Course Descriptions, Taking and Defending Depositions - Wrongful Convictions
Taking and Defending Depositions
LW 907; 1 hour. This is a course in effective questioning strategies and techniques in deposition practice. Students will gain hands-on skills experience in taking and defending depositions. Topics to be covered include deposition strategy, preparation of the deponent, dealing with the difficult lawyer opponent, using exhibits during the deposition, furthering the case theory in depositions, and gaining the maximum of helpful information from the witness, including admissions. Students will attend classroom sessions, practice their skills in small workshop groups and review videotapes of their performances. The course will be graded.
Prerequisite(s): Evidence and either Trial Advocacy or ITAP.
Tax Policy Seminar
LW 823; 2 hours. The broad impact of tax legislation makes tax policy a topic relevant to every individual, business, and governmental entity in this country. This seminar focuses on the purposes presented as support for various tax regimes and specific tax laws. Students study and discuss statutes and regulations, legislative and administrative history, case law, and law review articles about tax policy and write and present a tax policy article.
Prerequisite(s): Taxation of Individual Income.
Taxation by State and Local Governments
LW 788; 2 hours. Surveys structure and concepts in sales, use, income, gross receipts, corporate franchise and property taxation. The course also focuses on interstate allocation or apportionment of tax burdens and the constitutional limitations of state taxing power.
Prerequisite(s): Taxation of Individual Income (recommended).
Taxation of Business Enterprises
LW 940; 3 hours. This course covers the tax consequences of forming, operating, and liquidating business enterprises. It will illustrate the effect tax law has on business and economic decisions, such as choice of legal entity, forms of compensation, and modes of distributing assets to enterprise owners. The course is essential for any person who will do transactional work in practice.
Prerequisite(s): Taxation of Individual Income.
Taxation of Gratuitous Transfers, Estates, and Trusts
LW 793; 3 hours. Transfers by gift during an individual's life and at the time of an individual's death are subject to federal tax laws. Income of trusts and estates is also subject to federal tax laws. This course focuses on the federal tax laws covering gifts and transfers at the time of death and the taxation of income of estates and trusts.
Prerequisite(s): Taxation of Individual Income. Recommended: Decedents' Estates, Trusts and Future Interests.
Taxation of Individual Income
LW 790; 3 hours. This course introduces students to federal tax law. In the context of federal income taxation, the course focuses on the essential legal skills of reading, understanding, and applying statutes (the Internal Revenue Code) and administrative regulations. The prevalence of tax law makes the course important for every area of legal practice. The course will help students develop essential legal skills and also to spot tax issues that arise in numerous contexts. Students who wish to take additional tax courses should take this course during their second year because it is a prerequisite to most other tax courses.
LW 725; 4 hours. A survey of civil wrongs arising from breaches of legally imposed duties. The initial focus is on the intentional torts of assault, battery, false imprisonment, mental distress, conversion and trespass. The focus then turns to exploration of liability for negligently caused physical harm covering areas of general duty of care, breach, cause-in-fact, proximate cause, defenses and special or limited duties of care. There will be limited exploration of strict liability, products liability and protection of economic and dignitary interests such as defamation, malicious prosecution, fraud, and civil rights.
LW 707; 3 hours. This course teaches students a systematic approach to drafting legal documents associated with various types of transactions. By completing a variety of drafting exercises, students will learn to identify issues, further develop the analytical ability to research and isolate applicable substantive legal principles, and use the substantive law to draft documents designed to accomplish clients' goals. Drafting exercises will be reviewed and critiqued to provide students feedback as they practice identifying relevant legal principles and applying sound drafting techniques used by effective transactional lawyers.
Trial Advocacy (Intensive Trial Advocacy Program)
LW 766; 2 hours. This course concentrates on the trial phase of a civil and a criminal case. Emphasis is placed on development of skills and techniques for planning and trying a hypothetical case. Each student performs exercises with critiques from the instructor and group discussions and each participates in a full jury trial. Outstanding (equivalent of A work), credit (equivalent of C work), no-credit.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent enrollment in Evidence.
Trial Advocacy Competition
LW 805; 1-2 hours. Open to students who have participated in an inter-law-school trial competition. Students who participate as advocates may receive one hour credit for each competition, for a total of two credits during law school. Students who only participate as witnesses may also receive credit, but may not earn more than one hour of credit for being a witness during law school as well as one hour of credit for participating as an advocate, if applicable. To receive any credit, participants must develop a substantial trial notebook for the competition. Credit, no-credit.
Tribal Court Practice
LW 909; 2 hours. This course is designed to examine the jurisdictional questions that Tribal Court practitioners confront when practicing law in Indian country or on behalf of tribes and individuals, regardless of whether the individual is an Indian. The course will consider issues faced by general practitioners in the current and developing legal environment. Students will begin to explore the threshold questions of whether federal law delegates or deprives tribes of jurisdiction, whether a dispute arose in the territorial jurisdiction of the tribe, whether the tribal court has subject matter, personal and/or in rem jurisdiction under federal law, and whether the tribal court has jurisdiction under tribal law. Students will also consider questions of comity, full faith and credit and sovereign immunity of tribes. The course will also focus on the details of the practice of law before the tribal courts on a regular basis. As the analytical framework develops, the course will explore a wide range of practical issues including where to file an action if there is concurrent jurisdiction as well as Indian and tribal law issues arising in family law matters, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and other civil actions, such as personal injury, labor law and some taxations questions.
Tribal Law and Government
LW 941; 2-3 hours. U.S. lawyers increasingly find themselves representing clients in matters involving tribal courts, governments, lands, and citizens. This course will introduce students to the internal law and governance systems of the approximately 566 sovereign Indigenous nations located within the borders of the United States. Students will explore a rich variety of constitutional, executive, legislative, and judicial models. The class will also study various Indigenous North American approaches to substantive areas such as juvenile justice, environmental regulation, criminal sentencing, and so on. This course will provide critical knowledge to future practitioners in many fields, such as energy law, family law, and commercial litigation and transactions. It will also broaden skills in reading foreign law, navigating our complex federal legal system, understanding the legal challenges faced by developing nations, and gaining literacy in multi-cultural legal perspectives.
LW 955; 3 hours. This course introduces students to the law relating to veterans' benefits, with a heavy emphasis on disability benefits. The course provides an opportunity for students to learn the basics of a very complex body of law affecting a significant minority of Americans. Students will explore a complex and highly integrated area of administrative law. They will become acquainted with the peculiar interrelationship of fact, statute, regulation, administrative procedure and judicial oversight which is the hallmark of practice in this area. In the course of so doing, they will learn how a government department operates in dealing with one of its important mandates. Moreover, examining how veterans' disability law developed historically will teach them how the absence of independent judicial review can frustrate both Congressional good intentions and the mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure. Recommended: Evidence and Administrative Law.
LW 742; 3 hours. This course explores the way rights to use are allocated in the various jurisdictions of the United States. It examines acquisition and exercise of water rights, statutory procedures of acquisition, comparison of riparian rights and appropriation rights. This course also deals with the difficult issues of ground water, surface water run-off, interstate water allocation and management, and matters of federal and Indian water rights.
White Collar Crime
LW 936; 2-3 hours. This course examines the statutes, doctrinal developments, social and economic issues that are essential features of white collar crime. The course will venture well beyond the first-year Criminal Law survey course, while extending principles of conspiracy, theft, and mens rea concepts permitting derivative criminal liability. Topics include the jurisprudence of white collar crime, criminal liability of corporations and corporate executives, mail and wire fraud, tax and securities fraud, false claims against the government, money laundering and asset forfeiture. Throughout the course, students will be challenged to consider how the information learned in the course could be applied to better represent clients and to consider alternative approaches with potential to yield favorable outcomes that advance client interests and address the policies underlying criminal liability.
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Law.
LW 781; 2 hours. The primary focus of this course is workers' compensation statutes although other selected areas concerning economic protection of employees, such as Social Security Insurance and Unemployment Insurance, may also be included.
Writing for Law Practice
LW 901; 3 hours. This course is designed to supplement the first-year curriculum by strengthening legal writing, analysis, and critical thinking skills. Students will learn to apply principles of logical analysis, plain English, and proper planning, organization, and drafting by preparing legal documents commonly assigned to new law firm associates. Students will be expected to develop a portfolio of graded writing assignments for a variety of audiences, including but not limited to client letters, dispositive motions, proposed jury instructions, and judicial opinions. The focus of the course is the enhancement of analytical writing skills for law practice. Enrollment is limited to 18 students.
Prerequisite(s): Legal Analysis, Research and Writing I and II.
LW 935; 3 hours. This course studies the impact and incidence of critical errors in the administration of criminal justice that can lead to convicting people of crimes they did not commit. Among the causes of wrongful convictions covered are faulty eyewitness identification, questionable testimony of jailhouse snitches and informants, police and prosecutorial misconduct, racial bias, ineffective assistance of counsel, false confessions, reliability in the use of DNA evidence, and "junk" science (e.g., potentially flawed cases involving fingerprint analysis, lead bullet fragment analysis, and fire/arson analysis). Students will critically examine instances of wrongful conviction and will discuss solutions and reform of the current criminal justice process to reduce the risk of such convictions. The course may include an additional component, allowing students an opportunity to evaluate and study case information in copies of records of possible wrongful convictions furnished to the class by the Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) in Kansas City, Missouri.