Categories: Municipal and Local Government

Chinese Law

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Ohnesorge, John

This seminar is designed to give students an appreciation of the role of law in Chinese society, in the past, and today. We will begin the seminar with an examination of law in traditional Chinese society, which constituted perhaps the world's most influential alternative to the Western legal tradition. We then look briefly at past efforts to "modernize" Chinese law, during the Republican period before 1949, and during the influence of Soviet law after 1949. The remainder of the semester will be spent on China's current efforts to establish a legal system, focusing on topics such as constitutional law and human rights, intellectual property law, environmental law, or corporate law. The exact topics covered will depend upon students' interests. Students will write papers, and will present those papers to the class during the last few sessions. Grading will be on the basis of the papers and the
presentations.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, students will be familiar with the legal tradition of Imperial China, which in world history has been the most influential alternative to the Roman law tradition.

They will also be familiar with China’s efforts to modernize its legal system along Soviet lines, and according to Western European and American models.

Finally, they will be have examined in detail several areas of contemporary Chinese law, allowing them to understand how China’s current legal reform efforts are affected by the political and economic development context in which the law functions.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Construction Law

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Aiken, Jeffrey

Construction Law, Contracting and Negotiation

General Description:

This 3-credit course, offered in the spring semester of even number years by a former practicing attorney with over 40 years of experience in construction matters, will involve student class exercises in structuring, negotiating and drafting many of these contract provisions, as well as assessment and handling of related claims, following review of assigned textbook readings and other relevant handout materials. A complete set of PowerPoint slides will be distributed in advance for each construction lecture and afterwards for the contract drafting and negotiation lectures.

The course deals with the wide array of construction law, drawing upon a student’s existing knowledge of contract and tort law and expanding into construction specific issues -- such as project delivery systems, risk allocation principles, contract forms, insurance coverage, liens, surety bonds, owner, contractor and subcontractor claims as well as dispute resolution processes. “The relationships involved in construction contracts have long posed a unique problem in the law of contracts. , , ,[T]he conduct of most construction projects contemplates a complex set of interrelationships and respective rights and obligations…” Pavel Enterprises, Inc. v. A.S. Johnson Co., Inc., 674 A.2d 521 (Md. 1995).

This course will not only explore those issues in some detail but also will provide a foundation for transfer of unique concepts to other areas of practice, especially those involving inter-dependent performance obligations.

Why this course is useful:

Construction law is a well-defined practice area with numerous journals, treatises and CLE programs focused on the single largest segment of the American production sector (half a trillion dollars/year), which directly employs one out of every 20 workers in a technologically complex field of relational contracts. In addition to understanding the basics of construction processes and relationships, a lawyer needs skill in analyzing, drafting and negotiating similar contract provisions regardless of their particular practice area.

Learning Outcomes

Upon course completion:

1. students should understand the processes, relationships, inter-dependencies and legal principles necessary: (i) to properly analyze, draft, and negotiate contracts in the construction field and (ii) to address construction related disputes;

2. students should be competent to properly analyze, draft and negotiate key provisions in process-oriented, as well as material supply, contracts encountered in the construction field;

3. students should be able to effectively adapt legal concepts and contractual provisions common to the construction field to other areas, such as IT projects and disputes;

4. students should be able to correctly analyze comprehensive general liability (CGL) insurance coverage for construction defects; and

5. students should be able to read plan view and elevation construction drawings.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Consumer Health Advocacy Overview

Course Page for Summer 2019 3-Week Session - Jacklitz, Jill, Gaines, Martha (Meg)

See individual sections for descriptions.

Defense Function

Course Page for Spring 2019 - LaVigne, Michele

See individual sections for descriptions.

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Domestic Violence

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Young, Morgan

Course focuses on state and federal laws, policy and practices impacting victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Topics examined include dynamics of domestic abuse; restraining orders; mandatory arrest law via law enforcement, prosecution & sentencing responses; batterers treatment; battered women who kill & the battered women syndrome; family law, including custody/physical placement, relocation, mediation, effects on children who witness violence; Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); domestic abuse against the elderly; and welfare reform. Class involves a mix of papers, observation of injunction hearings, interactive exercises, and a final exam.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course –
o Students will be able to identify the dynamics of domestic violence that may be present in clients and cases.
o Students will know best practice for providing trauma-informed legal services for survivors of domestic violence.
o Students will be well-versed in Wisconsin statute and case-law addressing domestic violence.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

ERISA

Course Page for Fall 2018 - Anderson, Brian

The course will provide an overview of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) as applied to retirement plans and employee welfare benefit plans which are regulated by the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Primary focus will be on ERISA rights provided to employees and ERISA obligations imposed on employers. Some attention will be paid to other laws that apply to group health plans. The course will also cover the role of the benefits attorney in the design and maintenance of employee benefit plans and compliance issues that arise in employer mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions.

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Energy Law

Course Page for Fall 2017 - Seifter, Miriam

This course provides an introduction to the laws and policies governing the extraction, distribution, and use of energy in the United States. Our class will cover a range of energy resources, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, and solar. We will study traditional regulation of electricity and transportation as well as the transitions occurring in these areas. The materials will raise questions regarding federalism and localism, the appropriate roles of public and private actors, the intersection between energy and environmental law, and the challenges posed by the transition to cleaner energy. Although many disciplines—including economics, science, and public policy—are highly relevant to the topic, our study will be anchored in law: how does law govern the way energy is produced and consumed, and what sorts of legal regimes do and can address the multiple goals of an energy system? We will encounter topics that overlap with Administrative Law and Environmental Law, but you need not have taken those courses to excel in this one.

The course will be 2-3 variable credits: all students will take a final exam; students opting for the additional third credit will also need to complete three response papers during the term of about 3-5 pages each.

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Ethical Issues in Crim Justice (Defender Project)

Course Page for Fall 2019 - LaVigne, Michele

See individual sections for descriptions.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Ethical Issues in Crim Justice (Prosecution Project)

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Glinberg, Lanny

See individual sections for descriptions.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Evidence

Course Page for Summer 2019 13-Week Session - Peterson, Kim

See individual sections for descriptions.

Food Law

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Levenson, Barry

Sharpen your most important legal skills while you snack. Students will write briefs and present oral arguments on the hottest topics in food law today. What is "natural?" Is Wisconsin's "Cheeseburger Law" unconstitutional? Can food executives be sent to prison for the negligence of their companies? Lots more, because in this class a J.D. is just a Jelly Doughnut. Eating in class is not only allowed, it is required

By the end of this course, students should understand:
1. How the law embodies our twelve expectations of food;
2. The history of food regulation in the United States and the relationship between the states and federal government in food oversight;
3. The role of litigation in protecting food safety and preventing food fraud;
4. The importance of core constitutional principles (First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Commerce Clause, and Supremacy Clause) in food law;
5. How the law may be used to advance a national food policy, including a healthier diet;
6. The role of the criminal law in advancing food safety.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Implications of Tech Developments on Business & Law

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Smith, Anne

The Implications of Tech Developments on Business & Law Course (the “Capstone Course”) is a capstone experience for transactionally focused law students that combines an externship and classroom component. The Capstone Course will introduce students to a select subset of modern technical innovations presented by industry and campus leaders on the subject. In the week after each class, students will participate in a focused discussion related to the legal, ethical, social, and business issues presented by the innovation. Additionally, students will engage with industry Partners to explore innovation from the experience of a company that regularly engages with disruptive technology.

Learning Outcomes
Goal #1: To provide each student with dynamic interdisciplinary experience with a partner entity (a “Partner”) that will engage the student holistically in the Partner’s business and provide context to practicing law in a complex environment.

Students will demonstrate the following competencies:

• Critical thinking and judgment
• Legal analysis and reasoning
• Pragmatic problem solving
• Strategic thinking and judgment
• Service Orientation with Partners
• Responsiveness to Partner
• Good Partner rapport and relationships
• Effective planning and organization of work
• Communicates clearly and effectively with Partner
• Effective teamwork

Metric: At the end of each semester, Partner supervisors will provide written feedback regarding student skill in the relevant competency.

Goal #2: Engage students in thinking more deeply about the ways in which the law will adapt to technical innovation.

Students will demonstrate the following competencies:

• Critical thinking and judgment
• Understanding of inter-relatedness of business, ethical, social, and legal issues applied to innovation
• Legal analysis and reasoning
• Pragmatic problem solving
• Strategic thinking and judgment
• Communication
• Effective oral communication
• Effective written communication
• Effective listening

Metric: At the end of each semester each student will develop a graded 30-60 minute presentation and discussion related to an area of interest discussed during the course and demonstrating the above skills.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Institutional Reform Litigation

Course Page for Spring 2017 - Nili, Rachel

This simulation course will provide a close, hands-on look at how institutional reform lawsuits, generally in the form of a class action, are litigated – from the investigation of potential allegations to the negotiation of a consent decree – and will examine both the benefits and the challenges of using litigation as a means of seeking reform of failing institutions. The course will cover the doctrinal bases of legal claims that are prevalent in impact suits, focusing on federal constitutional and statutory claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983, and will look to cases from multiple areas, including actions on behalf of children, prisoners, and institutionalized individuals. The course will be primarily experiential. Through simulations, students will learn about each stage of institutional reform litigation, including the initial investigation, filing of a complaint, moving for class certification, working with expert witnesses, motion practice, discovery, preparing for trial, and settlement/negotiation of a consent decree.

Learning Outcomes – Upon completion of this course,
1. students should have:
a. A strong understanding of the fundamental procedural and doctrinal elements that are necessary in order to bring and litigate an institutional reform lawsuit in federal court.
b. A basic understanding of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to institutional reform lawsuits and each procedural stage of an institutional reform lawsuit.
2. students should be able to:
a. Analyze and report on challenges or roadblocks to potential institutional reform lawsuits;
b. Draft a pleading seeking injunctive relief against an institution based on claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983.
c. Work with colleagues to decide on strategy at multiple stages of a lawsuit. d) Confer with attorneys representing adverse parties on discovery and pre-trial issues and for the purpose of negotiating a consent decree.

Intro to Health Advocacy

Course Page for Summer 2018 13-Week Session - Jacklitz, Jill

See individual sections for descriptions.

Intro to Islamic Law & Jurisprudence

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Quraishi-Landes, Asifa

This class is designed to give students a basic understanding of the internal workings of Islamic law at its theoretical roots. This will be done by analyzing the various methodologies that are represented in Islamic legal literature, helping to enable the students to identify modern manifestations of these methodologies in contemporary Muslim discourses. Specifically, we will undertake a study of ijtihad, the mechanism of Islamic legal reasoning, focusing on the role of human fallibility in interpreting divine text, issues of certainty and probability in Islamic lawmaking, and the resulting landscape of multiple schools of law (madhhabs). Students will be asked to compare similarities and differences, and offer their own critiques of various approaches. There is additional attention to the specific doctrinal areas of Islamic family law and criminal law. The class also contextualizes the subject of Islamic law within various governmental and constitutional structures, beginning with the classical period, continuing through colonialism and reaching into the present day. Attentive students should come away from the class with a working understanding of the various methodologies in classical Islamic jurisprudence, as well as an appreciation of the types of Islamic legal arguments that are employed in global Muslim debates today.

Reading Materials: Readings will be from a professor-created collection provided on an online moodle site. Final grade will be based on a final term paper or final project/presentation, with added points for class participation throughout the semester.

Intro to Patient Advocacy

Course Page for Summer 2017 13-Week Session - Jacklitz, Jill

See individual sections for descriptions.

Labor Relations (Labor & Employment Law)

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Carne, Danielle

The first semester of Labor Relations Law, usually offered in the Fall and often referred to as "Labor and Employment Law" is the basic introductory labor course. It examines the various mechanisms for regulating the workplace relationship--market regulation (including collective bargaining and other forms of bilateral determination of workplace rules) and statutory regulation--and provides an in-depth look at the methods of implementing each of these mechanisms (court action, administrative enforcement, administrative regulation and/or arbitration). The course examines the scope of the employment relationship, issues of federalism and preemption, and constitutional issues raised by workplace regulation. The course provides a brief introduction to the National Labor Relations Act and its promotion of collective bargaining; it examines the conflict between collective rights and individual rights and looks at the regulation of economic weapons.

In addition, the course introduces the student to anti-discrimination law, wage laws, safety and health laws, worker compensation law, and the regulation of pension and health benefits. The course contains some comparative law material and looks very briefly at some of the recent efforts to provide international labor standards in an increasingly global economy. The materials include a brief survey of emerging common law doctrine prohibiting wrongful discharge, and prohibiting invasions of privacy, fraudulent inducements and failures to disclose.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Describe the default rule that forms the basis of employment relationships in the United States and identify various exceptions to the rule;
• Operate with an awareness of the various types of state and federal statutory, administrative-rule-based, and private, contract- or policy-based sources governing the American workplace and employment relationship.
• Appreciate competing priorities that drive the development of labor and employment regulations and systems establishing the conditions of the American workplace.

Labor Relations II

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Carne, Danielle

Labor Relations II is a detailed examination of the National Labor Relations Act with an emphasis on representation issues, collective bargaining, protection of individual rights, enforcement of the collective bargaining agreement and regulation of economic weapons used by both management and labor. Labor & Employment Law (“Labor Relations I”) is required.

Law of Democracy

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Yablon, Robert

This course examines the laws that structure the American democratic system. Topics include voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance, and the regulation of political parties. The course addresses the key constitutional principles and statutory provisions that govern these areas, with particular emphasis on recent legal developments—including issues unfolding during the current 2016 election cycle. In addition to covering doctrine, the course focuses on the theoretical underpinnings of the electoral system, the role of courts in overseeing the system, and proposals for reform. Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law I and/or II is recommended but not required. Students will write short response papers during the semester. There will also be a final paper project or a take-home exam, depending on final course enrollment. Active class participation is expected.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

• Understand and apply the key legal doctrines and rules that structure our democratic system, including the law governing the right to vote, electoral districting, political parties, and the financing of campaigns;
• Recognize the complex ways in which our laws of democracy interact with one another and shape our politics and policies;
• Appreciate the dilemmas the judiciary faces when asked to intervene in democratic disputes;
• Grapple in a sophisticated way with the benefits and drawbacks of our legal regime and of proposed reforms and alternatives.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Legislation & Regulation

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Desai, Anuj

This course provides an introduction to the federal laws and governmental institutions that shape significant aspects of social and economic policy. The course addresses legislation, statutory interpretation, regulation and administrative agencies. Legislation and regulation play the dominant role in shaping law and governance in the modern American legal system. While numerous other law school courses involve statutes and regulations or legislatures and administrative agencies, this course considers the overarching questions about these laws and institutions: how statutes are enacted and agency regulations issued, what tools lawyers use to shape statutes and regulations, how judges interpret them, etc. The main goal of the course is practical. All lawyers, irrespective of the area of law—from securities law to criminal law, from environmental law to tax, from labor and employment law to contract drafting, from military law to bankruptcy, etc.—must understand statutes and regulation. This course is aimed at providing students with a deeper understanding of these forms of law and the institutions that make this law, and to help them better appreciate the role that lawyers play in the American legal system as it operates in practice. To think like a lawyer, and hence to represent or advise clients, requires an ability to do so in the context of the regulatory state.

This course meets the Legal Process graduation requirement.

Learning Outcomes:

(i) To understand the role of legislatures, administrative agencies, and courts in the legal process.
(ii) To understand the relationship between and among these institutions.
(iii) To understand the role that lawyers play in furthering their clients’ interests in each of these institutions.
(iv) To understand the differences in the forms of legal argument that occur in these different institutions.
(v) To understand how courts interpret statutes.
(vi) To understand how administrative agencies interpret and implement statutes.
(vii) To understand how courts oversee the interpretation and implementation of statutes by administrative agencies.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Mental Health Law

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Van Rybroek, Gregory

Learning Outcomes - By the end of this course, students will
1. understand that there is a complex intersection between the law and mental health issues
2. understand the role of lawyers when there are criminal/civil issues involving mental health problems
3. understand several specific nettlesome psycho-legal topics, and how the legal system reaches dispositions in these areas
4. develop a deeper and more realistic portrayal of mental health law issues, and how lawyers work inside and around another paradigm in their representation of clients - i.e., mental health evaluation and treatment

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Models of System Level Advocacy

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Jacklitz, Jill

When we advocate for and with patients at the Center for Patient Partnerships, each situation we encounter is unique because each is occurring for that one client or family for the first time. When we pull back the lens to look at patients as a group, however, patterns of issues emerge, as do recurring approaches to addressing them. This seminar is designed to build on your patient advocacy clinical experience by deepening your exploration of the systemic causes of problems consumers experience with health and health care in the U.S.; by introducing you to a range of strategies for creating productive change with and on behalf of groups of patients; and by strengthening your ability to see the connections between the experiences of individual patients and the organizational, political, social, and economic structures that influence the experiences of all patients. During this course we will introduce theories of change, themes, roles, and strategies relevant to system level advocacy; highlight opportunities for and limitations faced by patients in the policy domain; explore the role of advocacy groups; and critically examine advocacy in the legislative, regulatory, community, and organizational arenas. We will also work together to develop habits of inquiry that will inform your final projects and ongoing advocacy practice.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Explore the discipline of health advocacy from the micro (individual) level to macro (systems) level, including the elements of system-level advocacy and approaches system-level advocates can take.
2. Appreciate the multiple pathways by which patients, or individuals with a deep personal stake in community health, become policy actors.
3. Explore the unique role advocacy groups play in our democracy, and their diverse origins, sizes, shapes, missions, strategies, funders, and life courses.
4. Deepen existing knowledge about legislative and regulatory advocacy, including implementation of policies at the national, state, local and organizational levels.
5. Explore effective strategies of systems-level advocacy, including: community engagement, storytelling, research, and media.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Privacy Law in the Information Age

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Bilder, Anne

This seminar-style course is about privacy --what it means to the courts, to the legislature, to the public, or whether it really means anything at all. Through a variety of source materials, including case law, legislation, essays, and literature, the course examines constitutional and common law approaches to privacy issues in many contexts -- our persons, our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our computers and cyberspace. It also includes cultural and comparative law dimensions of privacy. The instructors make a concerted effort to weave current events and "hot topics" in privacy into the syllabus and class discussions. Students are graded primarily on a final research paper, oral presentation of the paper in class, and on class participation. Students have the option of writing an additional paper to earn a third credit. Pass/fail option is available.

Learning Outcomes – By the end of the course, students should have had the opportunity to engage in critical thinking about how the law reflects societal values about privacy in the following contexts:
1. Be familiar with the origins of U.S. privacy law;
2. Identify the four privacy torts;
3. Identify the privacy interests that are recognized and protected by the 4th Amendment;
4. Identify the privacy interests that are recognized and protected by the 1st Amendment;
5. Be familiar with how courts have applied the Constitution to decisions involving bodily integrity and medical decisions; and
6. Recognize and understand privacy implications in computing and on-line activities.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Prosecution Function

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Glinberg, Lanny

See individual sections for descriptions.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Public Health Law

Course Page for Fall 2017 - Charo, R. Alta

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

Ensuring the health and wellbeing of citizens is among the fundamental goals of American government. While governments at all levels have varying degrees of power to provide for the public’s health, government action to protect health and well-being may conflict with constitutionally-protected rights of individuals. Thus, the question that lawyers, legislators, judges, and public health authorities must consider when contemplating government action is the extent to which the state may restrain citizens for the promotion of health, safety, and morals. This course will explore the legal foundations of the American public health system and the resulting struggle between individual liberties and the government’s interest in providing for its citizens' collective health and wellbeing.

The goal is to provide students with the ability to understand: (1) structure and functions of the public health system; (2) the role of government (including judiciary), community, and individual involvement in public health; and (4) the tensions between governmental interests in public health and individual interests in liberty.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
(1) describe and critique the authority of the state and federal government to limit personal freedom, economic transactions and land management for the purpose of promoting public health
(2) distinguish between the legality and the politics of various public health policy choices
(3) appreciate the interplay between immigration, race, class, geography, and education in the history and formation of public health policy

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Public Law & Private Power

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Rogers, Joel

This class is about the design of an egalitarian-democratic affirmative or “welfare” state consistent with the rule of law. As treated here, the activities of the welfare state include not only income maintenance and social insurance programs but those many other policies and programs, characteristic of all modern capitalist democracies, that supplement or replace unregulated markets and formal rights and procedural democracy in the pursuit of improved living standards and more substantive equality of opportunity and outcome among their members. We will examine the welfare state origin and evolution, current problems, and strategies to address those problems.

By the end of this course, students should be able to articulate and defend a view, informed by comparative experience, of the democratic affirmative state’s:
(1) origins and politics,
(2) challenge to legal order,
(3) crisis of operation and legitimacy, and
(4) most promising strategies of renewal.

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Research & Administrative Issues in Taxation

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Talarczyk, Alan

This 3-credit course, which meets with Accounting 724, is designed to familiarize students with the following: various tax research tools; methodologies and tasks involved in researching routine and complex tax issues; tax research work papers, reports, letters, memos, etc.; tax practice problems, such as ethics in tax practice and tax issue resolution; and impart a working knowledge of computerized tax research. As a result of doing the written assignments and attending the class sessions, students should accomplish the above course objectives in addition to (1) acquiring a working knowledge of several substantive tax provisions, and (2) becoming familiar with frequently used tax literature.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Sociology of Law

Course Page for Fall 2018 - Rueda Saiz, Pablo

This course explores the sociological descriptions and explanations of legal institutions, focusing mostly in the United States and Latin America. Although the focus of the course is mostly sociological, it will also focus on the ways in which influential anthropologists, political scientists, psychologists, and economists understand such institutions. One of the first questions that this course poses regards the presence, form and functions of law in different societies, and its relation to social norms. For example, this course looks at theories that understand law in terms of the improvement of humanity, both individually and collectively, and others that depict it as a mechanism of hegemony and oppression.

This course focuses on perspectives that seek to explain legal phenomena, analyzing different theories that seek to explain them from the perspectives of individuals and institutions, by addressing issues related to compliance and non-compliance with the law. Some of the questions that these perspectives address are: 1) when, why and under what conditions do people comply? 2) how is compliance related to culture, power, and to individual cost-benefit analyses? 3) when and under what conditions do States and organizations implement existing laws?

Furthermore, this course also analyzes theories that seek to explain some of the consequences of legal institutions. Thus, it focuses on questions such as if, when, and how does law serve to maintain order and the status quo, and when does it help to promote social change? How does the law affect different social groups?

Sports Law

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Snyder, Brad

Sports lawyering is not what you saw in the movie Jerry Maguire. The agent-player relationship is just a tiny fraction of sports lawyering. This class covers that relationship but seeks to broaden the concept of sports law to anything related to the business, law, and regulation of sport. This class will combine doctrinal concepts including antitrust, labor law, intellectual property, torts, and telecommunications law with how to be a real sports lawyer by arguing five pending or recent legal issues in the sports world.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Sports Law

Course Page for Spring 2017 - Snyder, Brad

Sports lawyering is not what you saw in the movie Jerry Maguire. The agent-player relationship is just a tiny fraction of sports lawyering. This class covers that relationship but seeks to broaden the concept of sports law to anything related to the business, law, and regulation of sport. This class will combine doctrinal concepts including antitrust, labor law, intellectual property, torts, and telecommunications law with how to be a real sports lawyer by arguing five pending or recent legal issues in the sports world.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

State & Local Government Law

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Seifter, Miriam

This course studies state and local government law in the United States. Although much of legal discourse focuses on the national government, it is in fact state and local governments that influence much of our day to day lives. Moreover, state and local government decision-making will play a prominent role in many of your legal careers. And state and local government law is at the center of some of the most significant theoretical and normative questions in American law, including those regarding democracy, federalism, and distributive justice.

The course will include study of the allocation of authority within and between state and local governments. This will include analysis of the three branches of state government and separation of powers questions arising among them, as well as analysis of how local governments are structured, financed, and organized. We will also study how state and local governments interact, covering doctrines of home rule and intrastate preemption. Throughout, we will ask whether and how current doctrines and policies implicate democracy, efficiency, and distributive justice. In addition, we will explore how these various doctrines and ideas play out in the context of contemporary disputes, including over housing, education, and immigration.

Students have the option of taking the course for 2 or 3 credits. All students will complete two response papers during the semester and take a short final exam at the end of the semester. For an optional third credit, students may write a research paper of approximately 15 pages on a topic approved by the professor. If students wish to use the paper to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement, the paper must be 20 pages.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Taxation of Mergers & Acquisitions

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Schnur, Robert

Although this seminar is centered around federal tax issues, it would be extremely valuable (and enjoyable!) for any student with an interest in business law, corporate practice and accounting of all types, including students who do not intend to practice in the tax area. This has been confirmed by numerous student evaluations, as well as by feedback received from alumni, many of whom have described the seminar as one of the most interesting courses they took in law and business school and also one of the most useful in their careers. Students have also reported that their enrollment in the course was quite helpful in seeking appropriate law, corporate and accounting positions.

The course is taught by Adjunct Professor Robert Schnur, who returned to Wisconsin Law after spending six years as a Visiting Adjunct Professor of Tax Law at Cornell Law School, where the seminar was developed and where it attracted students from both the law school and Cornell’s Johnson School of Business. The course covers the basic federal income tax principles governing both taxable and nontaxable mergers and acquisitions and will introduce students to many of the transactional tax issues that arise in planning and advising on such transactions, both for large and smaller businesses. The focus will be on domestic rather than cross-border acquisitions. Enrollment is limited to sixteen students.

The seminar is built around a weekly series of “Assignment Memoranda,” each of which is based on a different hypothetical transaction, viewed from the standpoint of both the acquired entity and its acquirer. These memos are comparable to those that a new young professional in a law firm, corporation or accounting firm might receive from a more senior partner or executive, or a client, and each student will be required during the semester to prepare three written responses to a portion of these memos, based on the assigned reading and on independent research. Each week’s class discussion will be devoted to a discussion of one Assignment Memo and the students’ written responses thereto. There will be no final examination, and the final grade will be based on a student’s written work and class participation.

Prerequisite: A basic course in taxation is an absolute prerequisite for the seminar, unless (a) a student believes that he or she has an equivalent academic or professional background, and (b) receives the instructor’s advance permission to enroll. It is not required that a student have completed a course in corporate taxation or any other tax courses, and the seminar will begin with a brief overview of the manner in which corporations are taxed.

By the end of this course, a student should be able to:
1. Advise a corporation that is to be acquired (the “Target”) or a corporate acquirer (the “Purchaser”) as to the different structures that can be used to accomplish a corporate acquisition and the federal income tax consequences of each such structure.
a. If so requested, this advice will include a description of the potentially available “tax-free” acquisition techniques and the requirements that must be met in order for the transaction to qualify for one of those techniques.
b. For the Target and its shareholders, this advice will include (i) how the clients will calculate their total recognizable taxable gains or losses (if any), (ii) how they will determine the timing of any such recognizable gains or losses and (iii) how they will determine the character of those gains or losses as capital or ordinary in nature (and how, if at all, that character will affect their tax liability from the transaction).
c. For the Purchaser, this advice will include (i) how and when the client will recover for tax purposes the costs of the acquisition (whether those costs are paid to the sellers or third parties) and (ii) what will be the effect of the acquisition on the tax basis of the Target’s assets and the Target’s other tax attributes, such as
net operating loss carryovers.

2. Recognize and identify any special federal income tax issues that are presented by this particular transaction and any factual issues that need to be explored further in order to resolve those issues (such as whether there have been any past transactions or planned future transactions, the existence of which might affect the tax consequences of the current acquisition).

3. Advise the client as to how (if at all) the proposed transaction could be modified so as to minimize the client’s tax consequences from the acquisition in a manner that is legal and ethical, including but not limited to the possibility of making one of the elections available to participants in some corporate acquisitions.

4. Explain all these federal income tax issues to the client (whether the client is the Target, the Purchaser and/or their respective shareholders) in an accurate and understandable manner, whether that explanation is to be communicated to the client orally or in writing.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

The Constitution in the American Civil War

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Schwartz, David

The American Civil War tested, defined and redefined the United States Constitution more deeply, and in more varied ways, than any other episode in U.S. history since the founding itself. This seminar is designed to explore some of the ways in which that statement is true. Each week, we will examine a different topic in which government actors and individuals tested constitutional understandings or limits in the run-up to the Civil War, during the armed conflict, and in the Reconstruction period. Course materials will include primary and secondary historical material and contemporary judicial decisions.

Topics will include: the constitutional status of slavery and constitutional structures designed to protect slave property in the antebellum period; the constitutional arguments for secession; the scope of presidential war powers as asserted by Lincoln (e.g., the blockade of Southern ports, the suspension of habeas corpus); the redefinition of Congressional power by the Republican congresses of 1862-64; the constitutional issues surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation; the Confederate constitution; the state of civil liberties in the north and south; the constitutional questions around readmitting rebellious states into the Union; the post-war Amendments and reconstruction; and others.

Students taking the course to meet the upper level Legal Writing requirement must produce a seminar paper of at least 15 pages and a revision. Students not taking the course to meet this requirement, will have the option of writing a series of short reflection papers in lieu of the longer research paper.

On completion of this course, you should be able to:

1) Understand and explain in your own words, at least 8 major constitutional problems raised by the Civil War (understood to include slavery and secession prior to the outbreak of war, and the Reconstruction period and its aftermath);

2) Demonstrate and contrast, in a clear, concise and analytical way a connection between two of these constitutional problems and current constitutional problems, thinking critically about the difficulty of historical analogy and translation;

3) Formulate an answer to the question “why is race discrimination unconstitutional?” in a way that thinks critically and doesn’t entirely rely on stock answers to that question;

4) Create effective written and oral presentations explaining and analyzing a complex constitutional law/history question, in 3-5 minute (spoken) or 1,000-1,200 word (written) formats;

5) Prepare an in-depth historical analysis of one major constitutional problem raised by the Civil War (understood to include slavery and secession prior to the outbreak of war, and the Reconstruction period and its aftermath) [paper track].

The Law of Democracy

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Yablon, Robert

This course examines the laws that structure the American democratic system. Topics include voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance, and the regulation of political parties. The course addresses the key constitutional principles and statutory provisions that govern these areas, with particular emphasis on recent legal developments—including issues unfolding during the current 2016 election cycle. In addition to covering doctrine, the course focuses on the theoretical underpinnings of the electoral system, the role of courts in overseeing the system, and proposals for reform. Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law I and/or II is recommended but not required. Students will write short response papers during the semester. There will also be a final paper project or a take-home exam, depending on final course enrollment. Active class participation is expected.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

• Understand and apply the key legal doctrines and rules that structure our democratic system, including the law governing the right to vote, electoral districting, political parties, and the financing of campaigns;
• Recognize the complex ways in which our laws of democracy interact with one another and shape our politics and policies;
• Appreciate the dilemmas the judiciary faces when asked to intervene in democratic disputes;
• Grapple in a sophisticated way with the benefits and drawbacks of our legal regime and of proposed reforms and alternatives.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Worker's Compensation Law

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Aplin, Ronald

This experiential course is taught by experienced attorneys designed to introduce second and third year law students to worker’s compensation law and procedure. Ronald S. Aplin of Aplin & Ringsmuth, LLC is the primary instructor. Students are assigned to advocate fictitious Wisconsin worker’s compensation claims from the pleading stage to hearing. Roughly half of the class sessions involve a traditional lecture/discussion format, although legal, procedural and medical topics are discussed with the fictitious claims in mind. In other class sessions, guest experts, including an orthopedic surgeon, a psychologist, and vocational experts, pose as witnesses in the fictitious claims, and are “examined” and “cross-examined” by experienced attorneys, as if they were testifying at hearing. One class session involves the direct and cross-examination of a claimant from one of the fictitious claims. Students learn about medical, psychological and vocational science, and acquire litigation skills in these class sessions. Current administrative law judges also teach a class session as guest lecturers on effective advocacy at hearing, and on settlement. At the conclusion of the course, students are required to write a brief advocating their clients’ positions in the fictitious cases for hearing, and then litigate their clients’ claims in a two-hour mock worker’s compensation hearing, conducted during the final exam period before a current administrative law judge. Course materials include the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Handbook by John D. Neal and Joseph P. Danas, and additional materials provided to students by the instructor electronically.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor