Course Descriptions

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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). The class is not open to students who already have taken Commercial Transactions Survey (LAW 501M), or the 4-credit hour Sales and Secured Transactions class.
Prerequisite(s): Contracts. Students who have taken Commercial Transactions Survey or 4-cr. Sales and Secured Transactions may not take this class.

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Sales and Secured Transactions (4)
501N
The course is designed for students interested in some of the basic issues arising under Articles 2 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The course will begin with Sales, and will cover issues to which students are not exposed in the first-year Contracts course, including title and risk of loss. The class also will examine UCC remedies in more depth. The second half of the course will cover Secured Transactions. Students will learn about creation and perfection of security interests, as well as the various rules determining priority among secured creditors. The course also will cover the intersection between Article 9 and the Bankruptcy Code, e.g., preferences.
Prerequisite(s): Students who have taken either Sales and Leases or Secured Transactions may not enroll in the course.

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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.
Prerequisite(s): Students who have taken Sales and Secured Transactions may not take this class.

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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

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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

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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.

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Special Topics in Comp Law: Comparative Constitutional Law (1)
549C
This course covers special topics in law that may be taught in conjunction with MSU Law programs, visiting professors or other reasons.

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Special Topics in Global Food Law (3)
811B
Designed to explore the rapidly evolving technologies, frequent revisions to the global regulatory landscape, and continually changing consumer demands of food law, this online course focuses on current, emerging and controversial issues. The course emphasizes understanding current issues as well as their long term implications. The impact of these changes are felt along the entire food supply chain and a special focus is given to food production and sourcing as well as the policies impacted.
Prerequisite(s): This course is intended for students in the Global Food Law Program.

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Sports and Inequality (2)
609A
This seminar will examine legal and social implications of various forms of discrimination in both professional and amateur sports. Legal efforts to address discrimination in sports based on race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation will be discussed. Specifically, the seminar will dive into racial and gender inequities both on the field and in front offices, gender segregation and exclusion in professional sports, NCAA eligibility criteria, the effects and future of Title IX, sexual orientation discrimination in sports, and sports opportunities for people with disabilities. There will be class discussion postings, presentations, and a final paper and presentation to the class.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

The credit/no credit option cannot be elected.
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Law

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Survey of Hemp (1)
811D
This course provides an overview of the laws and regulations related to hemp at the state and federal levels. Covers the history and decriminalization of hemp. Introduction to agency battles, unique issues encountered in production, various uses of the plant and its extracts, and a look at how the rest of the world views hemp.
Prerequisite(s): This course intended for students in the Global Food Law program only.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Technology Transactions Skills (3)
537T
This course introduces students to the core laws that affecting technology transactions and the way transactions are structured, documented and completed in contemporary transactional legal practice. The course will teach students the rudimentary skills of transactional drafting, including such skills as identifying the objectives or purposes of any given document, drafting to accomplish those objectives or purposes, and negotiating and collaborating to arrive at a final document acceptable to all parties involved in the transaction. Student will learn to analyze, revise and draft contracts in light of the unique substantive legal environment applicable to both consumer-to-business and business-to-business technology transactions.

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The Law of American Chattel Slavery: Origins and Development (2)
541Y
Law played a critical role in creating and perpetuating American chattel slavery. This course examines the origins, development, and legacy of the laws that built and sustained a slave society. It will explore the legal efforts that slaveowners made to protect their property and the role of judges and lawyers in treating people as property. This class will also examine resistance to slavery through the legal system, following abolitionists, politicians, and enslaved people as they attempted to make a legal case for freedom. The historical law of slavery will be placed into context in light of its continued relevance for American law.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Topics in Constitutional Law: International Perspectives on Speech (2)
579U
This course will examine a number of free speech issues in a variety of democratic countries. There will also be a paper that meets the ULWR.
The first half of the course will examine material in the course text. The second half will consist of presentations of student papers.

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Topics in Constitutional Law: Leadership Transitions (2)
579U
The seminar will examine the following hypothesis, using historical patterns across dimensions of political systems, as well as organizational settings: In democracies, defined as non-dictatorships with some element of consent in the social and political culture for the selection of leaders, there must be a basis for forced endings of leader terms of office. A particular focus will be the use of votes of no confidence in nonprofit institutions to force the expulsion of leaders against the preferences of the governing body.

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Topics in Constitutional Law: Presidential Powers (2)
579U
This course examines the scope and limits of presidential power in the United States. It considers leading theories of presidential power, including unitary executive theory, and covers related topics such as executive orders, presidential pardons, diplomatic appointments and foreign affairs, White House control of the regulatory state, special counsel investigations, executive privilege, and impeachment.


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Topics in Constitutional Law: The Supreme Court's October Term 2021 (2)
579U
This seminar will exam important cases before the Supreme Court in 2021-2022 with a focus on constitutional and public law. Students will be responsible for writing several short reaction papers or judicial opinions along with one in-class presentation. Students may take the class for ULWR credit.

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Topics in Criminal Law: Theories of Punishment (2)
618
This seminar will examine the moral foundations of criminal law and sentencing. The overarching question is this: Why, if at all, is the state entitled to intentionally harm someone when they commit an offense?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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Trademark Counterfeiting (3)
533Y
Trademark counterfeiting is currently one of the most lucrative transnational crimes, with revenue surpassing the illegal drug and weapons trade. The importance in combatting it is becoming increasingly important to industry, the legal community, law enforcement, and government. Trademark counterfeiting has exploded with increased use of e-commerce and continuing globalization of the supply chain and it has become even more challenging to protect a company’s product and brand. Above all, the law, in the US and abroad, is the main basis for keeping this phenomenon at bay. Without incentive for companies to protect their consumers, governments to protect their citizens, and the legitimate business to prevent illicit trade, consumers worldwide can be injured or even die from counterfeits. Additionally, proceeds from the trafficking and sale are linked to organize crimes, narcotrafficking, slave-like labor practices and in some cases terrorism. Both reactive and proactive legal responses will be explored in this class through trademark law, criminal law, and contract law.
Prerequisite(s): Trademark Law and Unfair Competition Law OR Intellectual Property Survey

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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.

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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

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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.

A section fee of $350 will be assessed. This fee supports simulated exercises, including program’s final trials.

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Trial Practice Institute – Scientific Evidence & Legal Technology (3)
623N
Concentration(s): Trial Practice Institute
Scientific Evidence & Legal Technology reviews the maximization of technology in the delivery of legal services. This course requires students to develop a competence in the use of experts during litigation, the e-discovery process, and new legal delivery methods.
Prerequisite(s): 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.

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Trial Practice Institute – Trial Presentation (2)
623M
Concentration(s): Trial Practice Institute
This course reviews the efficient use of courtroom technology and the presentation of electronic evidence, effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and proper courtroom etiquette and decorum during the various stages of litigation.
Prerequisite(s): 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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