MSU College of Law

Course Descriptions

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E-Discovery (2)
537D
This course teaches students the law, theory, and practice of discovery of electronically stored documents and information. The course covers both the federal and Michigan state law governing the production of electronic documents, privilege, motions to compel, and protective orders—as well as the applicable professional standards. Students will be provided a theoretical understanding of the dominant computer algorithmic techniques used in e-discovery (search terms and predictive coding) as well as the legal, ethical, and technological problems each presents. Emphasis will be on hands-on work with e-discovery software.

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Education Law (2)
579D
(Formerly DCL 456)
This course provides an overview of students’ rights in K-12 public schools in the United States with a focus on federal constitutional law. Specific topics covered can include free speech, search and seizure, racial and ethnic equity including desegregation, gender equity, corporal punishment, school finance, and federal statutory law including the No Child Left Behind Act. The course can be benefit individuals interested in representing districts or students, and also those who may represent a public sector client, even if employed by a private firm.

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Effective Legal Analysis & Process (1)
530P
The purpose of this course is to build the critical skills necessary to succeed in law school and on the bar exam. Various hands-on activities will help students master skills such as careful reading, issue spotting, structuring an answer, managing time, balancing the analysis of a close question, and taking both multiple choice and essay tests.

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Election Law (2)
579E
(Formerly DCL 318)
This course involves the study of election issues, including voting; redistricting; candidacy, ballots and ballot access; party organization; initiative, referendum and recall; campaign finance; and recounts.


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Employment Law (3)
511C
(Formerly DCL 522)
This is an introductory employment law course, which will begin with the
foundations of employment law, including an examination of the employment relationship and terms and conditions of employment. A substantial portion of the course will cover federal legislation and related case law, such as
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family
and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

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Entrepreneurial Lawyering (2)
537E
This course helps students understand the economic pressures, technological changes, and globalization facing the legal profession in the 21st century, and to assist students in successfully navigating their legal career given these challenges. The course explores the concept of a virtual law practice as well as the use of technology and cloud-computing in building a law practice; free and low-cost resources and tools will be shared that will help the entrepreneur-minded student identify ways to leverage leading-edge technology to defray start-up costs associated with launching a practice and to control overhead. Ethics, licensing, and malpractice issues will also be discussed. The course will be particularly useful for students who are contemplating solo practice, consulting, or engaging in an entrepreneurial venture, as well as those who are considering non-traditional uses for their law degree. Other topics to be covered include client development and networking, case studies of innovative legal services delivery mechanisms and alternative business structures, and work/life balance including the study of emotional intelligence and mindful lawyering practices. This course assumes students may (or may not) arrive with a range of experience in the use of technology we will provide training for everything needed to succeed in this course.

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Environmental Law (3)
566A
(Formerly DCL 323)
This course provides an introduction to the legal principles, institutions, and policy debates central to American environmental regulation. The course begins with an overview of economical and ethical justifications for environmental regulation, historical and contemporary common-law-based approaches to environmental problems, and the evolution of federal environmental law. Next the course surveys the regulatory programs enacted under major environmental statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The course will focus in this connection on differences in the statutory criteria used to determine the stringency of regulation (risk-based, technology-based, and cost-benefit standards), and the choice between direct regulation and economic-incentive-based means of meeting environmental goals. Finally, discussion will turn to the challenges of environmental enforcement, and the role of agencies, courts and citizens groups in the implementation of environmental law.

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Equity (3)
579F
(Formerly DCL 333)
Considered are the history and development of equity, equity jurisdiction, remedies available in equity and contempt powers.
Prerequisite(s): Students who have taken Remedies may not take this class.

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Estate and Gift Taxation (3)
540D
Concentration(s): Tax
(Formerly DCL 381)
This course will examine a decedent's gross estate and the determination of appropriate deductions therefrom, including the marital deduction, as well as how the tax is computed. Issues regarding taxable gifts, deductions, exclusions and exemptions will be explored, as well as computation of gift tax.


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Estate Planning and Drafting Seminar (2)
540B
Concentration(s): Tax
(Formerly DCL 482)
This course focuses on the impact of federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes on will and trust drafting. Various aspects of Michigan law and state tax issues also will be covered. There will be several drafting assignments as well as a paper analyzing and making recommendations concerning a complex estate planning problem. EITHER Basic Income Tax A OR Basic Income Tax B fulfills the prerequisite, along with Property and Decedents' Estates and Trusts.
Prerequisite(s): Basic Income Taxation A, Basic Income Taxation B, Decedents' Estates and Trusts, Property

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Estates and Future Interests Drafting Seminar (3)
540C
(Formerly DCL 491)
This is a three (3) hour course with enrollment limited to 15 students. The course is designed to provide an understanding of estates and future interests and how they are used in property transfers. Focus is on intensive in-class drafting of the carefully crafted language necessary for the creation of the various interests by deed, will or trust. The legal and practical consequences of each of the interests created are also studied. It is believed that the in-class drafting component makes for a greater comprehension of the materials. Accordingly, class attendance is strongly encouraged. The course will have a written final examination.

The subject matter of the course is one of examination both on the Multistate Bar Examination and many state essay examinations, including the Michigan Bar Examination. The course should have particular appeal to those who may practice in the areas of real estate law or estate planning.

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European Union Law (3)
548C
(Formerly DCL 447)
This course provides an introduction to the legal institutions of the European Economic Community. The subjects covered include the Treaty of Rome and other relevant legal instruments, the major institutions and characteristics of community law, internal community policies, external trade policies, competition law and the future of the community. A student may not take both this and Constitutional Law of the European Union.


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Evidence (4)
500P
(Formerly DCL 220)
A study of the means and methods of proof or disproof of a proposition as either permitted, required or prohibited under the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence. The rules respecting problems of remoteness and prejudice of evidence, circumstantial proof, the employment of writings, their authentication and proof of their contents. A study in depth of hearsay evidence and its status in the evidence. A thorough inquiry into the so-called "evidential preferences" of our legal system and the deficiencies of hearsay evidence as related to these preferences.


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Evidence and the Expert Witness (3)
617D
This course introduces graduate students in scientific and technical disciplines to the process of serving as an expert in a judicial proceeding. In addition to exploring the fundamentals of trial practice and the principles governing the admissibility of expert testimony, students will undergo various practical exercises in conjunction with a hypothetical case, including preparing an expert report and testifying at trial as an expert witness. This course for graduate students only.

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Family Law: Child, Family and the State (3)
541F
(Formerly Family Law II; Child, Family and the State) This course examines a host of issues confronting today's modern families. For example, we will discuss how to define family - including marriage and parenthood - in the 21st century. Some specific topics include: defining family for distribution of "family" benefits; balancing work and family; paternity; domestic violence; child abuse and neglect; surrogacy; adoption; and artificial insemination. Students may take Family Law: Child, Family, and State and Family Law: Marriage & Divorce in any order or at the same time.

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Family Law: Marriage & Divorce (3)
541E
(Formerly Family Law I: Marriage & Divorce) This course examines laws governing entry into marriage, access to divorce, the economics of divorce (property distribution, alimony and child support), child custody, premarital agreements, and cohabitation. Students may take Family Law: Marriage & Divorce and Family Law: Child, Family, and State in any order or at the same time.

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Federal Investigation and Prosecution (2)
616E
Students will be introduced to nearly all aspects of federal criminal investigation, including identifying crimes, analyzing constitutional requirements, using a Grand Jury, dealing with cooperators and informants, engaging in undercover operations, using electronic surveillance, choosing the correct charging procedure, obtaining search and arrest warrants, and managing ethical obligations in an investigation. Students will learn how to apply the evidence obtained from an investigation in a federal prosecution. Students will learn how to analyze complex statues, argue a detention hearing, engage in plea negotiations, apply the federal sentencing guidelines, advocate at trial and sentencing, and manage ethical obligations in a prosecution.
Prerequisite(s): Criminal Procedure I

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Federal Jurisdiction (3)
579G
(Formerly DCL 349)
The focus of this course is the operation of the federal court system. It will cover not only the usual bases of federal court jurisdiction, such as diversity, federal questions and removal, but also other doctrines that impact federal courts, including standing, ripeness, mootness, abstention and state sovereign immunity. Significant attention will be focused on federal litigation under the Civil Rights Acts. This course will be of benefit to those intending to practice in federal courts and to those seeking a federal court clerkship.
Prerequisite(s): Civil Procedure

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Federal Law and Indian Tribes (3)
635B
(Formerly DCL 486)
An examination of the law and policy of the United States regarding Indian tribes and their citizen members. Study the relationships between the federal, state, and tribal governments; and examine the source and scope of federal, state and tribal authority in Indian Country




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Food and Drug Law (2)
558B
(Formerly DCL 357)
This course is designed to provide a basic working knowledge of domestic laws regulating food, drugs, cosmetics, biologics/blood and medical devices. It has an administrative overtone, providing an understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the FDA, industry, consumer interest groups and Congress.


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Food Law Current Issues Seminar (2)
810S
Food law is a dynamic area of law, with rapidly evolving technologies, frequent revisions to the global regulatory landscape, and continually changing consumer demands. This course augments a three-day seminar on current and emerging issues food law. The course requires students to engage with expert speakers and with one another to analyze international, transnational, and national food law and policy. Emphasis is placed on understanding the cutting-edge and controversial aspects of food law and policy. The course will be offered to students in the Global Food Law Program and will be offered online, as is typical of all courses in the program.

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Food Regulation in Asia (3)
810J
This online course provides students with an overview of the systems of food regulation practiced in Asia, including some of the cultural and social-economic factors which influence the regulation of food products in the specific region.

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Food Regulation in Canada (3)
810C
This course is designed for anyone who must understand the legal and regulatory complexities of the flow of food and agricultural products as they make their way from the farm gate to the grocery store shelves in Canada. This course will examine federal statutes and regulations including the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act, the Fish Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Act.
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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Food Regulation in Latin America (3)
810G
This online course is designed to introduce food industry professionals and university level students to food law and regulation as it is currently practiced in Latin America. Perspectives from regulatory, commercial and consumer interests will be taken into account. The events taking place in Latin America in food law and regulation will be linked, when appropriate, to the broader movements underway in other regions and on an international basis.
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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Food Regulation in the European Union (3)
810B
This online course enables students to study the factors influencing the development of food regulation in the EU. By making full use of the internet, students will gain access to relevant documentation in support of their professional needs and, having followed the course, students will be able to make an informed interpretation of the content.
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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Food Regulation in the U.S. (3)
810A
An online course designed for anyone who must understand the legal and regulatory complexities of the regulation of food products in the United States including issues such as food and food safety regulation, regulatory compliance, HACCP, the regulation of genetic modifications, food additive regulation, food labeling, dietary supplements, the protection of the food supply, and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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Foundations of Law (1)
530K
The primary focus of this course is to provide first-year students with an introduction to the study of law, with preliminary exposure to legal reasoning, the structure of the American legal system, and fundamental legal-theoretical concepts. This course also seeks to put students who come to the law from a variety of academic backgrounds on a more equal footing.

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Foundations of Law and Legal Research (2)
807A
This online course provides an introduction to the American legal system with a special focus on the research and writing needs of international scholars and non-lawyers (focus on American jurisprudence and Global Food Law).
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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FSMA FSVP Rule (2)
810V
This course provides students with the legal perspective of FDA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program of the Food Safety Modernization Act. This course has an administrative overtone, providing an understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the Food and Drug Administration, industry, consumer interest groups, and science communities.
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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FSMA Preventive Controls Rule (2)
810W
This course provides students with the legal perspective of FDA’s Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. This course has an administrative overtone, providing an understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the Food and Drug Administration, industry, consumer interest groups, and science communities.
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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FSMA Produce Safety Rule (0)
810X
This course provides students with the legal perspective of FDA’s Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. This course has an administrative overtone, providing an understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the Food and Drug Administration, industry, consumer interest groups, and science communities.
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

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[A-B, C-D, E-F, G-H, I-J, K-L, M-N, O-P, Q-R, S-T, U-V, W-X, Y-Z]
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