Juris Doctor

  • LAW JD 826: Mediation: Theory & Practice (S)
    Mediation is part of the legal landscape in almost every substantive area and legal setting. This course will cover the theory and practice of mediation, the use of mediation to resolve disputes in various different legal contexts, and the development of practical mediation skills. We will examine the mediation process from the role of the mediator through the attorney representing a party in mediation. We will also address direct negotiation, the decision to mediate, mediator selection, preparation for mediation, and ethical issues involved in negotiation. The course will provide skill building through several interactive role-plays, in which students will have opportunities to act as a mediator, a party in mediation, and counsel to a party in mediation. The role play mediations and other exercises will survey many of the areas in which mediation is being used, including business and commercial; court-connected, federal-state agency (environmental and others); construction, employment/workplace; family/ divorce; school, community, and international. Due to the interactive nature of the class, students will be expected to attend all scheduled classes and to participate actively. Active participation includes in-class discussions, mediation role-plays, assigned reading, and writing a weekly mediator's journal. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. This seminar satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 827: Restorative Justice: Principles and Practices
    The course explores the needs of key stakeholders in a justice system (victims, offenders, communities, government officials), outlines the basic principles and values of restorative justice with comparisons to the principles and values of retributive justice, and introduces some of the primary models of practice. It also identifies challenges to restorative justice. These discussions will takes place in the context of secular and religious understandings of justice. The course is organized around the issue of crime and harm within a western legal context. However, attention is given to applications and lessons from other contexts. Of particular interest is the contribution of traditional or indigenous approaches to justice as well as applications in post-conflict situations, such as South Africa. The class will include presentations by the instructor, class discussion of the assigned reading, conversations with victims, offenders and community members, and role plays of different practices. The class will include students from both the Law School and the School of Theology. Students will be graded on the basis of their written work and classroom performance. There will be no final exam.
  • LAW JD 828: Wrongful Convictions Clinic (C)
    Participants will engage in screening applications from prisoners claiming innocence who have requested help from the New England Innocence Project. This may involve reading prisoner questionnaires, pleadings and court opinions in the case, legal research and analysis of the requirements for obtaining a new trial, review of attorney files, and search for forensic evidence in the case. Clinic students must attend biweekly meetings as determined necessary by Mr. Cormier, and spend at least five hours a week on Clinic tasks, under supervision, for the full academic year. If investigation of the prisoner's case finishes at the end of the Fall Semester, or part-way through the Spring Semester, the Clinic work will end at that time. Most often, however, Clinic obligations continue throughout the academic year. Students will receive one pass/fail credit for each full semester of work. If, however, work on the prisoner's case is not finished by December, credit for the Fall will be deferred until the work is completed. Hours spent on Clinic work in the Spring semester that do not receive credit may be counted toward satisfaction of the School's Pro Bono Pledge. Participants will be expected to attend an evening orientation program, conducted in late September at the New England Innocence Project. Interested students may obtain an application online at http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/programs/clinics/applying/ and submit it to Mr. Cormier at pc@gscboston.com. The application deadline is May 15, 2014. NOTES: This Clinic satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement. Enrolling in this Clinic will not disadvantage participants who wish to enroll in other law school clinics, either contemporaneously or subsequently.
  • LAW JD 830: Federal Habeas Corpus (S)
    This seminar explores federal court jurisdiction to entertain petitions for the writ of habeas corpus. Some attention will be given to habeas corpus as a means of challenging actions taken by the Federal Government in connection with national security and immigration. More attention will be given to habeas as the means by which state and federal prisoners attack criminal convictions and death sentences. The seminar should be of interest to students interested in the institutional role of federal courts in the United States, the relationship between federal courts and state courts, and the procedural mechanisms for adjudicating federal constitutional issues in criminal cases. Students who plan to practice criminal law, to handle capital litigation, or to clerk for federal judges will find the seminar especially valuable. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 831: Evidence
    Practical and theoretical aspects of the rules of evidence. The purpose and policies underlying the evidentiary rules are stressed throughout in order to make the rules meaningful, predictable, and functional both for students interested in trial practice and for students who anticipate engaging in a more diversified practice. In addition to covering the substantive rules of evidence, the course demonstrates the significance of evidence as a tactical device at the trial and as a vital skill for the office lawyer. GRADING NOTICE: Judge Lowy's section will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 833: Environmental Law
    This is an introductory survey class in environmental law. Topics include the control of air and water pollution, toxic substances and hazardous waste, global climate change, brownfields development, the intersection between energy law and policy and environmental law, protection of endangered species, and judicial review of federal and state administrative actions. We will also study one or more current examples of environmental law in action to illustrate the differing interests of various stakeholders in environmental law disputes. Administrative Law is recommended but not required as a prerequisite. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option
  • LAW JD 834: Employment Discrimination and Employment Law
    The course focuses on race, sex, age, and disability employment discrimination prohibitions. Affirmative action, religious discrimination, constitutional protections of public sector workers, anti-retaliation and whistleblower laws, and common law protection against arbitrary dismissals are also covered. Important procedural issues, including arbitration, are highlighted.
  • LAW JD 836: Federal Courts
    A basic survey course, covering the federal courts and their conduct of litigation concerning business regulation, environmental protection, and civil rights. This course picks up where the first-year course in Civil Procedure leaves off and complements other courses on modern regulation and legal institutions: e.g., Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Labor Law, Conflict of Laws, and Constitutional Law. Topics include the prerequisites for gaining access to the federal district courts and the United States Supreme Court, the relationship between the federal courts and state courts, and "abstention" doctrines governing the exercise of federal judicial power. Especially recommended for students who plan to practice with firms that represent clients subject to federal regulation, to pursue careers with federal or state agencies and departments, or to handle constitutional, civil rights, or other public interest litigation.
  • LAW JD 838: Antitrust Law
    Antitrust law regulates the competition between business firms in unregulated markets (and in varying degrees in regulated markets, where it supplies a benchmark standard). Thus, all privately owned economic entities are subject to or affected by the antitrust laws (federal or state), ranging from the largest multinationals to self-employed individuals, e.g., lawyers. Antitrust law constrains business behavior that injures the competitive process, encompassing such topics as price fixing, boycotts, monopolization, mergers, price discrimination, distributorship limitations and similar trade restrictions. Antitrust analysis is increasingly economic in its orientation and therefore economic analysis will form a vital part of the course. Supplementary economic readings are suggested for students without previous economic background (and for others who may wish to refresh their knowledge). GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 839: First Amendment
    This course will begin with an examination of freedom of expression and freedom of the press and will then move to a study of freedom of religion -- the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. We shall cover issues such as the protection of political speech, sexualized speech (obscenity and pornography), symbolic speech and speech in public places in addition to issues related to press censorship, reporters' privilege and press coverage of trials. We shall pay particular attention to the WikiLeaks case and examine the role of leaks, reporters' privilege and the internet in the 21 century. In the area of freedom of religion we shall review the evolving jurisprudence on the role of religion in the public sphere as well as the constitutional command to guarantee free exercise of religion. While studying the doctrines developed under the Bill of Rights, we shall also address theoretical questions such as the justifications for freedom of expression, the role of religion in American culture, the role of rights in constitutional democracy and the institutional question of judicial review. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 841: Sup Res&Writing
  • LAW JD 842: International Business Transactions
    This course is intended to introduce students to the many legal issues generated by international business transactions and related international trade. With the significant growth in international commerce and trade, and the powerful forces of economic and social globalization, there is an increasing likelihood that lawyers will confront international commercial legal issues more frequently during their professional careers. The aim in this course is to generate vigorous learning and discussion of the many legal and related commercial and prudential issues that arise in international business transactions. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have a better understanding of the primary role of the lawyer in international transactional practice, acting as a practical, ethical and prudential legal advisor, while working to maximize value and reduce risk for the client in conditions of inherent risk and uncertainty. Topics include formation of contracts, choice of law, financing the international sale of goods through letters of credit, regulation of international trade including export and import controls, the organizations and operations of the institutions of the World Trade Organization, licensing of intellectual property; international antitrust; foreign investment, investment in free trade areas such as the European Union, international dispute settlement, and international transfer of intellectual property. A number of sessions will be devoted to analyzing transactional instruments, such as letters of credit, distribution agreements, technology licenses, and joint venture agreements.
  • LAW JD 844: Charity & Charitable Organizations (S)
    This seminar will focus on the unique legal status of charitable organizations. Particular attention will be given to the expansion of charitable institutions from relief of poor people to different types of non-profit entities (including universities, hospitals, and religious organizations). We will examine their organization, governance, and regulation by both the federal government and the states. Specific topics will include the permissible scope of non-profit activities; choice of organizational form; the powers and fiduciary duties of non-profit directors/trustees and officers; standing to sue non-profits; qualification for federal tax-exempt status and related tax issues; forms of charitable giving and the regulation of fundraising; the investment and use of charitable funds; and other issues unique to non-profits. All students will be required to write papers on topics approved by the instructor. Some students, with the permission of the instructor, may satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement through this seminar by writing a longer paper. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. OFFERING PATTERN: This class not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 846: Historical Perspectives on Law, Constitutions and Culture (S)
    This workshop-format seminar examines the interplay of law, constitutions, and culture from an historical perspective. The heart of the seminar is student engagement with works-in-progress by leading scholars in the history, theory, and culture of law, broadly understood. The first three class sessions will be devoted to developing the intellectual tools necessary for reading and engaging with such papers. Starting in week 4 of the semester, the class format will alternate between workshop sessions and more traditional seminar sessions. During the five workshop sessions, an invited scholar will present a current scholarly work-in-progress for discussion. Students will read the speaker's paper in advance and prepare discussion questions for the seminar. During the other sessions, the class will meet as a normal seminar, during which we will discuss readings related to the workshop papers and legal history more generally. The written work for the seminar will consist of a series of brief, critical essays in response to a student-selected subset of the workshop papers. NOTE: This course is open to law students and to graduate students from other departments. A background in history is not a prerequisite. Graduate students from outside the law school may be able to receive 4 credits for this course. Please consult the professor regarding this option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 847: Federal Courts
    This course focuses on the statutory, constitutional, and judge-made doctrines that shape and restrict the powers of federal courts. In particular, it examines the relationships between the federal courts and the other branches of the federal government, as well as the relationship between the federal and state courts. Selected topics include standing and justiciability, congressional control of the federal courts' powers (such as the extent to which "enemy combatants" may be excluded from federal court), federal question jurisdiction, and state sovereign immunity from suit in federal and state courts. This course builds extensively on topics covered in Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. It is strongly recommended for students who plan on clerking (especially for a federal judge) or who expect to represent clients in federal court or in civil actions against government actors.
  • LAW JD 850: Insurance Law
    The presence or absence of insurance is in many instances the single most important determinant of whether and how a tort or contracts action is litigated. This course focuses on both individual and commercial forms of insurance coverage. Students are introduced to the key insurance concepts of risk management, including the transfer, pooling and allocation of covered risks. Problems of contract interpretation, imperfect information, adverse selection and discrimination will be treated at length. Additionally, the class will take up issues particular to property, life, health, disability, liability and auto insurance. Finally, some time will be devoted to the state regulatory regimes designed to ensure solvency and profitability, and to the secondary market (i.e. reinsurance, and surplus and excess lines). A final exam is required.
  • LAW JD 852: Mutual Funds (Investment Companies)
    Investment companies have become an important part of the financial system. This course is designed to familiarize students with the special laws governing investment companies: their creation, structure, corporate governance, operations (including the distribution of shares and the management of the portfolios), dissolution and, time permitting, taxation. In particular, the course will focus on the Investment Company Act of 1940 and on the practice in this area before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • LAW JD 854: White Collar Crime
    The past several years have witnessed an explosion in white collar criminal prosecutions: Arthur Andersen, Martha Stewart, Bernard Madoff and Jeffrey Skilling (Enron) to name a few. The purpose of this Course is to teach present-day "white collar crime" practice, including the elements of principal federal statutes and the special procedures followed by prosecutors. The course will review the theoretical bases of modern "white collar crime" prosecution, the major statutes in a prosecutor's "tool-box" (mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, bribery and extortion, obstruction of justice, RICO, and perjury) and procedural aspects of white collar crime (such as, grand jury process and sentencing). Students will learn significant and interesting recent cases and the prosecutorial and defensive techniques employed in white collar crime cases. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be familiar with the statutes, procedures, and methods of issue analysis employed by prosecutors and private lawyers in "white collar crime" practice. OFFERING PATTERN: This class not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule.
  • LAW JD 855: Land Use
    This course covers a wide range of laws, regulations, and policy considerations that influence and govern the development of land. Classes will focus on real-world projects, including adaptive re-use of a historic building and construction of a high-rise tower, to explore the complex legal work that underpins modern real estate projects. Readings will include a mix of project-specific legal documents and casebook readings. Specific topics will include historic preservation, zoning and permitting, title and due diligence, eminent domain, real estate finance, easements and licenses, and environmental and "green building" issues. Readings and discussion will build on core property law concepts but there are no pre-requisites for this course.
  • LAW JD 857: Intellectual Property
    This course explores how the law deals with the products of creative activity. The range of subject matter is large, embracing things as different as mechanical inventions and melodies; baubles and boat designs; catalogues, computers and cartoons. Among the areas of potential coverage are federal copyright law, federal trademark law, state law theories of unfair competition, trade secret law, patent law, state rights of publicity, and misappropriation. Also considered will be whether federal law should preempt the efforts of state judges and legislatures to regulate intellectual products.