Course Browser

Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise near every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Director of Academic Advising to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester. Course evaluations can be found here.
 

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 filters61 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

130

Contracts 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Fall 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of the formation and legal operations of contracts, their assignment, their significance to third parties, and their relationship to restitution and commercial law developments; the variety, scope, and limitations on remedies; and the policies, jurisprudence, and historical development of promissory liability.

203

Business Strategy for Lawyers 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Final Exam
  • Midterm
  • Group project(s)
  • 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. General counsels from a variety of companies will guest lecture on the role of the GC in the strategy of the company.

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 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 elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • 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 elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • 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 serving as guest lecturers many weeks.

255

Federal Income Taxation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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.

287

Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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 SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Fall 17
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • 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.

304

Big Bank Regulation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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 elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 20
  • 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.

319

Analytical Methods 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  • 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. 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.

The areas of focus include:

  1. Decision Analysis, Games and Information: We will explore a standard technique that has been developed to organize thinking about decision-making problems and to solve them.
  2. Accounting: Basic accounting concepts will be introduced, and the relationship between accounting information and economic reality will be examined.
  3. Microeconomics: This unit presents basic economic concepts--the operation of competitive markets, imperfect competition, and market failures--that are necessary to this understanding.
  4. Statistics: We will address the basic statistical methods, including regression analysis, as well as issues that commonly arise when statistics are used in the courtroom.

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

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course analyzes the legal and policy regimes that shape the introduction of new products, processes, and services in the life science industries. Innovation in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, health services, and health care delivery is central to the heavily regulated life sciences sector, and thus the sector offers a window into multiple intersections of scientific innovation, regulatory policy, and law.  Innovation in this sector is also shaped by multiple bodies of law (e.g. intellectual property law, FDA law, federal and state-based insurance and professional regulation, antitrust, tax), each with its own private and public constituencies, and therefore offers an opportunity to assess how different bodies of law approach the common issue of innovation.  Although this course focuses on innovation in the life science industries, this focus will produce lessons for innovation policy in other regulated and less-regulated industries. 

323

Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization 2
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Corporate Restructuring is the application of skills learned in Corporate Finance applied to real world cases. Since the “real world” changes each year, much of the class is based on current developments in the economy. The course is intended for students planning on entering careers in corporate finance departments of large corporations, banks, consultants involved in mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and spin offs and those students planning on careers in finance and operational restructuring of both large public and private companies and small and growing companies, including venture investments. As the course includes board of director governance of firms, it is intended to introduce students to the role of boards for those students who wish to become members of boards of directors at some point in their careers.

Corporate Restructuring includes both healthy companies and distressed companies and investments. The first half of the course covers board governance of firms, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy outs and the role of finance and consulting professionals involved in transactions, both domestic and international. The second half of the course covers merger integration, both operational and financial,  and the firm in financial or operational distress. We cover warning signs of distress, financial restructuring, bankruptcy and the emergence from bankruptcy.

The course covers a broad range of industries applicable to today’s environment including but not limited to technology, health care, business services, consumer products and industrials.

This course provides a legal context to business, where applicable, in order to introduce Fuqua students to the legal context of business. As the course permits a limited number of law student enrollment, the course also introduces law students to the business context of law.

325

Corporate Finance 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20

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.

332

Coded Governance: Blockchains, Smart Contracts, and Cryptoventures 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course examines distributed ledger/blockchain technologies and computational law, and the related evolving regulatory environment. Topics covered include cryptocurrency use and regulation, legal forensic analysis of tokens, ethereum-based smart contract governance frameworks, patent strategy, and the professional responsibility considerations when working in a space that is popular, but not well understood. Students will learn about distributed ledger technologies and even get an introduction to programming a decentralized game. No previous programming experience is needed for this course, but a willingness to read and reread and discuss technical documentation and literature is essential. The course will conclude with a final packet of coursework for grading purposes.

335

Private Equity and Hedge Funds 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. 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 elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

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.

360

International Taxation 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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.

379

Partnership Taxation 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 3
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Fall 19
  5. Spring 20
  • Group project(s)
  • 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 elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Group project(s)
  • 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).

515

Contract Drafting for the Finance Lawyer 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • 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.

517

Advanced Contracts 2
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19

Each course segment will consider in depth a foundational tenet of contract law, but applied to a new and modern fact pattern. For example, does an agreement to exchange one kidney for another (as in the increasingly common kidney paired donation) involve consideration? Is it void as against public policy? What is the obligation of airlines, hotels, and third party providers (such as Expedia) to honor "mistake fares" in an age when technology allows potentially millions of purchases before the offeror discovers the error?
We'll begin each segment with a modern fact pattern in which the law is unclear or in flux. We'll read the classic contracts cases and scholarly articles on point, with application to the new fact pattern in mind. Are the old doctrines still a good fit for the new world? Are the public policy rationales behind the law still relevant? What new considerations are present? Project assignments are designed to place students in roles of problems-solvers, policymakers, or judges considering real-life, current disputes. There will be substantial writing, teamwork, and oral presentations.

517W

Advanced Contracts, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in LAW 517 Advanced Contracts, students may submit a significant research paper which would be eligible for satisfaction of the JD-ULWR.  LAW 517W must be added no later than the 7th week of class.

519

Contract Drafting 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Other

Contract Drafting is an upper-level simulation course that teaches basic practical skills by having students work “in role” as lawyers undertaking various drafting tasks in a series of exercises. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts. The course will feature lectures, class discussions, and in-class business issue-spotting and drafting exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, sometimes supplemented with other outside reading, including various sample contracts. Some exercises will be group projects, and regular peer feedback, along with feedback from the instructor, will be a feature. Grading will be on the basis of written drafting assignments, at least one graded peer-feedback assignment, and class participation.

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

529

Corporate Governance 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

Corporate governance is a major policy issue in business regulation, and has increasingly become headline news in recent political debates. 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. To that end, the course will host guest speakers with various backgrounds that have unique experience in corporate governance matters. 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? Are CEOs paid too much, and should their compensation be regulated? How can for-profit firms be designed to pursue social missions and avoid green-washing? Do anti-takeover devices entrench managers or promote long-term strategic growth? Does state competition for corporate charters lead to a race to the top or the bottom? In discussing each of these topics, this course will consider whether corporations are best regulated by the government or market discipline. As part of the course, students will acquire the skills to review empirical studies, and evaluate the implications of these studies for legal policy and corporate practice. 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 (subject to the approval of the instructor).

531

In House Law Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • 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.

535

Comparative Corporate Law 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • 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.

540

Startup Law: Representing the Company 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 18
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course takes students through the legal issues likely to present themselves in the lifecycle of a high growth technology company from inception/incorporation through acquisition (the typical liquidity event). Startup Law exposes students to the types of issues, questions and documentation that they encounter as a lawyer for an entrepreneurial venture. The course is a survey of entrepreneurial law considerations and does not attempt to invoke policy considerations. While the content is similar to Law 534 Advising the Entrepreneurial Client, this does not satisfy the requirements for the JD/LLMLE nor the LLMLE. Business Associations highly recommended as a prerequisite but may be taken as a co-requisite. Final grade based on exam and in class participation.

541

Nonprofit Organizations 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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 elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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.

560

Sales and Value Added Tax Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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 SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • 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 SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • 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.

572

Enterprise Law in Japan and the United States 1
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • LLMWriting option with additional credit
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

This is a seminar course focusing on a comparative analysis of business systems in Japan and the United States. We will discuss the basic question: how does law matter to business practice? 

To answer this question, we need to take into consideration two complementarities. First, the legal system in a given country consists of a variety of legal subject areas, including corporate law, securities regulation, labor law, bankruptcy law, and tax law, among others. These areas of law do not operate in isolation but rather in complement to affect the business practices in a country. Second, the law operates in conjunction with economic markets and social norms. 

We will consider the firm as a forum for incentive bargaining among four major participants: management, employees, creditors, and shareholders. How do the complementary effects of various laws, markets and norms affect the incentives of each participant? How has this affected the accepted business practices in a country, and in turn, the broader business system? 

Students will be exposed to classical readings in business law theory, as well as more recent scholarship that applies those classical theories to case studies of modern US and Japanese firms. Through the readings and participation in class discussions, students will learn to think critically about the dynamic interplay of legal systems, economic markets, and social norms and their combined effects on business systems.

575

Securities Litigation and Enforcement in Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 19
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This two-credit experiential course will focus on the analytical, writing and presentation, and interview skills frequently used in practice while also introducing students to the general statutory and regulatory frameworks governing securities litigation and enforcement.  Litigating private securities claims and defending SEC enforcement actions are an important component of most sophisticated litigation practice; these actions have high stakes, and are almost inevitable for many corporate clients.  Writing assignments and presentations will be drawn from one hypothetical class action problem, and one hypothetical enforcement action problem.

576

Agency Law in a Changing Economy 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Agency law encompasses the legal consequences of consensual relationships in which one person (the “principal”) manifests assent that another person (the “agent”) shall, subject to the principal’s right of control, have power to affect the principal’s legal relations through the agent’s acts and on the principal’s behalf. As the principal’s representative, an agent owes fiduciary duties to the principal. Agency doctrine applies to a wide range of relationships in which one person has legally-consequential power to represent another, populating the category, “agent,” with a variety of exemplars: lawyers, brokers in securities and other markets, officers of corporations and other legal entities, talent and literary agents, auction houses, and more. Usually, agency relationships contemplate three distinct persons: agent, principal, and third parties with whom the agent interacts, with legal consequences for all three. Agency law also governs the relationship between a principal and its agents, including its employees. The pervasiveness of agency means that its implications remain relevant despite changes in business structures and economies more generally.  This seminar covers the legal doctrines that make agency a distinct subject with in the law, in particular those differentiating agency from general contract and tort law. It also covers a number of contemporary examples in which agency doctrine may—or may not—apply with significant consequences. These may include the status of Uber drivers and other actors who perform services via platforms; the duties of commodities brokers, including merchants in financial derivatives products; the consequences of imputing an agent’s knowledge to the principal; agency as a vehicle for the imposition of vicarious liability; and the consequences for the agent and third party when a principal is undisclosed, unidentified, or undetermined. 
The seminar will meet weekly with assigned readings. Each student will write a research paper on a topic to be chosen with the instructor’s consent and will make brief presentations to the seminar as work on the paper proceeds

577

Emerging Issues in Sports and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • 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 Law and Policy 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

In 2016, few people had ever heard of Bitcoin or blockchain, initial coin offerings were non-existent, and U.S. financial regulatory agencies had yet to react to the emergence of non-bank financial services providers. The FinTech industry has changed dramatically since then: Bitcoin has captured the public imagination and spawned new derivatives products, you can now apply for a mortgage on your smartphone, initial coin offerings are now a viable alternative to venture capital funding, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has proposed a new kind of bank charter specifically for FinTech firms.While many have focused on the technologies underpinning the FinTech revolution, less attention has been placed on how these technologies fit within the current financial regulatory framework. Understanding this framework is critical to the long-term success of any FinTech startup. While technology startups in other sectors may predicate their business on breaking rules and ignoring regulations, such a strategy is sure to fail if deployed by a FinTech firm. This is because the financial industry is heavily regulated by multiple state and federal agencies that often have overlapping authority. Being a successful FinTech firm requires more than just great technology; it also requires an understanding of the laws and regulations applicable to your business.

This course aims to provide you with that understanding. You will learn about the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments and wealth management technologies, and financial account aggregators. In addition, you will learn how regulatory agencies in the U.S. are continually adjusting to the emergence of new financial technologies and how one specific agency, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has proposed a path for FinTech firms to become regulated banks. You will also learn the basics of how banks are regulated in the U.S.

If you are unfamiliar with how these new financial technologies work, fear not. We will begin each new course section with a high-level overview of the underlying technology.

586

Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Is bankruptcy broken? For some years, many academics and practitioners have argued that the nation's business and consumer bankruptcy systems are outdated or otherwise not fit for their intended purpose. The course will examine selected topics in bankruptcy law (but focusing most heavily on chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code). We will explore a selection of the most contentious current debates in bankruptcy law. Key reading materials will likely include recent major reports proposing reforms to bankruptcy law, as well as excerpts from the scholarship and recent Supreme Court cases. We will consider questions including: what is bankruptcy for? Is it simply a procedural remedy solely for enforcing whatever substantive rights parties might have outside bankruptcy, or an opportunity more fairly to redistribute assets (or losses) among stakeholders? Is bankruptcy special? Should be Bankruptcy Code be read like any other statute, or do we need special principles for bankruptcy law, and broad equitable powers for bankruptcy courts, to encourage businesses and consumers to reorganize? What protections should we give to consumers? Most consumer reorganizations are unsuccessful; should we respond by allowing bankruptcy more thoroughly to shield consumers from collection efforts, or do we prioritize creditors' efforts to get paid?

For each of the topics considered, the general structure of the course will be to: (1) familiarize you with the relevant features of bankruptcy law; (2) examine critiques of current law and consider proposals for reform. The objective of the seminar is to provide insight and into and allow for debate of bankruptcy theory and policy; in the process, we will consider the extent to which abstract theories of bankruptcy hold up in the real world, and the topics we cover will include issues of pressing interest to current bankruptcy practitioners.

Students will be required to participate in class discussions. Students may complete either a series of reflection papers examining the reading materials and topics discussed, or one  longer 25-30 page paper designed to satisfy the SRWP.

591

Development Finance 1
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 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 3-page essays: the first to be handed in on or before September 29, 2019, 11:59 p.m.; the second to be handed in on or before October 4, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (combined 30% of final grade)
  • One 10-page final paper to be handed in before December 13, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (40% of final grade);
  • Participation in class discussions (30% of final grade).

710

Derivatives: Financial Markets, Law and Policy 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • 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 final paper, about 25-30 pages in length, to be submitted by the Thursday, April 16, 2020 (last day of all classes) (75%); JD writing credit will be given to any JD students who present research proposals (see “Paper” above), approved by me, commit to completing their drafts for class presentation and subsequent comments by me (draft for comments by Friday March 20), and submit their final drafts in response to my comments by Thursday April 16, 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 (15%).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 elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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 elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • 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 15th to April 5th 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.

754

IP Transactions 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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 elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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 elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20

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

782

Deal Skills II: Negotiating and Documenting Joint Venture Arrangements 3
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. 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.