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- Clinical Education
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- Indian Law Certificate
- Central Legal Research
- Norway Program
- Other Academic Credit
- Summer Study
- Black Law Students Law Association
- Criminal Law Association
- Delta Theta Phi
- Environmental Law Society
- Federalist Society
- International Human Rights
- Journal of Law and Interdisciplinary Studies
- Law Review
- Law Women's Caucus
- Moot Court Association
- Native Americans Into Law
- Native American Law Student Association
- Phi Alpha Delta
- Phi Delta Phi
- Public Interest Law
- Sports Law
- Sports (participation)
- Student Bar Association
- Student Trial Lawyers
First Year Courses
Civil Procedure - #182 - 4 credits
This course explores the processes that courts use in resolving civil disputes. It primarily examines the life of a lawsuit, from pleadings through trial, and the jurisdictional doctrines that determine the proper court to hear the action.
Constitutional Law I - #150 - 2 credits
This course introduces students to the constitutional system of the United States and the modes of thought and criticism appropriate to constitutional law. It will provide a broad introduction to the Court's constitutional decisions to ascertain the political values and processes it has defended historically, the standards it has developed to implement its principles, and its relationship to other institutions in the American political system. The course will focus on three major themes of constitutional law: the role of the Supreme Court ("judicial review"), the relationship between the national government and the states ("federalism"), and the structure of the national government ("separation of powers").
Contracts I - #120 - 2 credits
Contracts I is the first part of a two-semester Contracts course. The two-semester Contracts course generally covers the principles that govern the formation and performance of legally enforceable promises, as well as the consequences for failure or refusal to perform legally enforceable promises. The focus for the first part of the two-semester course is on contract formation, including offer and acceptance; the concept of "consideration," which is generally required for the formation of a contract; substitutes to consideration for enforcement of promises; the issues and challenges that arise during the period of contract negotiation; standard form contracts; and the statute of frauds.
Contracts II - #122 - 3 credits
Contracts II is the second part of a two-semester Contracts course. The focus for the second part of the two-semester course is on subject matter relating to the contents of a contract, such as considering what extrinsic evidence will be considered when determining the terms of a contract, how the express terms of a contract may be supplemented or explained, what terms the law will imply, and when the terms of a contract will be deemed to have been modified; when the law will intervene in the enforcement of an otherwise enforceable contract, including a review of illegality, public policy and unconscionability; remedies for breach of contract; and excuses for nonperformance.
Criminal Law - #140 - 3 credits
Analysis of general doctrines of criminal liability and the relationship between those doctrines and the moral and social problems of crime. Includes definitions of principal crimes and defenses to criminal prosecution and consideration of limitations on the use of criminal sanctions.
Lawyering Skills I - #160 - 3 credits
This course is designed to teach the first-year law student the fundamental skills of legal research, analysis, and written and oral communication, as well as introduce the rudimentary principles of the American legal system. Students will learn how to research, analyze, and predict the likely outcome of legal problems and then will communicate their predictions through a number of commonly used legal vehicles, including law-office memoranda. Methods of instruction include lecture, individual and small-group writing conferences, group exercises, and written critique. The course begins before the other first-year courses to provide a foundation for those other courses.
Lawyering Skills II - #162 - 2 credits
This course builds upon the skills acquired in Lawyering Skills I by teaching the student to make the shift from objective, predictive analysis to persuasive analysis. Students will further develop their research and analytical skills by advocating their hypothetical client's position through clear written and oral communication. For the first half of the semester, each student will interview a mock client, develop a case,and negotiate a settlement. For the second half of the semester, each student will research and draft an appellate brief and argue it against an opponent in moot court.
Professional Foundations - # - 2 credits
This course introduces students to concepts of professional role, identity, and practice for lawyers. A key objective of the course is to assist students in beginning to cultivate a reflective mindset about professional life in the law and to develop the habits needed to exercise sound professional judgment as lawyers. Students will be provided with repeated opportunities to take on the role of the lawyer in realistic situations that require them (1) to act as a fiduciary responsible for the welfare of others and (2) to define what it means to reconcile personal and professional values. Students will develop the skill of practiced self-reflection in legal settings and, in exploring the kind of lawyers they want to become, deepen their ability to apply these professional values. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, with strict enforcement of policies requiring regular and punctual attendance and satisfactory completion of all assignments.
Property - #130 - 4 credits
This course examines the origins and contours of modern property law in the United States. Major topics include: the acquisition and extent of rights in real property (land and buildings) and personal property (everything else); private and governmental limits on owners' uses of real property; methods of transferring interests in property; the nature and extent of current and future interests in real property; co-ownership and marital interests in real property; the rights and responsibilities of concurrent owners of real property; covenants and easements on real property; contracts for the sale of land; land deeds and titles; and Landlord-Tenant law.
Torts I - #110 - 3 credits
Torts I and II concern civil causes of action for harm inflicted by one person on another. Torts I covers negligence and liability arising out of the health care context.
Torts II - #112 - 2 credits
This course continues the exploration of tort law, delving into topics such as assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass, strict liability, products liability, wrongful death and survival actions, defamation, and remedies.
Second and Third Year Courses
Administrative Law - #210 - 3 credits
This course reviews the legal doctrines that empower and constrain the "fourth branch" of government-administrative agencies. Primary emphasis is placed on case law developed at the federal level; state law is covered where it differs substantially from its federal counterpart. Major topics include the creation of administrative agencies, agency use of power and limits on that power, public and individual participation in agency processes, and judicial review of agency action. Grades will be based on a final in-class exam.
Advanced Appellate Advocacy - #291 - 2 credits
This course instructs students on advanced appellate advocacy through contemporaneously tracking an actual United States Supreme Court case. Students consider the merits and precedential value of several pending cases and grant certiorari to one of them. Students then review the record and briefs of the case and learn about the role of judicial law clerks by drafting a bench memorandum advising a judge on the issues of the case and making a recommendation for its disposition. The class then sits as the Supreme Court, reviews the oral argument in the case as it happens, conferences, and then decides the case through the collaborative drafting of written opinions. Along the way, through readings and classroom discussion, we delve into the appellate process. The federal circuit courts of appeal and state supreme court practice are also discussed. This course satisfies the upper level legal writing requirement and is a Level 1 Skills course. The course is particularly recommended for students interested in pursuing judicial clerkships and Moot Court.
Advanced Civil Litigation - #292 - 2 credits
This two credit course (for second or third year students) explores procedural problems facing the modern litigator in handling cases of increasing complexity. We first examine the nature of complex litigation and discuss basic course themes and policy issues that will help place the procedural rules and cases in a legal and social context. Then we examine basic joinder principles, not only for their own value, but as a platform for understanding the ultimate joinder device and course centerpiece — the class action. There are no prerequisites (except, of course, Civil Procedure). There is a take-home final examination.
Advanced Commercial Transactions - #299 - 2 credits
In this course we will examine issues arising in the context of commercial and business law which, although they may be touched on in courses such as Contracts, UCC Sales, UCC Secured Transactions, Debtor Creditor, Bankruptcy and UCC Payment Systems, nevertheless deserve more thorough analysis because of the frequency and expanding importance of these issues in commerce and business. Topics include Letters of Credit, Agricultural Debtor-Creditor Law and Agricultural Liens, Personal Guaranty Law, selected problems involving Real Estate Mortgage Foreclosures, Credit Workout Agreements and Restructuring Agreements, Intercreditor and Subordination Agreements, Loan Documentation, Legal Opinions and Legal Diagnostics, and Creditor vs. Creditor (as opposed to Creditor vs. Debtor) Litigation.
Advanced Legal Ethics - #236 - 3 credits
In many ethical decision-making situations a practicing lawyer will encounter, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not provide a single answer. Instead, a lawyer often has discretionary choices to make in responding and acting in a given situation while still complying with the requirements of the Rules. In this course on Advanced Legal Ethics, students will be continually challenged to think critically and carefully about legal ethics and moral responsibility. We will study and actively discuss foundational concepts of moral philosophy and jurisprudence, and apply those concepts by analyzing questions and problems involving lawyers and ethical challenges they face as persons in the legal profession. We will relate the ethical and moral concerns raised by the assigned readings, questions, and problems directly back to the Rules students have studied in their prerequisite course on Professional Responsibility. We will also devote our attention to several works of world literature and film with important lessons to teach us about legal ethics and moral responsibility in the lives of practicing lawyers. Students will be graded based on (1) a scholarly paper on a topic in legal ethics, which will also satisfy the upper-level writing requirement, and (2) class participation and professionalism.
Advanced Legal Research - #280 - 2 credits
The Advanced Legal Research class enables students to refine and expand their legal research skills. Topics covered include: North Dakota legislative history, federal legislative history, practitioner's resources, and non-legal resources. Includes Computer Assisted Legal Research (CALR): LexisNexis, WESTLAW, and the Internet.
Advanced Topics in Oil and Gas - #291 - 3 credits
In this course we will examine contracts which comprise the day to day operations in the practice of oil & gas law. Primarily, the course will include an in depth look at farm-out agreements, joint operating agreements (JOA's) including the authority for expenditure (AFE), and lease royalty provisions. We will also analyze some of today's pressing legal issues in the oil patch and what approach the North Dakota Supreme Court is taking with these issues. As time permits, we will look at the basics of the practice of oil and gas law internationally. This is a 3 hour course and will have an exam at its conclusion.
Advanced Trial Advocacy - #397 - 2 credits
Advanced Trial Advocacy offers students who have exhibited advanced skills and acumen at trial advocacy an opportunity to improve, practice, and hone those skills in an experiential learning environment that simulates the intensity of a real trial. The course provides a unique opportunity to students who are drawn to trial advocacy work to practice their advocacy skills and receive individualized feedback in a concentrated time span. The intense instruction culminates in a regional trial competition that requires students to make strategic decisions, think on their feet, present themselves well under pressure, understand the law (both procedurally and substantively) in a full-trial experience, and receive input and feedback from the course professor, invited on-site guest judges, and lawyers and judges from several states in the competition region.
Airline Labor Relations Law - Aviation #517 - 3 credits
This course is an exploration of the impact and application of the Railway Labor Act and the National Labor Relations Act as they pertain to commercial airline operations in the United States. The role of international labor law, arbitration and alternate dispute resolution, global business trends, federal discrimination law, state labor laws, pension benefits, Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, drug and alcohol testing, application of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and technology developments, among other topics, are discussed. The primary focus of this course is on the federal labor statutes, although distinctive state rules and statutes are covered as well. Course requirements will include class participation, small group assignments, a labor negotiation and a final exam.
Agricultural Law - #201 - 3 credits
Study of federal and state statutory, regulatory, and other legal issues concerning agriculture, including but not limited to the acquisition, use, and preservation of farmland; storage and sale of farm products; ownership and sale of farm animals; agricultural cooperatives; and other agricultural matters.
Alternative Dispute Resolution - #281 - 3 credits
A survey of negotiation, arbitration, and emerging methods of alternative dispute resolution. Students will be required to engage in small and large group discussions, simulated negotiations and mediations in addition to regular reading assignments. Students may satisfy course requirements by writing a paper.
American Indians and American Law - #207 - 3 credits
This class will explore the field of Indian law from a historical and critical perspective by reading works of scholarships from a variety of disciplines engaged with Indian law and legal issues in Indian Country. We will trace the development of the field from the Marshall Trilogy, as well as before, through the present day in an effort to ask the central question of the class: How does this book/article/text help you to become a better lawyer and to better understand other fields that engage with Indian law? By examining the field of Indian from an academic perspective this class will supplement your study of law to give you a wider base of knowledge to understand and confront the myriad of issues you will encounter as you practice Indian law and in Indian Country.
Bankruptcy - #282 - 2 credits
The Bankruptcy course is a practical "nuts and bolts" overview of federal bankruptcy law, as overhauled by Congress in 2005 in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. In the course, we will examine the protections built into the law to protect over-extended debtors from the actions of over zealous and frustrated creditors. We will also examine protections for creditors from each other-i.e., the procedures designed to prevent some creditors from receiving preferences over others. We will also examine the mechanisms by which the debtor is afforded relief and release from over-burdening debt - i.e., the "fresh start" provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and the credit counseling requirements now imposed upon debtors as a pre-condition for their fresh starts. The text for the course, written by instructor Foster, contains an appendix of sample petitions, motions, adversary cases, illustrations, examples, and other real world materials necessary for a basic working understanding of bankruptcy law for the practitioner, whether debtor oriented or creditor oriented.
Business Associations I - #212 - 3 credits
This first course in the Business Associations sequence represents an introduction to business law. This course is designed for those with no exposure to business issues, as well as those with a business background who need to understand how the law regulates structured economic activity. This course covers issues related to the law of agency and unincorporated entities, including general and limited partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs). The course will also provide an introduction to corporations, including fiduciary duties, the scope of limited liability protections (i.e., piercing the corporate veil, alter-ego liability), and an introduction to basic federal securities laws. This course is strongly recommended before taking Business Associations II.
Business Associations II - #213 - 3 credits
This course is the second course in the Business Associations sequence and builds upon that which is covered in Business Associations I. This course covers the law of corporations, large and small, including where and how to incorporate and how corporations are formed. The course also will discuss struggles for control and provide an introduction to entity combinations (mergers and acquisitions), including takeovers and takeover defenses. It is strongly recommended that students take Business Associations I before taking this course.
Business Enterprise Tax - # 261 - 3 credits
This course will cover the taxation of unincorporated business entities (partnerships and limited liability companies), Subchapter S corporations and Subchapter C (i.e., ordinary) corporations. It will cover tax considerations for: selecting a business entity to form when starting a new business or expanding an existing one; the daily operations of business entities; and the termination of business entities by liquidation or sale. This course is an extension of the Income Taxation course (Law 226) in which students will have studied personal taxation (i.e., taxation of income from employment), investments and the operation of sole proprietorships, but not the taxation of business entities. This course also may be thought of as the tax companion to the Business Associations course.
Civil Rights Litigation - #283 - 3 credits
This course is designed to equip students to litigate under the federal civil rights statutes, particularly 42 U.S.C. section 1983. Civil rights litigation has been the subject of intense political and judicial controversy over the last three decades, as it determines what constitutional guarantees actually mean in practice. This course addresses civil rights actions against government officials, both state and federal, and government institutions, such as school boards, prisons, and police agencies. The course examines the theoretical underpinnings of civil rights litigation, as well as practical considerations such as finding the appropriate defendant, seeking effective remedies, and defending against such claims.
College Students and the Law - EDL #556 – 3 credits
This course provides an overview of key legal issues that pertain to college students. Using a legal frame and analysis, the focus of the course surrounds administrative decision making, effective practices, and organizational policy design and implementation.
Commercial Paper - UCC III - #298 - 2 credits
Uniform Commercial Code III Commercial Paper and Payment Systems explores the law and issues arising in payment systems involving checks, drafts and other negotiable instruments, currency, debit and ATM cards and electronic funds transfers. The course focuses on UCC Article 3 Negotiable Instruments and Commercial Paper, Article 4 Bank Deposits and Collections and the Relationship between Banks and Customers, and Article 4A Electronic Funds Transfers. Beneath the everyday nationwide and worldwide use of checks, ATM machines, bank deposits and withdrawals, internet ordering and payments, lies a huge range of legal issues and problems involving negotiability, forgery, fraud, non-sufficient funds, liability of makers and endorsers, alteration of instruments, stop payment orders, freezes and setoffs against deposit accounts and a host of other items which give consumers, merchants and bankers headaches and which provide brainteasers for lawyers.
Comparative Law - #255 - 3 credits
This course is designed to explore how different world legal systems compare and contrast with one another as to certain key institutions, such as courts, procedure, substantive law (constitutional and criminal law, for example), actors (judges and attorneys, among others), and legal education. The history and culture of these systems, as well as the contemporary challenges they face, will be examined. The course will not be in the traditional lecture format. Instead, it will be in the form of a simulated "conference of experts" tasked with creating a new legal system from scratch for a fictional failed state. Each student will serve as an expert delegate representing a country within a general world legal system, such as the Common Law, Civil Law, or Islamic Law (so, for example, a student might represent India as part of the “Common Law Delegation” to the conference, while another student might represent the United Kingdom). Each legal system will be explored with the individual country representatives making presentations regarding the unique aspects of their system (so a representative from Saudi Arabia, for example, would explain for the class the Saudi system’s version of Islamic Law). During this phase of the course, debates will be scheduled among the delegations, film clips will be shown illustrating the various legal systems, and, when feasible, there will be Skype guest-lectures from actual practitioners on the ground in states where the relevant systems are being studied. In the final part of the course, students will collectively negotiate with each other one or more major legal "institutions" for the failed state, such as a constitution or code of criminal procedure. This “hybridized” institution is meant to reflect traits of each legal system studied with the students attempting to incorporate the influence of the system they represented while compromising to allow integration of the other systems. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in the individual exercises and their efforts in negotiating and drafting the hybrid institution documents (e.g., the constitution or code of civil procedure). Certain details in this course description are subject to change, as the course is still in the development stage.
Conflict of Laws - #257 - 3 credits
The practice of law in the 21st century will increasingly require lawyers to advise and assist clients in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional legal matters involving a “conflict of laws.” In this course, students will study the principles and standards courts have applied in resolving “conflict of laws” problems. Conflict issues typically arise when significant facts concerning a matter litigated in state court are connected with more than one state, when federal courts adjudicate state law claims, or when a party seeks recognition of a judgment in a jurisdiction other than where the judgment was entered. The course will focus on choice of law (in state and federal courts), the scope and enforcement of state, federal and foreign judgments (including claim and issue preclusion), and constitutional limitations on courts in making decisions on these matters. Attention will also be given to international conflict of laws. Conflict of Laws is among the subjects tested on the Multistate Essay Exam.
Constitutional Law II - #152 - 3 credits
This required course introduces students to the constitutional system of the United States and the modes of thought and criticism appropriate to constitutional law. It provides a broad introduction to the Courts constitutional decisions to ascertain the political values and processes it has defended historically, the standards it has developed to implement its principles, and its relationship to other institutions in the American political system. The course focuses on three major themes of civil rights and civil liberties: the right of privacy, equal protection, and free speech.
Consumer Protection Law - #291, 3 credits
This upper level course examines modern case law and statutes that protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, with an emphasis on regulation of consumer financial transactions. The course covers a range of topics, such as consumer credit regulations, debt collection practices, and predatory lending. During the semester, we will examine how well our legal institutions respond to consumer protection concerns and how those institutions might respond more effectively. Additionally, because so much of consumer protection law is embodied in federal or state statutes, the course will incorporate statutory interpretation skills.
Criminal Advocacy - #293 - 2 credits
Criminal advocacy will again be taught in the first semester by Mr. Bruce Quick, Attorney at Law (private practitioner in Fargo and former Deputy Attorney General and earlier Assistant Cass County State's Attorney) and Mr. Mark Friese (private practitioner in Fargo). As a skills-training course, students should expect that exercises or demonstrations may occasionally last beyond 8:20 P.M. - Students may take criminal advocacy regardless of whether they have taken, are taking, or intend to take trial advocacy. Students interested in practicing criminal law are encouraged to enroll. The basic trial skills developed in trial advocacy, although unavoidably a part of criminal practice, are not the primary focus of this course. - Prerequisites are evidence and criminal procedure. Because the course is first semester, contemporaneous enrollment is sufficient. This course is a limited enrollment (16 student) course with priority given to third year students. If more than 16 students sign up for the course, preference will be given to students who have already completed criminal procedure and evidence.
Each week will focus on a particular part of the criminal process (e.g., preliminary examination, bail, motion hearings) by requiring students to role-play as defense attorneys, prosecutors, or witnesses. Some exercises may involve parts of a criminal trial, but students do not conduct a complete trial (which is another reason why students interested in criminal practice are advised to take trial advocacy as well).
The course is graded pass-fail and as a skills training course, attendance is mandatory.
Criminal Law and Jurisdiction in Indian Country - #284 - 2 credits
This two-hour course examines the history of the development of substantive criminal law in Indian country from passage of the original Code of Indian offenses to modern federal and tribal laws designed to address criminal activity in Indian country. The course will also explore the application of federal laws such as the Major Crimes Act, the General Crimes Act, the Assimilative Crimes Act, the federal death penalty, and federal sentencing guidelines in Indian country. The course also invites an examination of the jurisdictional puzzle that exists in Indian country with regard to tribal, federal, and state law over crimes committed within Indian country by examining federal, tribal and state court decisions. Lastly, the course will examine alternative criminal justice methods utilized by Tribes in the lower 48 and Alaska to combat an escalating crime problem in Indian country with an eye toward analyzing the historical antecedents for crime in Indian country. Students will be given the option of submitting a paper on a topic to be approved by the instructor or completing a comprehensive take-home examination.
Criminal Procedure - #218 - 3 credits
This course will cover Investigation of Crime (the exclusionary sanction, constitutional doctrines relating to law enforcement conduct, issuance and execution of arrest and search warrants, detentions of persons and related searches, "warrantless" searches, electronic surveillance, interrogation and confessions, undercover investigations, grand jury investigative functions, and eyewitness identification).
Criminal Procedure II - #286 - 3 credits
This course will cover: Prosecution and Adjudication (The Initial Appearance and Detention, Discretion to Prosecute, The Preliminary Examination and the Grand Jury, Right to a Speedy Trial, Competency to Stand Trial, Discovery and Disclosure, Right to an Impartial Trial, Joinder and Severance of Charges and Defendants, Double Jeopardy, Pretrial Hearings and Related matters, Adjudication of Guilt by Plea, Adjudication of Guilt or Innocence by Trial, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Sentencing, and Appeal and Collateral Attack), as time permits. Criminal Procedure I is not a prerequisite.
Criminal Sentencing - #308 - 3 credits
Debtor/Creditor Relations - #220 - 2 credits
The Debtor Creditor course focuses on the legal relationships between those who owe and those to whom it is owed. This is a very practical course on how to get the money, if you're a creditor's lawyer, and how to shield your client's money, if you're a debtor's lawyer. We cover the full range of debt collection devices, from those not involving the courts (self-help repossession, setoff of bank accounts, dunning correspondence, etc.), to prejudgment judicial debt collection devices (attachment, prejudgment garnishment, replevin, warrant to seize property, receivership, foreclosure trustee and others) through the obtaining of a judgment (by default, confession, by contested litigation) and then on to post-judgment collection devices (locating assets, judgment liens, execution liens, supplementary proceedings, post-judgment garnishment, setting aside fraudulent conveyances, chasing debtors to other states for collection). We also examine criminal law concepts applicable to debtor creditor relations. protection of the debtor from over zealous creditors using exemptions, redemption rights and other protective shields, and we examine creditors with special lien rights, such as UCC secured creditors, mortgage holders, statutory lienholders who improve property, and others. We also examine federal claims, claims of creditors in probate proceedings for deceased debtors, and state law remedies resembling bankruptcy. The text for the course, written by lecturer Foster, includes sample pleadings, motions, and other real world documentation needed for a successful creditor or debtor law practice.
Domestic Violence - #264 - 2 credits
Course DescriptionWhat is domestic violence? What should the legal response to it be? In this course, we will explore the historical, sociological, and cultural contexts of the legal and public policy responses to domestic violence in the U.S., including civil and criminal justice systems approaches and relevant federal and state laws. We will also examine the recent expansion of legal advocacy efforts responding to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking as an example of social change lawyering. We will discuss some of the specific rights and remedies available to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in employment law, housing law, immigration law, family law and international human rights law and analyze the efficacy of these provisions. Finally, we will consider the role of gender in legal and policy developments in response to domestic violence.
Drone Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment - #550, Special Projects - 1 credit
This one-credit seminar investigates the emerging surveillance technology of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and its interaction with the Fourth Amendment. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, represented by current or past enrollment in Criminal Procedure I and a good grade in that class. The professor will present the students with reading materials, but the students will be expected to find their own as well, summarize them in writing each week, and in the end draft a 7-9 page paper. This seminar is Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading and is open only at the permission of the professor.
Elder Law - #266 - 3 credits
Traditionally law school curriculums included courses on drafting will and trusts and on probate law, which was the extent of any attempt at 'elder law' topics. Today, with the 'baby boomers' entering retirement age, the United States (and North Dakota in particular) has an aging population. With that, there is more and more call for attorneys who are trained in issues pertinent to older Americans' needs. This course is intended to be a discussion course of elder law issues and will include ethical considerations related to representation of older clients; vulnerable adults, elder abuse and neglect; guardianship and other options; health care and end of life decisions; Social Security benefits, including SSI and SSD; Medicare and Medicaid; and housing alternatives. This is a 3 hour course and satisfies the Upper Level Legal Writing Requirement. There will be no examination.
Employment Discrimination – 3 credits
Federal and state laws protect workers from discrimination based on certain characteristics, and require employers to base employment decisions on factors other than, for example, a person’s sex or race. Employment discrimination is an area of law that is applicable in every jurisdiction, to every person who has an employer, owns or operates a business, or is looking for a job. This course will cover the major federal statutes, and time permitting, state statutes and common law theories, upon which litigants suing for adverse employment actions can rely.
Environmental Law - #263 - 3 credits
This course surveys the major federal statutory programs restricting private and governmental activities that may adversely affect human health and the environment. The course examines the common law origins of environmental law, current "regulatory" schemes designed to prevent activities from causing excessive environmental harm, and current "remedial" schemes designed to clean up or remedy environmental harms that do occur. Major topics include thestructure of federal, state, and Indian tribal governmental power over the environment, air and water quality, and hazardous waste disposal and cleanup. Course grades are calculated on the basis of class participation and a reflective paper, noteligible for the School's graduation writing requirement, on a topic assigned on the first day of class.
Estate Planning - #287 - 2 credits
This course examines various problems encountered in the planning and administration of an individual's estate. Included are such issues as the drafting of wills, the use of the marital deduction, lifetime gifts, testamentary trusts, the selection of trustees, valuation problems, apportioning the tax burden, the charitable deduction, deferred compensation plans, and life insurance. Although the completion of the Gift and Estate Taxation course is recommended, it is not required and the fact that you have not taken that course should not prevent from doing well in this one. The course grade will be determined by take-home writing assignments designed to simulate actual work assignments.
Evidence - #222 - 4 credits
In this course, students will study the rules that govern the admissibility of evidence in American trials. The course will examine the concepts of relevance, hearsay, and character evidence; issues relating to opinion evidence and the reliability of expert testimony; rules governing the admissibility of physical evidence and devices designed to ensure an orderly and efficient trial; the federal common law of privileges; and constitutional provisions impacting the admission of evidence at trial. Because of their prominence and their pervasive influence on the development of rules for state courts, the course will focus primary attention on the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Extern Class - #557 - 1 credit
This one-credit graded class is required for all students selected for and enrolled in the externship seminar. This class is seminar style and will focus on topics such as: professionalism, confidentiality, time management, negotiations, counseling and other topics. There may be outside speakers from time to time to discuss issues facing practicing attorneys.
Extern Seminar - #555 - 2 & 3 credits
This program offers 2 or 3 credits for students selected as externs at the following placements: Grand Forks County State's Attorney, Cass County State's Attorney, Walsh County State's Attorney, District Court for the Northeast Central Judicial District, JAG and Area Defense Counsel offices at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Students chosen for this program are required to work the requisite hours at their placement and complete the companion Externship Class.
Family Law - #265 - 3 credits
The Family Law course examines the creation, legal significance and termination of family relationships. We will address a broad range of topics in this course, including: limitations on what relationships are recognized as "marriages"; inter-spousal rights and duties; the divorce process (including grounds for divorce, property distribution, spousal support and child support); alternatives to marriage; custody determinations; grandparents' rights; termination of parental rights; adoption; the ability of parties to contract with respect to their familial relationships; and the role of the State in these relationships. Grades will be awarded based upon a showing of competence in class and on the final examination.
Federal Courts - #267 - 3 credits
This three-credit course (for second or third year students) will examine the special role of the federal courts in the American judicial system, how they differ from the state courts, and basic considerations for bringing federal lawsuits. In particular, the class will explore such questions as: Why have federal courts at all? What kinds of cases can be filed in federal court? Are there certain disputes that should not be handled by the federal court system? How does a litigant merit standing to sue in federal court? What is the relationship between Congress and the federal courts? Can Congress abolish the federal courts, alter their jurisdiction, or create other kinds of courts? What are typical federal court litigation strategies? Some course subjects receive bar examination coverage.
First Amendment - #302 - 2 credits
This course is intended as a survey of the substantive law of the First Amendment - the Establishment and Free Exercise of Religion Clauses, and the Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition Clauses. We will also explore the philosophical underpinnings of First Amendment jurisprudence from its inception to the modern day. Our ultimate goal is to enhance students' ability to create and critically analyze constitutional arguments, both orally and in writing. The grade for the course will be principally based on a paper and on demonstrated oral skills in the form of class participation, exercises, debates, and presentations. This course satisfies the Upperlevel Legal Writing Requirement. There will be no examination.
The First Amendment in the Digital Age - #291 - 3 credits
This seminar will be a discussion-based class dedicated to exploring issues surrounding speech in the age of the Internet and other electronic media. Among other things, we will discuss the structure of cyberspace, the nature of networks, and the implications for society, democracy, and First Amendment law. We will confront current issues such as net neutrality, the globalization of speech, and regulation of the Internet. Students will have the opportunity to research and discuss topics of their choice. In addition to a final paper, students will participate in the creation of a blog concerning the First Amendment in the digital age. This blog will be posted online. This course will, therefore, be designed to facilitate learning about speech online, but also provide a forum for students and the professor to involve themselves in the endeavor.
Federal Indian Law - #204 - 3 credits
This course examines the United States' policies and laws regarding tribal governments and individual Indians. Major topics include: the origin and scope of federal power over Indian affairs, tribal governmental powers, tribal court systems, tribal property rights, limitations on state powers, and civil and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country. Emphasis will be given to jurisdictional interfaces and conflicts among the three sovereigns. The course will incorporate real-life practice scenarios. Students will be graded on a series of skills exercises and written assignments.
This course will be team-taught in Fall 2011 by Dean Rand along with Joseph Morsette, the Director of the Native Americans Into Law Program and a former tribal judge.
Gender and the Law - #268 - 3 credits
This course enables students to explore the legal doctrine and theory that have developed to address a myriad of issues concerning gender. In examining efforts to address the equality and discrimination, the course explores the role of individualized treatment versus stereotyping within the legal system. We will discuss the differences between formal equality and substantive equality in matters such as employment, education, and family. Through our investigation of non-subordination, we will study issues including sexual harassment and domestic violence. The course will also address specific issues concerning women in the justice system, such as women lawyers, judging, juries, and criminal sentencing. Additional topics may address rape, reproduction, and identity, among others. This class will include role-playing exercises and both in-class and outside-of-class assignments, as well as a final paper that can be used to satisfy the writing requirement. It also serves as a "Level Two" skills course that can be used in partial fulfillment of the upper-level skills requirement.
Health Law - #303 - 3 credits
This course enables students to explore the role that law plays "in promoting the quality of health care, in organizing the delivery of health care, in assuring adequate control of the cost of health care, in promoting access to necessary health care, and in protecting the human rights of those who are provided care within the health care system." (Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems, p. v.) In examining efforts to address the quality of health care services, the course explores the interaction between public and private initiatives, in addition to analyzing medical malpractice law. Through our investigation into issues concerning access to health care and control of health care costs, we will study both private and public financing mechanisms, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance. The course will also address the changes created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To the extent that there is sufficient time, the course may also address the role of the law in organizing the health care enterprise. This class will include role-playing exercises and both in-class and outside-of-class assignments, as well as a final paper that can be used to satisfy the writing requirement. It also serves as a "Level Two" skills course that can be used in partial fulfillment of the upper-level skills requirement.
Higher Education Law - EDL #552 - 3 credits
This course provides an overview of key legal issues that pertain to college students. Using a legal frame and analysis, the focus of the course surrounds administrative decision making, effective practices, and organizational policy design and implementation.
Gift and Estate Taxation - #224 - 2 credits
This is the basic estate planning class, which addresses estate planning for families of all income groups, with an emphasis on estate, gift, and incidentally, income tax consequences. This year this course will be completed by October 30, 2006.
Housing & Employment Law Clinic I - #440 - 7 credits
Housing & Employment Law Clinic II - #442 – 7 credits
Law Clinic students study lawyering skills at both practical and theoretical levels. These graded courses examine law and lawyering in the context of real litigation, providing students with critical skills in communication, problem-solving, strategy, and persuasion that prepare them to address the multidimensional needs of clients. Important values informing these skills are fostered through an ongoing dialogue about lawyers' ethical and professional responsibilities and a continuous critique of the justice system. Students assume the role of the lawyer while representing real clients in cases likely to involve hearings before state or Federal courts and/or administrative tribunals. Third-year students and students in the second semester of their second year are eligible to represent clients and appear in court under the supervision of faculty. Client matters typically involve housing or employment litigation.
Emphasis is placed on learning to build effective attorney-client relationships, to engage in professional, collaborative teamwork, and to initiate a lifelong process of critical self-reflection. Course requirements include case supervision sessions, classroom seminars, reading assignments, writing assignments, oral presentations, simulations, and self-evaluation exercises. Law Clinic students develop skills in interviewing, counseling, legal research and analysis, fact investigation, problem solving, negotiation, written and oral advocacy, pretrial practice, and trial practice. Students reflect upon their experiences in light of issues such as control in the lawyer-client relationship, professionalism, diversity, the role of lawyers in social change work, and other questions related to lawyering and society.
Enrollment is limited and permission of Law Clinic faculty is required. Students who successfully complete Law Clinic I may apply for enrollment in Law Clinic II. After the start of a semester, all drops or withdrawals require consultation with the professors. A short orientation program is mandatory and will take place by arrangement immediately before the start of each semester.
Immigration Law - #219 - 2 credits
This course explores the law of the admission of foreign nationals into the United States, their treatment and status while here, and the processes of deportation and naturalization. Constitutional, statutory, and regulatory sources of law will be considered, in both their substantive and procedural aspects. Additionally, an effort will be made to seat immigration law within its historical, social, theoretical, and cultural contexts. Grading will be based on a final exam.
Income Taxation - #226 - 3 credits
This course is intended to give students an understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying the U.S. individual income tax. Examination of the concept of gross income and net income, including investigation of what constitutes income, when it should be taxed, to whom it should be taxed, and its character as unearned, earned, or capital gain income. Deductions and their nature as genuine or as artificial deductions are considered in detail. The course will focus on the statutory framework of tax law, Treasury Regulations and Rulings and illustrative judicial authorities.
Indian Child Welfare Act - #294 - 2 credits
This course will combine an academic and historical analysis of the Indian Child Welfare Act with an examination of how native children are treated in the legal system in the child welfare area, as well as other areas (health care, education, and child support enforcement). The final grade will be based upon the students writing a brief for an Indian tribe, Indian parent, adoptive parent, or other party to an ICWA proceeding in an actual case that is being litigated by the Indian Law Center or in other pending cases. Students will have the opportunity during the class to hear from tribal leaders, native persons who have been adopted out, and others about the historical displacement of Indian children from their Tribes and the impact of this legacy.
Indian Gaming Law - #276 - 2 credits
What is Indian gaming, and how did it turn into a multi-billion dollar industry and the most prominent public policy issue concerning Native Americans today? Framed by tribal sovereignty and the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA), this course examines the substantive law governing Indian gaming, as well as the broader political context of reservation economic development through gaming. In just over two decades, Indian gaming has become a $26.5 billion industry with some 440 casinos operated by 230 tribes in 28 states. The course will explore the history of tribal gaming, substantive provisions of IGRA as well as other pertinent federal, tribal, and state law, and the continuing development of case law, statutory and administrative law, and, of course, politics. Topics include regulatory authority, casino-style gaming and tribal-state compacts, socioeconomic effects, revenue sharing, and "off-reservation" gaming.
Insurance Law - #307 - 2 credits
Insurance frequently effects strategies employed in modern litigation and often influences the outcome of litigation. The purpose of this course is to provide a broad-based introduction to insurance law, with a focus on how to read, analyze, and work with insurance policies. The course concentrates on the law governing construction of insurance policies, including analysis of coverage provisions and exclusions, conditions of coverage, the effect of representations, and insurer liability. Although a variety of insurance policies are discussed in the course, particular emphasis is given to insurance policies covering legal liability, as these policies strongly influence litigation strategies in civil suits and are commonly used by businesses as part of their risk-management practices.
Intellectual Property - #295 - 2 credits
This course surveys the law that provides monopoly entitlements on intangibles, including copyright, trade secret, patent, trademark, the right of publicity, and various sui generis rights. We will also briefly look at significant ancillary issues, such as federal preemption and international treaty obligations.
International & Foreign Legal Research - #320 - 1 credit
From our text (International & Foreign Legal Research: A Coursebook by Hoffman and Rumsey): "When researching international and foreign law, you must know two things: (1) the type of law you are researching, and (2) the sources of law." In the context of the type of law (e.g., public international law), this course examines the various sources of law used in research: e.g., constitutions/charters; statutes/codes; administrative rules/regulations; court decisions; treaties and international agreements; customary law; scholarly commentary; serials and yearbooks. Also includes exploration of international organizations, e.g., United Nations - resolutions, treaties, International Court of Justice.
International Business Transactions - #252 - 3 credits
This course covers a variety of issues that arise in business transactions when the contracting parties have their places of business in different countries or when the goods, services or technologies that are the subject of the transaction cross at least one international border. The course includes coverage of some background matters generally applicable across a broad spectrum of international business transactions, such as sources of transnational law, international dispute resolution, and cross-border practice. The course also includes a more particular focus on certain specific kinds of transactions in the international context, such as distribution and agency arrangements; mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures; and licensing arrangements. This is a problem-solving course that includes some practical exercises designed to simulate the experience of an international practitioner. This is not a course in international trade law.
International Human Rights Law - #234 - 3 credits
This course will examine the development of international human rights law and its enforcement through international, regional and domestic legal institutions. It will explore the Nuremberg precedent and the principal human rights instruments that followed in its wake, including, among others, the so-called International Bill of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture. It will then examine the creation and functioning of the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda as well as the so-called "hybrid" tribunals and the International Criminal Court. Certain structural and procedural components of these institutions, and the substantive crimes over which they have jurisdiction primarily genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes), will be analyzed. The course will also consider the emerging trends toward universal jurisdiction, complementarity, creation of regional human rights law regimes and resort to alternative enforcement mechanisms, including civil lawsuits and the use of truth commissions.
International Law - #271 - 3 credits
This course provides an introduction to the system of norms, rules, institutions and procedures that regulates interaction among states, and between states and other international actors, including individuals and international organizations. Three fundamental areas will be explored: (1) the source and nature of international legal rules; (2) the associated international legal processes; and (3) the relationship of these international rules and processes to individuals, organizations, and states. Students will be evaluated based on a paper that will qualify for the writing requirement, a presentation made to the class on the topic of their paper and class participation related to the material discussed in class. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.
Law Review - #551 - 1 credit
The North Dakota Law Review is a scholarly journal of commentary on current legal problems of interest to the North Dakota bar and the legal profession generally. Published quarterly, all material in the Law Review is edited by a student board of editors, and much of it is written by students. Students gain experience in legal research and accurate written expression through the preparation of articles for publication. The Law Review is the journal of the State Bar Association of North Dakota.
Legislation - # 291 - 3 credits
The federal and state governments utilize two general systems of law: judge-made law (including both the common law and much of constitutional law) and promulgated codes (including statutes, administrative rules, and rules of court). Although many law school courses focus largely on judge-made law, this course will specifically hone in on legislation, including processes involved in the creation, the application, and the interpretation of statutory law. Students will learn about legislative procedures, various rules to consider when drafting legislation and related documents, some of the major factors that influence the evolution of bills throughout the legislative process, and methods that can be drawn upon to foster the effective application of statutes. Students will also examine cases applying various methods of statutory interpretation to explore the process of how judges go about construing legislation. This class will take both theoretical and practical approaches to the subject matter, and will include drafting and role-playing exercises and assignments as well as a final paper.
Military Law - #305 - 2 credits
An overview of unique legal issues and systems applicable to the military forces of the United States. Topics will include the military justice system, operations law, the law of armed conflict, international law, homeland security issues and deployed fiscal law. This course is intended as a survey of military law relevant to today's military and world environment, not an in-depth study of one particular topic.
Mineral Resources Taxation - #207 - 1 credit
The course covers oil and gas taxation for the landowner and producer, all based on the text of Owen Anderson's classic work on oil and gas taxation. Those students that plan to practice estate planning, probate, business law and its many sidelines would benefit from this course.
Modern Real Estate Transactions - #285 - 3 credits
Study of the contracting process in real estate transactions; deeds and deed covenants; recording issues; title insurance and abstracts of title; and mortgage loans, foreclosure, and other real estate financing issues.
Moot Court - #553 - 1 credit
The Moot Court Association provides interested students the opportunity to participate in an appellate moot court intra-school competition. During the past few years, members of the Association also have participated in the National Moot Court Competition and various regional competitions. Members of the Association may serve as advisors and judges for first-year students participating in the course in brief writing and appellate advocacy.
Moot Court Board - #552 - 2 credits
Pretrial Practice - #410 - 3 credits
The majority of civil litigation is not resolved at the trial level, but instead at the pre-trial level. Competent pre-trial preparation is the key to a successful civil litigation practice. The course will familiarize the student with pre-trial practices and procedures through a combination of lectures, guest lectures, reading assignments and pre-trial activities in a mock civil case. Students will become familiar with the relevant Rules of Civil Procedure and other pre-trial techniques, including client interviewing and counseling, witness interviewing, informal discovery techniques, litigation planning, expert development and discovery, pleadings, interrogatories, depositions, requests for production of documents and things, requests for admission, pre-trial motion practice, settlement strategies, settlement brochures, settlement conferences, pre-trial conferences, and settlement agreements. The class emphasis will be pre-trial skills development in a mock civil case.
Oil & Gas Practice in North Dakota - #291 - 2 credits
This course will introduce students to the basics of oil and gas law in North Dakota and provide an introductory background to practicing in the area. The course will cover North Dakota statutes related to oil and gas development such as the Control of Gas and Oil Resources Act, examine oil and gas issues being litigated in North Dakota courts, and review the drafting and filing of basic documents to protect oil and gas interests. This course will also discuss drafting and negotiating an oil and gas lease and the importance of various clauses in a lease.
Poverty Law – #228 - 2 credits
Professional Responsibility - #232 - 2 credits
In this required course, students will study the law that governs lawyers and the legal profession. The course will examine the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers, along with other statutory and common law governing lawyers, the civil law of legal malpractice, criminal liability, and lawyer disciplinary decisions. Our class discussions will focus on various kinds of ethical decisions lawyers confront in their practices, and how the law governing lawyers impacts those decisions. We will also consider the roles of lawyers in our society and the ethical and moral dimensions of those roles.
Professional Visions: Law, Literature, and the Role of Lawyers in the Social Order - #290 - 3 credits
This three-credit course (for second or third year students, with limited enrollment to help ensure a comfortable atmosphere for discussion) will explore the human dimensions of law and lawyering and the nature of professional relationships in legal settings. Through novels, short stories, legal essays, and films, we will discuss what it means to be a lawyer, the special role of lawyers and law in society, and the concrete dilemmas that lawyers face in developing their professional identities, exercising their professional judgment, and fulfilling their professional responsibilities. Examining these issues in a literary context and through other "non-case" sources creates unique opportunities for exploring the human and social consequences of legal action. The course will also provide a forum for discussing issues related to the transition from law student to practicing professional.
Professional Writing and Communication - 2 credits
The course offers students the unique opportunity to learn about and engage in the "other" type of writing and communication lawyers are often expected to do in practice. This type of writing and communication includes, but is not limited to, doing a legal blog entry, creating a newsletter, drafting a short bar journal article, or writing an advice letter/e-mail to a client informing the client of a recent change in the law and how that change may affect the client's business or personal affairs. The course also offers students the opportunity to create and give a CLE presentation, as well as a presentation to a non-legal group, such as a group of local businesses or a non-profit organization. Finally, the course gives students a chance to further enhance their oral and written communication skills by offering instruction on how to interact with different media outlets.
Remedies - #209 - 3 credits
This course will review the nature of relief available to parties that have established a substantive right. The subject matter includes: equity and equitable remedies (injunctions and specific performance); principles of damages (general, special and punitive damages); and principles of restitution at law and equity.
Sales -- Uniform Commercial Code I - #214 - 3 credits
Sales -- Uniform Commercial Code I covers a variety of issues relating to commercial transactions involving sales of goods. The course coverage includes topics such as the many roles of a commercial lawyer; formation of a commercial contract; warranties (express and implied) and other key terms of commercial contracts; passage of title to and risk of loss of goods in connection with a commercial arrangement; and remedies for breach. The course is a statutory course, with heavy emphasis on navigating, understanding and applying the applicable provisions of the relevant code or codes. The main focus of the course is on sales of goods when such sales are governed by Article 2 (Sales) of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The course also covers, though to a lesser extent, leases governed by Article 2A (Leases) of the UCC, the federal statute known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and international sales of goods governed by the 1980 U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The method used in class is primarily problem solving.
Secured Transactions - #223 - 2 credits
Secured transactions is a course that will be concerned with all aspects of security involving personal property, including creation of security interests, perfection, and priorities. The class will also discuss competing interests in property, creditors and trustees in bankruptcy. The class will examine security interests from their creation through default and collection on the collateral. The class will also discuss property that would be included within security interests and that which would be excluded from coverage under Article 9. The emphasis in this class will be on revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and its coverage will also include the study of pre-existing law and a discussion of federal bankruptcy law. Federal bankruptcy law is not a prerequisite to this course.
Sentencing of Terrorism Defendants - #550, Special Projects - 1 credit
This one-credit seminar investigates the sentencing of terrorism defendants. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of sentencing jurisprudence, represented by current or past enrollment in Criminal Sentencing and a good grade in that class. The professor will present the students with reading materials, but the students will be expected to find their own as well, summarize them in writing each week, and in the end draft a 7-9 page paper. This seminar is Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading and is open only at the permission of the professor.
Solo & Small Firm Practice - #291 - 2 credits
This course is designed to help students decide if solo and small firm practice is for them. Students will create their own business plan and deliver a class presentation of that plan. By creating this roadmap students will acquire a practical understanding of how to set up a solo or small firm practice. Unlike many law school classes, especially those found in first year curriculum, this course doesn't cover one specific set of laws. This course is a real-world application of information you may find in a Professional Responsibility, Pre-Trial, and an Entrepreneurship course.
State and Local Government - #291 - 3 credits
This course is the study of the powers and activities of state and local government in a federal system. Topics include powers of home rule and non-home rule counties and cities; regulation of trade, businesses and other enterprises; zoning and land use controls; public personnel issues and corrupt practices in government; financing procedures to pay expenses; municipal liabilities, and the resolution of disputes between one unit of government with another unit of government or with an individual.
State and Local Taxation - #296 - 2 credits
This course explores the States' levy of income, property and sales taxes (as well as some more exotic taxes) with particular emphasis on the power to tax domestic and foreign corporations and individuals that have minimal connections to the taxing jurisdiction. This branch of taxation is becoming increasingly important in today's economy and is the subject of a significant amount of litigation
Trial Advocacy - #297 - 3 credits
This course develops trial skills through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and simulations. Students participate weekly as attorneys, witnesses, or jurors in mock trial situations. Subjects of study include trial and witness preparation, direct and cross examination, objections, foundations, opening statements, closing arguments, visual aids, impeachment, experts, problem witnesses, damages, and jury selection. The small size of the sections permits individualized instruction, and allows for each student to try a full-simulated jury trial near the end of the semester. Evidence is a prerequisite for this course. However, because the course is taught in the Fall, contemporaneous enrollment will suffice.
Tribal Economic Development - #279 – 2 credits
Tribal Environmental Law - #554 - 3 credits
Required Readings: GRIJALVA, CLOSING THE CIRCLE: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN INDIAN COUNTRY (2008); original court opinions on-line; various handouts
Course Coverage: This course examines how an anomalous confluence of federal environmental, administrative and Indian law exacerbates environmental injustice in Indian country, but also offers its most promising solution. The modern environmental law paradigm of federal-state partnerships falters in Indian country where state regulatory jurisdiction is constrained by federal Indian law. A resulting void of effective environmental regulation threatens the cultural survival of American Indian tribes, who face air and water contamination from a legacy of federally encouraged natural resource development. A potential solution for closing the circle of national environmental protection accords sovereign tribal governments a state-like status. The course examines comprehensively the tribal treatment-as-a-state approach first developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and later codified by Congress in amendments to most of the major environmental laws, as well as federal cases brought by states and non-Indians challenging EPA’s and tribes’ authority to make binding value judgments about Indian country environmental protection.
Prerequisites: None. But prior exposure to Administrative law, Environmental law and Indian law will be valuable.
Relation to Tribal Environmental Law Project (TELP): This fall course is related to my spring TELP course only in that both concern issues of environmental law in Indian country. The spring TELP course is a clinic-like skills course that focuses on a single, discrete legal issue of imminent importance to tribal governments and/or tribal grassroots organizations concerned about environmental protection in Indian country. This fall Tribal Environmental Law course concerns a much broader set of multiple legal issues affecting federal, state and tribal jurisdiction over natural resource development and industrial activities in and near Indian country that affect the health of citizens and the level of environmental quality of Indian country. Tribal Environmental Law is not a prerequisite for TELP, although TELP students will find this Tribal Environmental Law course immensely helpful in doing the specific work required for TELP.
Tribal Environmental Law Project - #554 - 1 credit
This one credit pass/fail course is designed as a practical skills-oriented course, intended to assist students in recognizing and serving client needs, in the context of real legal issues and problems. Acting as a small law firm with tribal clients, students will gain experience researching and analyzing in the areas of federal Indian law, federal environmental law, and federal administrative law.
This course complements other components of the Tribal Environmental Law Project, whose mission is to confront “environmental injustice” in Indian Country. Environmental injustice describes the reality that residents of Indian reservations often bear a disproportionately high risk of environmental pollution. The Project is devoted to ameliorating such injustice by providing legal and policy assistance to tribal governments developing environmental programs intended to protect the health and welfare of tribal citizens, tribal natural resources, and the quality of reservations and ceded lands.
The research project for spring 2010 is still being developed, but likely will focus on the federal government’s imminent release of a draft programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing how environmental justice concerns should be considered during environmental assessments of specific proposed actions under the National Environmental Policy Act. We will be researching the issues presented and preparing comments on the draft on behalf of a hypothetical tribal client; depending on when the draft EIS is issued, and the length of the comment period, we may in fact submit our comments (on behalf of the Tribal Environmental Law Project) to the federal government.
Tribal Law - #278 - 2 credits
This course involves an examination of how Indian tribes legislate the law and adjudicate disputes that evolve in tribal communities. Instead of focusing on the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes this course undertakes an analysis of how Indian tribes promulgate and enforce the law and how they interact with each other and state governments. Students will be given the option of writing a paper on a topic impacting this area or writing a judicial decision in an actual case in a tribal court utilizing the principles learned in the class.
Trusts and Estates - #230 - 4 credits
The general public assumes that all lawyers can do two things: try a case and write a will. Most lawyers can do neither. This course is designed to remedy that situation in part by introducing students to the basics of estate planning and administration. The course will cover: the law of intestate succession; statutory family protection schemes; restrictions on testation; the role, preparation, and construction of wills; the uses, creation, construction, and termination of trusts; rudimentary tax considerations in the estate planning process; the use of future interests; the mechanics of estate administration (including an examination of alternatives to probate); the role and responsibilities of fiduciaries; the role of the estate attorney.
Water Law - #216 - 2 credits
This course discusses acquiring water rights and disposing of excess water. Major sections address doctrine (as generally applied in the eastern states) and its evolution, prior appropriation doctrine (as generally applied in the western states) and redefining water rights, the role of federal law in resolving interstate water disputes, water rights reserved for federal purposes, federal and state regulation of water disposal, and international water issues between Canada and the United States. The course will use Grant and Weber, Cases and Materials on Water Law, 8th Ed., West, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-314-90799-8. The course also will rely on web-based materials, such as statutes, regulations, court cases, and professional publications. For example, see https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~saxowsky/aglawtextbk/chapters1.html#waterlaw
Workers Compensation - #262 - 2 credits
This course studies the statutory exclusive remedy available for employees for work-connected injury and illness. It includes limits on the on the exclusiveness of the remedy, non-covered employments, elements of the required connection to the employment, employer defenses, third party litigation not affected by exclusivity provisions, and some of the forms of relief available and the procedure for obtaining relief.