Juris Doctor

  • LAW JD 928: Shareholder Activism (S)
    The recent rise of shareholder activism has become one of the most important topics for investors, corporate managers, and lawyers, transforming the way that public companies are run. Investment funds of all types have turned to activist strategies, including hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, labor union funds, religious orders, and charitable foundations. These shareholders are no longer content to passively defer to senior managers and boards of directors while quietly collecting their dividends and hoping for share price appreciation. Some may demand specific business changes, others demand across-the board governance reforms, and still others may pursue environmental or social objectives. This course will explore the various forms of shareholder activism, and corporate responses to them. We will examine the debate over proxy access, say-on-pay initiatives, majority voting for directors, the corporate governance reform movement, corporate political activity, socially responsible investing, and shareholder litigation. In examining these issues we will discuss the costs and benefits of such activism. Students will also develop an appreciation for the institutional players that drive this activism, and for those that oppose it. Students should expect to hear from several guest speakers from all sides of the shareholder activist debate. PREREQUISITE: Corporations and Business Fundamentals (may be waived with instructor's permission). LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the instructor. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H 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 929: Copyright Policy, Rhetoric & Rights (S)
    The seminar examines why law might give authors limited rights to control uses that other people make of their work, and how such rights can or should be cabined by the public's right of free speech. We will examine how IP policy arguments are structured, focusing on Locke's theory of property and economic explanations of law. The seminar will also analyze how both "rights theory" and constitutional law doctrine treat collisions between private property rights and public civil rights. Assignments will include several short papers, as well as oral and written exercises. A limited number of third-year students may satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. Second-year students wishing to write cert papers may be given the option of doing an independent study in the Spring term. No prerequisites are necessary, but you will enjoy the course most if you have taken copyright, trademark, or the intellectual property survey. ** 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 931: Private Equity and Venture Capital Transactions (S)
    This seminar introduces students to the business and legal issues prevalent in private equity and venture capital deals and highlights the significant role that lawyers play in effecting these transactions. The seminar will begin with an overview of the private equity and venture capital industries, an introduction to investment transactions and will proceed through all aspects of the life of an investment from inception to exit. It will address how investment funds are formed and the legal and financial considerations present when those funds invest in private companies. We will examine deal terms and structures, pricing and corporate finance issues, and the management of deal risk. It will also highlight the due diligence process, stockholder relationships, fiduciary duties and securities laws considerations, and liquidity events. Theoretical readings will be balanced against practical articles and commentary, recent court decisions and model deal documents. The seminar will be highlighted by guest lectures by private equity and venture capital investment professionals. Grades will be based on a final exam, short pre-class exercises and class participation. PREREQUISITE: Corporations (May be waived with an instructor's permission.) NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H 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 932: Admiralty
    Admiralty cases comprise a significant portion of the case load of federal courts near U.S. ports. Clerks for judges in those courts should have an understanding of admiralty law. In addition, lawyers who handle international transactions will likely encounter admiralty issues even if they do not specialize in admiralty law; the practice of admiralty is by nature international. Admiralty practitioners work with lawyers and clients from many nations and travel often to those nations. The course will examine admiralty jurisdiction of the federal and state courts as well as oft litigated choice of law and choice of forum issues. Our examination of the substantive areas of admiralty law will show how they fit together and affect one another. The substantive areas will include the international and domestic multimodal carriage of goods, charter parties (contracts to use an entire ship or part of a ship), salvage, towing, pilotage, collision, stranding, general average, and personal injury. We shall also examine ship mortgages and marine insurance. Marine insurance affects almost all aspects of admiralty law. We shall attempt to predict the effects of the Rotterdam Rules (a new treaty that the United States and other nations are in the process of ratifying) on various aspects of admiralty law, particularly the carriage of goods. This course is a pre-requisite to apply for membership in the three student team for the national Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition, which will be held from March 22-24, 2018 in Seattle. Applicants for the Admiralty Moot Court Competition must first compete in the Stone Moot Court Competition. The course will also include instruction and an exercise in brief writing. OFFERING PATTERN: This class may not be offered every year. It will be offered this year if 5 or more students register for it. Students are advised to take this fact into account when planning their long term schedule. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.
  • LAW JD 934: Affordable Housing Law Externship: Fieldwork (C)
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. The Affordable Housing Externship is an option for students enrolled in Mr. Peter Freeman's Affordable Housing Law seminar. Students receive credit for working at one of Boston's public or non-profit housing and community development agencies. Placements may be paid or unpaid. Students receive 3 credits for performing 150 hours of fieldwork over the course of the 13-week semester (averaging 12 hours per week). Students also submit reflective journals and meet periodically with Mr. Freeman. Before the semester begins, Mr. Freeman works with students to help identify and apply to suitable placements. Please contact Mr. Freeman for more information about specific placement possibilities. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement.
  • LAW JD 935: Affordable Housing Law (S)
    The seminar will combine a focus on: 1) public policy issues related to the goals of creation of affordable housing in the context of community revitalization; and 2) real-world implementation strategies that have been successfully used to achieve these goals. Analyzing the roles of government agencies, non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups, and private businesses will be a key part of the seminar. In lieu of a traditional exam or term paper, students will engage in field research and investigation of real community projects as part of semester long case studies, where they will work with lawyers, government officials, developers and grass-roots advocates involved with the projects. The relative utility of traditional legal techniques (such as land use planning devices, zoning, easements, revolving trusts, leasehold covenants and financing) will be carefully analyzed; the policies and impact of federal, state and local laws, including federal and state affordable housing financing programs and the Community Preservation Act in Massachusetts, will be examined; and possible new approaches will be considered. By incorporating real-world projects into the seminar, it is hoped that the interface of law, economics, planning, design, and construction disciplines will enable the problems to be analyzed from a variety of perspectives reflecting a client's and a community's practical concerns. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. EXTERNSHIP OPTION: A limited number of students may apply to enroll in the Affordable Housing Law Externship Program (JD934). ** 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 936: International Development and Project Finance (S)
    Capital-intensive public and private development projects throughout the world, including large-scale infrastructure, transportation, energy, agriculture, technology and environmental projects depend upon project financing as the primary funding mechanism. Understanding and resolving the political, legal and financial risks associated with the planning and implementation of these projects, and often in emerging and unstable economies, is the critical first step in developing project finance opportunities. The seminar will combine theory and practice and focus on the negotiation and structure of actual project finance and concession agreements and transactions and the minimization of exposures and risks associated with these transactions. Each step of the project finance process will be analyzed, including the rationale and sources for the project finance, the legal framework for the project finance, the organizational and governance structure, risk allocation and mitigation and dispute resolution. An interdisciplinary analysis from the legal, finance and public perspective will be used to assess the views that investors, lenders, designers, contractors, governmental participants, citizens and other stakeholders bring to an infrastructure project. Several of the world's largest and most complex civil engineering and infrastructure mega projects including the English Chunnel, the Chad Cameroon Pipeline, the Dabhol Power Project and Boston's Central Artery Tunnel Project will serve as models for analysis of project finance and risk. A final research paper will be required in lieu of an examination. NOTE: This class may be used to satisfy the Professional Skills requirement or the upper-class writing requirement (limited). This class may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H 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 937: Legislative Externship (C)
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. Students receive credit for working with a Senator, Representative or Committee in the Massachusetts Legislature. Externs may draft legislation; evaluate testimony; participate in planning meetings with legislators and staff; research questions of law and fact for proposed legislation; observe legislative strategy sessions and negotiations; and attend floor debates and committee meetings. Prior to the start of the semester, the program instructor, Professor Sean Kealy, works with each student and matches them with a Senator or Representative, depending on their areas of interest. Students receive 3-9 variable P/F credits for their fieldwork, as determined in consultation with their placement supervisors. Each credit requires 50 hours of work over the course of the 13-week semester (averaging 4 hours per week). NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Legislative Externship: Seminar (JD 938).
  • LAW JD 938: Legislative Externship: Seminar
    This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. This is the companion academic component for students enrolled in the Legislative Externship: Fieldwork course. The seminar covers subjects that affect the legislative process including: constitutional interpretation by legislatures, theories of representation, legislative organization and rules, lobbying, legislative oversight powers, and legislature-executive agency relationships. In addition, each student keeps a reflective journal chronicling their educational experience and reactions to the practice of law observed at the field placement. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Legislative Externship: Fieldwork (JD937).
  • LAW JD 939: Patent Prosecution (S)
    Graduate Prerequisites: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, PATENT LAW, OR PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR.
    This seminar examines various aspects of U.S. patent practice including prosecution processes, strategies, post-grant options, business and ethical considerations, and management of international patent portfolios. PREREQUISITE-COREQUISITE: Intellectual Property, Patent Law, or permission of the instructor. NOTE: This class may be used to satisfy the Professional Skills requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is frequently offered in alternating years. 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 (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 940: Law & Economics Workshop (S)
    The Law and Economics Seminar is a research workshop. Class sessions will alternate between (1) lectures on selected topics in microeconomic theory and empirical methods, including methodology commonly used in law and economics scholarship, and (2) presentations of working papers by outside speakers (typically faculty members from other institutions). The specific legal topics considered will vary depending on the interests of the speakers, but all paper presentations will focus on application of economics concepts and tools to legal and regulatory issues. Students are responsible for preparing short memoranda that respond to the presented papers. Final grades depend on attendance and participation. NOTES: This class does not satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is 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 (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 941: Corporate Governance (S)
    This seminar will address corporate governance issues from a real world perspective, making use of timely case studies, corporate proxy contests, and other materials to be made available to students through the course site on Blackboard Learn. Students will not be required to purchase a casebook or text. We will consider corporate governance from the perspective of practicing lawyers, corporate directors and executives, investors, and regulators. We will engage in a number of informal role-playing exercises in class. Students may, for example, be asked in class to play the role of an activist investor, a CEO, a board chairman, an SEC regulator, or a Congressional staff counsel. There is no exam in this course. Each student will write a paper of publishable quality due at the end of the semester. The professor will consult with each student at least three times during the semester, first, to discuss the choice of a research topic; then to review an outline; and finally, to review a draft of the paper. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. PREREQUISITE: Corporations. RECOMMENDED: Securities Regulation (either prior to or concurrent with this course.) LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. ** 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 942: English Legal History
    This course will cover the history of the common law in England from the late twelfth century to the time of the American Revolution. We will study the development of the legal profession, its doctrines, and its techniques in five areas: procedure, criminal law, property, contract, and tort. The readings emphasize primary sources, and students will give presentations in teams on historical documents handed out in class. Students can either write a research paper or complete a take-home examination. Research papers may, but need not fulfill the Writing Requirement. OFFERING PATTERN: This class not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule.
  • LAW JD 943: Comparative Legal Practicum (C)
    Please contact the Clinical Programs Office for more information.
  • LAW JD 945: Trial Advocacy (Advanced)
    The purpose of this course is to enable students to further develop the skills acquired during the basic trial advocacy course and to introduce them to issues that are not generally addressed at the basic level. Those issues will include motions in limine, impaneling a jury, trial notebooks, effective use of experts, trial technology, preserving the record for appellate purposes and further developing direct and cross-examinations skills. This will be accomplished by using the entire case file used by counsel in a 1992 murder trial, Commonwealth v Fuller in Essex County, MA. The class will be divided into two teams: a prosecution team and a defense team. The case is evenly weighted so no team will have a built-in advantage. Each team will work together to address the issues facing that team. There will be plenty of opportunity for individual in-class demonstrations of various trial skills, including writing and arguing motions in limine, direct and cross examinations of an expert, etc. The students will learn that much of trial advocacy involves "brainstorming" the issues with one's peers, particularly during the early stages of a case. Accordingly, the course will be frontloaded with group discussion of the various issues facing the trial lawyer before the first juror is impaneled. The final exam of this course will be a mock trial of a case, one that is much more compact than the Fuller case. This trial will provide an excellent opportunity for the students to demonstrate the complete range of their trial skills. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-class Professional Skills requirement and counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. *** A student who fails either to attend the initial meeting of Trial Advocacy (Advanced), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the registrar, will be administratively dropped from the section. Students who are on a wait list for a section are required to attend the first section meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 946: Criminal Law
    Examines the basic principles of substantive criminal law, including the justifications for punishment, the essential elements of offenses, mitigating and exculpating defenses, and different forms of criminal liability.
  • LAW JD 947: Sex Crimes (S)
    Over the last few decades, the public has become increasingly concerned about sexual crimes. In addition to harsher punishments, several civil, collateral consequences have become common such as indefinite commitment and registration. This class will explore how sexual offenses are dealt with in the criminal justice system and the underlying reasoning for the heightened attention, including morality, statistical data, and psychological/scientific evidence. We will discuss the limitations, if any, that govern collateral consequences such as indefinite civil commitment and registration (e.g. Constitutional restrictions, scientific uncertainty). The class aims to challenge preconceived notions of sex crimes and sex offenders through case law, guest speakers, academic literature, and real life scenarios. NOTE: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H 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 948: Immigrants & the Law: The Regulated Immigrant(S)
    Recent census data informs us that there are approximately 40 million immigrants living in the United States. About 11 million of these immigrants are undocumented or otherwise in the country illegally. The rest of the country remains divided on their feelings regarding the immigrant population, with about half believing that immigrants "strengthen the country because of their hard work and talent, while 41% [believe them to be] a burden because they take jobs, health care and housing." (Information in this paragraph obtained from Most Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay, but Citizenship is More Divisive (Pew Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.), Mar. 28, 2013.) This course will investigate the life of an immigrant in American society from a legal perspective. Students will learn how immigrants, both documented and undocumented, interact with various sections of the American system. The goal is to assess various ways in which an individual's immigration status affects access to important rights and benefits accorded to citizens and analyze the legal rationale for existing limitations. We will examine these issues through the use of law review articles, court cases, existing and proposed legislation, newspaper articles, empirical studies, and governmental and private organizational position papers. Topics may include an investigation of an immigrant's access and limitations in primary and secondary education, public benefits, the court system, employment, voting, as well as modes of immigration policing by both federal immigration authorities and state police. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H 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 950: Homicide Investigations and Trials: Theory and Practice (S)
    This seminar will focus upon the substantive law of homicide, as well as the practical aspects of actual homicide investigations and trials: crime scene interpretation; DNA analysis; autopsies and related forensic evidence; expert testimony, particularly in the area of psychiatry and criminal responsibility; jury considerations; ethical concerns; and the role of the media. Students will have the opportunity to study actual murder cases, visit local crime laboratories and courtrooms, and learn prosecution, defense, and judicial perspectives on various contemporary issues arising in murder investigations and trials. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is 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 waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
  • LAW JD 951: Comparative Law (S)
    This seminar is an introduction to comparative law's themes and methods. Accordingly, the seminar is organized in two parts. The readings selected for the first part present theoretical articulations and practical applications of the main methodological approaches relied upon by comparative lawyers. Participants will become acquainted with the "mechanics", as well as the broader implications, of the various ways of comparing: functionalism, structuralism, culturalism, postmodern neo-culturalism and critical comparative law. The materials discussed in the second part explore how these different methodologies play out in recent and heated comparative law debates. Participants will be asked to reflect over the common law-civil law dichotomy and its implications for the debate over the European Civil Code as well as for projects of harmonization, such as the World Bank's "Legal Origins" study; the circulation of legal rules and institutions and the export of constitutional models in Eastern Europe and Iraq; the ambiguous relation between US and European legal cultures and the debate over different ideas of "privacy"; the "West" and the "Orient" in family law reform. ** 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.