Graduate Catalog 2010

Law Courses (LAW)

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Required Courses

LAW 6100 Contracts and Sales (4); This course studies the creation, enforcement, transfer, and termination of contract rights and duties, as well as performance and enforceability of contracts, contract defenses, and contract remedies.  Fundamental common law principles such as capacity to contract, mutual assent, consideration, and legality of subject matter will be addressed.  Pertinent portions of the Uniform Commercial Code, particularly Article 2 dealing with sales, will be covered.

LAW 6110 Property (4); This course studies rights and interests in personal and real property.  Topics covered include the acquisition of rights in property, possessory and non-possessory interests, estates in land, concurrent ownership, landlord-tenant relations, and land-use regulation.

LAW 6120 Legal Information and Communications, Practicum I (2); This course provides an introduction to legal analysis, research, and writing through the preparation of legal memoranda and other written assignments.

LAW 6121 Legal Information and Communications, Practicum II (2); This course builds upon the legal research, analysis, and writing skills taught in Legal Information and Communication I.  Students will develop their persuasive writing skills through the preparation of briefs and other assignments.   Oral advocacy will also be covered.

LAW 6130 Torts (4); This course explores the legal rules that determine whether non-contractual civil liability arises from conduct resulting in harm to others.  Topics covered include intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability torts, as well as defenses commonly asserted in tort actions.

LAW 6140 The Legal Profession (1); This course introduces students to the legal profession and focuses on ethics and professionalism.  It also introduces students to some basic concepts and skills necessary to the study of law.

LAW 6150 Civil Procedure (4); This course explores the techniques for attaining judicial enforcement of substantive rights and will cover topics such as venue, pleadings, joinder of claims and parties, discovery, and issue and claim preclusion. Federal and state jurisdiction will also be examined, including the constitutional aspects of such jurisdiction.

LAW 6160 Constitutional Law (4); This course studies the principles of American constitutional law, including judicial review, federalism, and separation of powers.  It also studies specific provisions of the Constitution, including the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. 

LAW 6170 Criminal Law (3); This course studies substantive criminal law, including an examination of crimes and their elements.  Specific common law and statutory crimes and defenses will be covered.

LAW 6180 Criminal Procedure (2); The major constitutional restraints upon the criminal justice process are the focus of this course.  Particular attention is given to the provisions of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution, including such specific issues as arrest, search and seizure, interrogations and confessions, the exclusionary rule, and the right to defense counsel. 

LAW 6200 Business Associations (4); This course studies basic corporate law, including formation, management, and dissolution of corporations, and the rights and duties of those involved with corporations.  The law related to business organizations such as partnerships and limited liability companies will also be covered. 

LAW 6210 Evidence (4); This course studies the techniques by which facts are presented in litigation before judicial tribunals.  It focuses on the Federal Rules of Evidence, but will also touch on the Tennessee Rules of Evidence and common law evidentiary rules.

LAW 6220 Intellectual Property (3); This course covers the basic principles of intellectual property law in the United States and internationally. The course provides an overview of the law governing the securing and exploitation of property and other rights in ideas, including protection by patents, copyrights, trademarks, state legislation, and the common law.

LAW 6230 Client Interviewing, Counseling & Communication, Practicum III (2); This course focuses on the skills lawyers need when dealing with clients, including interviewing and counseling skills and the ability to communicate (orally and in writing) effectively with a client.

LAW 6240 Family Law (3); This course covers a variety of laws impacting the family unit and defining the rights and duties of family members.  Topics covered include marriage, annulment, separation, divorce, support, custody, and equitable distribution.

LAW 6250 Professional Responsibility (2); This course explores the professional obligations of attorneys and judges as prescribed by regulation and tradition. 

LAW 6260 Wills and Trusts (3); This course explores the gratuitous transfer of property at death, including intestate and testate succession.  It also examines the nature, establishment, management, and termination of inter vivos and testamentary trusts.

LAW 6350 Bar Refresher (4); This course is designed to prepare students for the Multistate Bar Examination and state essay examinations.  The primary focus of the course will be to refresh the following topics:  real property, contracts, sales, criminal law, criminal procedure, torts, evidence, constitutional law, and professional responsibility.  The course also may refresh the following subjects:  negotiable instruments, secured transactions, civil procedure, family law, remedies, wills, and trusts.  The course will include practice and graded essay and multiple-choice examinations.   

Required Experience Courses 

LAW 6232 Pretrial Litigation, Practicum IV (2); This course covers the major steps in the pretrial litigation process. Topics covered include litigation planning, fact investigation, legal research, pleading, discovery, pretrial motions, and settlement strategy.

LAW 6233 Negotiations, Practicum IV (2); This course examines and practices theories of effective negotiating in a transactional context.

LAW 6270 Public International Law (3); This course studies the basic rules and principles governing the conduct of nation-states and international organizations and their relations with each other.  Topics include the law of treaties and customary law, the relationship between international law and municipal law, human rights law, the use of force in international relations, and international criminal law.

LAW 6271 International Business Transaction (3); This course explores selected issues encountered in private international transactions and emphasizes the options available to counsel engaged in the preventive practice of law.

LAW 6272 International Humans Rights Law (3); This course offers a thorough introduction to the theory and practice of international human rights law, with particular emphasis on the changing ways in which human rights law is made and used.  Topics to be covered include:  an introduction to basic principles of international law; the philosophical foundations of universal human rights; core international human rights norms and their foundations in the UN Charter and other treaties; recent human rights-based challenges to the idea of state sovereignty; and an overview of international humanitarian law and the law of war, human rights, and development.

LAW 6300 Alternative Dispute Resolution, Practicum V (2); This course studies various forms of ADR, including mediation and arbitration.  The course will examine the appropriateness and effectiveness of various forms of ADR in particular situations and types of action. 

LAW 6301 Contract Drafting (2); This course reinforces the substantive law learned in Contracts and Sales by allowing students to apply the law they have learned.  Students learn about contract negotiation, planning, and drafting, and draw on these practical skills, as well as their substantive knowledge, in representing clients in simulated contract exercises.

LAW 6310 Trial Advocacy, Practicum VI (2); This is an intensive course in the analysis, skills, and techniques of trials.  The course includes simulated exercises on all aspects of in-court trial practice, including opening statements, development of witness testimony on direct and cross-examination, use of illustrative aids and exhibits in evidence, impeachment, expert testimony, and summations.

LAW 6311 Business Planning, Practicum VI (2); This course equips students to effectively formulate a business plan.  The course covers the legal authority and the techniques involved in this area, including those dealing with the organization, maintenance, and termination of businesses.

LAW 6320 Clinics (2); The clinics will afford students the opportunity to represent actual clients under the supervision of a faculty member.  The types of clinics that will be offered by the College of Law are yet to be determined.

LAW 6325  Externships (2); The externship allows students to apply the skills learned in the core curriculum to live-client situations.  Externship students work in a judges’ chambers, public law office, public interest organization, or for in-house counsel under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney.  A minimum of 100 hours of work is required to successfully complete the externship.  The types of externships that will be offered by the College of Law are yet to be determined.

LAW 6330 Advanced Trial Advocacy, Practicum VII (2); This course builds on the skills learned in Trial Advocacy.  Each participant will take part in at least one full simulated trial.

LAW 6331 Appellate Practice, Practicum VII (2); This course focuses on the art of oral advocacy and provides further instruction in persuasive writing.  Students write appellate briefs and present oral arguments.

LAW 6332 Real Estate Transactions, Practicum VII (2); This course focuses on how commercial and residential real estate is conveyed.  Topics covered include legal theories of title, transfer, and ownership issues. The skills portion of this course may include real estate title search; drafting of purchase and sales agreements, deeds, mortgages, UCC statements, closing settlement statements, and leases; drafting and review of easements, attachments, and other encumbrances; and drafting and scheduling of foreclosure sales.

LAW 6333 Estate Planning, Practicum VII (2); This course focuses on the role of careful planning and drafting in the estate and gift transfer areas, with particular attention to the goal of minimizing estate and gift tax liability. 

LAW 6334 Entertainment Law Practice, Practicum VII (2); This course is designed to give students a look into the actual practice of entertainment law and into the role of lawyers in the modern entertainment world.

LAW 6335 Law Office Management, Practicum VII (2); This course focuses on the management of a small law office.  Topics include:  structure of law firms; financial issues (including compensation, billing, fees, and trust accounts); business development (marketing and advertising); law practice tools; and personnel, office, and operational issues.

Electives

LAW 6400 Accounting for Lawyers (2); This course introduces students to the basic concepts of financial accounting.  Intended for students with little or no accounting background, the course is designed to equip these students with the fundamental skills necessary to read and critically review a corporation’s financial statements.

LAW 6401Administrative Law (3); This course studies the administrative process and practice before administrative agencies at all levels of state and federal government.  The provisions of the state and federal Administrative Procedures Acts will be explored.  In addition, constitutional issues, such as procedural due process, will be examined.

LAW 6402 Advanced Legal Research (2); This course is designed to provide students with the research skills needed in the practice of law.  Topics covered include the use of primary and secondary sources; case law research; statutory law and legislative history; administrative law; effective use of Lexis, Westlaw, and other electronic databases; international law research; and public records.  Emphasis will be placed on appropriate and effective research strategies and evaluation of sources, both print and electronic.

LAW 6403 Antitrust (2); This course studies unfair trade practices and antitrust law, including topics such as monopolies, price fixing and kickbacks.  It also examines various unfair trade practices and federal and state statutes prohibiting such practices.

LAW 6404 Biomedical Ethics (2); This course provides a thorough grounding in some important areas at the intersection of law and bioethics.  Some of these topics include the physician-patient relationship, medical research, organ transplantation, death and dying, abortion, and maternal-fetal conflicts.  At times, the course will compare medicine to law to help examine the issues involved.

LAW 6405 Board of Advocates (1); The Board of Advocates is a student organization composed of third-year law students dedicated to the development of pre-trial, trial, and appellate advocacy skills.  Membership criteria and membership duties are set forth in the Charter and Bylaws of the Board of Advocates.  In this offering, each student’s performance is evaluated by the Director of Advocacy Programs and is graded on a pass/fail basis.  Students eligible for credit for this offering may not receive credit in any more than two semesters (a maximum of two semester hours of credit).

LAW 6406 Business Torts (2); This course covers the commercial tort claims most frequently asserted in business litigation.  Topics include unfair competition, fraud, interference with contract and economic advantage, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret misappropriation, trade libel and false advertising, professional malpractice, and misuse of judicial process.

LAW 6407 Conflict of Laws (2); This course explores the law relating to transactions in which any operative fact occurs outside the state where the legal proceedings are instituted, or which involve other significant extrastate elements.  The course examines choice of law methods utilized by various courts to decide the applicable law in given cases and examines the logic and constitutionality of such methods.

LAW 6408 Copyright Laws (3); This course covers the basics of copyright law, including determinations of what is copyrightable, formalities for obtaining protection, and copyright registration practices and procedures.  The substantive and procedural elements of infringement actions are examined, including defenses.

LAW 6409 Corporate and Partnership Taxation (3); This course examines the federal income taxation of corporations, partnerships, and other entities.

LAW 6410 Debtor-Creditor Law (2); This course focuses on the rights and remedies of debtors and their creditors under the United States Bankruptcy Code.  In addition, the interplay of the Bankruptcy Code and the provisions of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and other provisions of state law are examined.  This course will also provide an overview of state law rights and remedies of judgment of debtors and creditors.

LAW 6411 Education Law (2); This course explores the legal problems of public and private educational institutions.  The course will examine Constitutional provisions impacting the educational setting, as well as applicable federal and state statutes.  Topics covered include academic freedom, students’ rights, teachers’ rights, and anti-discrimination statutes.

LAW 6412 Elder Law (2); This course examines the legal issues particularly relevant to the elderly. Topics covered will include health care and related documents such as living wills and health care powers of attorney, as well as benefits such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.

LAW 6413 Employment Law (3); This course studies state and federal employment law. Topics covered include common law claims such as breach of contract and wrongful discharge; wage and credit laws; anti-discrimination laws; and concerted labor activity and collective bargaining.

LAW 6414 Entertainment Law (2); This course studies the legal and business aspects of the entertainment industry.  In particular, the course emphasizes the aspects of contract and intellectual property law unique to this subject area.

LAW 6415 Environmental Law (2); This course explores state and federal environmental regulation.  Relevant state and federal statutes, regulations and case decisions will be examined, with particular emphasis afforded federal statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA).

LAW 6416 Estate and Gift Taxation (2); This course examines the tax consequences of gratuitous transfers of property under federal and state law. 

LAW 6417 Federal Courts (2); This course examines jurisdiction of the federal courts over federal questions and diversity of citizenship cases; distribution of powers between state and federal courts; use of state law in federal courts; civil procedure in federal districts courts; and appellate review of federal and state court decisions. 

LAW 6418 Federal Income Taxation (3); This course explores the basic principles of federal taxation of income.  It focuses primarily on the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code addressing taxation of individuals.  Concepts such as adjusted gross income, exemptions, deductions, and tax credits will be examined.

LAW 6419 First Amendment (2); This course deals with the complex and ever-evolving jurisprudence regarding the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Primary emphasis will be on the many facets of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and the Establishment Clause. 

LAW 6420 Health Law (3); This course will cover the major legal issues related to the health care system.  Health care decision making through various legal documents, e.g., health care powers of attorney and living wills, will be addressed.  In addition, issues related to representing medical personnel and hospitals, including defense of medical malpractice suits, will be discussed.

LAW 6421 Immigration Law (2); This course examines United States immigration and naturalization law.  Federal statutes and regulations addressing admission of foreign nationals, removal, citizenship, and employment will be addressed.

LAW 6422 Insurance Law (2); This course covers the basics of insurance law, including the nature of insurance, insurance contract formation and interpretation, and government regulation of the insurance industry. Various types of insurance, such as property, health, life, and disability, will be covered.

LAW 6423 Juvenile Law (2); Criminal and non-criminal offenses of youths that bring them within the jurisdiction of juvenile courts are the focus of this course. 

LAW 6424 Law and Economics (2); This course explores economic analysis as it affects both legal theory and practical problems of practice.  Among the topics that may be explored in the course are:  the economics of law firms; the economics of intellectual property; behavioral economics; the use of game theory in transactional practice and in litigation; international trade and globalization; political economy and the evolution of institutions; and the effect of option theory on legal rules and on the practice of law.

LAW 6425 Law and Religion (2); This course focuses on the relationship between governments (federal and state) and religious organizations.

LAW 6426 Law Review (2); The Belmont Law Review is a student organization composed of second-year and third-year law students who publish a varied body of legal scholarship with the purpose of advancing discussion of timely legal issues among the professional and academic communities.  This offering is available only to students selected for membership and credit is awarded to students who successfully complete two years of service on the Belmont Law Review, including one year as a member of the Law Review Board, and who produce a note of publishable quality.  In this offering, successful completion of the requirements is determined by the Law Review’s faculty advisor and graded on a pass/fail basis.  Credit is awarded during the student’s final semester in law school and will substitute for a two credit-hour elective course.

LAW 6427 Payment Systems (Negotiable Instruments) (2); This course explores the rules of law applicable to transactions under Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and other pertinent law, focusing particularly on negotiable instruments, banking, and payment systems.

LAW 6428 Products Liability (2); This course studies the tort liability of suppliers of products, focusing primarily on manufacturers and retailers.  The course will examine the likely causes of action and defenses in such actions and review pertinent state and federal statutes and regulations, particularly in the area of tort reform.

LAW 6429 Remedies (3); This course examines the various legal, equitable, and restitutionary remedies available to claimants in civil litigation. 

LAW 6430 Secured Transactions (2); This course explores the law of secured transactions, focusing on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

LAW 6431 State Constitutional Law (2); This course focuses on state constitutions and the case law interpreting them.

LAW 6432 Trademark Law (3); This course covers the procedural and substantive law of trademarks and trade names.

LAW 6433 Workers Compensation (2); This course covers the origins and basic principles of the workers compensation system.  Topics covered include coverage, benefits, jurisdiction, preparation for trial by applicant and defendant, analysis of findings and awards, reconsideration, and judicial review.