MSU College of Law

Course Descriptions

[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]
[View All]

Sales and Leases (3)
501F
This course examines the information and terms, as well as remedies for breach, of contracts for sales of goods, under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The course also examines Article 2A's provisions on leases and provides an overview of the similarities and differences between Article 2 of the UCC and the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods. Other topics that the course may cover include documents of title under Article 7 of the UCC, Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, or the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). Students who have taken Commercial Transactions (LAW 501C) may be ineligible to take this course, so approval from the professor must be obtained to enroll.
Prerequisite(s): Contracts, Contracts I, Contracts II

Top

Scientific Research Regulation (0)
558Y
This seminar will focus on the legal, ethical and regulatory issues surrounding a given aspect of scientific research. Some semesters may focus on a specific technology while others may focus on an issue raised by scientific research in general. Students will work in teams to produce a work product that is useful to the larger MSU research community. Examples of the semester output may include a book, a campus-wide symposium, or a series of white papers to help researchers understand rights and regulations surrounding the topic.
Prerequisite(s): Enrollment by permission only.

Top

Secured Transactions (2)
501E
(Formerly DCL 240)
Covers the process of financing the sale of goods, the secured transaction under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including creation, perfection, priority of security interests in personal property and default procedures.

Top

Secured Transactions and Practice (3)
501J
Students may not elect this course after taking the two credit Secured Transaction course (501E). This course examines the intricacies of a secured transaction under Revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The basic course content is the same as that covered in Secured Transactions (501E) including the creation, perfection and priority of security interests in personal property. Additionally, this course will include a drafting exercise and a more in-depth examination of the secured party’s practice in the bankruptcy arena. Students will draft a security agreement and complete all necessary companion paperwork based upon the sale of a business. Prerequisites: Contracts II (500E) OR Contracts (530B)
Prerequisite(s): Contracts, Contracts II

Top

Securities Regulation I (3)
524B
(Formerly DCL 428)
This course examines the registration requirements applicable to public offers of securities under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Michigan Blue Sky Law. Primary emphasis will be placed upon the various types of securities that are subject to registration and the exemptions from registration requirements. In addition, the course will explore, in further depth, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Business Enterprises may be taken concurrently.
Prerequisite(s): Business Enterprises

Top

Seminar in Race, Law and American Culture: From Slavery to Post Civil Rights (3)
541S
This course examines race history in the United States, with primary reference to the culture and the law affecting African-Americans from slavery to post-Civil Rights. The objective of the course is to provide insight of the evolution of legal doctrine relating to race, examining and critically analyzing continuities and discontinuities; and equip students with the ability to debate, as lawyers and public citizens, the contemporary issues in race relations, with reference to the history of all racial and ethnic minorities and the complications of increasing diversity in racial, ethnic, and cultural traditions in the U.S.

Top

Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience (3)

This course will provide an introduction to the nervous system for individuals enrolled in the Neuroscience and the Law graduate certificate program as well as other non-science graduate programs (e.g., Social Science, Criminal Justice, Law School) and lifelong education students.
Prerequisite(s): This class is limited to students in the Neuroscience and the Law Graduate Certificate Program.

Top

Special Topics in Comp Law: Comparative Constitutional Law (2)
549C
This course covers special topics in law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU Law programs, visiting professors or other reasons.

Top

Special Topics in Neuroscience and the Law (0)

This new course will examine ways in which the field of neuroscience and the field of law intersect.
Prerequisite(s): This course will be available to individuals enrolled in the Neuroscience and the Law graduate certificate program as well as other graduate programs and lifelong education students.

Top

Sports Law (2)
609
(Formerly DCL 351)
This course explores the legal structure of and problems surrounding amateur and professional sports leagues and associations. Included will be an examination of the role of the collective bargaining process, representation of the professional athlete, individual contracts and arbitration in professional sports, anti-trust law implications and common problem areas, including the particular place of tort and criminal law in professional and amateur sports. 

Top

State and Local Government Law (2)
579N
(Formerly DCL 354)
This course considers the organization of municipal corporations, their powers and the limitations on such powers. Also considered are property interests of governmental units, their liability for torts, and the acts of their officers and employees.

Top

State and Local Taxation (2)
572B
Concentration(s): Tax
This course involves the study of the requirements of uniformity and equality and certain other constitutional limitations on state and local taxes, ad valorem property taxes, commerce clause and import and export restrictions on state taxes, business taxes, due process clause restrictions on state taxes, exemptions from taxation and tax procedure. Specific coverage of Michigan income taxes of individuals and corporations and the Michigan inheritance tax is also included.

Top

Strategic International Transactions (3)
512G
This course introduces students to an array of contemporary issues which can be encountered in cross border transactions, including acquisitions, joint ventures and foreign direct investment, project finance, international equity financing transactions, overseas activities of NGOs, etc. The course will discuss broad questions relating to international transactions generally, such as corruption, money laundering, currency risk, political upheavals, dispute resolution, etc. Students select a current international topic or question of particular interest to research and will make a formal presentation of their paper.

Top

Street Law - Teaching Law to High School Students (3)
630K
The class is a three-credit course and includes up to 12 law students who teach in pairs in various Lansing high school social studies classes. The substance of the course utilizes discussion of landmark Supreme Court cases in the context of hypothetical fact patterns that relate to the high school students' lives. The topics of the classes can include the American Legal System, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law. The law student instructors use interactive teaching methodologies such as small group exercises, role plays, and simulations of legal proceedings that the student instructors practice in a weekly seminar at the law school. The course has two components: a 100-minute weekly seminar, and a field component in which the law students teach in one-hour increments. Law students are responsible for developing lesson plans and executing those plans once the plans are approved by both the Law School faculty member and the high school teacher. Students' grades are based in part on their performance during the training and seminar portions of the course and in part on their performance in the high school classrooms that are monitored by the law school faculty member.

Enrollment in this course is by permission only. The credit/no credit option cannot be elected.
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Law

Top

Survey of Intellectual Property in Agriculture (3)
810N
This course is a survey of the intellectual property concepts that are important in the Agriculture Industry. Beginning with an introduction to intellectual property generally, the class will focus on utility patents, plant patents, and Plant Variety Act certificates, including international perspectives. Trade secrets and trademarks will also be discussed. Once students are grounded in the applicable intellectual property law, the class will turn its focus to the impact that intellectual property rights have on access to food products and food safety. No scientific or other class pre-requisites are required. 
Prerequisite(s): This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Top

Tax Clinic I (4)
630C
(Formerly DCL 476)
Students enrolled in Tax Clinic I become "client ready" by representing clients with respect to a broad range of federal, state, and local tax controversies. Students advocate for their clients by working through a variety of administrative determinations, as well as by routinely participating in collection due process and Appeals hearings before the Internal Revenue Service and informal conferences before the Michigan Department of Treasury. In addition, they litigate cases in the United States Tax Court, the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the United States District Courts, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Michigan appellate courts. Students also counsel ESL taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code, and engage in numerous outreaches designed to educate the public about tax issues and requirements. All work takes place under the guidance and close supervision of experienced clinical faculty. Class sessions focus not only on substantive tax issues, but also on professional development, ethical considerations, policy matters, and client and case management. Students must work a minimum of 196 hours - in addition to class time - during the semester, and are expected to participate in a one-day orientati1n scheduled before the beginning of the semester.

Prerequisite(s): For students admitted before Fall 2011, Research, Writing & Advocacy I and II; for students admitted in Fall 2011 and later, Research, Writing & Analysis and Advocacy.

Top

Tax Clinic II (4)
630D
(Formerly DCL 515)
Tax Clinic II is a continuing opportunity to students who have successfully completed coursework in Tax Clinic I to enable them to further refine their skills in counseling and representing clients, to take on more complex assignments, and to assist in mentoring Tax Clinic I students. Students must work a minimum of 196 hours during the semester.
Prerequisite(s): Tax Clinic I

Top

Tax Policy Seminar (2)
572D
(Formerly DCl 517)
This seminar covers a range of tax policy issues arising from Federal Taxation. The specific issues studied will vary but, in general, will focus on progressivity and redistribution. Topics likely to be covered include: the use of the income tax as a fiscal policy tool; the concept of income; imputed income; progressive versus flat tax rates; taxation of families; income versus consumption taxation; tax expenditures, exclusions, and deductions; taxation of business and investment income; capital gains and losses; and transfer or wealth taxes. A paper will be required. The topic will be determined after consultation with the instructor.

Top

Technology Enhanced Trial Advocacy (0)
623G
Concentration(s): Trail Practice Institute
In lieu of tuition, a fee that is not covered by an MSU Law scholarship is assessed for this course. Contact the Trial Practice Institute office at 517-432-6969 to obtain the fee amount. This lab provides hands on training in the efficient uses of courtroom technology and the presentation of electronic evidence. The primary objective of the lab is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to efficiently use electronic evidence in pre-trial and trial litigation. Students enrolled in the Trail Practice Institute are given priority enrollment. 

Top

The Distressed Firm (2)
506J
This is a skills-based course that takes a cradle-to-grave perspective on a small business firm. Students play various roles throughout the semester, including counsel for the firm. There is no final exam; instead, students draft several short memos evaluating various courses of action for the firm. The course begins with the students evaluating the best entity form for the business and determining how to obtain financing. As the firm grows, the students must evaluate whether to acquire a related business; the acquisition, however, raises basic questions about directors’ fiduciary duties. For the final project, students must evaluate various strategies for dealing with the firm’s financial distress, including an out-of-court workout, reorganization through chapter 11, or liquidation through chapter 7 or a chapter 11 liquidating plan.
Prerequisite(s): Business Enterprises 3 or 4 credits

Top

Topics in Comparative Copyright (1)
535J
This course will expose students, from a comparative perspective, different national treatments of copyright and trademark law. Beginning with an examination of various justifications for IP protection, the court sees how countries share and differ over the purposes and function of copyright law and trademark within their jurisdictions. Special attention will be paid to the role of IP in protecting food and local cultural production.

Top

Topics in Constitutional Law (0)
579U
Special topics in constitutional law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU law program

Top

Topics in Constitutional Law: Judicial Biographies (2)
579U
This course will be an examination of the form, sources, and purpose of judicial biographies and other primary materials about judges, with particular reference to the U.S. Supreme Court. Students will study inside stories of the Supreme Court or other courts, archival materials from judges’ papers, and historical interpretations of the dynamics among judges within court and by judges with political actors.

Top

Topics in Constitutional Law: Comparative Citizenship (1)
579U
After providing an overview of the ways in which individuals become citizens in a formal sense, this course will explore what citizenship means in a substantive sense and how those meanings have been created and changed through constitutional provisions, legislation, and judicial interpretation in various democracies.

Top

Topics in Criminal Law: The Criminal Jury Today (2)
618
The jury plays a central part in U.S. civil and criminal law. How it functions affects the system both directly in individual jury trials and indirectly by influencing incentives to settle cases out of court. This seminar will examine the functions and performance of the contemporary civil and criminal jury system. The course emphasizes empirical research assessing jury selection and how the jury carries out its legally defined role. The course examines its contemporary and historical legal position. By studying juries function and behave, students will gain insight into both how to communicate with jurors and how to approach policy issues that arise with respect to the proper role of the jury. This is a reading-intensive seminar in which student participation in discussion forms a central component in the evaluation of students.

Top

Topics in Cyberlaw from an International Perspective (1)
535K
This course will cover international aspects of cyber law, including problems in international jurisdiction, the Conventional on Cybercrime, the role of ICAAN in internet regulation, and the WIPO Internet Domain Name resolution process. In addition, we will cover several issues in international e-commerce, such as international recognition of valid e-signatures. Students will examine how the unique features of the internet affect both international and national regulatory regimes.

Top

Topics in European Private Law and Intellectual Property Law (2)
535M
This course is intended to provide students with the basic knowledge and general understanding of fundamental concepts in European private law and particularly in European intellectual property law. Where appropriate the course includes comparisons to the US law. In addition, the course aims at identifying specific issues in the field of IP which emerged in the course of Croatian preparation for the accession to the European Union.

Top

Topics in Family Law (2)
541R
This course covers special topics in law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU law programs, visiting professors or for other reasons.

Top

Topics in Intellectual Property (0)

This course covers special topics in law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU law programs, visiting professors or for other reasons.

Top

Topics in International IP (1)
535G
This course will examine how international legal regimes affect international property rights on a global basis. The course will cover the major IP regimes: copyright, patent, and trademark. The course will pay special attention to the TRIPS Agreement, how it affects national IP regulation and how it works as an international treaty mechanism. Other topics will include exhaustion of trademarks, different national approaches to the protection of data, and geographical indicators.

Top

Topics in International Law (0)
548Z
Special topics in international law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU law program

Top

Topics In Professional Responsibility (2)
500U
This course covers special topics in law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU law programs, visiting professors or for other reasons.

Top

Topics in Property Law: Eminent Domain Seminar (2)
533W
This seminar focuses on eminent domain and condemnation issues.


Top

Topics in Tort Law (0)
525B
Special topics in tort law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU law program.

Top

Topics in Tort Law: Advanced Products Liability (2)
525B
This is a seminar course involving advanced product liability law topics. The course will examine current and recent case studies of high-profile litigation to dissect complex design, failure to warn, and misrepresentation theories of liability; affirmative defenses including preemption; mass tort litigation involving personal injury; and litigation for pure economic loss. Students will also learn about Congressional investigations involving defective products; governmental agency investigations and imposition of civil penalties; and criminal investigations and penalties. Measures to avoid or reduce liability will also be explored. Students will select a topic from one of the case studies for preparation of a paper and presentation for class discussion.

Top

Torts I (4)
500R
(Formerly DCl 141)
The study of the protection that the law affords against interference by others with one's person, property or intangible interest. It is broadly divisible into three areas of liability: intentional interference, negligence and strict liability. Specific tort actions and defenses are analyzed. Each is examined in the context of underlying social and economic factors that provide the framework in which law develops and social conflict is managed.

Top

Torts II (3)
525
This course surveys specialized torts such as nuisance, defamation, privacy, civil rights, misuse of legal procedure, misrepresentation, interference with advantageous relationships, torts in the age of statutes, and alternative compensation systems.
Prerequisite(s): Torts

Top

Trade Secrets (2)
535N
Trade secret law is the black sheep of United States IP laws because it originates in state common law, not federal statutory law. Highly influenced by the uniform statute and restatement movements, trade secret law has become somewhat consistent across the fifty states, becoming a coherent and important body of law. Trade secrets are arguably the most widespread of IP protections and can cover subject matter that patent and copyright cannot such as formulas, recipes, and customer lists. This course is intended to provide students with a thorough background in the central principles of trade secret law. 

Top

Trademark Law and Unfair Competition Law (2)
533N
(Formerly DCL 461)
This course addresses current issues and developments such as the constitutional foundations and limitations of trademark protection, domain names and cybersquatting.

Top

Trial Competition (2)
627R
This is a performance and presentation-based course that serves as the intensive training component for the law school’s Mock Trial Team. The course covers the mechanics of trial practice with a focus on preparation for interscholastic or bar association competitions. Topics in the course include development of case theory, effective advocacy skills, and appropriate professional conduct. Students must complete at least 24 credits to be eligible for invitation to participate.
Prerequisite(s): Research, Writing and Analysis, and Advocacy Permission Only

Top

Trial Practice Institute - Trial I (3)
623D
(Formerly DCL 534)
Must be in the Trial Practice Institutue program.
Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.

Top

Trial Practice Institute-Pretrial II (2)
623C
(Formerly DCL 513)
Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program. Pretrial II focuses on the fundamental approaches of persuasion, elements of advocacy and methods of effective presentation. The class is divided into four teams of four people which are then assigned depositions of witnesses in a problem with fact, lay and expert witnesses. At the conclusion of the deposition phase of the problem, motions in limine are prepared and argued by each team. Additionally, a facilitative mediation brief is prepared by all teams and argued. At the conclusion of the class, opening statements are prepared and presented by each one of the teams. The students will be prepared at the end of the course for the elements of the Trial I course that will commence in the second year of the program. Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program.

Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.

Top

Trial Practice Institute-Trial II (3)
623E
(Formerly DCL 542 and DCL 565, Formerly Trial Practice Institute-Trial IIA and Trial Practice Institute-Trial IIB )

Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program. This course caps the trial training program at Michigan State University-DCL College of Law. The purpose of the course is to provide graduating seniors with the opportunity to use the skills and education they have received to handle a complete criminal case, from their initial interview with the client (or making the charging decision based upon a law enforcement investigation and request for warrant). This program is unique in that the defendant, law enforcement witnesses, civilian witnesses, and expert witnesses will be students from the Michigan State University, Department of Theatre. The expert witnesses will be students from the Michigan State University Medical School. The objective for all students involved is to have hands on experience related to their particular college and curriculum at Michigan State University. Law students will have an opportunity to take a criminal case from start to finish, investigating the facts of the case, preparing for all aspects of the case through the development of the theory of the case, interviewing witnesses, conducting the preliminary examination, motion practice and culminating with the trial itself. The goal is to provide an opportunity to put into practice what students have learned over their law school career at MSU College of Law. Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program.

Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.

Top

Trial Practice Institute: Pre-Trial I (3)
623B
(Formerly DCL 506)
Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program.
Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.

Top

Trial Practice Institute: Trial Practicum (0)
623J
This course will provide the foundation for trial work to all TPI students, but is designed for TPI students who do not have advocacy experience through the Moot Court & Trial Advocacy Board (Board). The course includes instruction on the component parts of a trial, such as opening statement, direct examination, cross examination, and closing argument. It also explores introducing exhibits, impeachment, the mechanics of refreshing recollection, and the recorded recollection hearsay exception. It will also provide students with an opportunity to refine these skills on their feet.

Top

Trial Practice Institute: Expert and Scientific Evidence (2)
623F
(Formerly DCL 543)
This course will present students with a discussion of the nature of forensic science and scientific evidence. Topics include: forensic science, scientific evidence, admissibility of scientific evidence, quality assurance and control. There will also be lectures on certain areas of forensic science that are often the subject of litigation. These include DNA, inferential statistics, traffic accident reconstruction, forensic engineering, forensic pathology, paternity testing and drunk driving. The course meets for 4 hours per week for 7 weeks. Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program.
Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.

Top

Trial Practice Institute: Theatrical Skills - Advocacy as a Performing Art (1)
623A
(Formerly DCL 533)
A 7 week workshop designed to enhance a students' advocacy skills through application of actor training techniques by increasing student awareness of the ability to communicate effectively with both voice and body. The course consists of one 1 hour 50 minute session per week for 7 weeks in which students will participate in various acting exercises and improvisations emphasizing effective use of body language and physical expressiveness, developing spontaneity in presenting prepared material, exploring the rhetorical hooks and vocal nuances essential to persuasive speaking and strengthening storytelling skills. At the end of the workshop, students will present a public speech by a current or historical speaker as if it was an opening or closing argument to a jury. Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program.
Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.

Top

Tribal Law (2)
635E
(This course replaces Advanced Topics in Indian Law: Tribal Law) A survey of the laws that tribes enact to govern themselves. It considers issues ranging from governance (elections, justice systems, and tribal constitutions), to conflicts between individuals (contracts, property, domestic relations, torts), to regulation of a tribal community's economy.

Top

Trusts and Estates (4)
501D
(Formerly Decedents' Estates and Trusts) A study of the pattern of practices for transmitting wealth in view of death. The course surveys probate jurisdiction and administration; intestate succession; limitations on testamentary power; execution requirements for wills; revocation, revalidation and revival of wills; incorporation by reference; contest of wills and related remedies. Also covered are the private express trust, inter vivos and testamentary, including functions, prohibited trust purposes and requisites for creation; informal and incomplete trusts, including resulting, constructive and savings bank trusts; termination of trusts; gifts to charity, including historical backgrounds, nature of charitable purposes
and cy pres; powers and duties of the fiduciary; and remedies of beneficiaries in case of breach of duty.

Top

[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]
[View All]