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E-DISCOVERY (STATE AND FEDERAL PRACTICE - 3050)
2 credits

This course examines the area of litigation know as E-Discovery. More than 90% of information is now created in electronic form. Electronically stored information ("ESI"), which includes email, word documents, spreadsheets, social media information, and various database applications, has created a rapidly growing area of law. This course will cover electronic document retention policies; the preservation, collection, review and production of electronic evidence during the course of pre-trial litigation; and privilege waiver, privacy, spoliation, and evidentiary admissibility issues. The 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and an arrary of local and state rules that have emerged in response to these issues have brought Electronic Discovery to the forefront of litigation practice. This course will review federal and New York e-discovery case law. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the legal issues affecting ESI and the best practices for attorneys working with such information. Grades will be based on an in-class midterm consisting of a simulated discovery conference with a writing assignment component, and a final examination.

Prerequisite: EVIDENCE 
 

ECONOMIC JUSTICE CLINIC-PT I (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 9010)
4 credits

The Economic Justice Clinic will be offered as a two- semester clinical program available to second and third year law students. St. John's University is partnering with New York Legal Assistance Group ("NYLAG") to give students the opportunity to learn the basics of economic justice and the law, including how to address the needs of low income, disabled, and homeless New Yorkers attempting to navigate the social safety net. Students will be taught basic legal advocacy skills, substantive areas of public benefits law (formerly known as "poverty law" practice), and how to assist individuals obtain and maintain their public benefits (including food stamps, public assistance, Medicaid, housing subsidies, and others). Skills taught will include how to represent public benefits recipients at due process hearings and challenging adverse agency actions discontinuing, reducing or denying them these benefits. Students will have a wide variety of opportunities to interact with the economic justice community in New York City, and will represent clients at fair hearings under the supervision of an attorney in the public benefits practice at NYLAG, a major legal services provider organization. They will also learn how to provide pro se assistance and legal information to clients at a legal help desk in the central fair hearing center for New York City alongside seasoned welfare advocates and benefits lawyers from Project FAIR, a coalition of legal services and social service organizations. Seminar classes will be held at both NYLAG and St. John's. The grade will be based upon the student's overall performance in the clinic.

Prerequisite: LEGAL WRITING II 


ECONOMIC JUSTICE CLINIC-PT II (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 9020)
4 credits

The Economic Justice Clinic will be offered as a two- semester clinical program available to second and third year law students. St. John's is partnering with New York Legal Assistance Group ("NYLAG") to give students the opportunity to learn the basics of economic justice and the law, including how to address the needs of low income, disabled, and homeless New Yorkers attempting to navigate the social safety net. Students will be taught basic legal advocacy skills, substantive areas of public benefits law (formerly known as "poverty law" practice), and how to assist individuals obtain and maintain their public benefits (including food stamps, public assistance, Medicaid, housing subsidies, and others). Skills taught will include how to represent public benefits recipients at due process hearings and challenging adverse agency actions discontinuing, reducing or denying them these benefits. Students will have a wide variety of opportunities to interact with the economic justice community in New York City, and will represent clients at fair hearings under the supervision of an attorney in the public benefits practice at NYLAG, a major legal services provider organization. They will also learn how to provide pro se assistance and legal information to clients at a legal help desk in the central fair hearing center for New York City alongside seasoned welfare advocates and benefits lawyers from Project FAIR, a coalition of legal services and social service organizations. Seminar classes will be held at both NYLAG and St. John's. The grade will be based upon the student's overall performance in the clinic.

Prerequisite: ECONOMIC JUSTICE CLINIC-PT I AND LEGAL WRITING II 


EDUCATION LAW SEMINAR (EDUCATION LAW - 1000)
2 credits

This seminar examines the interaction of courts, the legislature, and administrative agencies in setting educational policy and enforcing legal rights under federal and New York State Law. Emphasis is placed on the civil rights and civil liberties of students and teachers as well as on the limitations of legal institutions in solving complex social and educational problems. Areas to be explored include tenure, certification issues, employment and labor relations, academic freedom, church state issues, censorship, compulsory education, rights of disabled students, student discipline, discrimination and school finance reform. Students present their papers to the class. Grades are based upon class participation, a research paper and in-class presentation of the paper.


ELDER LAW (TRUSTS AND ESTATES - 1080)
2 credits

As the population ages, Elder Law is an increasingly important part of American jurisprudence. This course will examine the law as it relates to the elderly. It will cover the ethics implicated in representing an elderly client, advanced directives (powers of attorney, living wills and health care proxies), Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 guardianships, Medicaid and Medicare, trusts (including special needs trusts), Veterans Benefits, Social Security, fair hearings and several miscellaneous topics. Grades will be based on a final examination.

Prerequisite: TRUSTS AND ESTATES 
 

ELECTION LAW & POLITICAL PART. (INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS - 2030)
3 credits

This course will explore the regulation of the right to vote and other aspects of political participation through an examination of case law and specific constitutional and statutory frameworks. The goal of the course is to engage students in a critical analysis of the legal framework and social and political landscape that underpin political participation in the United States. In particular, the course will explore the legal history of the franchise, legal and practical limitations on its current use, the role of race in the electoral process, and the ways in which voting and the regulation of political participation affect the balance of power in America. The course will dissect major Supreme Court cases on topics of voting rights, reapportionment/redistricting, ballot access, regulation of political parties, and the 2000 presidential election controversy, and campaign finance. In addition, the course will cover key voting rights legislation, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, et seq., the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the 2002 Help American Vote Act. Grades will be based on a final examination, an in-class presentation, and in-class participation.

Prerequisite: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 
 

EMPL DISPU RESOL EXTERN PLMT (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 1076)
2 credits

Employment Dispute Resolution Externship Placement Students work 140 hours under the supervision of carefully selected mentor-mediators in pre-approved placements with the EEOC or other organizations working in the area of employment dispute resolution. Students receive direct experience in employment mediation and other dispute resolution processes in the role of neutral or as advocates on behalf of pro se parties. Students participate in each phase of the process, including setting up the process, conducting the process, and following-up on compliance. Mentor supervisors provide detailed feedback. The course is graded on a pass/fail basis. This course must be taken in conjunction with the Employment Dispute Resolution Externship Seminar.

Corequisite: EMPL DISPUT RESOL EXTERN SEMIN


EMPL DISPUT RESOL EXTERN SEMIN (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 1075)
2 credits

The Employment Dispute Resolution Externship Seminar explores the issues raised by the resolution of employment disputes within the context of an externship experience. Students must complete weekly short written assignments based upon relevant readings and their externship observations and experiences and must keep accurate timesheets to promote self-directed learning and critical reflection on employment dispute resolution. Classes will focus on concepts of fairness, justice, professionalism, and skills development and will emphasize interactive exercises, simulations, and role plays. Grades are based on class participation, weekly written assignments, and a final presentation. This course must be taken in conjunction with the Employment Dispute Resoluton Externship Placement.

Corequisite: EMPL DISPU RESOL EXTERN PLMT


EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION (LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW - 1020)
3 credits

This course studies the federal, state, and local laws and executive orders prohibiting employment discrimination with focus on problems of proof, and remedies for violation. Grades are based upon an examination.


EMPLOYMENT LAW (LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW - 1010)
2 credits

This course concentrates on employment-related rights and benefits not covered in the basic and advanced labor law courses. Areas of analysis include state and federal statutory schemes for disabling injuries and diseases (Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits), workers safety and heath (OSHA), and pensions (ERISA and Social Security Retirement Benefits). Employment-at-will is also explored. The coordinating themes throughout the course are the historical and the theoretical bases for employment-related social legislation and an ongoing inquiry into the fundamental nature of employment itself. Grades are based upon a final examination.


ENRON, ETHICS & BANKRUPTCY (BANKRUPTCY LAW - 4020)
1 credits

The case study approach will be used to investigate the high profile corporate scandals that have caused so many recent large bankruptcies. Using the Enron fiasco as its focus, the course will examine the causes and consequences of Enron's failure from business, financial, legal and ethical perspectives. Students will be required to select a topic and prepare a paper related to the implications of corporate scandal. Class participation is required and may be factored into the final grade.


ENTERTAINMENT LAW (INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - 1020)
2 credits

This course will explore the protection and exploitation of generally intangible literary, musical and artistic property through a thorough analysis of the legal framework of the entertainment industries. Using basic doctrines of contract, copyright and labor law, the course will show how an entertainment concept is developed, copied, distributed and protected from unauthorized duplication. Antitrust, tax and other commercial questions will be treated. Sample agreements will be analyzed. Grades are based upon a research paper.


ENVIR REG OF TOXIC & HAZ SUBST (ENVIRONMENTAL LAW - 1010)
2 credits

This course surveys the federal and state statutory systems concerning toxic substances. Topics will include hazardous waste transportation and management; the Superfund statute and its implementation, including real estate issues, lender and successor liability, bankruptcy and insurance implications; corporate transactions and planning, environmental auditing and confidentiality in the regulatory process; reporting, inventory and notice statutes; international trade agreements and waste export regulation; agreements and waste export regulation; nuisance law, waste quantitative risk assessment; and regulation of oil, pesticides and toxic chemicals. Grades are based upon a final examination.


ENVIRONMENTAL EXTERN PLACEMENT (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 4060)
2 credits

Students work 140 hours in pre-approved environmental law externship placements under the guidance of carefully selected mentor-attorneys. It is expected that students will be integrated into all aspects of the legal setting so that students will assist their mentor-attorneys in their day-to-day legal activities as well as receiving research, writing or other legal assignments. This course is graded on a pass-fail basis. This course must be taken in conjunction with the Environmental Law Clinical Externship Seminar.

Corequisite: ENVIRONMENTAL EXTERNSHIP SEM.


ENVIRONMENTAL EXTERNSHIP SEM. (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 4050)
2 credits

The Environmental Law Clinical Externship Seminar explores substantive environmental law issues and the practice of environmental law within the context of an externship experience. Students must complete weekly short written assignments based upon relevant readings and their externship observations and experiences, a collaborative student presentation, and accurate timesheets to promote self-directed learning and the critical reflection on environmental lawyering skills. The seminar uses an interactive classroom format where students share insights gained through their externship observations and experiences. Grades are based upon class participation, weekly written assignments, and a final student presentation. This course must be taken in conjunction with the Environmental Law Clinical Externship Placement.

Corequisite: ENVIRONMENTAL EXTERN PLACEMENT


ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (ENVIRONMENTAL LAW - 1000)
3 credits

This course covers the legal responses to current environmental problems, including climate change, air and water quality, toxic substances, solid and hazardous waste and the preservation of parks, wetlands and the habitats of endangered species. The course starts with the common law of nuisance and the public trust doctrine, foundations of the current law.  It then traces the development of federal and state environmental statutes and the administrative law that governs agencies implementing these statutes’ provisions. Grades are based upon a final examination.


ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SEMINAR (ENVIRONMENTAL LAW - 1040)
2 credits

The Seminar will address contemporary developments in Environmental Law. The course considers some new developments in environmental studies, such as complexity and ecology, new developmental toxicology, the economics of commons and ecosystem valuation, cost-benefit analysis and precautionary regulation, and technology assessment. The readings then address themost recent science on climate change and institutional responses to it. The rest of the seminar considers issues in energy law, corporate law, chemicals regulation, and urban development. Students will work with the professor to choose topics for research and writing projects. Research papers may consider aspects of the topics covered in the syllabus and may also draw from a list of other suggested topics, including food and agriculture, public health, and new technologies, such as genetically modified organisms and nanotechnology. Grades are based on the following allocation: one 20/30 page paper or two 10-page papers (80%); presentation to the class (10%); and class participation (10%).

Prerequisite: ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 
 

ESTATE ADMIN - LITIGATION (TRUSTS AND ESTATES - 1020)
2 credits

This course examines litigation in complex will contests (with or without juries); will construction litigation; settlement negotiations; proper procedures in probate, tax, and estate accounting; the handling of charitable and other dispositions in trusts; the approach to appellate practice in estates, trusts, and related matters. Grades are based upon a research paper.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: TRUSTS AND ESTATES 
 

ESTATE ADMINISTRATION (TRUSTS AND ESTATES - 1010)
2 credits

This course is intended to give the student a practical knowledge of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act and such related statutes as affect recurring problems in the administration of decedents' estates, with specific reference to the probate of wills, the issuance of letters testamentary, letters of administration and letters of temporary administration, collection of estate assets, payment of expenses and debts, general investment power of fiduciaries, allocation of trust funds between trust principal and trust income, apportionment of estate taxes, compensation of fiduciaries and attorneys, and ultimate distribution and accounting. The object of the course is to provide the fundamental working knowledge prerequisite to the legal representation of estate fiduciaries. Grades are based upon a final examination.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: TRUSTS AND ESTATES 
 

ESTATE PLANNING (TRUSTS AND ESTATES - 1030)
2 credits

This course uses assigned problems to explore tax and other factors to be considered in intervivos and testamentary dispositions to transfer accumulated wealth, including traditional assets and non-testamentary assets such as employee benefits and insurance. Federal estate and gift tax law, some elder law and the substantive law of trusts and estates are integrated into the syllabus. Grades are based upon a final examination.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: TRUSTS AND ESTATES 
 

EUROPEAN LEGAL HISTORY (INTERNAT'L AND COMPARATIVE LAW - 3060)
2 credits

A survey course on the development of continental European law from the promulgation of Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis in the mid-6th century to the creation of the Napoleonic Code at the beginning of the 19th century. This broad period of European history witnessed the confluence of several streams of law--most notably Roman law, canon law, and national customary law--each contributing to the creation of the hallmark institution of the continental legal systems: the civil codes. With emphasis on the study of original sources supplemented by secondary texts, attention will be given to an examination of the reinvigoration of the study of Roman law by the medieval Glossators culminating in the Magna Glossa of Accursius. The emergence of canon law and Romano-canonical procedure will be studied, as will the importance of early indigenous customary law such as Aethelbert's Law and the Burgundian Code. The emergence and development of the law merchant as a primary enabler for international economic growth will be discussed. The work of the civil law Commentators and the emergence of national legal institutions in the 14th and 15th centuries will be considered, as will the homologation of customary law and the enactment of the grandes ordannances in France. Finally, the influence of early modern political and legal thought will be examined in the context of the movement toward codification in the 17th and 18th centuries, culminating in Napoleon's landmark codification of the French civil law. As this is a rather large body of material, the course will concentrate on tracing the development throughout this period of three selected areas of the law--ownership of wild animals (res nullius), witness procedure, and the law of sales. Comparisons to parallel developments in the common law will be made as appropriate, but the focus will remain on continental Europe. The course will also place legal developments within their broader social-historical context. All readings and supplementary materials will be in English. No prior knowledge of Roman law is required, as the course will begin with a brief survey of the development of Roman law up to Justinian. A final exam will be used to evaluate performance, as will class preparation and participation.

 

EVIDENCE (STATE AND FEDERAL PRACTICE - 2090)
4 credits

This course studies the rules of evidence that govern judicial proceedings in federal and state courts. Subjects covered include relevance, real and demonstrative evidence, judicial notice, burdens of proof, presumptions, competency of witnesses, examination of witnesses, character evidence and related problems, the hearsay rule and its exceptions, opinion evidence, expert witnesses, foundation and authentication, the best evidence rule, and privileges. Grades are based upon a final examination.

 

EVIDENCE: FORENSIC DNA (STATE AND FEDERAL PRACTICE - 3040)
2 credits

This course is designed to provide students with the fundamental knowledge necessary to handle cases in which forensic DNA evidence is in issue. The course will familiarize the student with the various terms associated with forensic DNA analysis. The program addresses the legal principles controlling the proper evaluation and presentation of DNA evidence, and the scientific and statistical principles underlying forensic DNA analysis. It examines basic principles of biology, population genetics, and statistics as they apply to forensic DNA analysis, as well as specific evidentiary foundations and techniques for presenting DNA evidence in a trial. It also examines legal challenges to the underlying scientific principles and statistical analysis of DNA evidence, together with legal strategies to effectively address these challenges. The student's grade will be based upon a final exam and class participation.


EXECUTORY CONTRACTS BUS BANKR (BANKRUPTCY LAW - 5050)
1 credits

This course examines the treatment of executory contracts in bankruptcy. The course will cover the basic rules governing assumption, rejection and assumption and assignment, and the course will explore the motivations of the parties. Evaluation will be based on an examination, but class participation may be factored into the final grade. Pre-requisite for J.D. students: Creditors' Rights. (Reorganization Under Chapter 11 is a recommended pre- or co-requisite).

Prerequisite: CREDITORS' RIGHTS 
 

EXTERNSHIP PLACEMENT (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 2015)
2 credits

Students work 140 hours in pre-approved externship placements under the guidance of carefully selected mentor attorneys. It is expected that students will be integrated into all aspects of the legal setting, assist the mentor-attorneys in their day-to-day legal activities, and receive research, writing and other legal assignments. The course is graded on a pass-fail basis. This course must be taken in conjunction with the Externship Seminar, the Externship Seminar-Advanced or the Summer Externship Seminar.


EXTERNSHIP SEMINAR (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 2025)
2 credits

This 2-credit seminar is required when a student is taking an Externship Placement for the first time during the Fall or Spring semesters. The students will be required to submit time sheets and a written reflection on their work at the placement. The first thirty minutes or so of each class will be devoted to the students' reflections. That discussion will include ethics, confidentiality, workplace environment (including collaboration) and professionalism. The balance of the course will cover lawyering skills, including fact investigation and evaluation; interviewing and counseling; writing letters and emails; writing a 2000-word research paper (approximately 8 pages) of the type that would appear in a practice-oriented bar jounal; and oral skills, such as presenting work to the mentor-attorney or judge, discussing the pros and cons of a case, orally synthesizing the law and the facts to tell an effective story, speaking assertively, communicating effectively to clients, and presenting the research paper.

 

EXTERNSHIP SEMINAR - ADVANCED (ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 2035)
1 credits

This 1-credit seminar is required for students enrolled in an Externship Placement in the Fall or Spring who have previously taken the two-credit Externship Seminar, and for students enrolled in the Externship Placement in the summer who have already taken the SummerExternship Seminar. It will meet for seven weeks, two hours per class (every other week during the 14-week seminar, and every week during the summer semester). The student will be required to keep time sheets and a written reflection on their work at the placement. The first thirty minutes or so of each class will be devoted to the students' reflections. That discussion will include advanced issues of ethics, confidentiality, workplace environment (including collaboration) and professionalism. The balance of the course will focus on advanced lawyering skills, including fact investigation and evaluation; interviewing and counseling; writing letters and emails; writing a 1000-word research paper (approximately 4 pages) of the type that would appear in a practice-oriented bar journal; and oral skills, such as presenting work to the mentor-attorney or judge, discussing the pros and cons of a case, orally synthesizing the law and the facts to tell an effective story, speaking assertively, communicating effectively to clients, and presenting the research paper.

Prerequisite: EXTERNSHIP SEMINAR OR SUMMER EXTERNSHIP SEMINAR