(CANON LAW - 1000)
This course introduces the student to the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to an examination of the historical and theoretical foundations of canon law, the course examines certain foundational concepts of the Code of Canon Law as promulgated in 1983. The course examines the general norms for canon law (Book I, canons 1-203), and the juridical structure of the Catholic Church (Book II, canons 204-572), and, in particular, the marriage laws of the Catholic Church (Book IV, canons 1055-1165). Designed for students familiar with the common-law tradition, the course adheres to a comparative methodology, stressing areas of Church law throughout the Code of Canon Law that intersect with American law (e.g., incorporation and tax exemption, conveyance of property, marriage norms). Grades are based upon a final examination.
CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT & THE LAW
(THEORY, HISTORY & STRUCTURE OF LAW - 1060)
This course is designed to offer students an exposure to theories of law and justice based on Catholic social thought as it has developed over the last century. The course will offer students the opportunity to discuss and examine the basic principles of Catholic Social Thought and their justifications in the context of various substantive law areas and will enable students to compare those arguments with the theories traditionally used to defend and critique the American legal system. In exposing students to Catholic Social Thought as it applies to a variety of substantive areas, the course allows students a different way of thinking about legal issues that they address in other courses and equips them to think critically about the liberal state's vision of legal theory. A significant part of the readings for the course will consist of papal encyclicals, Council documents and pastoral letters issued by the American bishops. In addition, for each topic discussed in class, students will read some combination of cases, legislation (and proposed legislation), and secondary source material. Grading in the course will be based on a research paper, weekly reflections pieces on the topic for discussion in that class and on class discussion.
CHILD ADVOCACY CLINIC
(ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 5090)
The Child Advocacy Clinic is a one-semester in-house, live- client, multi-disciplinary clinical program available to second and third year students and evening students after their third semester if they can work in the clinic during the day. The Clinic addresses the needs of children who have been abused and neglected and affords the students the opportunity to develop essential lawyering skills, practical legal knowledge and professional responsibility while serving the Queens community. Students in the Clinic will be assigned to represent children in child abuse and neglect cases in Queens County Family Court. Allegations in these cases include parental drug and alcohol abuse, educational neglect, excessive corporal punishment, domestic violence, inadequate guardianship, parental mental illness, etc. Students provide representation from arraignment through final resolution of the case. Students working with mental health consultants will engage in all professional responsibilities and aspects of representation, such as interviewing, fact investigation, preparation of all legal papers, working with experts, trial preparation, negotiation, field work and trials. The Clinical Professor supervises students in all aspects of
client representation and litigation. Students are required to work in the Clinic 13 hours a week. Additionally, students are required to attend a weekly 2-hour seminar component. The seminar will provide the opportunity for students to learn and develop essential lawyering skills required in client representation, learn substantive areas of law, and participate in roundtable discussions. Students will be selected based upon an interview with the professor and submission of a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcript.
CHILDREN AND THE LAW SEMINAR
(INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS - 1090)
This seminar examines the legal status, rights, and obligations and the allocation of power among the child, the family, and the state in contemporary society. Topics covered include the right to education, parental choice and public school curriculum, the speech rights of minors, reproductive decision-making, medical care, the unique concerns of infancy and adolescence, child abuse and neglect, and the termination of parental rights. The approach used weaves case law together with legal and cross-disciplinary readings that underscore the connections among doctrine, policy, and data. While the focus is on the United States, supplementary materials including the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child encourage students to place the issues in national and global perspective. The final grade is based on class participation, problem-based assignments, and preparation and presentation of a final research paper of substantial scholarly merit, minimum 30 pages in length including notes. Pre-requisite: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
(CIVIL PROCEDURE - 1000)
This first year course is concerned with the statutory and judicially established procedures governing the conduct of civil litigation in the courts, with an emphasis on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The course examines in depth principles of jurisdiction, conflict of laws, pleadings, joinder of parties (including class actions), motions, summary judgment, discovery and the doctrine of preclusion. Grades are based upon a final examination.
CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION SEMINAR
(INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS - 2020)
This seminar will study recent cases under 42 USC sec. 1983 as an example of the judicial process in rapid evolution. Primary emphasis will be on the interaction of substantive with procedural law in this burgeoning area of righting governmental wrongs by litigation. In addition to the nature and scope of citizens' protected rights, discussions may include the role and impact of such problems as governmental immunity, federal-state relations, discovery, evidence, attorneys' fees, damages, and the relation of sec. 1983 to other available remedies. Grades are based on a research paper.
COLLOQUIUM IN LAW
(CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - 2010)
This seminar invites faculty from outside St. John's to present scholarship around a general theme chosen by the instructor(s). Students will be required to write short "reflection papers" (1500 words each) analyzing the scholarship presented, to discuss these reflection papers in class, and to participate in exchanges with the visiting scholars. Grades will be based on students' reflection papers (70%), class participation (15%), and interaction with the visiting scholars (15%). Enrollment will be based on interviews with the instructor(s) and limited to 16 students. The instructor(s) will make enrollment decisions on the basis of students' academic credentials, demonstrated interest in legal scholarship, and career plans and opportunities.
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 3010)
This course focuses on arbitration as a means of resolving disputes. Topics include construction and enforcement of agreements to arbitrate, the federal and New York statutory schemes governing arbitration, the possible preemption of the state law of arbitration by its federal counterpart, the legal enforceability of arbitral awards, and policy restrictions on the arbitrability of certain types of claims. Emphasis is placed on arbitration outside the highly specialized labor area. Discussion extends to practice as well as theory. Assigned reading is fairly extensive. Grades are based upon a final examination.
COMPLEX BANKRUPTCY LITIGATION SEMINAR
(BANKRUPTCY LAW - 2020)
This course will examine fraudulent conveyances; equitable subordination; substantive consolidation; preferences; confirmation of reorganization plans; and civil RICO, lender, and CERCLA liability. The course will also include issues such as expense management and budgeting; conflicts of interest; and other ethical considerations. Pre-requisite for J.D. students: CREDITORS' RIGHTS or BUSINESS BANKRUPTCY REORGANIZATIONS.
COMPARATIVE BANKRUPTCY SYSTEMS
(BANKRUPTCY LAW - 2010)
This course examines the insolvency systems used by key European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Far Eastern countries and will consider their comparative strengths and weaknesses. Pre-requisite for J.D. students: CREDITORS' RIGHTS.
COMPARATIVE CORPORATE LAW SEMINAR
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 3070)
This course examines the corporate governance systems used by key European and Asian countries. Much of the seminar will be devoted to analyzing the common problems facing business organizations and how different legal systems respond to those problems. Among other topics, the seminar will analyze differences in the basic governance structure of corporations, creditor protection, related party transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and investor protection. The class will be conducted as a seminar in which students will present, defend, and receive comments from their fellow students on their papers. Students will be responsible for reading all required course materials and for class participation. Each student will also be required to research and write a paper on a relevant topic. The grade will be based on the paper (80%) and class participation (20%). Pre-requisite: BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
COMPARATIVE ELECTION LAW SEMINAR
(INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS - 2040)
This seminar will examine contemporary doctrinal and normative issues concerning the electoral process and the efficacy of American democracy vis a vis the election systems of other constitutional democracies. The goal of the seminar is to engage students in a critical analysis of the legal framework and social and political landscape that underpin the exercise of the franchise in the United States within a broader, global context. Students will gain a deeper understanding of democratic theory and constitutionalism by studying features of the electoral systems in key European, Latin American, and African democracies, as well as Australia and the constitutional principles that animate them. The seminar will provide an abbreviated review of the legal history of the American franchise, legal and practical limitations on its current use, and the ways in which the regulation of political participation affects the balance of power in America. The course differs from Election Law and Political Participation (ELPP) in that it focuses on comparative law concepts and specific election laws in other constitutional democracies. Specific domestic election law concepts will be introduced as developed regulations and considered more fully only in the comparative context. To this end, students will be required to examine a contemporary voting rights issue in the United States and explore its current societal impact and the global context in which it operates through a comparative law analysis involving a peer democratic nation. Grades for the course will be based on a final paper, an in-class presentation, and in-class participation. N.B. It is recommended, but not required, that students take Election Law and Political Participation in advance of the seminar. Pre-requisite: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
COMPARATIVE EQUALITY SEMINAR
(INTERNAT'L AND COMPARATIVE LAW - 4070)
This seminar will examine the globalization of equality and anti-discrimination principles as they have become embedded in mature, recent, and nascent democracies around the world. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it will address the flux of these developments over recent decades, positioning those changes in their particular social, cultural, and historical contexts. While U.S. law will be used as a base of comparison, the focus will be on approaches to addressing structural inequalities emerging from the European Union and its member states, South Africa, Canada, Asia, and Latin America. Topics covered include differing conceptualizations of the equality ideal, the question of proving inequality, employment discrimination, affirmative action, marriage and reproduction, freedom of expression, religious freedom and secularism, and hate speech. During the full academic year, grades will be based on class participation, a substantial research paper, and presentation of the research paper in class. In the summer abroad program, grades will be based on class participation and a final exam. Prerequisite: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
(INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW - 2000)
In the globalized market for legal services, American lawyers must be able to communicate intelligibly with colleagues trained in foreign law—in arbitration, litigation, transactional work, even matters of professional responsibility. Comparative law, the study of how different legal systems address analogous problems, is thus crucial. In this introductory course, we will study the method and uses of comparative law generally and then move to selected topics in civil procedure, contracts, and professional responsibility. We will focus principally on two legal traditions, Anglo-American common law and the European civil tradition, which obtains in much of Latin America and Asia as well. We will also spend time on customary and religious legal systems, such as canon law and Islamic fiqh. Grades will be based on a final exam.
COMPARATIVE LEGAL SYSTEMS
(INTERNAT'L AND COMPARATIVE LAW - 4050)
This course provides selected second-, third-, and fourth-year students the opportunity and experience first-hand foreign legal systems throughout the world. With a different legal system (country or region) designated annually by the Dean, this one-week travel / study course presents students the opportunity to gain substantial and comparative law knowledge across the great variety of common law, civil law, and mixed legal systems worldwide. The course includes pre-departure lectures at St. John's, guest lectures by law professors, judges and practicing lawyers in the designated country, as well as historical "walking lectures". The travel portion will include stays in selected cities in the jurisdiction as well as study visits to academic, governmental and legal institutions. Grading will be based on two written essays, one to be completed before departure and one due upon return to St. John's.
(STATE AND FEDERAL PRACTICE - 1080)
The course will provide in-depth coverage of modern multiparty, multidistrict litigation in the federal courts, including class actions, discovery practice, including the scope of discovery, an analysis of electronic discovery as well as individual discovery methods and their relative strengths and weaknesses, work product and privilege, and sanctions for abuse and non-compliance. The course will also examine res judicata and collateral estoppel, sanctions, equitable and provisional remedies, motions to dismiss, summary judgment, extraordinary writs, awards of attorneys' fees, the right to jury trial, and the Manual for Complex Litigation. Grades are based upon a final examination.
CONDOMINIUMS, COOPERATIVES & HOMEOWNER
ASSOCIATIONS (PROPERTY - 1000)
This course examines modern forms of shelter from the viewpoint of the community, the developer, the institutional lender and the consumer. The relative advantages of each form of development, the legal problems involved in selling and re-selling individual units, and the controls that may be exercised over unit owners are examined. The economic, social and legal aspects of conversion of rental properties to cooperative or condominium status are discussed. Rights and remedies in the event of defaults by unit owners/developers are also considered. Students will work with applicable statutes, governmental regulations and documents of existing projects. Grades are based upon a research paper.
CONFLICT OF LAWS
(STATE AND FEDERAL PRACTICE - 1000)
This course studies the resolution of problems that arise when legal matters have a relationship to more than one state or nation. Topics covered include the circumstances under which courts will adjudicate disputes, the recognition of judicial decrees by other states, and the criteria for determining the substantive law applicable to multistate transactions. The role played by the United States Constitution in limiting state freedom of action in this area is also examined. Grades are based upon a final examination.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I
(CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - 1040)
This course examines broad themes of constitutional structure, separation of powers, and federalism and lays the foundation for addressing constitutional rights. Topics covered include the scope and limits of judicial review, commerce clause powers and constraints on the states, taxing and spending powers, privileges and immunities, preemption doctrine, state autonomy, executive authority in domestic and foreign affairs, incorporation theory, congressional enforcement of constitutional rights, and state action.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II
(CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – 1050)
This course examines the protection of individual rights with an emphasis on the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Topics covered include procedural and substantive due process; the development of equal protection doctrine regarding race, alienage, age, non-marital children, sex, and sexual orientation, as well as fundamental rights; and various aspects of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and church-state separation. Pre-requisite: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I
(CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - 1020)
This course examines the fundamental legal theories supporting the constitutional system in the United States. Selected readings from the Federalist Papers round the course. Current legal scholarship in constitutional theory provides satellite readings to explicate further the basic principles of the Constitution. Grades are based upon a series of related essays on themes in constitutional theory.
Prerequisite or Corequisite: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I AND II
CONSTITUTIONAL THEORY - SA
(CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - 1021)
How is the Constitution to be interpreted? What theories or methods should we use? What is the Supreme Court's role in interpreting the Constitution? Should other actors have an interpretive role as well? This course examines fundamental issues about approaches to constitutional interpretation, focusing particularly on the United States Constitution and drawing from case law, early secondary sources, and contemporary legal scholarship. The course also undertakes a brief comparative examination of constitutional theory in European legal systems. Students who take this course may not also take Constitutional Theory (Constitutional Law 1020).
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 4050)
This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of the field of construction law, beginning with the parties to a typical construction project, the types of contracts used, the competitive bidding process, labor law issues, and the resolution of disputes, with a concentration on issues related to construction in New York State and City. The students will review a standard construction contract published by the American Institute of Architects, participate in a mock mediation of a construction dispute, review and complete NYC Vendex Questionnaires required of all NYC municipal contractors, and review and complete a notice of mechanic's lien. The objective will be to provide the students with the ability to advise clients working in the construction field in reviewing contracts, participating in the competitive bidding process, handling disputes and labor issues, and filing claims for public and private works projects. Grades will be based on a final examination and class participation. Prerequisite: CONTRACTS I AND CONTRACTS II
(BANKRUPTCY LAW - 1070)
This course will examine Chapter 7 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, including the principles of the fresh start and equality of distribution; the roles of the case trustee and United States Trustee; good faith and substantial abuse; the automatic stay; property of the estate; discharge, challenges to discharge and dischargeability; rights to convert and dismiss; and the preparation and presentation of contested matters and adversary proceedings. Grades are based upon a final examination. (The credit hours decision will be in advance each semester and clearly disclosed in the registration packet and schedule).
CONSUMER JUSTICE FOR THE ELDERLY: LITIGATION CLINIC
(ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 2010)
The Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic is a one-semester in-house clinical program and is available to second and third-year students and evening students after their third semester if they can work in the clinic during the day. The Clinic addresses the legal needs of Queens' senior citizens and affords students the opportunity to develop essential lawyering skills, practical legal knowledge and professional responsibility while serving the community. Students represent clients in the areas of consumer law (focusing on consumer frauds and scams, including predatory lending), debtor-creditor law and benefit entitlements, such as social security disability, supplemental security income, Medicaid and pension benefits. Clinical Professors supervise students in all aspects of client representation. Students provide representation from the initial client contact through the final resolution of their case. Accordingly, students perform client and witness interviews; perform legal research; draft all pleadings including complaints, answers, motions and briefs; conduct discovery proceedings, including depositions; argue motions; represent clients at administrative hearings and at court hearings and trials; and represent clients at settlement negotiations and draft settlement agreements. Students are required to work in the Clinic 13 hours a week (20 hours a week during summer program). There is also a weekly 2-hour seminar component.
(INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS - 1020)
This course explores the laws governing a variety of oppressive practices merchants engage in, including unfair and deceptive advertising, bait and switch transactions, and referral sales. The course also examines the law governing credit cards and other consumer credit transactions, including credit reporting, credit discrimination, abusive collection practices, and usury. Also covered are cooling off periods, debit cards, the cutting off of consumer claims and defenses, and how consumers can assert their rights. The course covers the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Consumer Credit Protection Act (including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Electronic Fund Transfers Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Fair Credit Billing Act), the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and various New York State statutes. Grades are based upon a final examination.
CONTEMPORARY CRIMINAL JUSTICE SEMINAR
(CRIMINAL LAW - 1090)
This seminar addresses today's pressing issues in criminal justice. It deliberates over the social and political implications of our criminal law policies. Specific topics will vary from year to year, but are likely to include some from the following list: (1) criminal law in family matters; (2) crimes of vice including the controversial war on drugs, the movement against drunk driving, drug treatment courts, etc.; (3) the challenge of pluralism including hate crimes and the culture defense; (4) community criminal justice policies and theory; (5) overcriminalization and many others. There will also be a comparative law component. Grades will be based on a research paper, in class participation and a short reflection paper. N.B. Students taking this course are not permitted to take the three- credit Advanced Criminal Law course. Pre-requisite: CRIMINAL LAW
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 1090)
This course deals with the formation, avoidance and discharge of contract obligations. Attention is also directed to the remedies available for breach of contract and the rules for ascertaining the damages recoverable. Grades are based upon a final examination.
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 2000)
This course deals with the formation, avoidance and discharge of contract obligations. Attention is also directed to the remedies available for breach of contract and the rules for ascertaining the damages recoverable. Grades are based upon a final examination.
(INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - 1010)
This course provides a detailed study of copyright law. We will explore topics such as the nature and determination of authorship and ownership; the types of work protected; the scope of protection; infringement; fair use; remedies; and issues raised by digital creation and Internet uses. Focusing primarily on U.S. law, and also on the international dimensions of copyright and related rights, we will discuss the historical development and purposes of copyright law and policy, and we will consider whether and how those purposes are being served in the digital age. Grades are based upon a final examination. Pre-requisite: INTRODUCTION TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 2010)
This course consists of a detailed study of legal, business, economic, corporate and accounting aspects of valuation of the firm and of securities, capital structure, issuance and reacquisition of various types of securities (including new financial instruments and financing techniques), dividend policy, interplay with financial markets, the use and legal regulation of commodity and financial futures, options and markets (subject to time), and related issues in contemporary corporate finance. The course culminates in a study of similar aspects and techniques of mergers and acquisitions. Grades are based upon a final examination. Pre-requisite: BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE SEMINAR
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 2060)
This seminar is designed to allow students an opportunity to explore corporate law-related topics of their choosing in depth. The course will initially be spent introducing and studying selected topics in corporate law not covered in the basic Business Organizations classes. The topics covered will include: Theories of the Corporation, including Classical, Contractarian and Social Responsibility Theories; The Role of Corporations in Society; The Concept of Limited Liability; Fiduciary Duties of Officers and Directors, including the cases of Mergers and Acquisitions; Dividend and Voting Conflicts with Shareholders and Self-Interested Transactions; The Changing Role and Rights of Debt; Proxy Rule Reform; The Corporate Governance Movement; Institutional Investors; the A.L.I. Corporate Governance Project; the Role and Duties of Corporate Attorneys; and others. The class will be conducted as a seminar in which students will present, defend and receive comments from their fellow students on their papers. This course is intended to complement but not to overlap the separate electives in Corporate Finance and Securities Regulation. Pre-requisite: BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
(CRIMINAL LAW - 2030)
This course focuses on the law enforcement responses to international and domestic terrorism. Topics will include the use of informants and cooperating witnesses, immigration enforcement, surveillance, interrogation, detention issues, the use of military commissions, and the USA PATRIOT Act. Grades will be based on class participation and a final exam. Students are encouraged, though not required to complete Criminal Procedure: Investigation prior to enrolling in Counterterrorism Law.
(BANKRUPTCY LAW - 1000)
This course deals with proceedings to enforce judgments, problems with respect to fraudulent conveyances, alternatives to bankruptcy, and a complete analysis of the Bankruptcy Code. Grades are based upon a final examination.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE CLINIC
(ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS – 8070/8080)
8 credits: 4 in Fall, 4 in Spring
This course is limited to students who are selected after a screening and interview process. Selected students must commit to the course for the full academic year. Students will be placed at an indigent defense organization where they will represent clients in misdemeanor and violation cases under the supervision of an experienced attorney. Students will practice pursuant to an approved student practice order which permits students to arraign cases, interview clients, write, file and argue motions, conduct case investigations and represent clients in all court appearances. Students will also participate in a weekly two-hour seminar. Topics will include relevant skills training, theory and practice as well as New York substantive and procedural criminal law. It is strongly suggested that students wishing to be considered for the Criminal Defense Clinic have already taken Evidence and Trial Advocacy. However, students who agree to enroll in Evidence and Trial Advocacy (civil or criminal) at the same time they are taking the Criminal Defense Clinic will also be considered. Grades will be based on student performance at the placement site and in the clinic seminar. Pre-requisite: CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: INVESTIGATION
(CRIMINAL LAW - 1010)
An introductory study of the law of crimes and the administration of criminal justice, including general principles of criminal liability and defenses. Topics considered include the criminal act and mental elements in crime, causation, mistake, excuse and justification defenses, the law of homicide and the inchoate offenses such as attempt and solicitation. These topics are examined under the common-law, the Model Penal Code and the New York Penal Law to give the student a historical as well as modern perspective on the criminal law and its objectives. Grades are based upon a final examination.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: ADJUDICATION
(CRIMINAL LAW - 1060)
This course covers procedure from arraignment to trial, including bail, preliminary examination, grand jury procedure, immunity, discovery, motions to dismiss, double jeopardy, the right to confront witnesses, and guilty pleas. Cases are discussed under the New York Criminal Procedure Law and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Grades are based upon a final examination.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: INVESTIGATION
(CRIMINAL LAW - 1050)
This course studies federal constitutional and state law restrictions on police investigative practices. Specific topics include stops, arrests and other seizures; frisks and other searches; interrogations and confessions; and the operation of exclusionary rules. Grades are based upon a final examination. Pre-requisite: CRIMINAL LAW
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: SENTENCING/POST CONVICTION
(CRIMINAL LAW - 1070)
This course covers what happens in a criminal case after a conviction. Starting from a general examination of the philosophical justifications for punishment, the course will then explore in detail the indeterminate sentencing scheme used in New York and the guidelines sentencing scheme used in the federal courts. Other sentencing topics include alternatives to incarceration, the re-emergence of the death penalty, and the influence of race on sentencing. The course will also examine post-conviction relief, with particular focus on the writ of habeas corpus. Grades are based upon a final examination, several short writing assignments, and class participation. N.B. Students taking this course are not permitted to take the two-credit Sentencing Seminar.