Course Browser

Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise near every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester.
 

NOTE: Course offerings change. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.

 

Credits
Semester
JD Course of Study
JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law
JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship
International LLM - 1 year
LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship - 1 year
Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law
 
Clear all filters78 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

203

Business Strategy for Lawyers 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - required courses
  • LLM-LE (1 year program) - required courses
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam
  • Midterm
  • Group project
  • Class participation

This course presents the fundamentals of business strategy to a legal audience. The class sessions include traditional lectures and business-school case discussions. The lecture topics and analytical frameworks are drawn from MBA curriculums at leading business schools. The cases are selected for both their business strategy content and their legal interest.

The course is designed to introduce a wide variety of modern strategy frameworks and methodologies, including methods for assessing the strength of competition, for understanding
relative bargaining power, for anticipating competitors' actions, for analyzing cost and value structures and their relevance to competition, and for assessing potential changes in the scope of the firm (diversification and vertical integration). Basic mastery of these tools has relevance to everyone seeking a career in business or those advising business managers or executives.

Students taking this course should have completed a course (or its equivalent) in introduction to microeconomics as an undergraduate and be comfortable with use of graphs.

Students enrolled in Business Strategy must (a)have previously taken or be concurrently enrolled in Analytical Methods OR (b) have taken an undergraduate course in economics. Students that currently hold an MBA or enrolled in the JD-MBA program may not take this course. THIS IS A FAST TRACK COURSE.

205

Antitrust 3
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

This course covers the fundamentals of United States antitrust law as well as the underlying legal and economic theory. Topics include (i) horizontal restraints of trade such as cartels, oligopolies, and joint ventures; (ii) monopolization and the conduct of dominant firms; (iii) vertical restraints of trade between suppliers and customers such as resale price maintenance, territorial and customer restrictions, tying arrangements, exclusive dealing contracts, bundled and loyalty pricing; (iv) mergers; and (v) the intersection between antitrust and other areas of law, such as procedure, intellectual property, and the First Amendment.

A final exam will be offered.

207

Sports and the Law 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

Sports occupies a central place in modern society. It constitutes a significant sector in the economy and an important form of cultural expression. This course examines the legal relations among the various parties in sports at both the professional and amateur levels. Particular attention will be given to the importance given to the maintenance of competitive balance and its impact on traditional notions of competition that apply in other business settings. Contracts law, antitrust law, and labor law provide the essential core for the investigation of issues in this course. In addition, this course seeks to provide an informed perspective on the financial and business structures that define the industry.

210

Business Associations 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - required courses
  • International LLM - New York Bar Exam
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

This course surveys the law providing ground rules for the organization, internal governance, and financing of corporations and other forms of business associations such as partnerships and limited liability companies. Topics include limited liability, fiduciary duties, shareholder voting, derivative suits, control transactions, mergers and acquisitions, public contests, and trading. The emphasis throughout is on the functional analysis of legal rules as one set of constraints on business associations, among others.

215

Commercial Transactions 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Final Exam

A study of basic policy choices made in the structuring of the law governing consumer and commercial transactions. The course serves as an overview of the role of debt in US society, especially consumer debt. This course looks at common debt arrangements, bankruptcy, and secured lending, both for personal property and for real property (mortgages). Particular attention is given to the lessons learned, and not learned, in the recent mortgage crisis. The course weaves discussions of major policy issues on excessive consumer and student debt with the substantive rules that define how debt arrangements are structured and then resolved, as in bankruptcy. Commercial Transactions and Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law have a substantial overlap, and enrollment in one precludes enrollment in the other. The courses differ in their relative emphasis on bankruptcy law.

244

The Business and Economics of Law Firms 1
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM - New York Bar Exam
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Reflection Papers
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course will provide students with an enhanced and vital understanding of law firms as business entities in a competitive and global market. Based on feedback from employers, interviews with hundreds of lawyers and published accounts from law firm leaders, it is clear that technical legal ability will be necessary but not sufficient to excel in the practice of law or any business endeavor in coming decades. The topics will be explored through the review and analysis of literature, statutes, and case studies, and will include a basic financial analysis of the operations of law firms. Assignments will be collaborative and will simulate the client advisory process allowing students to gain experience providing legal advice and business recommendations. Associate Dean and Senior Lecturing Fellows Bruce Elvin and George Krouse '70 will lead, teach and organize the seminar, with senior law and business leaders from the United States and abroad serving as guest lecturers many weeks.

255

Federal Income Taxation 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

An introduction to federal income taxation, with emphasis on the determination of income subject to taxation, deductions in computing taxable income, the proper time period for reporting income and deductions, and the proper taxpayer on which to impose the tax.

260

Financial Accounting 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

Many attorneys are required to evaluate financial data, notably financial statements from corporations, on a regular basis. The need is not limited to corporate attorneys; indeed litigators in securities, antitrust, malpractice, or general commercial litigation frequently must analyze financial information. This course serves to both introduce basic accounting principles and practices and their relationship to the law, as well as to study a number of contemporary accounting problems relating to financial disclosure and the accountant's professional responsibility. Students with accounting degrees, MBAs or who have taken more than a couple of accounting courses are not permitted to enroll. Also, Business Essentials may not be taken concurrently with this course.

270

Intellectual Property 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - required courses
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

A comprehensive introduction to the principal theories of trademark law and unfair competition, copyright law, patent law, and related state and federal doctrines.

287

Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM - New York Bar Exam
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

This is an introduction to the principles and concepts of commercial law and bankruptcy and their interplay. The course will start with a brief overview of the more innovative aspects of sales law, and then will introduce such basic commercial law concepts as letters of credit, documents of title, and negotiable instruments.

The course then will focus on secured transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including the concepts of security interests, collateral, perfection and priority, and foreclosure. That will bring in the natural interplay with such bankruptcy law concepts as property of a bankrupt debtor's estate, automatic stay of a foreclosure action, use by a debtor of property subject to a security interest, adequate protection of the secured party's interest, rejection of executory contracts, bankruptcy trustee's avoiding powers, preferences, fraudulent conveyances, postpetition effect of a security interest, set-offs, and subordination. The course also introduces principles of international insolvency and bankruptcy.

Commercial Transactions and Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law have a substantial overlap, and enrollment in one precludes enrollment in the other. The courses differ in their relative emphasis on bankruptcy law. This course (Principles) is intended to give a solid, conceptual and practical grounding in all of the basic commercial and bankruptcy law issues that you are likely to encounter in your practice.

288

Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt 2
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP), option
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length), option
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course uses consumer bankruptcy as a lens to study the role of consumer credit in the U.S. economy and society. The class will focus on the key aspects of the consumer bankruptcy system, including who files bankruptcy, what causes bankruptcy, the consequences of bankruptcy, and the operation of the bankruptcy system. We will discuss each of these issues in the larger context of consumer debt and consumer law, and will also cover the foreclosure crisis, student loans, and issues related to debt, race, and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources, including the work of a variety of social scientists. Sarah Bloom Raskin,  formerly a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and former United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, will be a guest instructor for several class sessions.

304

Big Bank Regulation 4
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

Banking has evolved rapidly in just a few years. Global trade and investment has been supported and promoted by an emerging global financial system. This has in turn encouraged the growth of giant universal banks, based in the United States, the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, and in China and Japan. Most modern banks of any significant size (greater than $100 billion in total assets) have transnational and often truly global operations, but they also create major new risks and regulatory challenges. The debate over big banks and "too big to fail" concerns continued to be an important public policy concern in the 2016 Presidential election campaign. Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the largest in a long run of domestic and international crises since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a new “Dodd-Frank” and “Basel III” framework has been emerging.  This framework has fundamentally changed the way in which such financial institutions are regulated.  After nearly a decade of reform, however, the framework remains fundamentally controversial, at least in the United States, and executive and congressional efforts to reverse the Dodd-Frank and Basel models are currently on the main national political agenda. 

The walls between the three main sectors of finance - banking, securities and insurance - have broken down, yet at their core banks continue to be somewhat unique in their functions and the challenges they present for financial stability. This course will review all the domestic and international regulatory developments since the Global Financial Crisis, focusing on the established and emerging regulatory architectures and systems, both domestic and international, currently proposed reforms, and  future challenges and prospects for global and domestic financial reform.

 

306

Corporate Crime 4
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course serves as an introduction to the field of corporate crime, which now covers a large realm of government and law firm practice. The course will give students a first exposure to: (1) the contemporary practice in federal government agencies and medium to large corporate law firms of investigating, sanctioning, and representing corporations and their managers involved in potential criminal violations (and certain civil analogues); and (2) the debate in the public policy realm over whether, why, how, and when the criminal law should be applied in the corporate and business context.

This field is large, complex, and developing rapidly. This course therefore can cover only a selection of topics, and will emphasize policy and the need to confront gaps and uncertainty in doctrine. As there is no unitary body of black letter law in this field, this is not that kind of course. Coverage is likely to include mail and wire fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, securities fraud (including insider trading and accounting fraud), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, corporate criminal liability, grand jury powers and procedure, representation of entities and individuals, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments in the corporate context, plea and settlement agreements, and sentencing.

The materials consist of a course pack and occasional handouts. Assigned reading averages about 80 pages per week. The grade will be based primarily on a take home exam, with some weight given to class participation. Use of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the like will be prohibited during class meetings.

310

International Dispute Resolution 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Today’s leading dispute-resolution lawyers of the United States, and every nationality, must be equipped for the international practice of law.  Their clients increasingly include multinational corporations and foreign governments who carry out commercial transactions, invest in public infrastructure, and exploit natural resources often in collaboration with other corporations and governments of diverse nationalities around the globe.  Clients may also include citizens and community groups affected by such projects.  Given the sometimes conflicting interests of the various stakeholders, some of these undertakings evolve into complex disputes that cross not only geographic borders, but also cultural, linguistic, political, and jurisdictional boundaries.  Fortunately, the contracts and treaties which govern these projects, and which have proliferated exponentially in recent decades, provide for the resolution of disputes through international institutions, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).  Rights and remedies of private parties may be available, either alternatively or additionally, through national courts, local arbitration forums, and diplomatic protection.  And mediation of international disputes is on the rise, under existing institutional rules or through ad hoc proceedings such as before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).  As you prepare yourself to represent global clients, you must be equipped to navigate the available forums and the applicable legal regimes to advance their interests.

This course will take students through an evolving, hypothetical international dispute, to empower students with practical knowledge, skills, and strategy.  Each module of the course will require students to explore a different dispute resolution forum and address a different facet of the dispute governed by a different source of law (including treaties; contracts and concessions; and local, foreign, and customary international law).  Students will be required to read selected excerpts from leading cases and treatises and to engage in substantive discussion and debate in class.  Students will also be required to complete practicum exercises to develop transferable skills for all forms of international arbitration and litigation.  All hypothetical scenarios, materials, and assignments will be based on real cases from the professor’s experience, to ensure that students gain practical knowledge and skills for their own international practice of law.

319

Analytical Methods 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • JD-LLM-LE - required courses
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Lawyers face non-legal, analytical issues every day. Business lawyers need to understand a business in order to represent their client properly. Litigators need to judge the best route in adopting a litigation strategy. Family lawyers routinely need to value a business. Environmental lawyers need to understand economic externalities. Social lawyers need familiarity with financial instruments that have positive and negative attributes. In these and many other situations, lawyers tend to learn on the job, and even then the pressures of the moment often means that they learn just enough to move on to the next problem. This course is designed to help all lawyers develop a more systematic way of thinking about their work. Students taking this course will find it foundational in running a business, advising a business, or litigating business matters that go beyond the strict letter of the law. In this sense, this is not your standard doctrinal law school course. Rather, it is designed to give students the tools necessary to interact with the business community and run a company or firm. While there is no prerequisite for this course, students should be comfortable with numbers and graphs. A high school level of mathematics is required and students should be ready to use algebra, fractions, exponents, and the like. There will be no calculus.

The areas of focus include:

  1. Accounting. This section, covering basic accounting, is essential to understanding your clients, evaluating deals, and running a law firm.
  2. Finance. Beginning with the foundations of financial theory, this part of the course will cover key concepts in corporate finance and asset valuation.
  3. Microeconomics. In order to resolve disputes, facilitate commerce, and better cross-examine witnesses in complex litigation, a good understanding of the basics of microeconomics is important. This part of the course will cover these ideas.
  4. Statistical Analysis. Statistics play an important role for lawyers in many ways. They drive many governmental regulations; they help determine damages in cases; they help triers of fact determine the likelihood of an event. In this part of the course, we will examine how lawyers can use statistics in a variety of situations.

The course grade will be made up of class participation, (roughly) weekly problem sets, case analyses, and a final examination.

323

Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization 2
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Final Exam

The course will focus on the process by which a corporate debtor achieves reorganization pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Prior familiarity with bankruptcy principles and debtor-creditor law is not required. These will be incorporated in the course as it unfolds. Some familiarity with business organization is helpful but not necessary.

The subject will be covered primarily from two perspectives: that of supervision of a debtor by the bankruptcy court and that of the underlying business and economic dynamics that lead both to the debtor's financial crisis and to its ability to secure a fresh start through a plan of reorganization.


Topics to be covered include: historical, Constitutional, and policy issues underlying Chapter 11's provisions and goals; overview of basic business structures and transactions bearing on Chapter 11 reorganization; alternatives to avoid Chapter 11; the powers and oversight role of the bankruptcy court and the obligations and governance of a corporate debtor when under the protection of the bankruptcy court; the major phases of a Chapter 11 case from initial filing to consummation of a plan of reorganization (e.g., formulation of a business plan and the plan of reorganization, claims procedures and classification, plan disclosure and voting, plan confirmation, discharge, and consummation); recovery and disposition of assets in Chapter 11, including asset sales, and avoidance remedies; and numerous special topics encountered in Chapter 11 practice.

324

Corporate Restructuring 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This 3 credit course is designed to expose law and business students to the methods and theories that underlie corporate restructuring transactions. The course emphasizes the business strategies and valuation techniques that drive corporate transactions, while also illustrating the role of the law in such transactions. The coursework is practical, with each law student working with a group of MBA students to complete case-oriented assignments. Ideally, the law students learn from the business students and vice versa. In most years, student evaluation is based on these collaborative written assignments and class participation, and no final exam is required. (Check with the instructor for assignment details in any given year).

The course begins with an overview of the structure of the large-scale, public corporation, the conflicts of interest that exist between managers and stockholders, and the market forces and regulations designed to resolve such conflicts. Analytical techniques for valuing particular transactions will be discussed. Specific types of transactions will be examined, including, but not limited to mergers, acquisitions, tender offers, LBOs, divestitures, liquidations and reorganizations. In most cases, both financial and legal implications will be explored. Guest speakers help enhance the practical, real world perspective of the class.

Business Associations is required for all law students. Other corporate law courses such as Securities Regulation and Law of Corporate Finance can be helpful but not required. Some prior exposure to the principles of finance is strongly recommended. Please note that this course meets on the Fuqua half-semester schedule, which begins in mid March and ends in late April.

325

Corporate Finance 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises

This course is designed to familiarize law students with the principles of corporate finance. In the world of corporate finance, the distinction between lawyers and investment bankers has blurred. Whether negotiating a merger agreement, acquisition, or divestiture, rendering a fairness opinion, preparing for an appraisal hearing, litigating securities class action or derivative suits, issuing new securities, taking a firm private via an LBO or public via an IPO, corporate lawyers and investment bankers work side-by-side. Lawyers without an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance are at a distinct disadvantage. This course will also provide important tools for litigators to work with financial expert witnesses and calculate damages. Even students who do not plan to venture into the corporate world will benefit from this course. The financial principles covered are essential for lawyers intending to do estate or tax planning, litigate divorces, or draft the compensation agreements for business entities of all types.
Topics include: the time value of money; the relation between risk and return; the workings and efficiency of capital markets; behavioral finance; valuing perpetuities and annuities; valuing corporate securities (stock, bonds, and options); valuing businesses as a going concern; optimal capital structure and dividend policies; debt covenants and other lender protections; basic financial accounting; derivatives; and the application of these principles to legal practice.

326

Corporate Taxation 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the provisions of the Internal Revenue code governing the tax effects of the major events that occur in the life span of a corporation, including the taxation of distributions to shareholders and the formation, reorganization, and liquidation of corporations.

No papers are required, but class participation is expected. Students interested in taxation should take this course; it also has application to general corporate practice (mergers and acquisitions).

It is strongly recommended that students take Business Associations before taking Corporate Taxation.

328

International Debt Finance (and Sovereign Debt Crises) 2
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18

This course uses the lens of international debt finance to provide students with an advanced course in securities law, corporate law, and contract law. In the area of international debt finance, particular attention will be paid to debt issuances by sovereign nations. Given that much of this market is centered in New York and London, the focus of the course will be on U.S. and English law contracts and securities regulatory systems (including stock exchange listing regimes). Particular attention will be paid to how lawyers and their clients (both the sovereigns and the investment bankers) think about how to structure their contracts and what disclosures to make to the public regarding these contracts. Finally, attention will also be paid to the question of how domestic law private law principles can be utilized to solve or at least ameliorate the problem of third world debt (with particular reference to Sub Saharan debt).

Note: Students may enroll in 328P for an opportunity to earn an additional credit.

328P

International Debt Finance Add-on Credit 1
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Add on credit

Students have the option to complete a mid-semester assignment in Law 328 International Debt Finance for an additional credit. *LAW 328P MUST be added no later than 7th week of class.*

This course does not satisfy the JD Upper-Level Writing Requirement.

335

Private Equity and Hedge Funds 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises

Course Description:  The alternative asset classes of private equity and hedge funds represent a significant and growing share of investment activity worldwide and are at the center of many of the most pressing current issues in finance and financial law. While traditionally lightly regulated, both areas have received increasing regulatory attention, particularly since the global financial crisis.  Both also figure prominently in major ongoing debates concerning financial stability, market efficiency, corporate governance, financial innovation and complexity, and even income inequality.  This course introduces private equity and hedge funds from the perspectives of finance, regulation, and legal practice, covering the foundational issues of securities, tax, organizational, and fiduciary law that they raise.  Students will learn the basic regulatory framework applicable to fund structuring, fund managers and sponsors, fund offerings, and fund investments and gain experience with the key agreements among the parties involved. In addition, the course will critically assess the current regulation of private equity and hedge funds and proposals for reform.  Through reading materials, course discussions, guest lectures, and group work, students will gain insight into the perspective of fund managers, advisors, investors, those who transact with such funds, and those who regulate the fund industry.

Grading:  Grades will be based solely on a closed-book final examination.

Prerequisites:  Students must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Business Associations or a similar introductory course on business organizational law/company law taken at another law school (whether in the U.S. or abroad).  Prior coursework in securities regulation and taxation may be useful, but is not required.

 

336

Mergers & Acquisitions: A Practitioner's Perspective 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

This two-credit course will consider and analyze corporate mergers and acquisitions and the process of initiating and completing a corporate acquisition. Topics covered will include the structures commonly used in M&A transactions (and the factors affecting choice of deal structure); strategies employed by the acquiring company and the target firm in negotiating an acquisition and the differing roles played by the various parties involved; the critical role of information in M&A deals; conducting due diligence; the elements and structure of a typical acquisition agreement; certain techniques for effective drafting of M&A agreements; the roles and responsibilities of management, Boards of Directors and shareholders in connection with transactions; securities laws affecting transactions; acquisition financing; and getting the transaction to closing.

346

Intellectual Capital and Competitive Strategy 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18

In the majority of industries—and especially in R&D intensive industries like computers, semiconductors, software and biotech—competitive advantage relies critically upon a firm's management of the knowledge and know-how underpinning its product and process innovation. This course will consider how firms should manage and protect this intellectual capital. We will examine the management of intellectual capital from the vantage point of different types of firms—from start-ups to large incumbents—operating in different market environments. We will consider how firms should protect their intellectual capital, using not only patents, but lead time advantages, complementary marketing and manufacturing capabilities and secrecy, and extract value from their intellectual capital through commercialization and licensing. We will also consider when firms should share their intellectual capital with other firms—even rivals, and how firms should go about acquiring the intellectual capital of others. Building upon the research literatures of economics, organizational behavior, management, and the law, the course will have particular focus on technology intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, computers, semiconductors, software and telecommunications.


Strategy 339

348

East Asian Law: Business & Finance Focus 2
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 18
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation

This is a reading seminar, which will cover the East Asian law relating to the economic development, business practices, and financial regulation, exclusively focusing on Japan, Korea, and China. The legal system and economic development of these three countries have several features in common, if compared to the Western legal tradition, but the different history, culture, and politics of each country made its legal system distinctive to each other. This course aims to examine both these commonalities and distinctions, and thereby enhance our understanding of these three countries today. We will only cover the laws and practices relating to the corporate business and financial regulation, most of which have been inherited from the West. Such legal system has very little to do with the East Asian legal tradition. In most cases, it was previously based on the European Civil Law system, and recently more and more influenced by the Anglo-American laws and regulations. In this regard, the notions that have been often employed to explain the East Asian distinctions, such as Asian value, Confucianism, and traditional culture, will be rarely used or emphasized in this class. Rather, this course intends to examine how these three countries have struggled to incorporate the Western legal system—with or without its underlying assumptions and background social environments—into their society in a surprisingly limited time. To be sure, such transplant has not always been successful, and we can learn several lessons both from success and failure.

 

358

Structuring Venture Capital and Private Equity Transactions 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17

In the world of venture capital and private equity, there is no difference between a good business person and a good lawyer. They both must know capitalization structure and law, and they both must know tax and accounting.

Many never achieve this mastery, and those who do only get there after many years of practice. This course helps the law and business student drive to the top of their game sooner and more effectively than their peers from other institutions.

The goal is to focus on the formation of deals. We look at the business reasons that parties come together, we look at the business reasons that deals fail to meet expectations, and we look at the business reasons that deals work. This is especially important in private equity and venture capital deals, where exit strategies have to be anticipated from the very outset of a deal.

359

Introduction to Law and Economics 3
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

Law and economics is one of the most influential schools of thought in modern legal theory. The ideas propounded by the economic analysis of law are gaining increasing traction in court decisions as well as in legal policy. This course explores the methodology of economic analysis in the legal context and discusses several of its provocative insights. This course will examine the major contributions of the economic analysis of law in the classical common law categories of contract, tort and property, as well as in other areas that may not initially appear to be amenable to economic reasoning. The course does not require any background in economics.

Grades: 100% of the grade will be based on the final exam.

360

International Taxation 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

The course explores both the existing tax rules and the widespread policy concerns under discussion in the US and globally about current international tax law.

361

International Trade Law 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Environmental Law Certificate
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

International trade and the World Trade Organization attract a lot of attention and debate. Why do almost all economists say that liberalizing trade flows is a good thing? Why do politicians – even ones who purportedly support free markets – often rail against import competition and "unfair trade"? How does trade liberalization interact with other public policy choices such as protecting the environment or promoting the economic development of poor countries? In this course, we will examine why the WTO exists, how it developed from the GATT and how it fits in the international economic order (Part I). The course will offer you an in-depth, practical knowledge of substantive WTO law drawing heavily on case law. It will address the basic principles of trade in goods and trade in services, as well as some of the more specialized WTO agreements on, for example on trade remedies (subsidies, anti-dumping and safeguards). From a more procedural side, the course will pay close attention to the unique WTO mechanism for the solution of global trade disputes, with special reference again to recent and ongoing cases (Part II). It will conclude by examining U.S. trade law – particularly the widely-used trade remedies laws – and assessing not only the practice of international trade law in the United States, but also whether these laws actually achieve their supposed policy objectives (Part III). Although this course will necessarily address key principles and theories undergirding the international trade law system, one of its driving themes will be the actual practice of this discipline in the United States and at the WTO. The course will be graded based on class participation and an open-book final exam.

371

Products Liability 2
  • JD – Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP), add-on credit
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 18
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

In a first-year torts course, it is possible only to scratch of the surface of products liability law’s history, substantive and procedural complexity, theoretical underpinnings, and policy implications. Given its intricacy, practical significance, and usefulness as a window into tort law more generally, products liability is an ideal subject for an upper-level torts course. This dedicated products liability course offers students the opportunity to delve more deeply into the thorny legal doctrines and problems of proof that arise in the practice of products liability law. The course also gives students the chance to revisit many issues of general importance to tort law, including: strict liability versus negligence as potential bases for recovery in tort; the allocation of liability among plaintiffs and multiple tortfeasors; the interaction between doctrines of liability and problems of proof; and the relationships among economic regulation, social insurance, the law of contracts, and the law of torts.

371W

Products Liability, Writing Credit 1
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 18
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length)

While enrolled in LAW 371 Products Liability, students may submit a 30+ page significant research paper which would be eligible for satisfaction of the JD-ULWR.

379

Partnership Taxation 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

The course will cover the tax consequences of organizing, operating, and liquidating entities including related issues taxed as partnerships.

384

Securities Regulation 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • JD-LLM-LE - required courses
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

A study of the federal and state securities laws and the industry they govern with emphasis on the regulation of the distribution process and trading in securities; subjects dealt with include the functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission, registration and disclosure requirements and related civil liabilities, "blue-sky" laws, proxy solicitation and reporting requirements, broker-dealer regulation, the self-regulatory functions of the exchanges, and the regulation of investment companies.

390

Structuring and Regulating Financial Transactions 2
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM - New York Bar Exam
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam

In this exciting, innovative, and important area of legal practice, companies domestically and worldwide raise money through an array of structures intended to separate “financial” assets—effectively rights to (or expectations of) payment—from the risks associated with the company.  The assets are then dedicated to repayment of capital market securities.  Sometimes referred to as structured finance or securitization, this approach creatively brings together many fundamental legal disciplines, including bankruptcy, securities law, corporation law, secured transactions, finance, and tax.  Using structured finance as an organizing principle, this course teaches the critical aspects of these disciplines that you are likely to encounter in practice.  In addition, the course introduces important commercial financing techniques and concepts, including guarantees, loan agreements, legal opinions, and letters of credit, as well as interest rate and currency swaps and other derivative products.  Furthermore, the course addresses how the capital markets work, including the role of rating agencies, and touches on the cross-border and transnational considerations that are essential to modern business transactions.  It also shows how structured finance principles can be applied broadly, such as to international project-finance transactions and to microfinance.  Finally, the course examines the ethics and efficiencies of “deconstructing” companies in this manner, including the use and possible abuse of special purpose entities and the potential to generate unanticipated consequences, as occurred in the 2007-09 financial crisis.

There is no formal prerequisite.  The class will be challenged to identify problems and find real-life, creative solutions.  A student without any business-law background should still be able to master the course because the relevant legal principles will be learned and applied along the way, in the same manner that a good practitioner learns. 

427

Community Enterprise Law Clinic 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Public Interest Certificate: Experiential Requirement
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

Operating like a small private law firm, this clinic will provide students interested generally in business law practice and/or in specializing in affordable housing and community development law with practical skills training in many of the core skills required in any transactional legal practice, including interviewing, counseling, drafting and negotiation. Under the supervision of the clinical faculty, students will represent low-income entrepreneurs, as well as a wide variety of nonprofit organizations engaged in community development activities. In their cases, students will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of legal matters for their clients. These may include entity formation (both for-profit and nonprofit); obtaining tax-exempt status for nonprofit clients and providing ongoing tax compliance counseling; negotiating and drafting contracts; and representing clients in community development transactions. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of legal work per semester and to participate in weekly group training meetings. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

Important:

  • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
  • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Community Enterprise Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

441

Start-Up Ventures Clinic 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Public Interest Certificate: Experiential Requirement
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Start-Up Ventures Clinic represents entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses and social ventures on a variety of matters related to the start-up process, including formation, founder equity and vesting, shareholder agreements, intellectual property protection and licensing agreements, commercialization strategies, and other issues that new enterprises face in their start-up phases.

The course incorporates client representation with a seminar and individualized supervision to provide students with a range of opportunities to put legal theory into practice and to develop core legal skills such as interviewing, client counseling, negotiation, and drafting. Students in this course will, among other things, have the chance to deepen their substantive legal knowledge in entrepreneurial law and business law more generally while at the same time developing critical professional skills through the direct representation of start-up businesses.

Law Tech Focus: Some enrolled students will have the option of spending a portion of their clinic time working on legal technology projects in association with the Duke Law Center on Law & Technology, including (1) working with the Duke Law Tech Lab, a pre-accelerator program for legal technologies and (2) building real legal tech tools to serve entrepreneurs.

Important:

    • In order to be eligible to enroll in the Clinic, you must have successfully completed at least three semesters of Law School and meet the Ethics Requirement. See Clinics Enrollment Policy
    • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
    • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
    • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the instructor prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.
  • Business Associations and Advising the Entrepreneurial Client are recommended but not required.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Start-Up Ventures Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement:  Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239),  Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

475A

Law & Policy Lab 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 17
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation

The Law and Policy Lab (the “Lab”) is a hybrid that falls between a clinic and a research tutorial, a structure that gives students the opportunity to explore a topic of current relevance through the lenses of both substantive law and public policy.  It also offers students the chance to apply this knowledge through the development of, and possible advocacy for, a legal or policy proposal related to the specific chosen topic.

Because each Lab focuses a topic of current relevance, many classes include guest speakers with particular expertise in the material.  Work product is determined by the specific topic of focus.

515

Contract Drafting for the Finance Lawyer 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Variable by section
Contract Drafting is an upper-level course that teaches basic practical skills in contract drafting through written drafting exercises. The exercises will be done both in and outside of class, and extensive peer and instructor editing will be used. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts, such as those that Duke Law students can expect to see and draft in practice. The course will be a combination of lecture and in-class drafting and editing exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, possibly supplemented with other outside reading. Some drafting exercises will be assigned to be done outside of class for subsequent in-class editing. Grading will be on the basis of these written drafting assignments, the quality of editing others' drafts, and class participation.

519

Contract Drafting 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Other

Contract Drafting is an upper-level course that teaches basic practical skills in contract drafting through written drafting exercises. The exercises will be done both in and outside of class, and extensive peer and instructor editing will be used. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts, such as those that Duke Law students can expect to see and draft in practice. The course will be a combination of lecture and in-class drafting and editing exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, possibly supplemented with other outside reading. Some drafting exercises will be group projects. Some drafting exercises will be assigned to be done outside of class for subsequent in-class editing. Grading will be on the basis of these written drafting assignments, the quality of editing others' drafts, and class participation.

Students who take Law 519 Contract Drafting may not take Law 522 Contract Drafting: The Next Generation.

525

Corporate Reorganization 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • Spring 16

The emphasis of Corporate Reorganization is the practical process of reorganizing trouble and failing businesses. The course is taught with a practical, hands on approach. The instructing professor is currently operating several international businesses and will draw from actual domestic and international examples. The course will examine the roles of the various business and legal positions in workout, and reorganization situations.

The course will cover domestic and international workouts and reorganization, in and out of a Court setting. Topics will include the identification of troubled companies and properties, the financial structure of these companies, identification of factors leading to the company's economic trouble, and the methods of allocating risk as the company is reorganized. Basic concepts of Bankruptcy will be covered in this course.

A basic Bankruptcy course is helpful for this course but not required.

529

Corporate Governance 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length)
  • Reflection Papers

With the spate of corporate scandals in recent years undermining investor confidence in public corporations, corporate governance is increasingly a major policy issue in business regulation and a key element in business strategy and corporate litigation. This course will discuss the major debates in corporate governance, the challenges for designing an optimal system for governing corporations, and the increasingly important role of lawyers in these policy debates. The course will focus on a range of issues. For example, is shareholder activism by hedge funds and other institutional shareholders good for shareholder value, or does it promote short-termism? Do anti-takeover devices entrench managers or promote long-term strategic growth? Are CEOs paid too much, and should their compensation be regulated? Does state competition for corporate charters lead to a race to the top or the bottom? How can for-profit firms be designed pursue social missions and avoid green-washing? In discussing each of these topics, this course will consider whether corporations are best regulated by the government or market discipline. To fulfill the requirements for this course, students will have the option to write short reaction papers or the opportunity to work on a substantial research paper.

531

In House Law Practice 2
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Reflection Papers
  • Group project
  • Oral presentation

This course explores the substantive and procedural aspects of inhouse law practice, and how they differ from law firm and governmental practices. The class sessions will present substantive legal topics discussed with legal practitioners. Course materials will be drawn from statutory, regulatory, and policy-driven materials, as well as case studies. Students will have team-based interdisciplinary project assignments that will draw from topics discussed in the class, reflecting real-world scenarios.

The course is intended to provide law school students with an understanding of and practical skills for inhouse practice, legal issues unique to that practice, and practical issues that face inhouse lawyers. It is designed for any student interested in inhouse practice – those who wish to work in a law firm or governmental role and interact with inhouse counsel, those who would like to practice inhouse, and those who are interested in exploring different career paths.

40%: Memos
Each student will prepare two memos, of five pages each, on substantive legal issues presented during class; these memos will provide students an opportunity to demonstrate practical approaches to those legal issues.

20%: Presentation
Each student will make a 5 -8 minute individual presentation to the class, ostensibly to the general counsel of a corporation, in which students will provide an overview of recent developments in a given legal area and how it applies to the corporation. All students will receive a common fact pattern for the fictitious corporation, and each will be assigned a different legal area to which the fact pattern relates. Students will be videoed for their presentation and have the opportunity to review the same.

40%: Project
Halfway through the semester, students will be divided into teams of 4 persons. Each team will receive a fact pattern for a significant business-level-event problem which they are to analyze and present their findings, legal analysis and recommendation to the CEO and board of directors for said company.

The project will include an individual written component of 10 pages, a group written component of five pages, and a 30-minute team presentation.

No prerequisites are contemplated as necessary.

532

Venture Capital Financing 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year program) - required courses
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18

This class will focus on the legal and economic structure of venture capital transactions and will familiarize students with the legal agreements used to document these transactions. Using lectures and in-class exercises, students will learn the function of the most common transaction documents, the economic and/or legal purpose of the provisions contained within these documents and alternative approaches to address specific situations. Throughout the semester, students will work on a simulated transaction to gain experience in negotiating and drafting documents with an emphasis on meeting client objectives. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation and written assignments.

Business Associations is a mandatory prerequisite for the class. Securities Regulation and Advising the Entrepreneurial Client are recommended preparation for the course.

534

Advising the Entrepreneurial Client 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year program) - required courses
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation
  • Other

The goal of Advising the Entrepreneurial Client is to prepare students to assist in the representation of a start-up venture/angel backed company. This course takes students through the legal issues likely to present themselves in the lifecycle of a typical technology company from inception/incorporation through acquisition (the typical liquidity event). Advising the Entrepreneurial Client exposes students to the types of issues, questions and documentation that they encounter and the lawyering skills that they need as a lawyer for an entrepreneurial venture. The course is a survey of entrepreneurial law considerations and does not attempt to invoke policy considerations.

Students are graded on class participation, weekly group homework, and three major drafting assignments.

535

Comparative Corporate Law 2
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 17
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation

This is a reading seminar, which will be conducted by interactive class discussions, which will utilize heavily comparative approaches. We will start with the U.S. style corporate law theories and practices, and then discuss on how they are actually applied or rejected throughout the world, particularly in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and East Asia. The goal of this course is not merely to compare legal institutions of different legal origins. Rather, this course intends to consider several core problems with modern business association, and ask why and how different rules have been developed across the countries. There would be no clear answers, but such discussions will enhance our understanding of corporate law as well as capitalism in general. For these purpose, readings are carefully edited from three articles: roughly, one is associated with the United States, another with the Continental Europe (including the United Kingdom, if any), and the other with the East Asia (mostly Japan and Korea). Due to the time constraint, however, only a handful of core issues and selected papers will be assigned and discussed in class. More advanced theoretical issues on corporate governance will be covered by another corporate governance course. Instead, we will focus on controlling families and corporate group, different schemes of corporate monitoring (directors and institutional shareholders) across the countries, flexibility of corporate finance rules in terms of creditor protection, and finally, dramatic differences of takeover markets. Although the readings sometimes employed economic reasoning, the course requires only a basic understanding of microeconomics.

541

Nonprofit Organizations 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

The subject of the course is the diverse sector of the economy composed of nonprofit organizations. The topics to be covered include their economic function, governance issues, the tax laws covering them, abuses of their special status, and policy issues regarding them.

549

Corporate Counseling and Communication 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

The goal of this class is for students to develop skills working with sophisticated clients on complex issues that lack easy answers and to simulate the practice of law in a way that a young associate is likely to experience it whether at a large law firm or in a small legal office. The primary focus is interviewing and counseling business clients and drafting client-related communications.

The first part of the class is split into five two-week segments. In the first week of each segment, the class will study a legal issue and prepare to interview the client. Then, one student interviews the client about a simulated scenario in a conference call as the rest of the class observes.  After the call, the class assesses the legal issues and strategies for responding. Students must then decide what advice to give.

In the second week of each segment, the class evaluates potential responses and prepares to advise the client. Another student counsels the client as the class observes. The focus of the class is on client communications, legal strategy, and developing professional skills, and students will gain exposure to the types of issues commonly faced by corporate counsel, including contract negotiations and potential claims.

Students will also practice working in a law office environment by sending emails to the professor that simulate reports to a supervising attorney and by submitting timesheets showing work they have completed. The final three weeks focus on a 15-page paper that will require independent research on a complex legal topic assigned by the professor. Through these exercises, students will learn to speak confidently with experienced business executives, collect information efficiently from busy professionals, and deliver practical, business-oriented legal advice orally and in writing.

554

Deceit and Betrayal: Perspectives on Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Obligation 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length)

This seminar focuses on contemporary applications of the law of fraud and fiduciary obligation, including situations in which an actor deceives the beneficiary of a fiduciary obligations owed by the actor. The seminar will begin with two sessions that cover the historical origins of fraud and fiduciary obligation and their subsequent evolution. The remainder of sessions will focus on specific situations and issues of contemporary interest. These may include, among other topics: (1) remedies for breach of fiduciary obligation, including forfeiture of compensation; (2) criminalization of fiduciary breach, including "honest services fraud;" (3) frauds directed at members of groups with which the fraudfeasor shares an ethnic, political, or other affinity; (4) aiding and abetting or lending knowing assistance to another actor's fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation; (5) the liabilities of auditors and other gatekeepers in the event of fraud within the gatekeeper's client; (6) the individual liability of employees and other agents for fraud and other torts committed within the scope of employment or authority; (7) the role of victim consent to wrongful conduct, including the validity of exculpatory provisions in the parties' agreement; (8) standards of conduct applicable to broker/dealers and others who furnish investment advice; (9) duties owed to employees who own equity in a professional-services or business firm, in particular in connection with the sale of control of the firm. The reading material for the seminar will include a selection of cases and other primary legal materials, plus scholarly publications. Each student must write a research paper on a topic approved in advance by the instructor.

559

Latin American Business Law 1
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
This course focuses on the regulation of business in Latin America and the most important differences between the Civil Law tradition and the Common Law. The course exposes the students to some of the main issues that may arise in the practice of law dealing with Latin America. Emphasis is placed on the appropriate choice of a business entity by an American investor and in the analysis and comparison of the laws of business associations and securities regulation applicable in Latin America and in the United States. Important cultural, historical and political traits of the region will be highlighted, as they are extremely influential in the transactions of business and international legal relations.

560

Sales and Value Added Tax Law 2
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

SALES AND VALUE-ADDED TAX LAW covers the policy issues, legal frameworks and detailed technical issues related to VAT and retail sales tax systems. Comparisons are drawn between the VAT (a multi-stage consumption tax system used by most countries -- but not the US) and retail sales taxes (the consumption tax adopted by most US states). The class explores variations between the VAT systems and retail sales tax systems in different jurisdictions, in order to highlight key policy issues. The course also highlights innovations in consumption taxes (especially to deal with the digital economy) and the treatment of special sectors such as the real property, financial, agriculture and public interest sectors. Approaches for dealing with the application of VATs and sales taxes in the context of federations and common markets are also considered.

The principal focus is on VAT, because retail sales taxes can be viewed as a single-stage VAT. The aim of the course is to enable you to think about VAT (or sales tax), whether from the perspective of what the law is, what it should be, or how it might be administered. More generally, the course is designed to sharpen your skills to think like a lawyer, like a policymaker, and like a tax administrator.

After taking the course, you should understand how the VAT and retail sales taxes work in practice, and you will have a clear understanding of how consumption taxes differ from income taxes. We will discuss the definition of key legal elements of the VAT (taxpayer, taxable event, tax base, rates, tax period) and how the tax is collected. This analysis should equip you with the ability to address consumption tax issues in the future, or indeed to deal with any tax, since all taxes have these basic common elements.

566A

Corporation and International Law: Past, Present, and Future 3
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP), option
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - required courses
  • LLM-ICL - writing requirement
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 17
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation

From politics to popular culture, the corporation has become one of the most critical economic, political, and cultural institutions of the modern era.  It has also been one of the most controversial.  Are corporations people, societies, or even governments? Do they have rights? If so, what are their civic, social, ethical, and political responsibilities? If such questions are vexing within municipal and national contexts, they have been downright confounding for international legal regimes.  Corporations have a global footprint and influence on our conceptions of sovereignty and governance, the functioning of international markets, the nature of interstate relations, wealth distribution, international development, and, at a basic level, the lives of people around the world. Yet modern international law has generally been understood to apply almost exclusively to states and to touch only lightly on corporate institutions, with profound consequences for everything from human rights to the global environment. This course will address these questions and many others, both through our own readings and discussions, as well as frequent guest speakers, panels, and workshops, in conjunction with a year-long Mellon Foundation funded Sawyer Seminar.

A limited number of JD students may be permitted to use their paper to satisfy the JD upper-level writing requirement with prior approval of Professor Brewster.

566B

Corporation and International Law 3
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - required courses
  • LLM-ICL - writing requirement
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 18
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation

From politics to popular culture, the corporation has become one of the most critical economic, political, and cultural institutions of the modern era.  It has also been one of the most controversial.  Are corporations people, societies, or even governments? Do they have rights? If so, what are their civic, social, ethical, and political responsibilities? If such questions are vexing within municipal and national contexts, they have been downright confounding for international legal regimes.  Corporations have a global footprint and influence on our conceptions of sovereignty and governance, the functioning of international markets, the nature of interstate relations, wealth distribution, international development, and, at a basic level, the lives of people around the world. Yet modern international law has generally been understood to apply almost exclusively to states and to touch only lightly on corporate institutions, with profound consequences for everything from human rights to the global environment. This course will address these questions and many others, both through our own readings and discussions, as well as frequent guest speakers, panels, and workshops, in conjunction with a year-long Mellon Foundation funded Sawyer Seminar.

577

Emerging Issues in Sports and the Law 2
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 18
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation

The course will examine the regulation of NCAA athletics and the enforcement of NCAA rules. It will examine in detail several high profile NCAA cases including those involving Penn State, Miami and UNC-Chapel Hill.

581

FinTech and the Law 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length)
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Financial services have been dramatically impacted by the deep technology revolution. Transactions, including payments and trading, have become almost instantaneous, validated by electronic signatures. Financial services are available anywhere, anytime, accessible from cards or devices in customer pockets.  As a result of all this "electronification," traditional bank "back rooms" and old-fashioned trading pits have disappeared, to be replaced by "clouds," iPhones, infrared beams, and so on.  Customer data, once safe in the hands of bankers, is now frequently compromised in massive electronic breaches.  We have no way of knowing whether state agencies or criminals now hold this information in their possession.  Seldom do financial firms attempt to deliver services on their own anymore; instead the end result is the result of behind-the-scenes collaboration among numerous market participants, the quality and capabilities of which varies widely.  It is a world of the future present, with which we are only starting to come to grips. The automation of financial services is also having an impact on regulators: the newly emerging concept of 'RegTech,' which focuses on how regulatory monitoring and assessment can themselves be automated, has been given a huge boost with the recent acquisition by IBM of The Promontory Interfinancial group, bringing the immense artificial intelligence power of "Watson" to bear on regulatory assessment and decision making

FinTech and the Law will review the origins of these developments.  We will seek to understand the architectures, principal legal and regulatory issues, and the dynamics of modern financial marketplaces as these are shaped by technology.  The seminar will help prepare students for a rapidly evolving framework in which successful business and legal practice must become technologically "bilingual."

The course is a seminar based on a compilation of readings provided during the course.  Enrollment is strictly limited to 12 students.

589

Japanese Law in a Business Context 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17

An overview of the Japanese legal system with a particular focus on the business and regulatory environment as well as on the differences that a U.S.-trained lawyer must be aware of when handling Japan-related matters. This class will qualify for the Duke LL.M Business Law Certificate.

The class will be conducted as an interactive seminar. Student grades will be based in part on participation and presentation, but with the largest component being based on a 25+ page seminar paper. Several of the latter class sessions will be devoted to student presentations on their paper topics and preliminary findings. However final papers will not need to be submitted until the end of the semester. The seminar paper for this class can be used to satisfy the LL.M. Business Certificate paper requirement.

591

Development Finance 1
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper under 10 pages
  • Class participation

The Course will provide a general overview of persisting development challenges in Low and Middle Income Countries, and the shared global responsibility under the Agenda 2030 to address them. It will focus on the roles of and partnerships between various actors of development finance, such as government agencies, multilateral development banks, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and impact investors; and familiarize students with development finance instruments, such as budget aid, grants, loans, and blended finance mechanisms. The Course will also deal with critical views on Aid Effectiveness, and issues of Policy Coherence for Development in developed countries.

Course Requirements: 

  • Two three-page essays: the first to be handed in on or before September 24, 2017; the second to be handed in on or before September 29, 2017 (30% of final grade);
  • One six-page final paper to be handed in before December 10, 2017 (40% of final grade);
  • Participation in class discussions (30% of final grade).

611

Readings 1
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17
  • Spring 18
  • Reflection Papers
  • Class participation

This discussion course focuses on readings that explore connections between the law, the practice of law, the legal system, and issues of current societal importance or interest. Each section of the course is expected to have a different specific focus and different readings.

Readings courses focused on public interest may count towards the Public Interest and Public Service Certificate.

656

Strategies in Business Associations / COURSE PLUS 1
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 18

This seminar takes selected legal issues from the course, Business Associations, and places them in a setting in which students make decisions that involve the weighing of legal, business, ethical and stakeholder considerations. The course will develop and analyze business transactions, in workshop settings, from the strategic perspective of a business lawyer in engineering transactions that minimize legal, tax and regulatory costs, address concerns of relevant stakeholders, and achieve the objectives of the client. Each student is part of a team who represents a distinct client in first developing in the context of a real-world problem what the optimal objective should be for the client, and then engaging teams representing other parties in the transaction, in the pursuit of the client's objective. In advance of each class, students prepare a team term sheet setting forth the client's objectives as developed by the team. There are six projects over the course of the semester. The goal of the course is to demonstrate how, in practice, legal principles interact among themselves and with non-legal considerations in the resolution of business issues.

*This class must be taken concurrently with Law 210 Business Associations.*

710

Derivatives: Financial Markets, Law and Policy 3
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length)
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Modern capital and financial markets rely on a wide variety of complex instruments, including Treasury securities, structured debt and equity instruments, and derivatives of various kinds.  Public awareness regarding these instruments has grown since the Financial Crisis of 2008 because they are thought to have played an important role in both the rapid growth of financial markets (“financialization”) and their destabilization.  Yet these instruments and the role they play in modern markets remain little understood.  A basic understanding of these instruments has now become important in modern financial law practice and any discussions on financial policy and regulation.

This course will review the workings of derivative instruments in the capital markets and how such instruments themselves are used.  The relationship between banking and capital markets, and between government and the private markets, will be explored, as will the most important legal and fiduciary responsibilities involved.  While not highly technical, the various principal types of government securities and derivatives will be examined. 

Warren Buffet once called derivatives “weapons of mass financial destruction.”  We will consider the numerous public policy issues relating to derivatives, their role in the Crisis of 2008 (and more recent financial distress such as the Eurozone crisis and the US debt ceiling controversy), the history of attempts to regulate these instruments, and the current regulatory structure.

Required Coursework

The 3-credit graded requirements for the course will be:

  1. A thirty-page paper, to be submitted by Friday, April 14 2017 (80%); the opportunity for JD writing credit will be given to the first five students who present research proposals, approved by me, commit to completing their drafts by Friday March 10 for grading and comments by me, and submit their final drafts in response to comments by the last day of class for the semester (when all papers will be due).
  2. An individual class presentation, of 20 minutes in length (10%), on the early draft of the 3-credit paper; and
  3. Overall class participation (10%).The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

722

International Business Law 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17
  • Final Exam

The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of how international rules shape global commerce. It will serve as a foundation in international law for students who never plan to take another international law course but also serve as a roadmap of the possibilities for international law study (and careers) for students who want to do more with international law. The course begins with private, cross-border contracting, then moves on to public international law agreements as well. We start with conflict of law rules as well as international treaties designed to coordinate contract law (CISG). From there we dive into the world of private international arbitration, including questions of when state should not permit international arbitration. The course will also covers torts claims, particularly under the Alien Torts Claims Act. We will examine the Bhopal litigation before moving on to some of the cases that have been brought against major oil companies by citizens of developing countries. At that point, the course pivots towards more public law issues that govern international transactions. We look at the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as the OCED Anti-bribery Convention. Finally, we turn to the major treaty regimes on economic subjects, including multilateral trade agreements and the network of bilateral investment treaties.

GRADING: Grades are based on an exam.

738

Financial Law and Regulation: Practitioner's Perspective 2
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Reflection Papers
  • Class participation

Every aspect of financial law and regulation depends heavily on its daily practice.  The environment changes all the time, and the scope of regulatory discretion, at every level of government (state, federal and international) is so large that successful practitioners must understand the current trends in regulatory thinking and practice.  This course will allow students to dive deep into a different aspect of modern financial regulation every week by bringing in prominent alumni practitioners who are experts in specific areas of the field.

The course will be structured as follows:

  1. Six 4 hour components, focusing on specific aspects of financial practice according to the expertise of the teacher. Lee Reiners will hold an opening 2 hour class session.
  2. Taught by a series of expert practitioners, who will spend two days at the school. Classes will be held on Thursday and Friday.
  3. The course is a seminar based on a compilation of readings provided during the course.
  4. Students will be graded based upon class participation and six, 1,500-word, writing assignments pertaining to each of the six topics discussed by our guest lecturers.

Likely topics to be covered include:

  • Derivatives regulation
  • High frequency trading
  • FDIC resolution and the insurance fund
  • Volcker Rule and Regulation W
  • Bank capital requirements

 

Class will run from Feb 16th to April 6th and will consist of 13 class sessions that are 2 hours long. Seven class sessions will be on a Friday morning from 9-11am and 6 class sessions will be on Thursday afternoon from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

749

Strategies in Commercial Transactions 1
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
This seminar takes selected legal issues from the course, Commercial Transactions, and places them in a setting in which students make strategic decisions that involve the weighing of legal, business, ethical and human relations considerations. The focus of the course is on technology start-ups. The emphasis in this seminar will be on debt arrangements, venture capital, security devices, and bankruptcy planning. The goal of the seminar is to underscore how legal principles interact with other non-legal considerations in the resolution of business problems.
Scott Merrell,a practitioner with extensive experience in start-up transactions will co-teach the seminar. Students will work on a series of problems and will complete written responses and proposals, which will be reviewed and critiqued by the instructors. A prior or concurrent course in Business Associations is strongly advised.

In order to be enrolled in this course you must be concurrently enrolled in LAW 215 (Commercial Transactions)

754

IP Transactions 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are the currency of an innovation economy. Each of these forms of intellectual property may be bought and sold, licensed, or used as security. How each is used will depend on the business context; the needs of a start-up company being far different from those of a multinational corporation. This course will focus on intellectual property transactions in various business contexts, including: maximizing value and assessing risks; using intellectual property in financing start-ups; protecting trade secrets; employment issues related to intellectual property; intellectual property licensing; and intellectual property in mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy.

773

Research Methods in Business Law 1
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Spring 17
  • Spring 18
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This one-credit seminar in advanced legal research will introduce students to specific sources and strategies for researching a variety of business law topics, including corporations, securities, and commercial bankruptcy and reorganization. We will cover key primary and secondary sources for business law research: state and federal cases, statutes, regulations, and other administrative materials; subject-specific secondary sources; company disclosure documents; and sources for factual company research, among others. The course will emphasize research process, strategies, and evaluation of print and online sources in a changing information environment. Students will develop their research skills through a variety of hands-on exercises. Grades will be based on in-class and take-home research exercises, class participation, and a final research project.

Because this is a fast-track course, attendance at the first class session is mandatory.

775

Corporate Ethics 1
  • JD - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 17
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course is a one-credit seminar taught in two-hour blocks that focuses on the important role played by the corporate ethics office and its relationship with senior management and the board of directors of a corporation to ensure an ethical corporate culture.  As we have learned through a series of corporate scandals starting with Enron and continuing through the events that contributed to the financial crisis of 2008, a review of today’s headlines would suggest that work remains to be done in many organizations to maintain an ethical corporate culture.  This course will explore some of the critical factors behind the corporate scandals of the past, changes in the regulatory environment that address various aspects of those scandals, and the structure and scope of responsibility of today’s corporate ethics office as necessary to address these challenges.  The course is designed to be highly interactive, and a number of in-class exercises will be assigned to assist students in becoming familiar with some of the dynamics faced by the corporate ethics office.   The course will not have an exam.

777

Deal Skills for the Transactional Lawyer 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • JD - professional skills (Entered Law School before Fall 2016)
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 16
  • Fall 16
  • Spring 17
  • Fall 17

This course is designed to prepare students for transactional law practice by introducing them to the process of structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing a corporate acquisition transaction.

The course is highly interactive.  Students will be assigned to “firms” that represent the parties to a hypothetical M&A transaction.  During the term, you will advise your client regarding deal structure, prepare due diligence requests and a due diligence report, draft an acquisition agreement, and negotiate the terms of the deal with counsel for the other party.  The negotiation exercises will take place “live” in class and will be videotaped.  The professor will provide written feedback on drafting assignments and negotiations to help students refine their deal-making skills.

Topics covered will include:

  • Common transaction structures and the factors that affect choice of deal structure
  • Strategic and tactical approaches to negotiating an M&A transaction
  • Conducting a due diligence review
  • How to review contracts and other due diligence documents
  • Effective drafting techniques for the transactional lawyer
  • Understanding the “business deal” and translating it into contract language
  • The role of representations & warranties, covenants, conditions precedent and  other provisions found in the typical acquisition agreement
  • Preparing for and conducting a closing

778

Law & Entrepreneurship 2
  • JD-LLM-LE - required courses
  • LLM-LE (1 year program) - required courses
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Fall 15
  • Fall 16
  • Fall 17

This perspectives course serves as an anchor for the E-LLM program. In addition to giving students a theoretical framework through which to understand the relationship of entrepreneurship and law, the course will feature regular opportunities to learn directly from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial lawyers.

782

Deal Skills II: Negotiating and Documenting Joint Venture Arrangements 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Spring 18

This course is designed to prepare students for transactional law practice. Like "Deal Skills for the Transactional Lawyer" (Course # 777), this course will be highly "hands-on." Students will be assigned to lawyer teams and will represent their clients in structuring, negotiating and documenting a hypothetical joint venture arrangement. In addition to providing practical skills training, the course offers students an opportunity to explore a form of corporate transaction – the "joint venture" – that is widely used in the business world but is not covered in typical law school M&A courses.

Topics covered will include:

  • The nature of joint venture arrangements (and how they differ from other M&A transactions)
  • Factors affecting the choice of structure for a joint venture
  • Antitrust issues affecting joint ventures
  • Intellectual property issues arising in connection with joint ventures
  • Conducting due diligence in the context of a joint venture arrangement
  • Understanding the "business deal" and translating it into contract language
  • The basic elements of a typical Joint Venture Agreement
  • Ancillary agreements common to joint venture arrangements (including LLC Agreements, Operating Agreement for the business, intellectual property or technology licenses, etc.)
  • Drafting Joint Venture Agreements and related documents
  • Strategies for negotiating the terms of a joint venture arrangement

Student teams will complete a series of drafting assignments, including a client memorandum recommending a structure for the joint venture; Due Diligence Requests and a Due Diligence Report; a complete Joint Venture Agreement (drafted in stages over several weeks) and ancillary agreements (including an Operating Agreement for the joint venture business). Students will also participate in a series of "Negotiation Exercises" during which they will negotiate the provisions of their draft agreements with opposing counsel. The Negotiation Exercises will be videotaped and reviewed in class to reinforce students' negotiation techniques.

800

Basics of Accounting 0.5
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

Students will learn the basic skills involved in commercial accounting: how to read a balance sheet, how to classify debts and assets, etc. The course will include budgeting and accounting exercises designed to simulate real business scenarios.

809

Litigation Strategy in the Corporate Context 0.5
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

Students will explore the role of the litigator in advising corporate colleagues and clients concerning the risks and benefits with pursuing a claim, including identifying the gateway and substantive issues, the most cost-effective approaches, and client business interests and goals. After reviewing a mock purchase agreement that ended in a dispute, students will be divided into two groups—one representing the buyer, the other the seller—and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their respective clients’ positions and propose a strategy, including the likelihood of success and potential recovery, to “the client.”

814

Basics for the Finance Lawyer 0.5
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

This course will serve as a practical introduction to the practice of law and concepts related to a general commercial finance transaction.  Students will engage in an article-by-article review of a sample loan agreement and hypothetical proposed transaction, thereby becoming familiar with the underlying concepts, the relevant business considerations and the types/structure of relevant documents, the interplay of contract provisions across an entire deal, and the underlying legal framework.

815

Advising a Distressed Enterprise and Its Stakeholders 0.5
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

This course will provide students with a practical understanding of the role of outside counsel to a variety of key stakeholders in complex, high-stakes, and fast-paced business reorganizations – including distressed companies and their officers and directors, secured and unsecured creditors, distressed investors, and formal and informal committees.  Discussion topics include (i) advising the Board of Directors of a distressed company during periods of significant uncertainty and risk, including as to fiduciary responsibilities and liability concerns; (ii) out-of-court and in-court restructuring alternatives, techniques, and pitfalls; (iii) preparation, commencement, and administration of a case under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code; (iv) key issues in chapter 11 proceedings, including the automatic stay, DIP financing, cash collateral, plan exclusivity, plan formulation, cramdown, 363 sales, examiners/trustees, third-party releases, and Bankruptcy Court jurisdiction and appeals; and (v) negotiation strategies and the increasing use of mediation in chapter 11.  Discussions will highlight recent chapter 11 case law, and also will touch briefly upon the role of counsel to a distressed municipality and its creditors, with a brief overview of Puerto Rico’s municipal debt crisis.

816

Counseling & Creating a New Entity 0.5
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

Meet your new client—StryveTek.  StryveTek is an innovative start-up looking to form a legal entity and get started pursuing the dreams of its founders.  They’ve come to you for help.  Where do you go from here?  Students in Counseling & Creating a New Entity will learn to counsel a new entity from the initial phone call to the preparation of organizational documents.  Discussion will cover the variety of legal entities available for business, social enterprise, and philanthropic purposes—corporations, LLCs, and nonprofit corporations—and the several legal disciplines involved in the formation of an entity (e.g., corporate, tax, and securities law).  Students will work with real document forms to learn how to get StryveTek up and running!

825

Practice and Strategic Development of International Transactions: Investment in Latin America 1
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

This course explores the fundamental issues, strategic considerations, and principles inherent in transnational business transactions in Latin America and the role of the international attorney in structuring and implementing such transactions. Class time is devoted to a case study of a merger and acquisition transaction involving the purchase of a Brazilian entity by a US multinational corporation. The process of constructing an "international deal" is analyzed step by step, exploring all phases of the venture. Focus is given to recognizing and anticipating potential areas of conflict and evaluating the appropriate and legally viable measures available to address these issues.

831

In House Legal Practice 0.5
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

Students in this course will (i) explore the role of in-house counsel as counsel and in-house counsel as a member of a larger commercial organization (publicly-traded company, large division of a publicly-traded company, large family-owned private company), (ii) gain an understanding of the skills that make counsel, but especially in-house counsel, effective, and (iii) apply these skills during a team assignment which will result in a presentation to “the client.” The focus of the course will be almost exclusively on the effective delivery of situation-relevant legal guidance within an organization versus examining the intricacies of a specific area of law. In the process students will be exposed to issues commonly encountered by in-house counsel, from determining who the client is to the organizational dynamics of providing legal guidance.

846

Compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) 0.5
  • JD - experiential learning (Entered Law School Fall 2016 and later)
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

This course will explore some of the main legal and practical issues surrounding compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Drawing on recent judicial decisions, Deferred Prosecution Agreements, and the DOJ’s and SEC’s Resource Guide, students will explore topics that include: Who is a “foreign official;” what is “corrupt intent;” what constitutes a “reasonable and a bon fide expense;” when does the exception for facilitation payments apply; and what is the knowledge requirement for third parties.  The course will offer practice-oriented exercises to introduce the nuts and bolts of FPCA compliance practice, including on conducting due diligence and performing risks assessments. Students will also discuss when to voluntarily disclose a potential wrongdoing, when to turn to outside counsel for third-party evaluation and when to keep investigations internal.

848

Insurance Law 0.5
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

Students will become familiar with basic issues and concepts of insurance and insurance coverage.  Insurance is a trillion dollar per year industry and impacts in numerous ways on a broad range of commercial and litigation practices.  Assignments and practical discussion items will include key concepts in identifying relevant insurance, understanding insurance policies and the role of insurance in litigation and key areas of commercial transactions such as tax and the interplay of warranties, indemnities and insurance in M&A transactions.

859

Antitrust and Sports 0.5
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Winter 18

This course will begin by examining leading cases dealing with the intersection of sports and antitrust, putting them in the broader context of joint venture analysis and examining whether there are special considerations in the context of sports leagues. Finally, the class will look at common, real-world issues in light of these principles, including but not limited to (1) acquisitions or agreements with competing leagues, (2) venue contracts, (3) licensing deals (4) equipment regulations, and (5) restrictions on athlete (or coaching staff) compensation.