender Identity; 4. Disgust and the Law; 5. Polygamy and other Plural Relationships; 6. Law, Identity, and the Protection of “Choice.”
The remaining classes cover more substantive areas of law, including: 1. State Regulation of Sexual Relationships; 2. Marriage Equality; 3. The Family and Alternative Reproduction; 4. Legal Clashes Between Equality and Liberty (clashes between anti-discrimination law and the First Amendment).
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.
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.
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.
The powers, limitations, and special legal rules concerning state and local governments are studied.
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.
This course covers topical subjects related to law enforcement and the Intelligence Community's evolving capabilities and authorities in the 21st century. The focus is on contemporary issues related to the government's use of evolving forms of technology, as well as on considerations of threats, technology and authorities determine national security efforts. While this course will be rooted in law, it covers relevant policy considerations as well.
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.
Prerequisite or co-requisite: Taxation I (Federal Income Tax)
The ability to draft clear, comprehensive, and precise documents is essential to lawyers in general and tax lawyers in particular. Documents drafted by tax lawyers may be explanatory (to help clients understand the tax consequences of proposed deals), transactional (agreements by which proposed deals become legal realities), or advocacy (defending the client’s position before the IRS or in litigation) in nature. In this course, students will 1- learn the principles of good legal drafting, 2- study examples of tax documents drawn from actual practice, and 3- create documents simulating documents typically drafted tax lawyers.
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.
Prerequisites: Taxation I
This course has two main aspects: 1) the judicial and administrative mechanisms available for resolving disputes between taxpayers and the IRS as to the meaning of federal tax laws and 2) collection options available to the IRS after tax liability has been determined (along with ways by which taxpayers and third parties may challenge the IRS’s use of such options). Knowledge of the substantive rules of tax liability is not required. Accordingly, there are no pre- or co-requisites. Grading usually is based on a series of take-home simulations rather than a final exam and so typically satisfies the Skills requirement.
In Tax Workshop, six or seven law professors from outside Florida State will present drafts of their work in progress. Students will be expected to read each article and engage in the presentation by the professor. Students will also be assigned to work on their own tax policy paper which they will present to the class at the end of the semester.
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.
Prerequisites: Legal Writing & Research I & II
This online, asynchronous course is designed to help students develop the sophisticated research skills necessary for the effective practice of taxation law. It emphasizes research of federal and state tax issues based on statutes, administrative rules, agency materials and judicial decisions, in order to help clients with both tax planning and compliance. Students will be introduced to concepts, sources and specialized tools used in income, business entity, and estate and gift taxation law research.
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.
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.
This seminar examines the modern American jury, a controversial entity that empowers average citizens to participate in legal decision making. Proponents of trials by jury defend them as evidence of our shared commitment to democracy and liberty. Critics argue, however, that juries are “the apotheosis of the amateur” and are often incompetent, irrational, and biased (both overtly and subconsciously). Drawing from the interdisciplinary writings of legal academics, historians, philosophers, psychologists, and economists, this seminar will examine the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the modern American jury and will critically evaluate how well jurors make legal decisions.
This course will familiarize you with the black letter law governing, issues surrounding, and unresolved questions concerning the modern jury. We will cover a wide array of topics, including the history of the jury, its formation, how well jurors make decisions, verdicts and nullification, damages awards, the death penalty, and the changing role of technology. Seminar grades will be determined through a research paper, presentation, and short assignments throughout the semester.
The Federalist Papers are both an indispensable guide to understanding the Constitution and a classic work of political science. This course has a simple objective: to read The Federalist Papers in their entirety, and in the process to learn about the key principles underlying the Constitution. We will occasionally read anti-Federalist writings and other sources for context, but our principal focus will be The Federalist Papers themselves. This is not a lecture course; the goal is for each class meeting to be a collaborative discussion of the week's assigned reading. Students will be graded on a pass-fail basis. To earn a passing grade, a student must do the reading, participate in class discussion, and (at the end of the course) write a five-page essay addressing the The Federalist Papers' relevance to any current legal, policy or cultural issue of the student's choice.
This course seeks to complement and enhance the rest of the law school curriculum by promoting students’ abilities to learn, test, support self and others, and perform to maximum capacity during law school, on the bar exam, and then as a professional. To achieve these purposes, the course provides scientifically validated principles and practices to eliminate stress and maximize mental clarity, energy, overall health, and emotional balance.
Credit-earning activities include full attendance and active engagement with the principles and practices provided in the course, both during all classes and outside of class. Practices and reflections on progress during the week replace the outside readings and academic writing more typical of doctrinal courses. Students thereby learn to establish routines for the practices they find most beneficial, and to overcome obstacles to improving health, well-being, and performance.
In person only
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.
This course provides an introduction to the investment management industry. It covers the roles of the various members of the ecosystem, such as manufacturers, distributors, and asset managers and owners, and has a special focus on the building blocks behind successful financial products and services. The course will also examine the disruption promised by innovations like cryptocurrencies and robo-advisors. Regular participation from senior industry executives is expected.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of transitional justice, which encompasses approaches when a society emerges from periods of conflict and repressive governance while confronting questions of how to navigate legacies of grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Although a relatively new area, transitional justice refers to a wide range of mechanisms societies may undertake to address these legacies as they transition from periods of violent conflict, repression and strife towards peace, democratic institutions, rule of law and respect for individual and collective rights. Students will become familiar with theoretical and practical objectives of transitional justice mechanisms widely utilized including criminal prosecutions, truth seeking mechanisms, reparations, institutional reforms and lustration.
In this skills training class, you will learn how to object to evidence and how to respond to objections, two very important skills for ever litigator. Through role-play simulations, discussions, and readings, students will learn to address common, but difficult, evidence issues.
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.
In this skills training course, students will learn about litigation strategy. Students will learn practical litigation and analytical skills in all stages of a lawsuit. Students will engage in creative problem solving and critical thinking analysis of different types of lawsuits, focusing on developing innovative solutions, both factual and legal, and practical skills to be utilized in the workplace and court.
This seminar will explore the role of trust in various relationships and how the law may promote or undermine trust between interacting parties. During the course of the semester, we will critically discuss the nature of trust, fiduciary relationships, trust in consumer transactions, and extra-legal trusting relationships, such as familial relationships and other social interactions. We will discover the limits of trust and the law’s ability to influence it as well as gain an understanding of how the law deeply influences a wide array of human interactions. The paper written for this seminar will fulfill the upper level writing requirement.
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.
This course provides students with an understanding of the history and procedure of the United Nations charter and treaty-based system, as well as exposure to the relevant criticisms surrounding the political nature and the institutional framework of the United Nations that shapes the promotion and protection of human rights within the system. The course will also discuss how the universal human rights system reflects normative human rights within the individual complaints heard by the Human Rights Council and related treaty-bodies.
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.
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 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, agricultural and food law, and municipal and state government. The course may be used to count toward the Upper-Level Writing Requirement and Environmental Certificate, but other students are also very welcome in the class.
The course will cover a range of topics, including, among others, corporate criminal liability, mail fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, and environmental crimes.
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.
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.