Skip to main content

Spring 2021 Course Classifieds

West Virginia Constitutional Law – Prof. Bastress

This two-credit course will examine the text, history, and interpretation of our State Constitution. The course will be useful for anyone practicing in West Virginia and particularly so for those who plan to work in – or against – government. While there are certainly overlaps between state constitutions and the federal constitution, there are also significant differences. Those differences will be explored in the course, but there will also be consideration of provisions that have federal counterparts. While focused on the West Virginia Constitution, which is a typical state constitution, the course provides a model for state constitutional law generally that would be of value to persons who practice in any jurisdiction. The course is much enlivened by the State’s rich history and colorful cast of characters.

Bioethics - Prof. Blake

This seminar will survey hot topics at the intersections of bioethics and the law. Students will be expected to write a seminar-style paper on a topic related to that issue. Potential topics to be discussed in class include: assisted reproductive technologies, reproductive rights, organ transplant and reproductive tissue transfers (uterus, ovary transfers), human subjects research, physician assisted death & euthanasia, genetics & privacy rights, and public health controversies.

Transactional Skills - Prof. Cowan

Business documents used in connection with various types of business transactions establish the norms, or rules, of expected behavior between the parties in the business context. A lawyer who negotiates and puts together such business documents is sometimes called a "deal lawyer." The course in Transactional Skills is designed to help you develop the skills you will need as an entry-level deal lawyer.

A major emphasis in this course will be on developing an understanding of how transactional documents used in a business deal are planned and negotiated. The emphasis will be in developing skills - interviewing, drafting, and negotiating - in relation to business transactions. When you work as a deal lawyer, you are acting as a planner and problem solver. Your goal is to meet the needs and desires of your client by producing a document that will help your client in her or his business or occupation. A good, well negotiated and well drafted legal document prevents trouble. Hence, the work of the transactional lawyer, and the negotiation and drafting of the type we will be doing in this course, has been described as "preventative law."

acquisition of one company by a second company. (If time permits, we may also work on a second case file.) You will be involved in simulated client conferences, simulated negotiations and drafting of the acquisition agreement. We also consider the role of the transactional lawyer. In this regard, we will look at three fundamental transactional skills - thinking like a deal lawyer, adding value to the deal, and understanding business essentials. We also will discuss clients, and the relationship between the attorney and the client. In this regard, we will consider the role of the business lawyer, communication with clients, interviewing clients, and advising clients.

Anatomy of a Case - Prof. Marshall

Ever wonder how a case gets put together? Ever wanted to see what a whole case looks like, documents and all, from start to finish? The course tracks the progress of real consumer protection cases that were filed and litigated. These cases will be used to also highlight some of the unique procedural and substantive issues that arise in the course of litigating a consumer case. We will also explore the historic and modern underpinnings of consumer law and how those policy considerations have informed consumer law regulation and policy. Students will prepare a substantial (i.e. at least 8,000 words which is approximately twenty-five pages) written product supported by extensive research. The topic of this paper will relate to current issues and strategies that affect the prosecution of consumer cases such as arbitration, Article III standing, constitutional challenges, taxation of fee shifting awards, preemption or other issues that underlie substantive consumer law problems today. The goal of the course is to help students begin to understand the procedural and substantive issues affecting consumers and consumer law and how those issues are being resolved through the legal system.

Business Organizations – Prof. Martin

So, you want to be a lawyer? Then why haven’t you signed up for Business Organizations yet? This four-credit course is at the foundation of any legal practice. In addition to being bar-tested material, the course is particularly crucial f or those students interested in becoming corporate litigation or transactional lawyers. Even for students in a general law practice or even criminal lawyers to-be (white collar crime, anyone?) this course is at the heart of most of the issues you will wrestle with. The course will start on Main Street (sole proprietorships; agency law – what happens when someone does work on someone else’s behalf and; business partners) and go all of the way to Wall Street (where we will tackle fun issues such as insider trading! fiduciary duties! and how we really want corporations to behave). It’s not quite How to Get Away with Murder, but I hope it will be entertaining nonetheless…

Securities Regulation – Prof. Martin

Securities Regulation serves as a foundation for any law student interested in pursuing a career as a transactional, securities, or corporate law. In short, you need this course more than you think: not to be too dire but, the number one type of legal malpractice cases for business lawyers is not advising their clients on the role of the securities laws. Why? Because securities regulation can pertain to orange groves, payday schemes and even horse racing.

But wait! That’s not all. In addition to being a regulatory overlay for a basic business practice, securities regulation deals with anything and everything to do with the stock market; from mergers and acquisitions, fraud, and of course, insider trading. One final thing – for anyone wishing to know more about commercial transactions and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) please feel free to register for Sales and Secured Transactions – I would hate to see the rush out the door when people realize that Securities Regulation is something different.

Scholarly Writing Workshop - Prof. Stimeling

Are you planning to enroll in a seminar course this spring? If so, you should consider enrolling in this one-credit, pass/fail course designed to take the mystery and some of the stress out of writing a seminar paper. This course will allow students to gain a better understanding of the qualities and expectations of a seminar paper, and course assignments will help students progress through the seminar paper writing process. As a class, we will work together to support each other, share ideas, address challenges, and offer feedback throughout the writing process. Students previously enrolled in this course found it helpful in keeping their writing on track, and they found that the supportive environment increased their confidence in their writing.

E-Commerce and the Law of Money – Prof. Titolo

Since the financial crisis of 2008, scholars from across the disciplines (law, anthropology, history, economics) have reimagined money and commercial transactions across the globe. In this course, we’ll cast our net widely to understand the emerging issues in the evolving world of e-commerce and “Fintech” (financial technology). We’ll begin historically, with the emergence of national currencies and banking in the nineteenth century, along with the legal frameworks that seek to regulate commercial transactions (law merchant, UCC, etc.); the development of central banks; post-gold-standard fiat currencies; global value chains & governance; algorithmic contracts; new payment systems; blockchain; cryptocurrencies, etc. We'll talk about the emerging frameworks and technologies that regulate (or not) new forms of money and private transactions globally. Students will write a research paper on the subject that interests them.

Remedies - Prof. Titolo

What can the law provide to parties who have been wronged? The answer can be found in the law of remedies, which is arguably the most important part of any lawsuit. Remedies, after all, are the primary motivation for parties to litigate in the first place. We will discuss legal theories and principles of remedies, including: legal and equitable remedies; compensatory damages; punitive damages; restitution and unjust enrichment; declaratory judgments and injunctive relief. A mix of practice and theory, this is a great course for students who plan on pursuing a career in civil litigation, but also a helpful review for substantive areas of the law you learned throughout law school such as contracts, torts and statutory causes of action.

MBE Skills Workshop (Bar Prep) – Prof. Trychta

The 2-credit course will be open to all students graduating in 2021, graded pass/fail, and administered asynchronously meaning you can complete the course at a time convenient to you each week. The course will focus exclusively on the subjects tested on the multiple-choice component of the bar exam (i.e. all your 1L courses plus Evidence, Criminal Procedure 1, Constitutional Law 2, and Sales). We will use two different course materials: Themis required online modules and an optional paper practice book. The course is comprised of weekly assignments, due on Sunday evening each week. Because this is an entirely online course, all student work must be submitted through e-campus. While students will rely on outside resources for content (like Themis’ created videos and Emanuel’s Strategies & Tactics book), the assignments will be submitted and graded in e-campus. We will not practice bar exam essay writing in this course nor discuss the essay-only tested subjects. Similarly, the 2-credit course won’t address the Performance Test section of the bar exam.

Evidence – Prof. Trychta

This course will cover the “[r]ules, principles, and practice of the law of evidence covering judicial notice; real, demonstrative, testimonial and circumstantial evidence; hearsay; and other exclusionary rules, privileges, confidential relationships, witnesses, and other related subjects.” Prof. Trychta plans to cover virtually all the material in the textbook, with an emphasis on Federal Rules of Evidence 401-411, 600s, and the 800s. We will not discuss—or will only briefly discuss —the West Virginia Rules of Evidence. The course will be livestreamed on Zoom. Regular cameras and microphone use are expected during class.

Federal Courts – Prof. Weishart

This is an advanced course in constitutional law and procedure which addresses when Article III courts may exercise jurisdiction and provide relief. If you are still reading this description after that first sentence, be encouraged that my approach will be practically oriented—designed for students planning to litigate in federal courts (odds are many of you) and for those planning to clerk for federal judges. Essentially, we will be discussing whether a case can be brought in federal court (instead of state court or an administrative agency), when a federal court should abstain from hearing a case, and the scope of a federal court’s authority once it properly exercises jurisdiction over a case. Representative topics may include separation of powers, federalism between federal and state courts, justiciability doctrines (standing, mootness, ripeness, political questions), § 1983 claims against state officials, and state sovereign immunity. I anticipate a short writing assignment and a take-home exam.

Schools, Race, Money, and More – Prof. Weishart

This interdisciplinary seminar and perspective course explores the relationship of law and policy in the administration of elementary and secondary public education in the United States. We will examine in depth topics affecting most K–12 public school students: (1) the structure, hierarchy, and governance of public elementary and secondary education; (2) desegregation and resegregation; (3) school finance, including the state constitutional right to adequate and equitable educational opportunities; and (4) issues beyond schools, race, and money affecting educational outcomes. Students will prepare a research paper on an approved topic of their choice. Professor Weishart welcomes any questions you may have about this seminar.

WVU LAW Facebook WVU LAW Twitter WVU LAW Instagram WVU LAW LinkedIn WVU LAW Youtube Channel