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Fall 2014 Course Descriptions

As of 4/19/2018 5:47:43 AM

First Year Required

510   Civil Procedure

This course covers the basic institutions of civil litigation in an adversary jury trial system. It explores the different procedural devices that arise out of the relationships among the parties, the judge, and the jury. Many litigation topics are covered, including issues relating to pleadings, discovery, other pretrial procedures, joinder, preclusion, and jurisdiction.

520   Contracts

This course is an introduction to commercial and consumer law and lays the foundation for advanced study in commercial transactions, corporations, restitution, consumer credit, and investment securities. Substantively, the Contracts course deals with how contracts are formed, which contracts are valid, when a contract has been breached and the various remedies for breach, including damages, specific performance, and restitution. The course is also designed to introduce the student to legal methodology and the techniques of statutory interpretation, particularly in connection with the Uniform Commercial Code.

530   Criminal Law

This course examines the application of legal principles as a limitation on the definition of crime; the theories underlying criminal law; and the problems of the imposition and execution of sentences. Also examined are various specific areas of substantive criminal law, including: (1) general principles applicable to all crimes, e.g., mistake, causation, legal insanity, intoxication, and rules of justification and excuse; (2) accountability for the acts of others; and (3) attempt and conspiracy.

590   Legal Practice I

The Legal Practice course is designed to teach students legal analysis, research, writing, especially the central art of persuasive writing, and oral advocacy, and to introduce students to other selected aspects of the practice of law. In the Legal Practice course students receive both group and individual instruction from full-time faculty who have practice experience and demonstrated talent as legal writers. Legal Practice I and Legal Practice II are required first-year courses presented in a sequence.

591   Legal Practice II

The Legal Practice course is designed to teach students legal analysis, research, writing, especially the central art of persuasive writing, and oral advocacy, and to introduce students to other selected aspects of the practice of law. In the Legal Practice course students receive both group and individual instruction from full-time faculty who have practice experience and demonstrated talent as legal writers. Legal Practice I and Legal Practice II are required first-year courses presented in a sequence.

592   Legal Practice Skills

This class is required for students taking the Legal Practice I class. It will focus on instruction in some of the skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession. The professional skills taught may vary from year to year but will include such subjects as advocacy, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, or drafting. 1 hour

569   Legislation and Regulation

In the modern regulatory state, the rules that most profoundly shape private conduct come not from the common law but, instead, from legislatures and agencies. This class will explore the lawmaking function of these institutions and the virtues and vices of administrative governance. Among other things, the class will cover: the nature of the legislative process; statutory interpretation; the justifications for regulatory intervention; regulatory tools and strategies; the allocation of authority between legislatures and agencies; the varied forms of agency decision-making; and judicial review of agency decisions. In offering a survey of public law, the course will introduce students to the essentials of both statutory interpretation and administrative law.

560   Property

A basic survey of the law of property which examines the forms and methods by which property interests are held, used, and transferred, with emphasis on real estate. Includes present and future estates, concurrent ownership, landlord and tenant, bailment, easements, promises respecting the use of land, water rights, control of air space, nuisance, adverse possession, gifts of personal property, vendor and purchaser, conveyances of land, land title insurance, and public control of land use.

580   Torts

Compensation at law for private wrongs and intentional wrongs as well as accidents, with principal emphasis on harms to person and property. Special areas such as product liability, defamation, or business torts will be treated selectively.

Upper Class

751   Accounting for Lawyers

This course introduces the basic concepts and methods used in the preparation of the four corporate financial statements (the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, and statement of stockholders' equity). In this process, the course will also develop the accounting treatment of specific items such as long-term assets, inventory, sales, receivables, and debt securities. The course will use actual corporate financial statements of Fortune 500 companies and will provide students the tools necessary to understand such statements as well as some of the basic footnote disclosures associated with such statements.

Students who have substantial background in financial accounting or who have taken classes in financial accounting are ineligible to take or receive credit for this course for a grade. However, students who took only an introductory class in financial accounting a significant amount of time ago may request permission from the instructor to take the course for a grade.

601   Administrative Law

Professor Mendelson's section:

This course includes a thorough examination of the legal framework--constitutional, statutory, and common law--that empowers and constrains a wide range of federal administrative agencies. We will also look at the ways agencies themselves make law through rulemaking and adjudicate cases, and cover a range of other topics, including agency due process, adjudication in agencies, limitations on judicial review, standing, and finality. We will also engage issues of current concern, including presidential control of agencies and so-called e-government. This course is for students who have not taken Law 569, Legislation and Regulation.

Professor Bagley's section:

Restricted to students who have already taken Legislation and Regulation, this course undertakes a thorough examination of the legal framework--constitutional, statutory, and common law--that empowers and constrains a wide range of federal administrative agencies. We will also look at the ways agencies themselves make law through rulemaking and adjudicate cases. The course will cover, among other things, administrative due process, Article I courts, agency preemption, preclusion of review, standing, finality, exhaustion, and ripeness.

616   Bloodfeuds

An investigation of disputing and dispute processing in Iceland of the saga age with side glances at pre-Conquest England and some contemporary pre-industrial, kin-based cultures. Course materials include translations of Icelandic family sagas and early law; there are also assigned readings in secondary historical and anthropological works. No laptop usage is permitted during class sessions. There will be periodic quizzes and a final research paper. There will be no final examination.

548   Business Economics for Lawyers

This course provides an introduction to fundamentals of economic transactions and market analysis. Topics include negotiation and competitive bidding; the economic functions of contracts; the role of prices in aligning incentives, allocating risk, and minimizing disputes; the functions and operation of markets, including fundamentals of futures markets; the nature, sources, and consequences of transaction costs; and the role of firms and other organizations. The primary focus is on the value-enhancing function of contracts and markets, but attention will also be given to potential anticompetitive effects of business practices and their treatment by the antitrust laws.

538   Constitutional Equality

This course addresses the core constitutional issue of equality, looking at race, religion, gender, disability, and sexual oriention, and interweaving doctrinal and topical analysis. The Equal Protection Clause is the major constitutional text, but other constitutional provisions (due process clause, religion clauses) will also be relevant. Doctrinal issues will include the disparate intent/disparate effects argument, rational discrimination, and tiers of scrutiny. Topics will include school desegregation and criminal justice issues (both covered in particular depth, for their own sake and as important constitutional law case studies), same sex marriage, single-sex schools, and deinstitutionalization. Readings will include both cases and (edited) law review materials.

722   Consumption Taxes

This course will focus on two current types of consumption taxes: The retail sales tax, which is used by most US states, and the value added tax (VAT), which is the most important tax globally outside the US and is also used by Michigan. We will analyze both taxes in some detail to show their advantages and disadvantages in comparison with the income tax. In addition, we will analyze some of the current proposals to replace the US income tax with a VAT-type consumption tax.

635   Corporate Finance

This course is designed to familiarize law students with the foundations and most recent developments in the theory and application of corporate finance. We will explore several topics, including: the theory of present discounted value, stock valuation (i.e., discounted net cash flow analysis), bond valuation, capital budgeting and other valuation techniques; the theory and evidence for and against the efficient capital market hypothesis and the counter-hypothesis of behavioral finance theory; risk, return, the capital asset pricing model and arbitrage pricing theory; the firm's investment and financing decisions, including security issuance, the law and economics of dividend policy and share repurchases; optimal capital structure; comparative corporate law; the role of classical finance theory in legal decisions; option theory; and the causes and consequences of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Professor Beny

723   Corporate Lawyer: Law & Ethics

The Corporate Lawyer is intended to be the first course for students interested in careers as corporate lawyers or representing public corporations. We will focus on ethical issues relating to the representation of a corporation, including conflicts and their waiver, confidentiality, and client identity. We will also address the ethical obligations that corporate lawyers owe to the courts and regulators, particularly the topic of whistleblowing. In addition, we will study the role of lawyers in advising corporate boards and officers with regard to their fiduciary obligations, and corporate governance issues, including corporate powers, shareholder voting rights, and liability issues. This course also introduces students to the regulation of public corporations under the securities laws, including the obligations imposed by the securities laws on corporate lawyers. This course has replaced Law 723 "The Public Corporation" in the curriculum. This course (or Enterprise Organization) is a prerequisite for many advanced corporate law classes. No prior background in business is assumed. Students who have previously taken The Public Corporation may not take this course, and students may not take both Enterprise Organization and The Corporate Lawyer for credit.

750   Corporate Reorganization

This course analyzes the jurisprudence, game theory, financial underpinnings, and litigation overlay of chapter 11 reorganizations and the governance lessons they teach. It starts with the end game: the public policies and purposes of reorganization and the calculus of confirming a chapter 11 plan. Then the course examines the route to the plan, including management, trustees and governance; ethics; statutory committees; substantive consolidation; treatment of mass tort claims; senior and subordinated debt; jurisdiction; executory contracts; collective bargaining agreements; major asset sales in lieu of plans; financing; and derivatives. Certain subjects are conducive to discussions of statutory interpretation (i.e., 11 U.S.C. sections 363(f), 502, 524(g), 1123(b)(3), the Eleventh Amendment), constitutional principles (i.e., the bankruptcy power, sovereign immunity, and jury trials), impact of lawyering (i.e., opposing dismissal or trustee motions); and litigation techniques.

The course will be taught in 7 weekly 2-hour sessions and uses materials (decisions, press releases, SEC filings, actual pleadings, orders) I will distribute. Basic bankruptcy is not a requirement.

749   Corporate Taxation

This course concentrates on the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code bearing on domestic corporations. It deals with the tax consequences to corporations and their shareholders as a result of the events that take place during a corporation's life span. The course examines the tax consequences that can arise on: the formation of the corporation, the distribution of assets from the corporation, sales of corporate stock, reorganizations and divisions, and liquidations.

641   Crim Just: Invest&Police Prac

Criminal Justice: Investigaton & Police Practices

This course will consider problems relating to the police role in the administration of criminal justice and judicial enforcement of limitations upon police practices. We will focus primarily on 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments and will answer the following questions: (1) When can the police stop, search, and/or arrest people? (2) When can the police search cars, homes, and offices and for what? (3) When are the police allowed to wire-tap and/or engage in other forms of electronic eavesdropping? (4) What are the laws surrounding police interrogation and confessions? (5) Who has a right to counsel and when and how is it triggered? (6) How are police line-ups and other identification procedures conducted and what are the constitutional limits on such procedures? (7) What remedy does a defendant have if his/her constitutional criminal procedure rights are violated? When is the evidence excluded and when should it be excluded?

645   Criminal Procedure Survey

This course presents an overview of major issues presented in the administration of criminal justice, from the initial police investigation of a crime and apprehension of a suspect, through prosecution and trial. It is an alternative to Criminal Procedure: From Bail to Post-Conviction Review and to Criminal Justice. It covers many but not all of the subjects as those courses.

578   Critical Issues in Law&Develop

Critical Issues in Law and Development

This seminar investigates the role of law and legal institutions in international economic development. We will survey several critical topics in the relevant literature, such as property rights, the role of the judiciary, rule of law, constitutionalism and democracy, law and finance, corruption and social norms, and others. Students are expected to present and submit a research paper by the end of the term.

790   Early Amer Legal History

Early American Legal History

This course will introduce students to the major problems and interpretations in the field of American legal history. Through lectures as well as discussions of cases and secondary materials, the course will survey American public and private legal development from the colonial period through Reconstruction. The course employs a braided narrative, interweaving (a) the chronological story of the transformations in law from the local self-governing federalism of the early republic to the rise of a modern American state with (b) a week-to-week sampling of different historical topics, methods, and problematics. Topics to be covered this semester include: the role of law in colonialism, constitutionalism and the American founding, the relationship of law and the emergence of capitalism, legal liberalism, and the transformation of American law in the contests over slavery and civil war. The course also attempts to introduce some of the theoretical and historiographical perspectives that have fueled recent developments in the field

651   Economic Analysis of Law

Economic analysis provides one of the major theoretical perspectives on the study of law in American universities. This course introduces students to the economic analysis of the law as a set of tools for analyzing laws. Students will learn how to construct and critique economic models of the incentive effects of different legal rules and institutions. These models will illuminate familiar areas of law, including criminal law, torts, contracts, property, corporations, and civil procedure. (Note: The economic analysis of law as a jurisprudential movement, including questions of how it complements and conflicts with philosophical traditions, is the subject of a seminar in the winter semester 2010 entitled "The Philosophy of Law and Economics.")

The course neither presumes nor requires a background in economics, but it uses graphs and simple algebra of the kind found in introductory microeconomics classes. Students who are unsure of their technical preparation for the class should examine the textbook (Robert Cooter and Thomas Ulen, Law and Economics (Addison-Wesley, 5th edition, 2008); book website is and see whether they find it congenial.

The class will be taught by a mixture of lecture and discussion. Students are expected to read the assigned materials before class and to answer questions in class.

638   Electronic&Class Action Discov

Electronic and Class Action Discovery

Electronic (or e-) discovery and class action discovery have revolutionized Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and its ensuing implementing rules. Electronic communication has become so pervasively the prescribed currency of ordinary business and personal discourse that vast amounts of contemporaneously-created information and documentation that simply did not exist before the electronic communications revolution are now available to shed light on every conceivably relevant aspect of legally significant events. The amount of information that has become available electronically (electronically stored information, or ESI), in turn, is so enormous--and so permanent in character--that an entire jurisprudence is developing around the obligation to preserve metadata, the consequences of failure to do so, the allocation of responsibility between litigating parties to bear the enormous cost of extracting and producing this information and even broader conceptual issues like whether traditional doctrines like the statute of limitations and laches should be adjusted to account for the ubiquity and permanency of metadata.

In tandem with the explosion of jurisprudence relating to electronic discovery has been the creation of similar jurisprudence surrounding the maintenance of class actions. At the forefront of class certification jurisprudence is burgeoning case law and rulemaking regarding the permissible scope of discovery in class actions. What pre-certification discovery is appropriate to determine whether a class is suitable? May pre-certification discovery implicate the merits of a dispute, or must it be restricted to discovery which goes only to the issue of whether the criteria of Rule 23 have been met? Who should bear the burden of expense for conducting this discovery? To what extent is electronic discovery available in putative class actions, and are the operative rules pertaining to the availability of electronic discovery different when discovery can be conducted as to literally thousands of putative class members?

Our course will examine electronic and class discovery comprehensively from the ground up. Our primary textbook will be Scheindlin et al's "Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence: Cases and Materials, 2d," to be supplemented by cases and materials provided by the instructor to address specific class discovery issues and new and breaking developments in this highly fluid area of the law. In the e-discovery context, we will discuss the components of electronic discovery; the obligation to preserve, collect and produce information and the time when that obligation that begins; the sources of ESI; the principles promulgated by the Sedona Conference which have guided the development of the jurisprudence; judicially-approved techniques for the extraction of this data; and the sanctions for failure to preserve or produce evidence. In the class action context, we will discuss the contours of the discovery rules as they apply to class actions; the limits of relevancy in the class certification context; the jurisprudence which has developed regarding the permissible scope of inquiry at the pre-certification and post-certification stage of discovery; and the unique issues posed by seeking electronic discovery in the class action setting.

Since much of discovery practice pertaining to electronic and class discovery involves weighing competing considerations of relevance on the one hand and burden and expense on the other, the course will emphasize both the theory and the practice pertaining to these forms of discovery.

609   Employment Law

This is a course about legal regulation of the employment relationship. It surveys relevant common law doctrines and selected federal statutes affecting this relationship, but does not cover union formation or collective bargaining. Among the topics to be covered are the law of wrongful discharge; employee speech and privacy; employee duties; discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, and other protected traits; and the regulation of compensation.

656   English Medieval Family Law

The primary social unit for most medieval English men and women and for their children was the family. This course will look at the main legal norms and rules which governed family relationships in later medieval England, as they emerge from the evidence of contemporary legal materials such as textbooks, legislation and litigation, all of which will be made available in translation. It will start by looking at the creation of the smallest family unit (that of husband and wife) through marriage and look at how far the law expected marriage to be controlled by parents and by feudal lords and at the kinds of legal agreement which seem commonly to have accompanied marriages. It will then look at the extent and the nature of the husband's legal powers over his wife during marriage and how far married women were recognised in law as continuing to possess a separate legal personality. There were two ways in which the marital relationship might end. Relatively uncommon was the dissolution of marriage through its annulment in a church court, the only court competent to make such decisions. This might leave both partners free to remarry and required difficult legal decisions about the property acquired by the couple during marriage. Much more common was its ending through the death of either husband or wife. Later medieval English law made special provision for the widow and the widower, entitling them to hold some or all of the lands belonging to their late husband or wife during their lifetime, and also for the widow to receive some of her husband's movable property. The working of these provisions and the circumstances under which they might not arise or might be forfeited will also be examined. The course will then look at the elaborate and important legal rules which determined whether or not children were regarded in law as the legitimate offspring of their parents. There was a presumption of legitimacy for any child born to a married woman and a parallel and connected presumption that such a child was the child of the woman's husband. We will see how far such presumptions might be rebutted and for what reasons. We will also look at the legal effects on children of the subsequent annulment of the marriage of their parents and of the effects in English secular law of the subsequent marriage of parents who had not been married when a child was born and of the difficulties this caused with the Church. We will then look at the default rules which governed the inter-generational transmission of property in land, the canons of inheritance, and at when and how they emerged, and also at the special and more restrictive rules which came to be associated with land held under an entail and how they developed over the course of the thirteenth century and later and also at the legal rules which entitled children to a specific share in their father's movable property. The transmission of entitlements between generations was also commonly accompanied by the transmission of liabilities, in particular for debts and other obligations, and the course will also examine these and how they worked and how important they were.

657   Enterprise Organization

Enterprise Organization introduces the law governing the organization of business entities, including agency, partnership, limited liability companies, and corporations, including closely-held corporations. It provides a general introduction to business organizations for students who intend to pursue a wide variety of careers, not just corporate law. The duties of agents to their principals, partners to their co-partners, and directors and officers to their corporations and shareholders are covered. Some sections may cover mergers and acquisitions as well. Certain sections of Enterprise Organization will devote extra time to the study of business fundamentals to help students with no prior exposure to business concepts. Any student, regardless of prior business background, is eligible to enroll in these "business basics" sections, but it is recommended that students with some business background, either academic or practical, enroll in another section of this course or Corporate Lawyer: Law & Ethics. This course (or Corporate Lawyer: Law & Ethics or The Public Corporation) is either a prerequisite or provides an important foundation for a number of advanced corporate law classes. (Please check the footnotes for each class about information about pre-requisites.) Students may not take both Enterprise Organization and Corporate Lawyer: Law & Ethics or The Public Corporation for credit.

603   European Union Colloquium

This colloquium is intended for students who are concurrently enrolled in European Union Law or who have taken an equivalent course on the European Union in the past. After providing an overview of how to conduct scholarly research on European Union law, the colloquium will meet to discuss ongoing research projects of the participants, and to delve more deeply into secondary literature and cutting edge research. Visiting research scholars working on the European Union are encouraged to attend and to present their work in this forum as well. The colloquium may also feature other guest speakers.

With the instructor's permission, students may choose among various options for how to fulfill the requirements of the EU Colloquium (e.g. research paper or reaction papers) and the number of credits earned. Students concurrently enrolled in European Union Law may write a research paper in fulfillment of both course requirements. The colloquium meets for nine sessions over the course of the term beginning in the second week.

664   European Union Law

What is the European Union and how does it work? The E.U. remains our single largest trading partner and among our most important political allies around the world. And yet, as an institution of governance, the E.U. itself is often poorly understood. This course examines the basic legal architecture of the European Union, and core substantive law from free trade principles to common citizenship and fundamental human rights. It will cover what every lawyer and legal scholar should know about the Union and its path from common market to body politic. Several international visitors will join the class for specific sessions throughout the term.

(A research paper may be written for this course in lieu of taking the final exam.)

669   Evidence

This course focuses on the procedural rules that regulate the use of evidence at trial. The rules covered include those relating to the competence of witnesses, the mode of examination, relevance, impeachment, character evidence, hearsay, expert evidence, privileges, and judicial notice. Particular attention is paid to the Federal Rules of Evidence.

673   Family Law

This course will provide an overview of contemporary family law, including the status and conditions of practicing contemporary family law. The course will cover constitutional principles that circumscribe the state's power over private relations, marriage including same sex marriage, economic rights and obligations, non-marital families, parenthood including adoption, surrogacy and assisted reproductive technologies, divorce, division of property on divorce, child support, child custody and visitation, child protection and foster care, juvenile justice, dispute resolution methods, and private agreements in family law (prenuptial and separation) and family law jurisdiction. The course will communicate the rapid trajectory of doctrinal and cultural change in modern family law and provide a foundation for understanding and participating in the ongoing evolution of the field.

675   Federal Antitrust

National antitrust policy under the Sherman, Federal Trade Commission, and Clayton Acts. Restraints of trade and monopoly problems including agreements among competitors (such as price-fixing, trade associations, and joint ventures), vertical relationships (such as resale price maintenance and exclusive territories), single firm exclusionary conduct (such as predatory pricing and predatory product innovation), and merger policy. Students do not need to have any prior economic training, but should be prepared to learn some basic industrial organizational theory and microeconomics.

677   Federal Courts

Professors Seinfeld and Whitman:

An intensive and critical examination of the role of federal courts in maintaining a constitutional order in the United States. Among the topics considered are justiciability, the power of Congress to control the jurisdiction of federal and state courts, Supreme Court review of state court decisions, federal habeas corpus for state prisoners, and suits challenging official action.

Professor McKeague:

The focus of this course is the operation of the federal court system. It will cover not only the usual bases of federal court jurisdiction, such as federal question, diversity and removal, but also other doctrines that impact federal courts, including standing, ripeness, mootness, abstention and state sovereign immunity. Significant attention will be focused on federal litigation under section 1983 of the Civil Rights Acts, which is the statute used to remedy most violations of the Constitution and federal statutes. Included are practical examples and advice from the professor's experience as a federal trial and appellate judge.

709   Financial Regulation

This course will examine regulation of the financial sector, with a particular focus on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which enacted sweeping reforms to financial regulation. Topics include regulation and supervision of banks, systemically important financial institutions and markets, resolution of failing firms, derivatives regulation, the shadow banking system, consumer and investor protection, and other matters. The class will also explore cross-sectoral issues in risk regulation across the banking, securities and insurance industries. Students will also be exposed to real-world issues in legislative drafting, the legislative process, bureaucratic "turf" battles, and rule-making and implementation. Students will be expected to be active participants in class and to write a final "take home" examination.

684   Health Law and Policy

This course is an introduction to the American health care system. It addresses the laws governing medical practice and health care institutions, with an emphasis on the federal regulatory overlay on the provision of health care. Subjects covered will include: health care reform, regulation and organization of institutions (hospitals, managed care organizations, corporate form), ERISA, financing (Medicare and Medicaid), quality of care (malpractice, tort reform, quality assurance and error), and patient rights (informed consent, access to care).

Prrofessor Bagley

780   Human Rights: Themes and Var

Human Rights: Themes and Variations

The protection of human dignity is one of the principal purposes of international law. This course will provide an overview of the contemporary international human rights regime, including substantive norms and key modes of implementation. We will begin by discussing the contours of various rights and ongoing debates over cultural relativity of rights. We will then turn in detail to the various processes for the protection of human rights, including actions by individual states and NGOs, United Nations bodies, and regional human rights courts. The course will also address several compelling contemporary issues, including U.S. ratification of human rights treaties. Completion of the transnational law course (or an equivalent introduction to international law) will be very helpful, but is not required.

724   International Refugee Law

This foundational course provides a comprehensive analysis of the definition of refugee status set by the UN Refugee Convention, adopted by the United States and 146 other states. Drawing on comparative jurisprudence, the course situates U.S. refugee law in its global context and equips students to undertake both sophisticated policy analysis and complex litigation in the field. The course promotes an understanding of refugee law as a mode of human rights protection, the viability of which requires striking a balance between the needs of the victims of human rights abuse and the legitimate aspirations of the countries to which they flee.

767   Int'l Environmental Finance

International Environmental Finance

This course will explore the increasingly important role of finance in responding to international environmental problems. Developing nations, particularly the largest and most rapidly growing such as China, India, and Brazil, have been unwilling to accept obligations to address global environmental problems without the promise of new financial resources. The amount and governance of financial resources has at times become the focus of negotiation ("show me the money") and an end itself, as opposed to primarily a means to promote an agreed end such as reducing emissions of greenhouse gases or protecting biodiversity. Finance has shaped new institutional arrangements like the Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund (GCF), with steadily greater expectations of resources -- $100 billion a year by 2020, in the case of the GCF. In addition to claims for help with "incremental costs," developing nations have made claims for compensation or payment for "loss and damages." Other potential financial issues to be explored include the environmental role and responsibility of international financial institutions, particularly the World Bank; the impact of lending by banks for projects in developing nations outside direct international control -- mainly large development banks such as BNDES in Brazil and large international commercial banks; and whether the share of total global assets under management -- over $75 trillion by one estimate -- can be redirected to support sustainable development.

631   Intro Con Law & Am Legal Pro

Only international LL.M. students may enroll in this course, which is designed specially for them. It is a survey course, which will expose LL.M. students to the structure and basic ideas of the most important areas of US constitutional law, in a historical and political context. The course begins with a condensed introduction to US history and constitutional history from 1607 to roughly 1970. Thereafter it covers the following topics: Marbury v. Madison and the theory of judicial review; the idea of enumerated powers and the Necessary and Proper Clause (McCulloch v. Maryland); the development of the commerce power (from Gibbons v. Ogden to the Affordable Care Act case); the spending power; the treaty and foreign affairs powers; separation of powers (Steel Seizure Case, the "War on Terror" cases, Nixon v. United States (the tapes case), appointment and removal, legislative veto); preemption, the dormant commerce clause, and the Article IV Privileges and Immunities Clause; the basic structure of individual rights protection (including levels of scrutiny, and incorporation of the Bill of Rights into the XIVth Amendment due process clause); equal protection (race, sex, and other categories; affirmative action); substantive due process and the right of privacy (abortion, same-sex relations); takings; the right to bear arms; freedom of speech, press, and assembly; freedom of religion (free exercise and establishment); state action, and the enforcement clauses of the Reconstruction Amendments.

540   Intro to Constitutional Law

This course introduces the student to certain fundamental cases in Constitutional law, to the questions they raise, and to the modes of thought and criticism appropriate to this field. There is necessarily a large historical component to the work, for the Constitution has acquired its meaning over time. Major questions include: What is the justification for judicial review? What are appropriate occasions and standards for the exercise of this power? How has the power actually been used throughout our history? These questions are considered in the context of doctrinal fields chosen for variety of issues and to allow consideration of historical development over the full life of the Constitution. These fields include: the scope of federal powers; preemption; state regulation of interstate commerce (in some sections); powers of the President; relations between branches of the federal government; basic principles of racial equal protection; Congressional enforcement power under the Reconstruction Amendments; and justiciability.

541   Intro to Constitutional Law 1

Law 541/542, Introduction to Constitutional Law 1 and 2

Law 541 and 542 are a two-semester course in introductory constitutional law. The course aims to give students a more thorough knowledge of the subject than is possible in a single semester and is designed for students whose interest in constitutional law warrants the investment of the additional semester. The course is designed for students with heightened interest in the subject, not for students with heightened background: the course does not assume that students have any prior knowledge other than the knowledge that all law students are presumed to have by the beginning of their second year at Michigan.

In the course of the two semesters, Law 541 and 542 will address the topics of federalism, the separation of powers, and individual rights. (The individual rights coverage will focus on matters arising under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.) The course will also pay attention to methods of constitutional interpretation and the historical development of the American constitutional system.

Successful completion of Law 541 fulfills the Law School's Constitutional Law requirement, whether or not a student continues on to Law 542. That said, students should be on notice that the coverage of material in Law 541 is not parallel to that in Law 540 (i.e., the Law School's one-semester introductory course in constitutional law). The two semesters of Law 541 and 542 are designed as an integrated whole, not as an introductory semester paralleling Law 540 followed by a semester of advanced constitutional law. Accordingly, the topics covered in Law 540 may not all be addressed during the first semester of this course, and students who take Law 541 without taking Law 542 may find that they have had little or no exposure to important areas of constitutional law that an introductory course ought to cover. For this reason, it is not recommended that students take Law 541 unless they intend also to take Law 542.

Law 541 is a prerequisite for Law 542 for the same reason: the two semesters are designed as a single course. No student will be admitted to Law 542 who has not successfully completed Law 541.

644   Intro to Inc Tax of Business

Introduction to the Income Taxation of Business Enterprise

This course provides an overview of the income taxation of the various legal forms of business activity. Thus, the course will review the income tax treatment of corporations, S corporations, partnerships, LLC's and sole proprietorships. The breadth of the material will dictate a survey approach, in contrast with the more intensive coverage provided in such courses as Corporate or Partnership Taxation.

693   Jurisdiction and Choice Of Law

The course deals with jurisdictional issues generally, as well as the special problems arising in cases involving more than one jurisdiction (state or nation), i.e. cross-boundary disputes. More specifically, it addresses three major areas. The first is the question of jurisdiction, i. e. the power of the courts to hear and decide a case; this question arises both among the several states and between state and federal courts. The second area is choice of law, i.e. the question which law should apply; this is, again, an issue both among states or nations and between state and federal law. Finally, the course covers the recognition of judgments rendered by one sovereign (state, federal, or foreign court) in the courts of another sovereign. In most law schools, some of these issues (especially jurisdiction) are covered in first-year civil procedure. At Michigan, we believe that they are better understood as part of the package described above and in an upper class setting.

699   Labor Law

This course will examine the law governing collective labor relations. We will study the National Labor Relations Act and the processes of union organizing and collective bargaining that the NLRA establishes. We will also consider historical and comparative perspectives on labor law, emerging forms of worker organization and union strategies outside the scope of the NLRA, and law reform proposals that have arisen in the face of an aging labor law regime. We will explore the intersection of labor and immigration law, union participation in the political process, and emerging systems that address the problem of labor in the global supply chain. Throughout the course, we will ask: To what extent does or should labor law encourage worker participation and economic redistribution? How should labor law be reformed to address ongoing transformations in corporate organization, economic globalization, and shifting conceptions of class identity? There is no prerequisite for the course.

735   Land Use Planning and Control

This course will introduce students to the legal and planning concepts that form our system of land use control and regulation. We will explore the principal methods by which local governments control owners? use of their land, with a special emphasis on zoning, planning, eminent domain, constitutional issues and the evolving theories about the conflict between property ownership and social responsibility. Through the use of in-class exercises, students will gain a deeper appreciation of the legal issues confronting land owners, developers, municipalities, special interest groups and other participants in the land use arena.

731   Legal Ethics & Prof Resp

Professor Hirshon's section: This course trains students to recognize those ethical dilemmas they will most likely encounter during their practices. Students will analyze "real life" situations, apply the most relevant model rule(s) and discuss the shades of gray that affect their decision making. Additionally, students will learn how the model rules are enacted, enforced and sometimes broken ... and the concomitant consequences. Guest lecturers will provide their insights into the ethical practice of law. Additionally, the class will engage in role playing and analysis of films and advertising clips. The class will also review and discuss the most recent amendments to the Model Rules.

Professor Niehoff's section: This course seeks to help you identify, analyze, and think critically about the legal ethics issues that arise in the practice of law. We begin with a discussion of normative ethics and legal ethics generally, and then move to more specific issues like competency, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, representing individuals with diminished capacity, representing entities, litigation ethics, negotiation ethics, ethical issues that arise in specific career settings like law firms and prosecutors' offices, lawyer advertising, and pro bono. We also discuss enforcement mechanisms like disciplinary bodies and malpractice actions. The class typically includes some small group role-playing exercises, the use of film clips, and guest lecturers.

544   Narrative Skills and the Law

A lawyer who can communicate not simply in a cerebrally persuasive way, but in an emotionally gripping way, has an enormous strategic advantage. Judges, jurors, clients are all human beings and know what it means to be captivated by a narrative. This course teaches how to tell an engaging story and then how to apply those skills to a variety of legal situations. The first part of the course will cover the art of storytelling on both a theoretical and a practical track. On the theoretical track we will study story drive; structure; beginnings, middles, and endings; openings; plot and character; and transitions. We will have a healthy amount of assigned reading and viewing before each class in order to analyze each of these components in literature, drama, and film. On the practical track students will go through a series of writing exercises that parallel the theoretical discussion, to help develop storytelling muscles. The second part of the course will apply the newly-acquired storytelling skills to various legal situations: A criminal case. An appellate case. A legislative proposal. A labor negotiation. A p.r. crisis. We will have "in-class" discussion of real cases, along with assigned writing exercises.

727   Patent Law I

This course will provide an introduction to basic concepts of patent law, focusing on legal issues that arise in the course of obtaining and enforcing patents. The course is designed to be suitable for students planning to enter a general practice as well as those planning to specialize in intellectual property. A technical background is not a prerequisite, but students will be required to read and discuss cases involving technical facts. The primary determinant of the grade will be performance on the final examination at the end of the term, but class performance will also be taken into account.

776   Real Estate Finance Law

This course is intended to appeal to the student with an interest in the laws governing real estate financing and land conveyancing, with a particular focus on the laws governing mortgages, installment sales contracts, the equity of redemption, foreclosure, deficiencies (including anti-deficiency legislation), pre and post-foreclosure relationships, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, receivers, future advance mortgages, purchase money mortgages, title concerns and general priority issues. The emphasis of the course will be on the legal relationship between lenders and borrowers, competing priority issues among lenders, the use of mortgage substitutes, alternative mortgage devices, construction financing, environmental law concerns and lending discrimination. The course will also cover issues relating to the current mortgage and foreclosure crisis, including governmental programs and statutory schemes designed to curb mortgage foreclosures and assist borrowers in obtaining loan modifications, refinancing, short sales and loss mitigation methodologies, such as foreclosure mediation.

784   Right and Wrong

This course investigates the relationship between law and morality by examining a series of cases that present challenging questions of moral behavior. Typically, discussion will scrutinize that behavior first in legal terms and then in moral terms. That scrutiny will turn on a meticulous reading of the judicial opinion in the case. Regina v. Dudley & Stephens exemplifies the kind of case we will use. Four men spent days in a lifeboat with little to eat or drink. The three sailors killed and began to eat the cabin boy. They were rescued, and (eventually) two of the sailors were tried for murder. Did the sailors make the right ethical decision? Should the law treat them as murderers? Other cases will present questions about suicide, euthanasia, keeping promises, rescuing strangers, relations within families, killing in self-defense, ownership of cultural artifacts, and special obligations imposed by roles.

Discussion of the court cases will be informed by readings from the literatures on law and morality, on why people obey or disobey the law, and why people behave altruistically and even heroically. The course thus raises important questions about how we think about moral problems, how the law operates and is organized, and why people behave well or badly. Students will develop skills in reading closely, reasoning carefully, and arguing convincingly. The grade will be based on class participation and a final exam.

696   Rsrch and Analysis in Amer Law

This course is restricted to foreign students in the advanced degree program. Its purpose is to acquaint students from civil law countries with American legal analysis, research, and writing.

674   Rules of Play

This course operates from the premise that sports and other games are legal systems that present a rich array of legal problems, interesting in their own right and often also interesting because of their analogy to problems that arise in other contexts. Among the topics to be discussed are:

(1) How should competition be structured? For example, what metrics should be used to determine a winner? How (if at all) should ties be broken? What standards should be used for eligibility (for example, in the case of transgendered and "bionic" athletes)?

(2) How should the bounds of acceptable conduct be determined? For example, when should deception or stalling be punished, and when should they be treated as acceptable parts of the game? How should misconduct be punished?

(3) What are appropriate remedies for official errors?

At least half the students in this class will be law students, but there will be some room for juniors, seniors, and non-law graduate students. Law students and non-law students will be graded separately, as if this were two separate courses.

If you are a non-law student wishing to take the course, please submit, no later than May 16, an email to the instructor, at, with the subject line "Application for Rules of Play Course," attaching to it (a) a resume, and (b) a statement, of no more than two pages, indicating why you are interested in taking this course and why you believe you are particularly well qualified for it. Non-law students who are invited to join the class will work with the Law School Curriculum Coordinator ( to obtain permission to enroll. Because June is the earliest that the Law School will process non-law student enrollment in Law 674, non-law students participating in early registration may want to register for another class and switch during the drop/add period if they get into this course.

652   Secured Transactions

This course concerns the law governing credit transactions in which the collateral is personal property, principally Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Topics to be covered include the scope of Article 9, collateral classification, attachment and perfection of security interests, priority among creditors, the impact of bankruptcy law on secured transactions, and default and foreclosure in secured transactions. We will pay close attention to Article 9 and other UCC provisions, which will be explored through problems discussed in class.

743   Securities Regulation

This course covers the regulation of securities offerings and trading under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It examines offerings and the registration process under the Securities Act, along with reporting requirements under the Exchange Act. The course will also cover fraud, insider trading and civil liabilities under both Acts.

799   Senior Judge Seminar

In the Senior Judge Seminar students work closely with Legal Practice professors in connection with various aspects of the first-year Legal Practice course. Each Legal Practice professor interviews, chooses and supervises the Senior Judge Seminar students for the Legal Practice section taught by that professor.

794   Senior Judge Seminar II

The Senior Judge Seminar II is a graded course intended to allow selected students who have excelled in the Senior Judge I seminar to work in greater depth with a Legal Practice professor in connection with the Legal Practice course. Each Legal Practice professor interviews, chooses and supervises the Senior Judge Seminar II students for the Legal Practice section taught by the professor.

747   Taxation of Individual Income

This is the basic course in federal income taxation. It is a statutory course, and the principal source of law will be the Internal Revenue Code. The topics covered will include the definition of gross income and the determination of permissible deductions from gross income. The class will also analyze numerous Code provisions and doctrines that raise issues of tax timing (that is, in what year should a given item of income or a given deduction be taken into account) and income attribution (that is, to whom should a given item of income or a given deduction be attributed). The bulk of the course will be devoted to learning basic statutory analysis. In addition, however, the class will spend some time studying the policy rationales underlying the structure of the current federal income tax laws and will consider the pros and cons of alternative systems. This course is a prerequisite to a number of other courses, including Tax II, Partnership Tax, Business and Estate Planning, and International Tax.

760   Trademarks and Unfair Comp

This course provides an overview of the federal trademark statute and related state law of unfair competition, trademark dilution, and right of publicity.

595   Transactional Contracts

The objective of this course is to familiarize the student with contracts as used by sophisticated parties. Accordingly, this course will explore "real-world" contracts actually entered into by "real-world" companies--the Coca-Cola's, Microsoft's, and HP's of the world. Through this course, the student will attain a certain facility with agreements, their organization and structure, their language, and their provisions. In addition to looking at contracts through the eyes of parties and practitioners, the course will pay attention to how courts have treated various contractual provisions, exploring areas of substantive law--including, and in addition to, contract law--to the extent relevant. The class will be structured with two meetings each week: (1) a lecture (with all students from all sections attending) where we will explore and clarify fundamental concepts and potential confusions and (2) a discussion section where we will apply the fundamental concepts from lecture and readings through simulations and exercises with the objective of building practical contracts skills. Readings will include comments from leading practicing attorneys at law firms and corporate law departments. The student's grade will be based on thoughtful and active participation in class discussion and exercises as well as performance on a mid-term exercise and a final exam. This course is highly recommended for those students interested in taking other transactional offerings at the Law School.

606   Transnational Law

This required course provides an introduction to the international dimensions of law. In today's world, it is essential that every lawyer understand the making and application of law beyond the domestic (American) orbit. Even though most graduates will practice law in the United States, virtually every area of law is affected by international aspects, whether through treaties regulating transnational economic relations, interactions with foreign law, and oversight by international organizations. Each area of the curriculum, from antitrust to intellectual property to civil rights to tax, is enmeshed within a complex web of international and foreign rules that the lawyer must understand.

Because the field of law outside U.S. domestic law is vast "public and private, international and foreign" the course seeks to provide students with the basic concepts and tools they can use to understand, take further courses in, and practice many specialized areas of law. Because the world lacks one authoritative legislature, executive, or judiciary, our understanding of law must consider a different range of methods for making, interpreting, and enforcing the law.

Although the specific coverage across faculty varies somewhat, the class will generally cover:

1. A basic introduction the state system

2. The making of international law, including treaty law, customary law, and "soft" law

3. The creation and evolution of states

4. International organizations, including global, regional, and functional bodies

5. Modalities of resolving transnational disputes, including diplomacy, sanctions, arbitration, and international courts

6. The role of corporations and NGOs in transnational system

7. The incorporation of international law into domestic legal systems, in particular that of the United States

8. The jurisdiction of states to make and apply law, including extraterritorial jurisdiction and immunity from jurisdiction

9. Certain selected topics of current concerns, e.g., human rights, the use of armed force, terrorism, and trade

10. The effectiveness of international law vs. domestic law

The following are comments from some professors teaching this course:

Monica Hakimi: The first part of the course outlines the basic structure of the international legal system. We will consider the questions of how and by whom international law is made, applied and enforced; how international is and is not incorporated into U.S. law; and how conflicts among national assertions of authority are resolved. After outlining that basic structure, we will examine, in depth, select substantive regimes on the protection or regulation of non-state actors.

Julian Mortenson: My section generally covers the standard topics, concluding with a unit that focuses in greater detail on international commercial arbitration as a method of resolving transnational disputes between private parties.

Steven Ratner: I spend about two-thirds of the course on the unique features of the transnational legal process, discussing modes of prescription of international law, key actors, and the relationship to domestic law. I tend to spend the remaining weeks on human rights, the use of force, and terrorism-related issues as case studies, though I may also address other topics. One key theme is the extent to which non-U.S. law actually influences the practice of law and relations among international actors; another is the importance of distinguishing actual law from mere claims to law.

Mathias Reimann: The hallmark of my version of the course is that it has two major parts. In the first part (one third of the course), I introduce students to the basics of the classical concept of (public) international law: states, sovereignty, sources, dispute resolution, interaction between international and domestic law; this is very simple so that everybody understands the fundamental terms and ideas. The second part (i.e., the remaining two thirds) then revisits each of these topics and shows how they have evolved in the over the last half-century into the "Complexities of the Modern Order". The main objective of this course structure is to ensure that students do not lose sight of the forest before the trees.

Tim Dickinson: My version of the course is similar to that of Professor Reimann as we use most of the same materials. However, as a lifelong practitioner in various areas of international business law, my course deals less with human rights and use of force than others but I try to add in "real life" discussion on issues that many students may face in private practice, from dispute resolution to drafting joint venture agreements. I also try to use current topics as sited in the media to demonstrate how the topics we discuss in class play out in the real world.

Kristina Daugirdas: My section will start with an introduction to the basics of international law. We will cover how international law is made, who makes it, how it is enforced, and why states do (or don't) comply. We'll then turn to the relationship between international and U.S. law. The last third of the class will focus on case studies in international environmental and economic law. We will address how these international regulatory regimes work, whether they work well or poorly, and why.

755   Trusts and Estates I

First of two courses dealing with donative disposition of property. Involves the study of (a) the law of intestate succession and marital property rights as a limitation on the power to devise; (b) the law of wills, with emphasis on execution and revocation, and including problems arising from changes after execution, as well as problems involving the use of will substitutes; and (c) the law of trusts, in both its functional and technical aspects, including the essential ingredients of a trust, its creation and termination, formal requirements, the nature of a beneficiary's interest, the special features of charitable trusts, and some significant problems of trust administration.

519   UN & Other Int'l Orgs

UN and other International Organizations

International organizations play an increasingly wide-ranging and consequential role in creating, interpreting, and securing compliance with international obligations. This course will address the legal issues arising from the creation and operation of international organizations, as well as the concerns and challenges that the actions of such organizations present, both on the international plane and in national courts. Topics covered will include the United Nations Security Council's role in sanctions and peacekeeping, the dispute settlement procedures at the World Trade Organization, and "technocratic" regulation by the International Civil Aviation Organization. This course complements and does not overlap with courses and seminars such as International Human Rights and International Trade.

793   Voting Rights / Election Law

Regulating the Political Process: Voting and Election Law

This course will explore the law governing the right to vote in the United States. It will examine the way the law and other forces have shaped the structure of American political participation, and will consider alternative directions American democracy might take. Topics will include the 2000 presidential election dispute, the individual right to vote, reapportionment, representation of minority interests in democratic bodies, preclearance procedures, political and racial gerrymandering, direct democracy, and alternative voting systems. A central aim of this course is to explore general issues of democratic theory in the context of the legal frameworks and the actual institutions that regulate American democracy.

634   Water Wars/Great Lakes

Water Wars: Law and Policy to Save the Great Lakes The University of Michigan sits in the midst of the most abundant source of surface fresh water in the world and some of the most fascinating legal and policy disputes that will determine its future. The Great Lakes contain 20% of the surface fresh water of the entire planet, and 95% of that of the United States. They not only serve as sources of drinking water and recreation for 40 million people in the region, but also as the economic engine for the region. Today, the lakes have reached a tipping point. Centuries of use (and abuse) and the increased demand for water from an increasingly thirsty world have created immense and potentially irreversible ecological changes and historic legal conflicts and policy opportunities to accompany them. In this class, we will learn and experience national, state, and international natural resource law through the lens of this unique region. The public trust doctrine, water law, the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws, and even maritime law are all being simultaneously litigated and rewritten in this period of seismic shifts in Great Lakes law. The class will cover these and other topics through lectures by and discussions with the leaders in the Great Lakes region who right now are remaking Great Lakes law and policy.