PARTNERSHIP, LLC & ALTERNATIVE ENTITY BANKRUPTCY
(BANKRUPTCY LAW - 2080)
This course considers bankruptcy issues uniquely confronting general- and limited liability partnerships and LLC's, with an emphasis on partnerships. Issues include: case commencement; scope of property of the estate; scope of the automatic stay; treatment of partnership and LLC agreements under Section 365; rights and claims between (and among) a partnership or LLC and its constituent partners or members (including a study of Section 723); discharge of individual partners' debts, and specialized plan
confirmation issues. Tax issues will be touched upon, but not considered in depth. Pre-requisite for J.D. students: CREDITORS' RIGHTS or BUSINESS BANKRUPTCY REORGANIZATIONS.
PATENT APPLICATION PREPARATION & PROSECUTION
(INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - 2050)
This is a practical course which covers patent application drafting and procedures involved in prosecuting an application in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The structure and content of a patent application as well as the various types of applications will be discussed. Students will learn how to analyze an invention disclosure and draft a patent specification and claims. Typical Patent Office requirements relevant to filing patent applications will be reviewed. In addition, students will prepare a response to an Office Action which requires a critical analysis of patentability issues such as adequate written description, enablement, utility, novelty and non-obviousness of an invention. The effect of decisions made during prosecution on enforceability of patents will be explored. Grades will be based on written assignments, class participation and preparation. Prerequisite: PATENT LAW
(INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - 1030)
This course covers the major substantive and procedural aspects of patent law, including criteria for patent protection, infringement, defenses, and remedies. Students will examine legal doctrine as well as the patent system's public policy objectives and theoretical foundations. While the focus of this course is United States patent law, we will also address international issues as they arise. This course is designed to be useful both as a solid background for non-patent-specialists and for those planning a career in the field. No technical background is required for this course. Grades are based upon a final examination. Pre-requisite: INTRODUCTION TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
(BUSINESS AND FINANCE LAW - 4030)
This course examines mechanisms for making payments and the applicable legal regulations. After addressing checking accounts as the basic payment system, the course takes up credit cards, debit cards and other established electronic payment devices; Internet payments and other developing systems; credit enhancements, including guarantees and letters of credit; and negotiability and related topics. The applicable law includes Articles 3, 4, and 5 of the Uniform Commercial Code; federal statutes and regulations; and the common law. Grades will be based upon a final examination.
PENSION & EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
(LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW - 1000)
This course will study the laws regulating pensions and other benefits provided to employees by private employers, with a primary but not exclusive emphasis on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Topics covered will include rules designed to prevent forfeiture of pension benefits, fiduciary duties under ERISA regulation of tax-qualified pension plans, the termination insurance program for pension plans, preemption of state law and a variety of issues relating to non-pension welfare benefits plans, such as those providing medical insurance. Grades are based upon short written assignments, class participation, and a final examination.
PENSION BENEFITS IN BANKRUPTCY
(BANKRUPTCY LAW - 3000)
This course will examine the effect of the bankruptcy of an employer on the pension benefits, both ERISA and non-ERISA, of employees. It will also examine the effect of bankruptcy on life insurance and health benefits. It will discuss when and if ERISA benefits become part of the estate of an employee who files in bankruptcy. Attention will be given to issues arising in representing the employer or individual employee when one or the other files in bankruptcy and the limits on the reach of creditors with respect to benefits otherwise available to the employee and the employee's family. Pre-requisite for J.D. students: CREDITORS' RIGHTS or BUSINESS BANKRUPTCY REORGANIZATIONS.
PERSPECTIVES ON JUSTICE
(INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS – 2060/2070)
3 credits: 2 in Fall, 1 in Spring
This course is open to second year (or third year evening) law students who are staff members of the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development. Students will engage in discussions and analysis of racial, social and economic justice issues from a legal historical and theoretical perspective. The students will also participate in a series of research and writing workshops and several writing exercises, which will culminate in a note or comprehensive research paper of publishable quality addressing a current legal issue in racial, social, or economic justice. Each student will select a manageable topic addressing a significant legal issue. (If a student is unable to select a topic, s/he will consult with the professors teaching the course on making a selection that is acceptable to the student and the assigned professors.) Students will thoroughly research the topic, prepare comprehensive annotated bibliographies or relevant table of authorities, and prepare at least three drafts of their final paper. Evaluation will be based on the quality of the final paper, earlier drafts of the paper, other writings in the course, and performance in the workshops and exercises. The final grade for both semesters of the course will be posted after the completion of the spring semester
POST MORTEM ESTATE PLANNING
(TRUSTS AND ESTATES - 1070)
This course is intended to provide a student with the practical and technical aspects of handling an estate or revocable trust, beginning from the date of death through the date of formal termination. It will also include an overview of the numerous time limitations, alternatives and elections with which an executor or trustee is confronted during the administration of an estate or revocable trust. Specific attention will be given to tax and non-tax factors considered when making an election and the consequences resulting from the exercise or non-exercise of each election. Related topics will include immediate post mortem considerations, revocable trusts, preparing a federal income tax return, handling the audit of a federal estate tax return, a decedent's final income tax return, the selection of the estate's initial and final tax year, and the formal and informal settlement of an executor's accounting. Grades are based upon a final examination. Pre-requisite: TRUSTS AND ESTATES
POVERTY LAW SEMINAR
(INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS - 1060)
This course will explore legal issues affecting low-income people, how the legal system has responded, and changing ways of effectively advocating on behalf of low-income individuals and communities. Emphasis will be placed on social and economic justice issues, including community development, welfare law, environmental justice, predatory lending and housing issues. Grades are based upon class participation, a research paper, and a short presentation on the research paper topic.
(ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS - 1000)
Using techniques and material developed by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, this course deals with the preparation of a case for trial from its inception to the pre-trial conference. Topics covered include initial client conference, interviewing witnesses, written and oral discovery preliminary motions and motions in limine. Emphasis is placed on learning by doing through simulated exercises and videotape demonstrations. Grades are based upon litigation exercises.
PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT I (6 Credits) – The New York Court of Appeals’ Pro Bono Scholars Program allows selected students to sit for the bar exam in their final semester and then undertake 12 weeks of full-time pro bono service at an eligible, approved clinic or placement. Students receive a total of 10 credits for their work in the clinic or placement. 6 credits are pass/fail; they are taken as this course, PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT I. 4 credits are graded by the clinic/site supervisor; they are taken as the co-requisite course, PBSP PLACEMENT II. A total of 514 hours at the clinic or placement is required (approximately 43 hours per week). Applications are accepted in the Spring semester preceding a student’s final year. Applications for this competitive program are then reviewed by a committee of faculty and administrators. Enrollment is limited. Pre-requisite – successful completion, by the end of the second-to-last semester, of all degree requirements except for total degree credits and/or the Advanced Practice Writing Requirement. Eligibility – (1) A student’s class rank after the third semester (full-time students) or fifth semester (part-time students) must be in the top 60% of the class, which must be maintained through the fourth semester; (2) students selected for the program may not serve on executive boards of co-curricular activities, except that in the first year of the program the committee may waive this prohibition, since elections have long ago occurred; (3) students who, prior to the final semester, will have had more than four credits of clinical or externship coursework are not eligible to participate, except that during the first two years of the program (2014-15 and 2015-16), the selection committee may waive this limitation to accommodate current students who may have registered for, or completed, up to eight credits of such coursework; and (4) students who have registered for, or completed, a practicum are ineligible to participate in this program. If the student will be participating as a Pro Bono Scholar in one of our clinics, it is recommended that the student have been in the same clinic during a prior semester. This will be taken into account during the application review phase of the program. Co-requisites – PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT PART II; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM SEMINAR; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PRACTICE WRITING TUTORIAL. Please note: the Pro Bono Scholars Program was approved by the Faculty Council with a sunset provision. If this program is not renewed, Spring 2016 will be the final offering.
PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT II (4 Credits) – The New York Court of Appeals’ Pro Bono Scholars Program allows selected students to sit for the bar exam in their final semester and then undertake 12 weeks of full-time pro bono service at an eligible, approved clinic or placement. Students receive a total of 10 credits for their work in the clinic or placement. 6 credits are pass/fail; they are taken as the co-requisite course, PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT I. 4 credits are graded by the clinic/site supervisor; they are taken as this course, PBSP PLACEMENT II. For pre-requisites and eligibility, see PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT I. Co-requisites – PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT PART I; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM SEMINAR; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PRACTICE WRITING TUTORIAL.
PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM SEMINAR (2 Credits) – For students who are selected for the New York Court of Appeals’ Pro Bono Scholars Program. Students in the seminar build upon the skills and professional values they learned up until that point in law school, including the skills most relevant to their pro bono experience: identifying and resolving ethical issues, client/witness interviewing, client counseling, legal research, writing, advocacy, negotiation, mediation, case/project management, and working with teams and supervisors. They will also reflect upon their clinical or field experience, with special consideration of access to justice issues. Grades are based on in-class exercises, weekly reflection papers, class participation, and an oral presentation on a relevant legal, professional, or justice issue. Co-requisites – PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT PART I; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT PART II; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PRACTICE WRITING TUTORIAL.
PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PRACTICE WRITING TUTORIAL (2 credits) -
For students who are selected for the New York Court of Appeals’ Pro Bono Scholars Program. Students in the program will build and refine a portfolio of documents, properly redacted, that they created during their clinical or field experience. Midway through the program, an individual conference will be held with a faculty member to review the students’ written work and to provide feedback. The final portfolio is due at the end of the program. Grades are based on the quality of the student’s portfolio. Satisfies the Advanced Practice Writing Requirement. Co-requisites – PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT PART I; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM PLACEMENT PART II; PRO BONO SCHOLARS PROGRAM SEMINAR.
(LEGAL ETHICS - 1000)
This course studies the legal, moral and other responsibilities of lawyers. The New York Code of Professional Responsibility and the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, along with cases, statutory material, secondary sources and problems, comprise the reading. The course addresses issues such as the lawyer's responsibility in civil and criminal trials; special problems of lawyers for entities, including governments and corporations; conflicts of interest, confidentiality and privilege; issues in negotiation; professional advertising and solicitation; and the lawyer's duties to improve the administration and availability of justice. Grades are based upon writing assignments, classroom exercises and a final examination.
(PROPERTY - 1080)
This course analyzes the various types of property interests, real and personal, recognized under U.S. law, the rights and obligations of holders of property interests, and the legal bases and public policies that lead to recognition of property interests, rights and liabilities. The course may include a discussion of property rights based on possession, including adverse possession, labor, gift and purchase, as well as estates in land, concurrent interests, landlord-tenant law, and land use regulations. Grades are based upon a final examination.
(ADVOCACY AND LEGAL SKILLS – 2070/2080)
8 credits: 4 in Fall, 4 in Spring
The course is limited to seniors who are selected after a screening and interview process by the professors conducting the course. Selected students must commit to the course for the full academic year. Students will spend between 12 and 15 hours per week at a District Attorney's Office. Most students will be assigned to a part in a local criminal court that has jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases. The assigned students will personally and directly handle every aspect of a misdemeanor case including witness interviews, arraignments, discovery motions, pre-trial hearings, and plea bargaining on trial and sentencing. Some students will be assigned to an Appeals Bureau and handle appeals to the Court of Appeals, Appellate Division or Appellate Term in a wide variety of felony and misdemeanor cases. The students will, where appropriate, assemble or supplement the record on appeal. They will read and analyze the record on appeal and the defendant's brief. The students will crystallize the issues and the legal approach to the issues, research the law and write the brief. The students' names will appear on the briefs. The students will also assist in the preparation of the oral argument and will be present during oral argument. Students will also be required to attend classroom sessions at the law school. Subjects covered in the classes will include suppression motions and hearings, discovery, examination of expert and police witnesses and other subjects. Pre-requisite: CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: INVESTIGATION
PROTECTIVE LEGISLATION FOR WORKERS
(LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW - 1080)
This course considers the state and federal statutory schemes addressing wages and hours of work, unemployment, safety and health, injuries, and the major compensation regimes: e.g., minimum wage and overtime law, unemployment insurance benefits, safety and health law, workers' compensation, and Social Security law. Grades are based on a final examination.
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW SEMINAR
(INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW - 1070)
The Public International Law Seminar will be an advanced examination of doctrines, principles and leading cases in international law. Each student will make an oral presentation and write a term paper. It is required that the student, in lieu of a written examination, submit a term paper which examines and discusses an important area, event or crises of great significance in the history and development of international law. Grades are based upon a research paper and an oral class presentation of the term paper. Pre-requisite or Co-requisite: INTERNATIONAL LAW
PUBLIC SECTOR LABOR LAW
(LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW - 1060)
This course considers the labor relations laws applicable to the public employee and the public employer. It covers the history and development of public sector labor law in the United States and in New York State with emphasis and concentration on the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, Article 14 of the New York Civil Service Law (Taylor Law). In this seminar each student leads a class discussion on a subject selected for a research paper, which is the basis of the final grade.