Dedman School of Law
(2010 Graduate Catalog)
J.D. program required courses (listed in Section VIII B) are offered at least once each academic year. Courses that have been offered in the past two academic years or are anticipated to be offered in the 2009Ė10 academic year are listed below. Other courses may be offered. The Law School Registrarís Office publishes a schedule of courses before the beginning of each term. Students must consult these schedules for actual course offerings and for any prerequisites or corequisites for those courses. It is the responsibility of each student to verify that he or she has taken the prerequisites, or will be taking concurrently any required corequisites, at the time he or she registers for a class. Students with any questions concerning these issues should contact the assistant dean for Student Affairs.
1. First-Year Required Courses
Civil Procedure I and II (6371, 8271)
Five hours (three hours in fall, two hours in spring). Civil procedure, focusing on judicial resolution of disputes and development of the modern civil action including consideration of the jurisdiction of courts, venue, process, pleading, joinder, discovery, pretrial practice, right to a jury trial, withdrawing cases from a jury, motions after verdict, judgments and their effects and appellate review. Also, an introduction to alternative dispute resolutions.
Constitutional Law I (6222)
Two hours. An examination of methods of constitutional interpretation, the role of judicial review, federal power, separation of powers, federalism and justiciability.
Contracts I and II (8290, 8390)
Five hours (two hours in fall, three hours in spring). History and development of the common law of contract; principles controlling the formation, performance and termination of contracts, including the basic doctrines of offer and acceptance, consideration, conditions, material breach, damages and statute of frauds; statutory variances from the common law with particular attention to Uniform Commercial Code sections.
Criminal Law (8341)
Three hours. Origins and sources of the criminal law; general principles of criminal law, including actus reus
, mens rea
and causation. May cover the elements of some specific crimes, such as homicide and/or theft offenses, and some conditions of exculpation, such as justification and insanity.
Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy I and II (8375, 8376)
Six hours (three hours in fall, three hours in spring). A course that meets in small groups and integrates instruction in research, analysis and writing, as well as advocacy skills such as brief writing, oral argument and negotiation. Uses simulated interviewing and negotiation exercises, group discussions and writing exercises to teach these skills. In the fall, emphasizes research skills and legal analysis. Focuses writing instruction on organization and synthesis. Requires students to write an objective legal memorandum containing a well-reasoned, clearly written analysis of several legal issues, substantiated by legal authority in correct citation form. In the spring, involves more advanced research and analysis and focuses on persuasive writing. Bases grades each term in large part on one research and writing project.
Property I and II (8282, 6381)
Five hours (two hours in fall, three hours in spring). Selected topics in personal property, adverse possession, present possessory and future estates in land, concurrent estates, the law of landlord and tenant, easements, private covenants, public land use regulation, and real estate conveyancing.
Torts I and II (7391, 8292)
Five hours (three hours in fall, two hours in spring). Civil liability arising from breach of common law and statutory duties as distinguished from duties created by contract, including coverage of intentional wrongs, negligence and product liability. Discusses the methods and process of the American legal system, with attention paid to legislation, as well as to the common law.
2. Upper-Year Requirements
Professional Responsibility (7350)
Three hours. An analysis of principles and rules governing the conduct of lawyers. Includes the client-lawyer relationship, competence, confidentiality, loyalty, the roles of lawyers as counselors and advocates, public service, advertising, admission to practice and professional discipline.
Constitutional Law II (8311)
Three hours. A study of individual rights including such areas as equal protection of the laws and due process of law, with particular emphasis on issues of racial discrimination, gender discrimination and the right to privacy. Depending on the professor, may also include freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Edited Writing Seminar
Three hours. Requires the student to participate in an intensive, scholarly expository writing project. May take the form of a single paper, of at least 30 pages, or several shorter papers, as the professor may direct. Review and criticism of the student’s writing by the professor. Varied subject matter at the discretion of the professor. Enrollment limited to 20 students.
General Writing Requirement
A student must complete a writing unit, in addition to the first-year Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy course and the Edited Writing Seminar. This requirement may be fulfilled by completing a course in which more than half the grade for the course is based on written work other than an examination, by completing law review writing requirements for credit or by completing a two-hour or three-hour directed research paper.
Professional Skills Requirement
A student must complete at least one upper level course that includes professional skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession. Courses that satisfy this requirement will be designated (PS) on the upper-class course list during registration.
Except with special permission of the assistant dean for Student Affairs, J.D. students may enroll for elective courses only after they have completed all required first-year courses, or as otherwise noted in course listings, provided that law students who enrolled in the evening program and who have completed the first academic year but have not completed all first-year required courses may enroll in selective elective courses designated by the assistant dean for Student Affairs as indicated on the upper-class course list during registration. Other prerequisites for courses are listed; however, the instructor of a course may add or waive prerequisites for the course.
The faculty recommends that each student enroll in courses in each of the following areas: business organizations, administrative law, commercial law, procedural and evidence law, taxation and legal history or the philosophy of law or the study of legal systems.
A student may not apply more than six hours of upper-class elective courses that are taken on a credit/no credit basis toward the 87 hours required for graduation. This six-hour restriction does not include any hours obtained from extern hours or hours in which, with the consent of the instructor and the assistant dean for Student Affairs, the student was allowed to receive credit for a course in lieu of a grade due to extraordinary circumstances involving the general award of credits for the particular course and/or to the particular student.
Administrative Law (6304)
Three hours. A focus on legislative authority and administrative agencies with special emphasis on administrative process and judicial review.
Advanced Bankruptcy (8281)
Two hours. In-depth study of corporate reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Advanced Commercial Law: Law of Electronic Commerce (6202)
Two hours. An introduction to some of the law governing networked computer systems such as the Internet, software, intellectual property rights in digital media and the social, political and economic issues underlying those legal doctrines.
Advanced Contracts Seminar: Drafting (7323)
Three hours. This class will address selected doctrines, theory and policy of contract law in more detail and with more sophistication than is possible in the first-year contracts course. For example, the class may explore the implications of the current financial recession and corporate bailouts on contract theory, debate the merits of the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communication in International Contracts, or discuss whether gender bias affects classical contract law. The exact topics covered will be determined by the students in the class. Students will (1) write a three to five page memo on a selected topic of interest to the student, similar to the memos that junior lawyers write for senior lawyers; (2) meet with the professor and other class members to "defend" (i.e., answer questions) about that memo; and (3) expand that memo into a paper, suitable for satisfying the edited writing requirement.
Advanced Corporate Taxation (7204)
Two hours. Taxation of corporate reorganizations and carryover of tax attributes.
Advanced Environmental Law Seminar (8340)
Three hours. Seminar on selected problems in environmental law. Requires students to draft and present a paper on an environmental law topic selected by the student with the consent of the professor. Topics from virtually any area of environmental law including pollution control statutes, common law toxic tort, environmental regulation of land use, protection of endangered species, regulatory policy and enforcement of environmental requirements.
Advanced Legal Research (6204)
Two hours. A seminar that builds on the legal research materials and methods studied in the first-year legal research course and emphasizes effective research techniques. Varied research topics each term but generally includes judicial opinions, statutes, legislative history, court rules, administrative law, secondary sources, foreign and international law, and research databases used in law practice. Requires students to bring to class their own computer that is capable of connecting to the Law School’s wireless network.
Advanced Legal Writing and Editing (6160)
One hour. Designed for students who wish to improve their editorial and writing skills. Targets students who are already competent writers, but requires no in-depth knowledge of grammar or rhetoric. Covers issue framing, readability and writing efficiently.
Advanced Patent Law (6284)
Two hours. Substantive and procedural aspects of patent prosecution before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Practical exercises in prosecution practice, such as claim drafting, preparation of amendments and other prosecution proceedings. Additional prosecution subjects including dealing with inventors, developing invention disclosures and preparing patent applications.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (9211, 6311)
Two or three hours. An examination and analysis of materials and skills used in dispute resolution other than litigation. Emphasizes the theory and practice of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and mini-trials, with examples and problem simulations drawn from various fields of law.
Animal Law (8262)
Two hours. An introduction to the field of animal law, a dynamic and emerging area of the law. Not an animal rights class. Surveys the historical origins of the legal status of animals and examines the common law and statutory foundations upon which it operates. Allows students to study traditional legal disciplines, such as constitutional law, contracts and torts through the lens of animal interests. Explores the often controversial moral, ethical and public policy considerations faced when balancing the legal interests of humans and nonhumans. Covers current laws affecting animals at the local, state and federal levels.
American Legal History (7309)
Three hours. The development of legal institutions and the formulation of rules of law and their application in the United States from the 17th century to 1950, with only secondary reference to the federal Constitutional law.
Antitrust Law (7388)
Three hours. A survey of the federal antitrust laws as they relate to mergers, monopolization and price discriminations and horizontal and vertical restraints of trade, including price fixing, refusals to deal, territorial and product divisions, tie-ins, exclusive dealing, resale price maintenance and customer restrictions. Also, enforcement and the private treble damage remedy, including the concepts of antitrust standing and antitrust injury.
Aviation Law (6206)
Two hours. An introductory course to aviation law covering regulation of domestic and international aviation; deregulation of domestic aviation; the legal regime of the airspace, aircraft and users of the airspace; the liability of insurance for the airman, manufacturer, services, airline and United States of America; aviation litigation fundamentals and focused issues; criminal law specific to aviation; legal issues governing aviation transactions; aviation labor; and the law of space.
Banking Law and Regulation: Domestic and International (6221, 6318)
This course was previously titled Financial Institutions – Banking Law: Domestic and International.
Two or three hours. Often conducted as a writing seminar. An introduction to the federal laws governing commercial banking activities, with primary emphasis on the regulation (and “deregulation”) of national banks and related policy considerations. Varied lecture topics from year to year, but generally includes key domestic, regional and international issues with respect to banking, the banking industry and the financial services industry generally. Uses interdisciplinary subject matter in economics, finance and business. May use comparison with regulation of other financial institutions. When taught as a regular course, assessment may be by examination and/or paper or series of papers satisfying the writing unit requirement. When taught as a third-year writing seminar, uses course structure and assessment consistent with those described for the writing seminar.
Business Enterprise (6420)
Four hours. The basic business law course. Emphasis of the first portion of the course on the closely held business. Considers: Agency
: general principles of the law of agency. Partnerships
(general and limited): formation, control, liabilities, property, dissolution and disposition of business; internal and external relations of partners. Limited Liability Companies and Corporations
: formation, control, allocation concerns; duties, liabilities and rights of management and shareholders or members; dispute resolution devices; and fundamentals of capitalization and financing (including basic securities financing and securities law concerns, particularly respecting the private exempt offering). Primary emphasis of the second portion of the course on the widely owned business. Explores general corporate governance and capitalization problems (including preferred stock and debt securities structuring), along with corporate distributions and repurchases and fundamental corporate changes. Emphasizes analysis of mergers and acquisitions. Depending on available time, also emphasizes the impact of federal securities laws on the corporate governance structure, including discussion of ongoing public disclosure requirements, proxy regulations and insider trading restrictions and liabilities.
The course is transaction-oriented, whereby planning and problem solving are stressed, and interdisciplinary use of basic taxation, accounting and finance notions is made. Special attention may be given to modern statutory trends, ethical issues and selective globalization concerns.
Children and the Law (8302)
Two hours. A focus on three interrelated questions involving the legal relationships among the child, parent and state. First, who decides on behalf of the child? Second, how does the law allocate decisional power and responsibility for children in the society? Finally, what voice should the law give to children in situations in which their rights and/or interests are affected? Explores the context of the following topics: parental rights to raise their children; constitutional rights of children (such as privacy and free speech); child abuse and neglect (civil and criminal); termination of parental rights, foster care and adoption; and medical decision-making. Emphasis will be on examining the practical considerations of providing legal representation to children, particularly in cases involving child abuse and neglect.
Civil Clinic (7559)
Five hours. Helps refine lawyering skills and analytic methods for developing those skills. Allows clinic students to represent indigent clients in actual cases. Includes topics such as interviewing, counseling, fact investigation and discovery, case planning, negotiation, drafting of pleadings, motions and memoranda, and pretrial and trial advocacy. Places special emphasis on professional responsibility issues and strategic planning methods. Throughout the course, uses a combination of teaching methods, including one-on-one case supervision, classroom instruction, simulations and videotaped exercises.
Civil Litigation: Critical Issues and Policies (8343)
Three hours. An edited writing seminar that focuses on the policy issues underlying civil procedure. Allows students to read classic and contemporary literature regarding the procedure system, and then uses the tools provided by this overview to craft an original analysis of a contemporary controversy facing courts and legislatures. Includes readings on topics such as access to justice, the vanishing trial, the roles of judges and juries, the insights of empirical research, aggregate litigation and comparative civil procedure.
Civil Rights Litigation (7308)
Three hours. A survey of federal legislation protecting the individual against governmental and private interference with constitutional and statutory rights, which may include those pertaining to employment, personal security, housing and voting.
Civil Rights Seminars (7378)
Three hours. Seminars in selected problems in the protection of individual liberties from governmental interference. Varied subject matter at the discretion of the professor. Could consider First Amendment freedoms, racial discrimination, sex discrimination, prisoners’ rights and privacy.
Clinic Deputy (7157, 7257, 7357)
One, two or three hours. Assisting in preparing and supervising clinic students in client representation, including fact investigations and analysis, legal research and writing, litigation training and court appearances. Requires selection of deputies by the clinic instructors. Allows students to enroll only after they are selected. Pass/fail or graded, at the option of the professor.
Commercial Real Estate Transactions Seminar (7327)
Three hours. A course that builds on the introductory real estate course by introducing students to the main issues presented by a transactional commercial real estate practice, including acquisition, financing, construction, leasing and management, with an emphasis on financing. Examines alternative methods of structuring capital investment in real estate, including issues related to the taxable nature and regulatory context of the investor. Includes workouts and real estate bankruptcies to complete the examination of the real estate cycle. The basic income tax course is strongly recommended as a prerequisite; partnership tax is helpful, but not required. Students will be expected to work not only with the purely legal issues but also to develop a familiarity with the basic concepts of real estate valuation, and they should therefore be prepared to work with numbers and perform simple calculations (although no advanced mathematics will be required).
Commercial Remedies (9305)
Three hours. A functional analysis of standards, rules and devices applicable generally to the trial of various types of commercial claims, including the standards of value, certainty and avoidable consequences and the concepts of interest, expenses of litigation and exemplary damages. Gives detailed consideration to all types of commercial remedies, both at law and in equity, that result in a money judgment.
Comparative Law I (7321)
Three hours. The purposes and methods of comparative law. An introduction to legal systems other than the common law, including sources of law, structure of legal rules, substantive law, procedure and courts, and legal professions. Requires no knowledge of a foreign language. Requires students from civil law jurisdictions to have instructor’s permission to take the course.
Comparative Law II – [Specific Subject-Matter Designation] (7222, 7322)
Two or three hours. Often a general writing course. A limited enrollment seminar course designed to accommodate specific seminar interests of faculty and visiting faculty in comparative law-related subject matter. Varied specific seminar course topics from course to course. Might include the examination of selected aspects of law and judicial processes or specific legal areas of selected foreign countries, regions and economic markets; laws impacting foreign investment and dispute resolution; treaty law making processes; or comparative corporate governance, business organization, commercial law or accounting trends. Allows a student to repeat the course for credit, since the subject matter varies from year to year. Lists each seminar course, for transcript purposes, as CL-II [specific seminar name]
. Requires no knowledge of a foreign language.
Conflict of Laws (6330)
Three hours. An analysis of transactions that have elements in more than one state. Includes three parts: the choice of the law applicable to the issues in the case, the enforcement of judgments rendered outside the forum state and jurisdiction over the out-of-state party. Focuses on relationships among American states, but also includes choices between state and national law (the Erie Doctrine).
Constitutional Criminal Procedure Survey (6430, 6320)
Four hours. A survey of criminal procedure, including topics such as investigation, right to counsel, bail, discovery, trial procedure, sentencing, double jeopardy and post-conviction challenges. Intended for the nonspecialist. Students taking this course may not take Constitutional Criminal Procedure: Investigation or Constitutional Criminal Procedure: Adjudication.
Construction Law (6214, 6312)
Two or three hours. The legal aspects of the construction process. Devotes particular emphasis to discussion of the provisions of standard form contracts and to the liability issues that arise out of the relationships between design professionals, contractors and owners. Within this framework, covers: bidding, types of contracts, pricing variations, the rights and obligations of parties involved in the process, construction documents, bonds, insurance, changes, scheduling, delays, unforeseen circumstances, risk allocation of defective work, payments and remedies for breach.
Consumer Law (6329)
Three hours. A study of state and federal regulation of credit and noncredit consumer transactions. Pays special attention to state and federal legislation regarding unfair and deceptive trade practices embodied in the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Includes other areas of study such as the federal Truth-in-Lending, Fair Credit Reporting, Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Debt Collection Acts and state and federal warranty law, as well as contractual and procedural devices designed to facilitate collection. Also includes study of traditional private and public remedies and the means of achieving them as well as special problems and issues arising in connection with resolving consumer disputes in the world of e-commerce.
Three hours. A detailed study of the 1976 Copyright Act as well as other means of obtaining legal protection for literary, musical and artistic works, including unfair competition, tort and implied contract.
Corporate Governance and Compliance (8206)
Two hours. Prior to Enron and other related corporate implosions, the issue of corporate compliance was primarily the concern of companies operating in heavily regulated industries. Since then, Sarbanes/Oxley, the Department of Justice Sentencing Guidelines, newly implemented stock exchange listing standards, emerging and expanding concepts of director liability – as well as a plethora of lesser factors – have made corporate compliance somewhat of a mainstream issue for all public companies and an increasing number of private companies and nonprofits. A course that charts the history, evolution and expansion of corporate compliance programs from the early 1950s to the present. In addition to detailing the typical “how-to” methodologies involved in structuring and implementing a modern compliance program, focuses on how compliance programs, if improperly implemented, may actually exacerbate a company’s potential liability in unexpected areas. Uses a course textbook developed by the instructor.
Corporate Finance and Acquisitions (7235)
Two hours. Provides, in the first part of this course, a basis for resolving the typical valuation questions that arise in the corporate acquisition context. Presents and critically assesses the basic concepts of financial theory, including discounting, diversification, portfolio theory, the capital asset pricing model and the Black-Scholes option pricing model. Examines, in the second part of the course, certain issues that arise in the corporate acquisition context that involve valuation questions, including the scope of application of the de facto merger and successor liability doctrines, appraisal rights and the fairness of freeze-out transactions. Does not consider issues arising under federal securities law. Background in economics or finance strongly recommended.
Corporate Planning (6232, 6332)
Two or three hours. Planning and problem course in corporate, tax, securities, accounting and related fields. Allows students to draft instruments and supporting memoranda to solve a variety of questions in corporate organization, financing, operation, acquisition and reorganization – a fairly typical sequence of high-tech company growth and development. Allows students to present solutions and simulated negotiations for class critique and in most instances for comparison with actual solutions to similar problems.
Corporate Taxation (7336)
Three hours. The formation of corporations, corporate capital structure, earnings and profits, dividends, distributions, redemptions, partial liquidations and complete liquidations and Subchapter S corporations.
Counseling the Small Business Owner (8203)
Two hours. A “how to” course. A skills course that will focus on forming and representing small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Covers advice regarding selection of a client, understanding the client’s goals, what choice of entity to recommend to the client, entity creation by drafting various documents such as certificates of formation for profit and nonprofit corporations and limited liability companies, bylaws, noncompetition agreements, nondisclosure agreements, employment agreements and other documents that relate to a small business. Requires students, throughout the course, to draft various documents.
Creditors’ Rights (6333)
Three hours. An introduction to federal and state law governing the debtor-creditor relationship: enforcement of judgments; attachment, garnishment and sequestration; fraudulent conveyances; and bankruptcy as it affects secured and unsecured creditors under the Bankruptcy Code.
Criminal Clinic (7641)
Six hours. A practice-based period of study involving representation of indigent clients in Dallas County criminal courts. Integrates classroom instruction and skills training with actual casework.
Criminal Evidence Seminar (6274)
Three hours. On March 8, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Crawford v. Washington
(No. 02-9410). In it, the court accepted an invitation to completely rethink its approach to the interface between the Confrontation Clause and hearsay. Up to that point, the court’s efforts at reconciling the Constitutional right to confront one’s accuser with the evidentiary rules was muddled and tended to subordinate the right of confrontation to the common law hearsay exceptions. Crawford changed that in a fundamental way. However, it is difficult to envision how Crawford and the newly conceived Confrontation Clause will impact the prosecution of criminal cases in the U.S. An exploration of that impact. Examines the impact of Crawford on the hearsay rules as it applies to evidence admitted against criminal defendants. Allows students to study the decision in detail; choose one type of hearsay evidence, such as the admission of pre-trial statements of child assault victims to their counselors; and write a 40-page to 60-page paper of publishable quality and format on that topic.
Criminal Prosecution Clinic (7441)
Four hours. A practice-based period of study involving the prosecution of misdemeanor offenses with the Dallas County District Attorney’s office. Integrates classroom instruction and skills training with actual casework.
Criminal Tax Fraud (7238)
Two hours. A study in detail of the criminal tax statutes of the Internal Revenue Code, along with the administrative procedure and court procedure concerning representation of a client who is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service for criminal tax violations.
Death Penalty Project (9310)
Three hours. A practice-oriented course designed to teach the skills of interviewing, investigating and researching legal issues in the pretrial, trial and post-trial stages of death penalty cases. Addresses evidentiary questions, procedural questions and the development of mitigation facts and circumstances. Limited to 12 students per term. Uses a simultaneous classroom curriculum to introduce students to the law and procedure necessary to provide effective assistance of counsel in death penalty defenses. Allows students to work with lawyers appointed to death penalty cases while under the supervision of a faculty member. Bases grades on evaluation of case and classroom performance.
Directed Research (6136, 6236, 6336)
Maximum of three hours. Research on legal problems in any field of law with the consent of the instructor. Requires a comprehensive, analytical and critical paper prepared to the instructor’s satisfaction. Open to students who have completed more than one-third of the hours required for graduation. Requires, before enrollment for Directed Research, that the student obtain, on a form supplied by the Registrar’s Office, written approval of the instructor for the research project. Allows students to receive credit for no more than a total of three hours of directed research during law school.
Directed Studies (6148, 6248, 6348)
Maximum of two hours. Studies undertaken by a student or group of students under faculty supervision with prior approval of the curriculum committee. Provides that the committee may prescribe that the product of the studies undertaken be communicated by a public discussion, submission of periodic and final reports or presentation of a collection of papers.
Disability Law (8260)
Two hours. An exploration of the expansion of rights for individual with disabilities, including the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Studies both employment law and protection for individuals with disabilities in government services and public accommodations.
Economic Analysis of Law (6423)
Four hours. An introduction to the economic analysis of legal rules and institutions. First examines the efficiency paradigm in some detail and then analyzes basic common law and criminal law doctrines from an economic perspective. Seeks to develop a facility in the application of economic reasoning to legal questions and to impart a sense of the limitations of the economic approach. Does not presuppose extensive familiarity with economics, but some background is essential, such as an introductory course in microeconomics and preferably also some exposure to intermediate-level microeconomics or price theory.
Employee Benefits Law and ERISA Litigation (9201)
This course was formerly titled Employee Benefits.
Two hours. A study of the evolution, theory and structure of employment-related benefit law. Emphasizes social, economic and political considerations and their influence on federal labor and tax law in the area of employee benefits, with particular emphasis on the labor provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Also considers the balancing of authority among several federal agencies in the regulation of employee retirement and medical benefit plans and the interpretation and application of federal statutory law.
Employment Discrimination (7344)
Three hours. Examination of the federal law regulating discrimination in employment. Places primary emphasis on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and federal requirements of affirmative action imposed upon government contractors. Other civil rights statutes and the National Labor Relations Act to be treated as they bear upon the subject.
Employment and Labor Arbitration (8316)
Three hours. The study of case law, statutes and guidelines concerning arbitration arising under employment agreements, employer promulgated policies and labor agreements. Covers topics such as fundamental concepts of arbitration under both collective bargaining agreements and individual employment agreements, arbitrability, requisites of enforceable arbitration agreements, subjects of arbitration, the arbitration process itself, the relationship of arbitration to other forums such as the courts and administrative bodies and actions to enforce and set aside arbitration awards. Also includes practical exercise in drafting and arbitration advocacy.
Employment Law (6340)
Three hours. Legal regulation of work and the workplace in a nonunion environment. Covers the expansion of employee rights against unjust dismissal, invasion of privacy and defamation and explores government regulation of the workplace in the areas of health and safety, wages, hours and benefits. Also briefly surveys employment discrimination law.
Entertainment Law (7201)
Two hours. An overview of the entertainment business and its fundamental legal and financial issues. Deals with the role of attorneys and agents, personal and intellectual property rights, motion picture production and distribution, television rights and procedures, literary publishing, music publishing, and sound recordings. Places particular emphasis on technological developments and contract negotiation.
Environmental Law (6344)
Three hours. A survey that presents an introduction to basic elements of federal environmental law. Includes analysis of environmental regulatory policy, statutory control of air, water and hazardous waste pollution and allocation of the costs of cleaning environmental contamination.
Estate, Gift and Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates (8252, 7352)
Two or three hours. Consideration of the kinds of transfers that attract the estate and gift tax, the generation skipping tax and income taxation of estates and trusts.
Estate Planning and Practice (6343)
Three hours. Functional examination of the integration of the federal estate and gift taxes, marital deduction planning and drafting, drafting the By-Pass Trust, desirability of making lifetime inter-spousal transfers, gifts to minors and other dependents (including the grantor trust rules), techniques of income deflection and estate shrinkage for tax reasons, transferring ownership of life insurance with emphasis on irrevocable life insurance trusts and introduction to the generation skipping tax.
Ethical Dilemmas in Legal Practice (8273)
Poses, following lectures for the first four classes that will lay the groundwork, fact situations presenting current ethical issues and real-life problems counsel might face in actual practice. Requires that each fact situation will be the subject of one or more student papers that will be presented and discussed during a weekly class session. Includes a judge or other prominent practitioner who attends and participates in each session.
European Union Law (8303)
Two hours. An introduction to European Union law. Discusses first the legal history and constitutional structure of the European Union. After this introduction to the institutions and lawmaking processes of the EU, covers several major substantive areas of EU law: free movement of goods, equal treatment and recent developments in human rights protection and cooperation in criminal matters. Addresses questions including: How does the European Union make, enforce and interpret its laws? To what extent and in what ways does the European Union limit its member states’ sovereignty? What are the advantages of EU membership? What are the fundamental economic objectives of the Union, and how does it work to achieve these? In what ways does the European Union interact with and influence member states in areas such as human rights, criminal law and procedure, and equal protection?
Four hours. Principles governing the admission and exclusion of evidence, including functions of judge and jury, examination and competency of witnesses, demonstrative evidence, the hearsay rule and its exceptions, burdens of proof and presumptions, privileges and judicial notice.
Extern Programs (8101, 8201, 7301)
Hours arranged. Includes various programs by the faculty. Permits a student to work without compensation each week for a designated number of hours at specified legal offices for law school credit. Requires each student to work under the supervision of a faculty member and to fulfill the requirements established for the program. Allows students to receive Law School credit for only one extern program, including the Securities and Exchange Commission Student Observer Program. Contact the Registrar’s Office for a list of such programs and more information.
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (8318)
Three hours. The proliferation of legal regimes purporting to govern the same activities presents opportunities and conundrums for lawyers dealing with a wide variety of cutting-edge issues in both U.S. and international law. These issues span civil and criminal divides and range from free speech on the Internet and intellectual property rights to the geographic reach of antitrust and securities laws, as well as laws designed to combat terrorism, child sex tourism, piracy and international human rights violations like torture and genocide. In the first part of the seminar, the class will read recent cases and scholarship related to extraterritorial jurisdiction, with the goals of (1) raising students’ awareness of theoretical and doctrinal issues involved; and (2) developing students’ ability to evaluate and critique legal scholarship. In the second part of the seminar, students will discuss their own research proposals and works-in-progress in light of substantive and methodological insights gained from the first part of the seminar. The seminar will be three credits and will require students to write a substantial research paper of publishable quality, approximately 30 pages in length. Toward that end, students will be required to submit, at specified times in the term, (1) an abstract and outline, (2) a rough draft, and (3) a final draft.
Family Law (6347)
Three hours. The legal problems of the family including marriage, annulment, divorce, legitimacy, custody, support of family members, adoption and related matters. Does not include Texas matrimonial property law. If the student plans to take instruction in both courses, this course should be taken first.
Federal Courts (6349)
Three hours. Congressional control of the distribution of judicial power among federal and state courts. Practice and procedure in the federal district courts, including choice of law, federal question and diversity jurisdiction and state-federal conflicts.
Federal Judicial Externship (8137) (Students will also be registered for a two-hour externship.)
One hour. This externship provides opportunities for students to work in the chambers of U.S. District Court judges, U.S. magistrate judges and U.S. bankruptcy judges in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas and Fort Worth divisions. From time to time, students may also have the opportunity to work with federal judges in the Eastern District of Texas, Plano Division, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Students will be paired with an individual judge and will work approximately 1015 hours per week under that judge's supervision for one term for a total of at least 120 hours. The Federal Judicial Externship also includes a Judicial Externship that will meet for at least fourteen 50-minute hours. Students successfully completing the externship and class will receive three hours of credit (based on two credits for the externship itself and one credit for the classroom component). The students' primary activities will be research; drafting bench memos; drafting opinions; and observing conferences, motion hearings and evidentiary hearings. Students will occasionally have the opportunity to prepare short articles for publication. The teacher of the classroom component will also serve as the faculty supervisor for the externships, while the judges will serve as field supervisors.
Federal Tax Procedure I (7207)
Two hours. Preparation and trial of tax cases in the federal courts, representation of a taxpayer before the Internal Revenue Service, administrative powers and procedures of the Internal Revenue Service, criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and accumulations of supporting evidence for a tax plan.
Federal Taxpayers Clinic (7443)
Four hours. Clinical instruction in federal tax practice emphasizing the representation of taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and the Tax Court. Integrates classroom instruction in interviewing techniques and counseling with interviewing prospective clients and with the ultimate representation of taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and the Tax Court.
Financial Institutions – Banking Law: Domestic and International (6221, 6318)
See Banking Law and Regulation: Domestic and International.
Financial Institutions – Commercial Lending (6218, 6348)
See Commercial Lending.
Financial Products: Economics, Regulation and Taxation (8216)
Two hours. This course will begin with an introduction to the fundamentals of equity and debt instruments, futures, forwards, options and swaps. Discussion will then move to other products, including investment funds, real estate investment trusts and securitizations. As the class examines various financial products, key concepts such as time value of money, original issue discount, hedging, synthetic instruments and put-call parity will be discussed. The class will consider regulatory regimes and basic tax principles that apply to certain financial products. Finally, the class will examine financial products that have lately become a concern of policymakers and will consider various reforms presently under debate.
Food and Drug Law (8346)
Three hours. An examination of how the Food and Drug Administration regulates food, drugs, medical devices and biotechnology. The FDA is the oldest consumer protection agency in the United States, and it regulates a significant portion of the U.S. economy. A course that addresses the history and scope of the FDA’s authority and how the agency has evolved to deal with modern developments in the biosciences, as well as emerging public health and safety issues, such as bioterrorism and advances in genetic research. Allows students to learn theories and study examples of risk regulation, statutory interpretation, inter-agency cooperation, public participation and agency policymaking. Also focuses on the FDA’s relationships with Congress, the executive branch and the industries it regulates.
Foreign Investment: Rules of International Law (6388)
Three hours. The past decade has not just brought a significant increase of foreign investment worldwide, but has also led to a growth of the applicable legal rules. More than a thousand new treaties have been concluded, and numerous international investment cases have been submitted to international arbitral tribunals. An exploration of the nature, the content and the reach of the current international regime of rules governing foreign investment. For instance, discusses rules on expropriation, fair and equitable treatment and denial of justice, but also the concept of a “foreign investment” and a “foreign investor.” Also pays special attention to the interplay between relevant treaties and the process of dispute settlement, in particular in regard to the jurisdiction of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Currently, more than 180 states are members of ICSID, and almost 100 cases are pending before ICSID, most of them dealing with major investment projects.
Franchising and Distribution Law (6275)
Two hours. There is a growing recognition and respect for franchising and product distribution domestically and around the world. Franchising had its start in the U.S. around the time of the Civil War, but, in the last 10 years, franchising’s growth has been explosive. It no longer concerns only restaurants and lodging but has expanded to areas such as telecom and automotive. An overview of the law of franchising and product distribution, both domestically and internationally.
Freedom of Speech, Press and Religion (7333)
Three hours. An examination of constitutional issues and interpretation under the First Amendment, focusing on freedom of speech and press, as well as establishment and free exercise of religion.
Globalization of the Law: Business and Finance (8210, 8309)
Three hours. Often conducted as a writing seminar. A limited enrollment seminar that can be both a perspective and a capstone-type course. An exploration of the impact of globalization on the theory and practice of law within the context of its impact on international, regional and domestic business and financial market environments. Places particular emphasis on the development of international standards and codes, a new evolving international business and financial architecture and enhanced regulatory and public-private cooperation on the domestic, regional and international levels. Provides initial background lectures for the first eight to 10 seminar sessions on the general economic and legal dimensions of globalization and the impact of global economic forces on the national legal systems in such areas as to trade and investment, financial market regulation, intellectual property law, commercial law, international dispute resolution and (if time permits) other business-financial related areas. Then, for the remainder of the course, allows students to embark on an intense research and writing experience on a one-on-one basis with the professor. Reconvenes students and the professor at the end of the course to discuss the course and student research findings. Designed for the primary course objective to be the production of a high-quality research paper similar to a good law review student comment. Asks students to identify a specific situation in which the idea of globalization helps explain recent legal developments, to distinguish them from situations in which globalization has had little or no impact on the law and to develop strategies for anticipating where globalization is most likely to have an impact on the future development of the law.
History of Anglo-American Legal Institutions (8308)
Three hours. An examination of the development of the Anglo-American system of civil and criminal justice from the medieval period to the present day. Topics of special interest may include the origins and evolution of the common-law jury, the emergence of rules of procedure and evidence, and the changing roles played by judges and attorneys.
How Lawyers See the World: Theories of Legal Interpretation, Justification and Institutionalization (8248)
Three hours. A course that is concerned with general theoretical questions about the nature of law and legal systems, about the relationship of law to justice and morality and about the connections between law and the humanities. Considers as an animating theme whether law is an autonomous discipline and considers, as part of the objective of the course, this question from a variety of angles. Uses, as tools, philosophical and literary texts, as well as a number of representative cases.
Immigration Law (8258, 6353)
Two or three hours. An analysis of the Immigration and Nationality Act and relevant regulations with respect to the immigration of aliens, the substantive and procedural aspects of deportation and exclusion proceedings. A review of nationality law with respect to citizenship and expatriation. May consider special problems of refugees in the United States.
Income Taxation (6460)
Four hours. Introduction to the federal income tax system; analysis of Internal Revenue Code, Treasury regulations, rulings and case law; and consideration of income, deductions, credits, assignment of income and accounting periods and methods.
In-house Counsel (8275)
Two hours. The role and duties of in-house counsel to the corporation. Allows students to examine the practical issues associated with internal investigations, crisis management, shareholder advocacy, conflicts of interest, whistle-blower complaints and corporate compliance programs. Also examines the role and duties of the corporate board and the regulatory structure under Securities and Exchange Commission rules and the Sarbanes Oxley Act.
Insurance (6254, 6354)
Two or three hours. An exploration of the principles governing the nature of insurance law; the principle of indemnity, including insurable interest, measure of recovery and multiple claims for indemnity (subrogation and other insurance); people and interests protected; risks transferred, including nature of loss and its causes, warranties, representations and concealment; limits and duration of coverage; rights at variance with policy provisions; claims processes; and insurance institutions
Intellectual Property (6356)
Three hours. An overview of intellectual property law for both students with a general interest in the area and students who are pursuing specialized fields with IP. Outlines, beginning with an analysis of the competing theories underlying IP law, the basic principles of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret protection, as well as current issues in software protection, biotechnology and competition policy.
Intellectual Property Licensing (8305)
Three hours. Focuses on how holders of intellectual property assets exploit and retain their rights in the realm of licensing. Also the legal and business issues relating to licensing of intellectual property, including trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, software and information database assets. The rights and duties of the license parties, negotiation of the terms and clauses of the license agreement for each form of intellectual property, misuse and antitrust constraints on licensing, and management and enforcement of the license. The University’s technology transfer, government procurement licensing, third party’s rights in the license and international licensing. Considers “open” licensing practices as seen in open source software and the Creative Commons. A hands-on and practical class with many drafting assignments. Includes a take-home exam.
International and Comparative Employment Law (7266, 8307)
Two or three hours. This seminar will begin with a brief introduction of some of the most significant features of United States employment law. Comparative materials begin with the basic employment laws of Canada and Mexico and then move to the employment laws of the United Kingdom, Germany and France and the regional employment laws generated by the European Union. Following that, the final focus is on the employment laws of Japan, China and India.
International Banking and Finance (7213, 7313)
Two or three hours. Draws selected topics (which may vary from year to year) from the following areas: the international monetary system and role of international financial organizations as related to private transactions, specialized problems of financing international business and selective international financial transactions (such as exchange market operations, country lending, Eurodollar and Eurobond financing, international loan syndications, project financing and international trade financing). Uses guest expert lecturers. Often contains interdisciplinary and cross-cultural subject matter. May require written exam and/or paper.
International Bankruptcy (8299)
Two hours. Increasingly, businesses have assets and even subsidiaries in several countries. Similarly, business transactions increasingly involve parties in several countries. Accordingly, today, business bankruptcies increasingly implicate the laws of several countries. This course, funded by the American College of Bankruptcy, compares the different business bankruptcies regimes of various countries and examines various methods of reconciling these different regimes.
International Business Transactions (7215, 8215)
Two hours. A basic course for U.S. and international students on fundamental legal problems encountered in international business. Particularly beneficial as a foundation course for the second-year student desiring to pursue the international law area or for the third-year student desiring only a survey of the area.
International Commercial Arbitration (6227, 6327)
Two or three hours. A reasonably in-depth coverage of the basic concepts and issues of international commercial arbitration. Allows the student to review the arbitration rules of the primary institutions and the arbitration laws of the primary arbitration sites and to draft basic arbitration clauses. Does not deal with the topic of international litigation.
International and Comparative Health Law (8345)
Three hours. A comparison of how different countries regulate costs, quality and access in their health care systems. Countries with vastly different legal and health care systems must respond to essentially the same concerns: Who has access to health care services? Who pays for health care and how? How do we regulate medical negligence? How do these systems respond to public health crises, such as HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases? Provides an overview of different health care and legal systems during the first part of the course. Then, allows students to prepare and present research comparing and contrasting two countries’ responses to a particular issue.
International Crimes (7356)
Three hours. The origins, development and growth of international crimes. Examines the juridical bases and processes by which objectionable or offensive conduct is transformed into an international crime. In this vein, identifies the attributes and characteristics of international crimes and explores the practical as well as doctrinal problems relating to the regulation, prevention, control and suppression of this genre of crimes.
International Economic Law and Development (8319)
Two or three hours. Qualifies as a general writing course. A foundation course that enhances the understanding of international financial, monetary, trade and investment law and regulation and related economic development theories/policies in their current global setting, particularly as they directly impact 80 percent of the world population – that is, people in the developing world. Against the constantly changing background of economic policymaking, an examination of economic and legal interaction among industrialized states, developing countries, international organizations (such as United Nations economic functions, International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group) and regional economic institutions (such as in Latin America and Africa) and private actors (such as multinational corporations, international commercial financial institutions and nongovernment organizations). Designed with the primary aim of providing an overview of the legal and institutional foundations of the new evolving global international economic order. Pays particular attention to the issues of sustainable economic development, stable financial systems and alleviation of poverty in developing/emerging countries. May cover issues such as the basic legal principles/doctrines governing international economic organizations, official development assistance, the U.N. Millennium Goals, the Washington Consensus v. the Monterrey Consensus, the World Trade Organization Doha Agenda for developing countries, South-South and North-South regional economic integration efforts, sovereign debt reduction and rescheduling, privatization development programs and development of appropriate economic, legal and judicial infrastructures for development and post-conflict economic reconstruction. Designed to be of particular importance for domestic and international students seeking an international legal practice with private firms, international and regional bodies, domestic governments and private bodies dealing with the international arena.
International Environmental Law (6276)
Two hours. An introduction to elements of international law that may regulate conduct affecting the global environment. Focuses on a number of issues including emerging principles of international customary law, transboundary pollution, international trade in hazardous wastes and the relationship between international trade and the environment.
International and Foreign Legal Research (8312)
Three hours. Research methods to find and evaluate international and foreign legal materials using both electronic and print resources. Designed with the principle purpose of providing the basic knowledge and skills needed to conduct competent international and foreign legal research. Also, with the secondary, but important, goal of expanding on and reinforcing the basic legal research skills that students gained earlier from the first-year legal research and writing course. Allows students to become skilled in researching various international and foreign legal sources through practical application in assignments and in-class exercises. In short, a course on international and foreign legal research sources and techniques. Requires students to bring their own laptop computer.
International Franchising Law (7231)
Two hours. A discussion of the topics to consider in creating an international franchise, both economically and legally. An in-depth look, during each class period, at either a step in this process or a major area of consideration before “going global.” Pays special attention to the European Union as well as major emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Middle East, China, South America, India and Asia. Includes topics such as structuring the franchise, tax, trade, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and dispute resolution. An excellent course for anyone considering franchise law or international business as international franchising is the next big wave in the global economy and a trend that will continue well past the foreseeable future.
International Intellectual Property (6226)
Two hours. When intangible property crosses imagined borders, it becomes subject to competing cultural concerns, economic interests and protective regimes. A focus on the international regulation of intellectual property and the resolution of disputes through institutions such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization, multinational and regional treaty agreements and national responses. Includes policy issues such as the perspectives of developing and industrialized countries, problems generated by emerging biotechnologies and the growth of cyberspace and future trends in harmonization of intellectual property protection.
International Law (Public) (6355)
Three hours. The basic course in public international law, including (with varying emphasis depending on teacher preference) topics such as: nature, history and sources of international law; customary international law; law of treaties; the relationship between municipal law (especially of the United States) and international law; recognition and subjects of international law; law of the sea; air and space law; environmental law; human rights; jurisdiction; state responsibility; state succession; dispute settlement; and regulation of state use of force.
The International Law Review Association of SMU (6130, 8230, 8330)
Maximum credit, five hours. Law review experience involving preparation of comments on topics of current interest, notes on cases of significance and editorial work incident to publication of The International Lawyer
, Law and Business Review of the Americas
and Yearbook of International Financial and Economic Law
. Requires that students must be selected for participation before they may enroll. Available only to J.D. students.
International Litigation and Arbitration (7214, 7314)
Two or three hours. An examination of practical aspects of private litigation involving a foreign element. Includes comparative concepts of jurisdiction, service, taking evidence abroad, divorce and enforcement of foreign nation judgments, as well as choice of law in contracts, torts and decedent estates. Also explores arbitration as an alternative means of resolving transnational commercial disputes. Pays particular attention to relevant new treaties.
International Organizations Law (7355)
Three hours. The structure, status and function of international organizations, especially the United Nations system and its related organizations, functional arrangements, peace and security, trade, economic and monetary matters and human rights.
International Protection of Human Rights (6224, 6324)
Two or three hours. Selected topics, including the protection of individuals and groups against violations by governments and private institutions of their internationally guaranteed rights and the promotion of these rights. May require the presentation and discussion of student papers.
International Tax I (7216, 7302)
Two or three hours. A basic course for U.S. and international students focusing on foreign citizens, residents and business entities conducting business or investment in the United States – so-called inbound transactions.
International Tax II (7255)
Two hours. A basic course for U.S. and international students focusing on U.S. citizens, residents and business entities conducting business or investment outside the United States – so-called outbound transactions.
International Transactions: Western Hemisphere (6203, 6303)
Two or three hours. Basic legal dimensions of the key Western Hemispheric economic integrations efforts, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, Central America Free Trade Agreement, Latin American Integration Association, Andean Community and Mercado Común del Sur, and their effects upon trade, investment, licensing, migration and law reform in the Americas. Considers the status and possible impact of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas. May use guest expert lecturers. May require written exam and/or paper. Sometimes offered as a writing seminar.
Introduction to Jewish Law (6105)
One hour. The foundations of Jewish law as a legal system, including legislation and custom in Jewish law. Also the status of Jewish law in the legal systems in Israel and the United States. Selected topics in Jewish law especially topics concerning bioethics in Jewish law.
Three hours. A survey of major theories of legal philosophy.
Juvenile Justice (7258)
Two hours. A study of juvenile delinquency as a social concept, law of delinquency, procedure in juvenile court and the unique aspects of a lawyer’s role in a delinquency case.
Labor Law (6360)
Three hours. Law regulating the employment relationship studied in connection with various forms of group conflict and organizational activity. Covers rights and duties of individuals and institutions in the labor-relations context; concerted activity, including strikes, picketing and boycotts; negotiation and enforcement of collective agreements; employee-union relations; and problems of jurisdiction and accommodation among courts, boards and arbitrators. Emphasizes the substantive and procedural law of the Labor-Management Relations or Taft-Hartley Act.
Land Use (6363)
Three hours. Planning, zoning, subdivision, takings, zoning and discrimination, and administrative process in public land use planning.
Law and Medicine – Bioethics (7330)
Three hours. The interplay between bioethics and law in the context of topics such as human reproduction, death and dying, and human experimentation.
Law and Medicine – Health Care (7420)
Four hours. An examination of the application of law and legal process to the resolution of problems and the development of policies relating to health and health care services. Intended to develop an understanding of the social, business, policy and ethical implications of legal rules and procedures, as well as an understanding of how the law shapes the financing, organization and delivery of health care in America. Usually includes tax, antitrust, insurance and tort law; medical and hospital licensure and accreditation; Medicare and Medicaid; and state and federal health care regulation.
Law and Medicine – Medical Malpractice (7233)
Two hours. An examination of the legal and economic aspects of medical malpractice, including elements of the prima facie case, defenses and problems of proof. From time to time, also focuses on the potential liability of the individual practitioner and of health care institutions, tort reform legislation, the structure of insurance markets, negligent nondisclosure risks and treatment alternatives, forensic medicine and the use of medical and scientific evidence in the courtroom, and the legal and ethical aspects of the professional-patient relationship.
Law and Science (8306)
Three hours. In this edited-writing seminar, students examine the various interactions of science and the law in both civil and criminal contexts. More specifically, students read about and discuss how science aids in achieving just results, some new problems that science poses in the legal arena and the importance of understanding science in practicing law today. The focus is on topics such as the importance of DNA, fingerprint and statistical evidence; how scientific understanding affects notions of liability and culpability; the protection of research subjects; and bioethics, cloning and nanotechnology.
Law, Literature and Medicine (6205)
Two hours. An opportunity for law students and medical students to read and discuss novels, poems, plays and short stories concerning their two professions, including ethical dilemmas that are encountered in legal and medical practice and a variety of client and patient experiences. Also includes readings that focus on the professional and academic aspects of the humanities in law and medicine. Requires joint assignments and projects throughout the term and a research paper or comparable final project.
Law Practice Management (8212)
Two hours. The law practice environment is changing dramatically. This course is designed to teach students how to recognize, react to and take advantage of such changes. Moreover, it teaches the management and ethical sensitivity that are fundamental to success as a practicing lawyer. Although theory will not be overlooked, this class is designed to be a skills class, giving students the opportunity to make practical application to the principles they learn.
Lawyering and Ethics for the Business Attorney (8170)
One hour. The role of the corporate lawyer in the counseling and litigation settings. Includes subjects such as the role of the lawyer in the close corporation, client fraud dilemmas, conflicts of interest, internal corporate investigations, litigating and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the role of inside counsel, business relationships with clients and related party transactions.
Law of Electronic Commerce and the Internet (7368)
Three hours. A writing seminar that looks at the impact of new technologies on commercial transactions. Covers topics such as website development and hosting agreements, online payment systems including wholesale wire transfers and Internet payment systems, information and software licensing and online contracting issues such as electronic data interchange, digital signatures and electronic records in lieu of writings. Requires each student to write one paper during the term and give a presentation in class based on that paper. Provides hands-on training in any necessary software or equipment.
Local Government Law (6277)
Two hours. Legal issues governing the formation and operations of cities and other local government units. Examines police powers, financing, employment and governmental liability. Analyzes constitutional, legislative and judicial sources of power and control. Provides a foundation for legal and civic services.
Mass Tort Litigation (8217, 6317)
Two or three hours. A study of the unique procedural and substantive issues encountered by the courts in resolving multiple claims for tort damages arising from the same, or parallel, injury-producing conduct. Traces the efforts of the courts to resolve mass tort cases more efficiently through innovative use of procedural devices such as consolidation, multi-district transfer and the class action. Also examines the difficulties of applying traditional principles of tort, evidence and ethics law in the mass tort context.
Mental Health Law and Policy (6302)
Three hours. An examination of the history and current state of mental health law, the empirical research on the impact of mental health law on the lives of people with mental disabilities and proposals for improving the law. Requires paper.
Mock Trial (6183)
One hour. Participation as a member of a mock trial team representing the School of Law in one of several inter-school competitions in which the School of Law participates each year. Allows one hour of credit for each competition up to a maximum of two hours. However, requires that students must be selected for participation on a competition team by the faculty coach before they can enroll for credit.
Moot Court (Advanced) (6176)
One hour. Participation as a member of an appellate advocacy team representing the School of Law in one of several inter-school competitions in which the School of Law participates each year. Allows one hour of credit for each competition up to a maximum of two hours. However, requires that students must be selected for participation on a competition team by the faculty coach before they can enroll for credit.
Moot Court Board (6177)
One hour. Satisfactory work as a member of the Moot Court Board. Maximum of one hour credit. Requires that students must be selected. Also provides that students who are selected to draft the Jackson Walker Moot Court problem and briefs may be eligible for an additional one hour credit, which will count toward the general writing requirement.
Two hours. Introduces students to legal negotiation theory and practice and prepares them as lawyers to engage in the negotiation process. Covers all major areas of negotiation theory (including interest-based, cooperative-competitive and aggressive-competitive), but, as a major goal, attempts to expose the students through practical skills exercises to the various contrasting approaches to negotiation and to allow the student to determine the style and approach that best fits the student’s personality in the context of legal conflicts likely to be encountered after law school. Designed to provide students with the fundamental skills, knowledge and actual experience in real negotiations to lay the foundation for future lawyers to develop and hone their negotiation skills through continuing practice and experience after conclusion of the course.
New Media and the Digital World (7232)
Two hours. An overview covering the laws that apply to new media applications and technologies. Reviews traditional media concepts, but with a primary focus upon intellectual property, communications and regulatory law and other aspects of conducting business in the new media world. Intended to create an understanding of the wide range of issues these new technologies cover, rather than a concentration in one particular area. Serves as a complement to students concentrating in intellectual property, media communications and U.S. Constitutional law.
Oil and Gas (6378)
Three hours. Ownership in oil and gas, correlative rights and duties in a common reservoir, instruments conveying mineral interests, partition, pooling and unionization. Special emphasis on the rights and duties of the oil and gas lessee and lessor in leasing transactions.
Oil and Gas Contracts: Domestic and International (7269, 7369)
Two or three hours. A survey of basic oil and gas contracts used in exploration and production operations both in the United States and internationally. Includes support agreements, farm-out agreements, operating agreements, gas contracts, gas balancing agreements, division orders, concessions, production sharing, participation agreements and technical agreements. Focuses on both fundamental principles and current issues. Explores drafting solutions and alternatives.
Oil and Gas Environmental Law (7264)
Two hours. A study of environmental law as it applies to the oil and gas extraction, processing, refining and transportation segments of the energy industry, with emphasis on common law and solid waste issues.
Partnership Taxation (7392)
Three hours. The formation of partnerships, taxation of partnership income, special allocations, elective basis adjustments, distributions, liquidations, retirements, transfers of partnership interests and family partnerships.
Patent Law (6280)
Two hours. An introduction to patent and trade secret law for the protection of inventions, technical know-how and other proprietary intellectual property. Includes procedures and approaches to protecting high technology, such as computer software, integrated circuitry and genetic engineering. Also includes the law and procedure of developing the rights, as well as licensing and litigation aspects. Briefly covers trademark law. Does not require a technical background as a prerequisite for the course.
Patent Licensing and Enforcement (7262)
Two hours. A study of issues regarding the licensing and enforcement of patents. Analyzes in depth, in the first half of the course, the structure of a patent licensing agreement. Explores, in the second half, enforcement of patent rights in federal court.
Payment Systems/Negotiable Instruments (9301)
Three hours. An overview of the law of negotiable instruments, the bank collection system for checks and modern forms of payment such as wire transfers. Places special emphasis on Uniform Commercial Code Articles 3, 4 and 4A, as well as on selected federal regulations.
Perspectives of American Business Law (7277)
Two hours. A survey of American business laws for international LL.M. students. Draws selected topics, from year to year, from the laws of agency, partnership, corporation, securities, antitrust, bankruptcy and business taxation. Teaches from the perspective of assisting non-U.S.-trained lawyers to draw comparative and practical lessons and otherwise to enrich these students upon their return home. Limits enrollment to international LL.M. students.
Perspectives of the American Legal System (7293)
Two hours. Required for and designed to provide international graduate students with an introduction to the U.S. legal system. Places primary emphasis on examining the nature of the U.S. judicial system, the common law system of case law development and trial and appellate processes. Explores the interrelationship of law and U.S. society. Further attempts to develop basic U.S. legal writing, research and exam-taking skills. Taught in the fall term. Limits enrollment to international LL.M. students.
Perspectives on Counterterrorism (7334)
Three hours. Acts of terrorism, committed against the state by non-state actors, are not new. From a lawyer’s point of view, what is new about the state’s repertoire of responses to them? What are the constants and what are the variables that influence a state’s recognition, definition and reaction to real or perceived threats to the state’s core responsibility for domestic security? By what standards should state action be assessed? And what role should law and lawyers play during such extraordinary times? A course that takes an insistently interdisciplinary and occasionally comparative approach to these and other legal issues in America’s “war on terror.” Draws readings from familiar legal sources, but also from works of history, the social sciences and literature. Requires that students taking this course may not take National Security and Criminal Law Enforcement.
Private Equity and Hedge Fund Law and Related Finance (8208)
Two hours. An ever growing portion of investment capital is being controlled by private funds, such as hedge funds, equity funds, real estate funds and hybrid funds. A survey course that uses a mixture of cases, lectures and guest speakers to study each component of the private fund world and how law, both from an investment and legal perspective, affects the private fund community. Discusses accounting, finance, legal and tax issues at a very high level in order to provide a broad general overview.
Problems of Proof: Experts (6386)
Three hours. Advanced evidence class examining selected problems in the law of evidence. This year the course will examine the issues surrounding the presentation of expert witnesses, as contrasted with lay witnesses. Why impose a separate level of inquiry on these witnesses? Does it suffice? Do some courts do better than others at addressing these problems? The central aspect for each student is a 20-page individual paper bringing a fresh perspective to an issue in expert testimony, plus outline and first draft, and oral presentation and five-page group project. Students are provided topics or can choose their own with instructor approval.
Products Liability (6279, 6379)
Two or three hours. Study of the development of the concept of recovery for injuries caused by products, survey of civil actions for harm resulting from defective and dangerous products, study of problems associated with hazard identification and the process of evaluation of risk, government regulation on dangerous and defective products, and current and pending legislation dealing with injuries and remedies in specific areas.
Psychiatric and Psychological Evidence (8382)
Three hours. A limited enrollment class that is team taught by Professor Daniel Shuman and Dr. Randall Price, a forensic psychologist. Helps students gain experience in presenting and challenging psychiatric and psychological expert testimony in judicial proceedings. A limited enrollment class designed to accommodate 10 law students and 10 graduate psychology students or psychiatry residents. Pairs the law students and psychology students or psychiatry residents in teams to prepare for and participate in a mini-trial during the last portion of the class.
Real Estate Transactions (7326)
Three hours. Transfer, finance and development of real property; the real estate sales contract; the duties and remedies of sellers, purchasers and brokers; conveyancing; title protection, including recording laws, the mechanics of title search, clearing titles and title insurance; real estate finance, including mortgages and federal programs; and condominiums, cooperatives and shopping centers. Some emphasis on Texas law.
Regulated Industries (8218)
Two hours. Economic, social and public safety regulation in the United States is pervasive, directly affecting the economy, business operations and individual liberties. A course that analyzes the policy rationale and legal bases for regulation, application of regulation to various industries (e.g., financial services, transportation, electric utilities, telecommunications, cable/broadcast media and natural gas pipelines), constitutional limitations on regulation, basic features of rate regulation and evolving justifications for deregulation or alternative regulation in markets that have become increasingly competitive. Analyzes, as a key objective, the public policy justifying regulatory constraints on American commerce.
Regulation of Securities and Commodities Markets (6288)
Two hours. A study of the securities laws as they relate to the securities industry itself. Focuses attention on the roles of broker-dealers, investment advisers and stock exchanges within the scheme of self-regulation under federal law and on activities of underwriters and specialists. Addresses problems including broker-dealer duties and liabilities to customers, market manipulation, price stabilization, margin regulations and competition in the industry. Paper or examination.
Sale of Goods Transactions (6289, 6389)
Two or three hours. An introductory survey of the law of sales under the Uniform Commercial Code. Places particular emphasis on Article 2, contract formation, parole evidence rule, statute of frauds, risk of loss, receipt and inspection, acceptance, revocation, warranties, remedies of buyer and seller, remedy disclaimers and limitations, documentary transactions and consumer protection.
Secured Transactions (7325)
Three hours. An introductory survey of the law governing security interests in personal property, with particular emphasis on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the Bankruptcy Code.
Securities Litigation and Enforcement (7276, 7376)
Two or three hours. A comprehensive study of public and private actions under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Pays special attention to the implication of causes of action: the elements of each cause; vicarious liability; the liability of attorneys, accountants and directors; and the peculiarities of civil procedure as applied to securities litigation and damages. Also studies non-damage actions, including Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement proceedings, criminal actions, contempt proceedings and state actions. Requires papers.
Securities Regulation (7375)
Three hours. A study of the securities laws (primarily federal but also state, especially Texas) and of the activities and industry they govern. Places the principal emphasis on the regulation of issuance, sale, resale and purchase of securities and on the disclosure requirements generated by the registration, reporting, proxy, tender and antifraud provisions. Includes other important subjects such as civil liability (express and implied), government enforcement, exemptions from registration (especially private placements), insider trading and the meaning of “security.” Also discusses the functions of the Security Exchange Commission and of state securities administrators. Covers broker-dealer and market regulation if time permits.
Selected Problems in Antitrust Law (7383)
Three hours. Seminar in antitrust law. Considers topics not covered or not emphasized in the basic antitrust course. Varied content but could include private antitrust enforcement, patent law and antitrust, antitrust exemptions and immunities, and extraterritoriality and foreign antitrust law.
Selected Topics in Commercial Law (6304)
Three hours. Requires each student to submit a seminar paper on a topic that addresses how a particular area of domestic U.S. commercial law relates to international transactions. Includes international sales, letters of credit, carriage of goods, international wire transfers and cross-border insolvency.
Selected Topics in Intellectual Property (6326)
Three hours. A course that is designed to allow students to develop their own research projects in the field of intellectual property. Combines student discussion of their research with discussion of current topics of litigation and legislation in the field, including patent reform, international intellectual property harmonization, digital rights management and competition issues in intellectual property.
Sentencing and the Death Penalty (7354)
Three hours. An examination of the role of sentencing in the criminal justice system, contrasting sentencing models and ranges of authority. Includes study of alternatives to incarceration in light of criminal justice philosophies, scarce resources and political support. Explores the decision-making process, the use of sentencing guidelines and habeas corpus. Also includes examination of the death penalty from historical and contemporary perspectives, justifications for it, evolution of constitutional standards for its imposition, review of empirical data on deterrent effect and demographic distribution of death sentences, modes of execution, access to review of sentences and state-federal relations.
Small Business Clinic (8202)
Two hours. Many small businesses have a wide range of legal issues. A course that gives student attorneys the opportunity to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations with various legal matters that these entities face, advise clients in the start-up of their business and assist in preparing necessary legal documents, form and give advice to nonprofit organizations, learn how to deal with clients involving transactional business law and have a hands-on experience of representing clients in a wide variety of business issues. Provides, for many students, their first time to practice law and have an experience dealing with clients.
SMU Law Review Association (6100, 6200, 6300)
Maximum credit, five hours. Preparation of comments on topics of current interest, notes on cases of significance and editorial work incidental to publication of the SMU Law Review
and the Journal of Air Law and Commerce
. Requires students to be selected for participation before they may enroll. Available only to J.D. students.
SMU Science and Technology Law Review (9115, 9215, 9315)
Maximum credit, five hours. Law review experience involving preparation of comments on topics of current interest, notes on cases of significance and editorial work incidental to the publication of the SMU Science and Technology Law Review.
Requires students to be selected for participation before they may enroll. Available only to J.D. students.
Sports Law (7273)
Two hours. A study of the legal and business structure of professional and amateur sports, including an overview of the development of the professional sports industry, an examination of the basic agreements controlling professional sports, representation of professional athletes, the role of labor unions in professional sports, sports league governance and decision-making, sports media issues and amateur athletic associations. Considers the various constituencies within professional and amateur sports, the extent to which they have different interests and the legal framework within which they seek to advance those interests.
State and Local Taxation (6293)
Two hours. Selected problems in state and local taxation of individuals and corporations with particular reference to property, sales and income taxes. Problems of constitutional authority, intergovernmental conflict and cooperation, economic impact and administrative review processes.
Structured Finance (8207)
Two hours. The design of financing solutions so as to resolve particular issuer or investor problems that cannot be solved by conventional methods. Taught through lecture, class discussion, guest speakers and group work on case studies. Focuses on identifying situations that call for nonstandard corporate finance solutions, the design and pricing of these financing instruments, the legal and regulatory issues involved with such instruments and legal counsel’s responsibility in understanding and addressing the ramifications of such issues. A survey course designed to cover a broad array of structures and structured finance products. Emphasizes the more commonly securitized assets and the more commonly used structures. Does not require any significant quantitative analysis, but will instead focus on the legal and regulatory aspects of the structured offerings. Addresses accounting and tax issues from a legal perspective, and requires no prior accounting experience. Discusses many areas of law, but requires no specific prerequisites.
Tax Accounting (7227, 6393)
Two or three hours. Timing of income and deductions for federal income tax purposes, including accounting periods, the cash receipts and disbursements and accrual methods, installment sales, interest income and deductions, time value of money provisions, depreciation and recapture.
Tax Practice and Professional Responsibility (7294)
Two hours. Federal tax research and writing, as well as the parameters of professional responsibility in the context of the three main aspects of federal tax practice: planning, reporting and representation in controversies.
Taxation and Fiscal Policy (7284)
Two hours. The interaction between budgetary demands and revenue policy, equity and fairness of taxation, effect of taxation on business activity and social, political and economic implications of the tax structure.
Taxation of Deferred Compensation (7290)
Two hours. Income, estate and gift tax law relating to various deferred compensation plans, including profit sharing, stock bonus and pension plans; qualified and nonqualified stock options; deferred compensation contract; and restricted property. Considers corporate, securities, labor and community property law as appropriate.
Taxation of Professional and Closely Held Corporations (7271)
Two hours. Organization, operation and termination of a professional or other closely held corporation; income tax and estate planning considerations of employee compensation programs, including health and medical plans, qualified retirement plans, and other employee benefits; income and estate tax planning for departure of a principal, including buy-sell agreements; and comparison of Subchapter C and Subchapter S corporations and unincorporated forms of business.
Taxation of Property Dispositions (7291)
Two hours. A survey of property transaction taxation including realization events, amount realized, basis rules, nonrecognition exchanges, losses, characterization rules, debt and security transactions, and mortgaged property transactions.
Texas Criminal Procedure (7239, 7339)
Two or three hours. A study of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and its implementation in the Texas courts from the point of arrest through the appellate stage of the proceedings.
Texas Matrimonial Property (6395)
Three hours. The Texas law of marital property, its characterization as separate or community property, its management and liability and its division on dissolution of marriage by annulment, divorce or death of a spouse with special attention to the family home and other exempt property.
Texas Pretrial Procedure (7385)
Three hours. Texas civil procedure prior to trial, including establishing the attorney-client relationship, the prelitigation aspects of civil controversies, jurisdiction, service of process, pleading, joinder of parties and claims, venue, res judicata
and related principles, discovery, summary judgment practice, and settlement.
Texas Trial and Appellate Procedure (7386)
Three hours. Texas civil procedure from the commencement of trial through appeal, including selection of the jury, presentation of the case, motions for instructed verdict, preparation of the jury charge, motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for new trial, rendition of judgment, and perfection and prosecution of civil appeals through the courts of appeals and supreme court.
Trademark and Business Torts (6397)
Three hours. An examination of common law and statutory remedies for a variety of trade practices denominated “unfair,” including misappropriation, the right of publicity and trade secret protection, trademarks, copyrights, deceptive advertising and issues of federal preemption. Also examines the role of the Federal Trade Commission with respect to unfair and deceptive practices, with emphasis on its regulation of advertising.
Transnational Legal Problems (7394)
Three hours. An examination the legal rules and institutions that regulate transnational movement of persons, goods and capital and the “human rights” of persons, including the right to property. Emphasizes the interweaving of the international and domestic rules and institutions that govern these activities.
Trial Advocacy (7496)
Four hours. Limited enrollment. An intensive course in trial tactics, techniques and advocacy, emphasizing the practice of the separate components of a trial: direct examination, objections, cross-examination, use of rehabilitative devices, examination of expert witness, jury selection, opening statements and closing argument. Gives each student, at the end of the term, the opportunity to act as co-counsel in a full trial. Uses video tape recording for critiquing student performance throughout the term.
Trial Techniques I (8204)
Two hours. An introductory trial techniques course that offers students a unique opportunity to learn fundamental trial skills against the backdrop of studying real trials. For example, through the study of video footage and trial transcripts, allows students to examine trial techniques as they were executed in the O.J. Simpson civil and criminal trials and the Timothy McVeigh trial. Provides students the opportunity to study one of the greatest opening statements ever given: the prosecution’s opening in the McVeigh trial. Likewise, shows students unforgettable video footage of the execution of specific trial techniques in the Simpson criminal trial. Includes footage of F. Lee Bailey’s cross examination of Mark Fuhrman, Christopher Darden’s direct examination of a key witness and Johnnie Cochran’s closing argument. Taught by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shane Read, who is author of a trial advocacy textbook, Winning at Trial. Bases grades on student performances throughout the term (such as opening statement, direct examination, cross examination and closing argument) and class participation. Preclusions: This course is an alternative to Trial Advocacy for students who are interested in a trial skills class but who do not have time to devote the four hours required for the full course. There is nevertheless substantial overlap, such as opening statement, direct examination, cross examination and closing argument. However, in addition to the subjects covered in this class, Trial Advocacy includes voir dire
, impeachment, the introduction and use of exhibits and a final full jury trial downtown. Students who have taken Trial Advocacy may not take this class, and students who take this class may not take Trial Advocacy.
Water Law (8211)
Two hours. A survey of water law examining concepts of ownership and rights of use, statutory and common law rules for allocating and administering surface and underground water rights, environmental protections of water resources, shared public and private uses of water, competing claims of governmental entities and transboundary conflicts.
White Collar Crime (7205, 7305)
Two or three hours. An advanced criminal law course that covers the substantive law of federal white collar crime including conspiracy, mail fraud, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization, public corruption, money laundering, financial institution fraud, tax fraud and environmental crime. Also addresses issues of corporate and executive criminal liability and parallel civil/criminal proceedings.
Wills and Trusts (6495)
Four hours. Functional examination of state and interstate succession; execution and revocation of wills; testamentary capacity, undue influence, mistake and fraud; failure of devises and legacies; creation of express trusts; resulting and constructive trusts; spendthrift trusts; charitable trusts; rights, duties and powers of settlers, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts; liabilities of trustees to third persons; termination of trusts; class gifts; powers of appointment; rule against perpetuities; administration of estates and trusts; principal dispositive instruments employed in the wealth transfer process; role of taxation; and drafting of instruments.
Women in the Law (7361)
Three hours. The study of legal issues that particularly affect women and how the law, in its choices regarding these issues, has helped to form women’s position in American society.
Graduate-level courses that are offered in other graduate or professional schools of the University and are relevant to the studentís program may be taken with approval of the assistant dean for Student Affairs, who shall also determine the Law School credit equivalents to be awarded for such study. No more than six hours may be awarded toward Law School hours required for graduation. For information, see the Registrarís Office.
For transfer from other law schools, see Section III B1, Students Eligible. After entry in this law school, summer courses in other law schools may be taken for transfer of credits with prior approval of the assistant dean for Student Affairs. Transfer credits may be earned in regular terms only in extraordinary circumstances of demonstrated special need. See Section III G5, Credit for Work Completed at Other Schools. For information, see the Registrarís Office.