Upper Class Course Families

  • Course Frequency Key
  • A = offered every semester
  • B = generally offered once or twice every academic year
  • C = generally offered every two or three academic years
  • D = offered when student interest and faculty availability allow

Business and Tax Law Courses

  • Advising Internet & Mobile-Based Business Clients (D)

    Advising Internet & Mobile-Based Business Clients

    Course Description

    This course will provide an overview of current and developing U.S. law affecting Internet law and electronic and mobile commerce. We will examine the specific business law and intellectual property-related issues that every lawyer must address when advising clients who market and/or sell products or services online or on mobile devices.

    This course will enable students to creatively and effectively advise Internet and mobile-based business clients on how to minimize their exposure to liability in online and mobile activities and protect their intellectual property while operating online.

    After completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Understand how businesses operate online and the myriad areas of exposure;
    • Identify the unique risks facing businesses who operate all or partly online;
    • Craft efficient solutions to proactively minimize risks; and
    • Draft the necessary documentation to accomplish these tasks.

    MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS/METHOD OF EVALUATION & ASSESSMENT:

    The course grade will be based on multiple writing assignments derived from case studies relating to the topic at hand, requiring students to draft and explain documents that they would use in practice. The final will be a take-home, client-specific drafting assignment that pulls together all we cover throughout the semester.

  • Antitrust Law (C)

    Antitrust Law

    Antitrust Law protects competition among businesses against private restraint. It is a peculiar blend of legal, economic and business principles. Its practice requires a special mode of analysis called "antitrust analysis" or "thinking like an antitrust lawyer." In this survey course we will study monopolization, attempts and conspiracies to monopolize, mergers, and voluntary restraints on trade, including horizontal restraints among competitors and vertical restraints such as those among manufacturers and distributors. We will also cover the intersection of antitrust law with political activity and the extent to which a state may displace the federal antitrust laws in regulating its own industries. Some prior exposure to economics will be helpful, but this course itself will provide all the economic principles needed to understand antitrust law.

  • Bankruptcy (B)

    Bankruptcy

    This course explores the role of debt, credit, and debt forgiveness in a capitalist society. It begins with an overview of the state court collection procedures, and then teaches the main provisions of the three primary chapters of the Bankruptcy Code: Chapter 7 liquidation, Chapter 13 wage-earner rehabilitation, and Chapter 11 reorganization. The course is taught through the problem-based teaching method, which helps students learn both the theoretical underpinnings of the materials, as well as its direct application to the practice of law.

  • Business Associations I (B)

    Business Associations I

    This course will explore the various types of business relationships and organizations. Brief coverage is given to factors bearing on choice of organization, including partnership attributes, process of corporate formation, corporate privileges and powers, corporate capital structure, and limited liability. This part of the course will include an introduction to agency law, and the management and transfer of ownership interests in partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations.

  • Business Associations II (D)

    Business Associations II

    Course Description

    This course will build on Business Associations I and will focus on two topics:

    First, the course will examine how corporations and other business entities obtain financing. This component of the course will introduce students to securities laws, basic accounting concepts, methods for valuation of companies, and selected topics of corporate finance, including corporate debt. This component will emphasize financing for smaller, closely held business entities. For example, the securities regulation section will give special attention to private offering exemptions.

    Second, the course will investigate problems of control. This component will focus on problems of control in closely held corporations, but will also examine contests for control in publicly traded corporations.

    If there is enough time, the course will also explore mergers and acquisitions, including takeovers.

    The course may include various drafting, negotiation and practical exercises in accounting, finance and corporate law.

  • Business Planning (C)

    Business Planning

    Course Description

    Pre-Requisites: Business Associations I and Federal Income Tax.
    The faculty also recommends taking this course after, or concurrently with, Taxation of Business Enterprises.

    Business Planning surveys legal considerations in forming, operating, and selling or otherwise exiting closely-held businesses, and prepares students to practice in a transactional setting. Particular emphasis is placed on representing entrepreneurs.

    The course builds on the foundation laid in Business Associations I and Federal Income Tax and uses readings, problem sets, sample agreements, statutes and regulations, and class discussion to help students begin to recognize and deal effectively with the issues involved in both (a) selecting a sole-proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company as the form for engaging in business, and (b) structuring the economic benefits, management, and ownership succession of entities among multiple owners.

    The course will devote substantial time to:
    • understanding and drafting documents that form and govern a business entity;
    • reviewing the basic tax consequences of setting up, selling, or liquidating an entity in various settings; and
    • obtaining financing -- including equity investors -- for a small business.

    Other topics may include: mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, intellectual property concerns, employee compensation and securities laws, all in the context of a closely held business.

    The course is designed not only to expose students to substantive areas of law, but to engage them in creative, transactional practice. Intensive, lengthy simulations will allow students to develop skills of

    • understanding the business objectives of clients, particularly entrepreneurs;
    • structuring transactions to meet those objectives;
    • negotiating and drafting agreements; and
    • recognizing ethical issues in a business law context.

    Business Planning is therefore a planning course that combines theory with practice. The course grade is based primarily on multiple intensive writing assignments, which require students to draft and explain documents that an attorney would likely use in practice. The semester culminates with a weekend negotiation simulation in which members of the local bar and business community role play as clients and provide feedback to students.

  • Consumer Law Seminar (D)

    Consumer Law

    This course will focus on the practical application of federal and state general consumer laws, and will cover primarily the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.

    Some of the topics to be addressed in this course include:

    1. Credit and Collections
    2. Contracts, Warranties and Legal Rights
    3. Automobile and Mobile Home Sales
    4. Door-to-Door Sales
    5. Home Improvements and Related Services
    6. Household Products
    7. Future Service Contracts
    8. Opportunity Schemes and other "Non-sale" Transactions

    Based on these topics, other federal and state laws will most likely be reviewed such as the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection Act, the Door-to Door Sales Act, the Home Loan Protection Act and Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance.

    These interesting facets of consumer law in New Mexico will be learned, by reading New Mexico and Federal case law and by analyzing on-going consumer matters presented to public enforcement authorities and to the private bar. Our studies will focus on the causes of action and the remedies available, including attorney fees and treble damages.

    The practical application of consumer law will include the development of a client-interview form to address the pertinent issues, the preparation of several model pleadings, and Power Point presentations on specific areas of consumer law. These projects, and others, will provide both a product to be used in the practice of law and a basis for grading. There will be no classroom examination.

  • Contract Drafting (D)

    Contract Design & Drafting

    Course Description

    In the Spring of 2009, this course is an elective open only to 1st year students.

    The course is graded Credit, C-, D+, D and F.

    The class will be schedule for 150 minutes each week which is normally the time required for a 3 credit course. During the semester, certain classes will be cancelled with the result that the class time will be equivalent to the time required for a two credit course.

    The class each semester is limited to 12 students. Since it is important to have that number in the class, students will be permitted to drop the course only immediately after the first class if there is a waiting list, and those on the waiting list will be permitted to fill any vacancies.

    The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the design and drafting of contracts. Written assignments will be given on a weekly basis. These will range include drafting of simple contracts, drafting of clauses for inclusion in longer documents, and the analysis and redrafting of complicated contracts. Emphasis will be placed upon the approach to drafting problems and, in some instances, the selection of various ways of accomplishing the same purpose.

  • Corporate Governance (D)

    Corporate Governance

    This seminar will explore the legal framework under which corporations are governed as well as consider contemporary issues in corporate governance. We will examine the duties and responsibilities of directors and officers of business corporations. Whose interests do directors and officers represent in governing and managing the affairs of business enterprises? Under what legal principles do they operate and how are they held accountable to shareholders or others? A number of high profile business failures, some involving accounting improprieties and criminal wrongdoing, as well as issues of escalating executive compensation unrelated to financial performance, have brought recent scrutiny to the laws and principles that govern public companies. Consequently a number of reforms have been suggested by shareholder activist groups and others intended to improve public company governance and performance. We will consider the nature, costs and benefits of such proposals.

  • Estate and Retirement Planning (C)

    Estate and Retirement Planning

    Course Description

    Estate and Retirement Planning is a survey course in which students begin to learn how individuals may arrange their affairs such that:

    1. An individual's wealth and well-being will be managed adequately during his or her lifetime, even if the individual becomes incapacitated.
    2. The individual's wealth will pass efficiently (a) through life-time gifts or upon the individual's death to those persons the individual chooses, and (b) in a manner that minimizes taxes and expenses and takes into account the special needs a particular beneficiary may have.

    The course begins with an overview of how property passes at death through the use of wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations or by operation of law. Next is an introduction to estate, gift and income tax considerations in transferring wealth gratuitously. Building on that foundation, the remainder of the course (1) focuses on selected planning issues and on strategies that individuals and couples may use to preserve and transfer wealth gratuitously, and (2) introduces students to aspects of retirement planning, life insurance and annuities, charitable giving and other topics.

    As its name suggests, Estate Planning is a planning course and combines theory with practice. Students learn through readings, sample documents, problem sets, drafting, and class discussion. The course grade is based primarily on writing assignments that require students to draft and explain documents an estate planning attorney is likely to use in practice. Unless taught by an adjunct professor, the course satisfies the law school writing requirement.

  • Federal Estate and Gift Tax (C)

    Federal Estate and Gift Tax

    This course provides an overview of the federal gift tax and federal estate tax. Topics covered include the concept of a gift for federal gift tax purposes, when a gift occurs, components of the gross estate, estate tax deductions, and computation of the gift tax and estate tax. The matters covered in class are illustrated by examples drawn from current estate planning techniques. This course also covers policy issues surrounding proposals for permanent repeal of the estate tax.

  • Federal Income Tax (B)

    Federal Income Tax

    The goals of the course are for the student to acquire: (1) a broad perspective as to the application and impact of the federal income tax in a variety of transactions; (2) practice in using the legal materials of taxation, especially the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations; and (3) an understanding of the policies underlying various IRC provisions, i.e., how the tax system is used to influence behavior and thus promote various social and economic policies.

  • Financial Literacy (B)

    Financial Literacy

    This is a one credit course designed to teach students the basic rights of consumers in various forms of consumer transactions. The course focuses on money law, money management, and the regulation of consumer credit and credit reporting.

    Specific topics covered include the bank-customer relationship and the legal rights of bank customers, the legal issues surrounding credit and debit cards, predatory lending such as payday loans, rent-to own, title loans, furniture store scams, yo-yo car sales, and other high-rate consumer credit. It also covers identity theft, credit reporting and scoring, mortgage lending, investing and compounding, and retirement planning. It is designed to help students and their future clients become more educated about consumer credit, saving, investing, and overall financial health.

  • Insurance Law (D)

    Insurance Law

    Course Description

    This course includes a general look at the exciting world of insurance law. Contrary to popular belief--it really is an exciting world and is the often silent driver of much of the litigation and transaction world. Learn how to read those long, fine print policies and love it!!

    The course will begin with a look at the regulatory arena for insurance companies. An overview of the general principles of insurance contracts will be explored. Then each major type of insurance (e.g. health, auto, property, malpractice and liability) and the specific laws related to each type will be discussed. We will also cover the obligations of insurers and insureds with respect to each other and with respect to third parties, as well as the remedies available for failure to meet those obligations. Students will be required to write a paper on a topic of their choice approved by the instructor and to do a class presentation on the same topic. Smaller written assignments may be required during the semester. Class participation will be a factor for student evaluation.

  • International Business Transactions (D)

    International Business Transactions

    Negotiating Deals and Drafting Documents

    This course will allow students to negotiate and draft International Business Transactions (IBT) documents, from the point of view of both clients/commercial departments and legal practitioners. The class will analyze documents that are based upon actual transactions. Students will also engage in role-plays of commercial discussions and propose legal solutions that will be analyzed from the perspective of lawyers as well as clients/commercial departments. Because the course will include both JD and MBA students, special attention will be given to the interaction between the commercial and legal representatives of negotiating teams. The class will be organized in role-playing mixed teams of lawyers and clients/commercial departments, which will negotiate the most sensitive clauses of transactional documents. Because of the instructor’s professional background as a former manager of a European railway company, special attention will be given to transportation transactions and to related developments in New Mexico (e.g., Railrunner, Santa Teresa Port of Entry). Alternative final outcomes from each team will be considered, both in terms of different commercial deals/clauses and closing/collapsing of the transaction. The interactive review of the documents proposed by each team will allow students to understand the important interplay among legal and commercial needs, cultural and character issues, teamwork skills, adaptability, and creative thinking, in order to successfully negotiate and draft international business transaction documents.

    Learning Objectives:

    JD students will: (a) learn and apply practical drafting skills in the context of transactional documents, (b) learn how to respond to the needs of and interact effectively with business clients and opposing counsel, and (c) learn to appreciate, balance, and navigate among the competing factors that characterize international business transactions.

    MBA students will: (a) learn how to communicate their business needs effectively with their counterpart deal partners and their in-house or outside counsel, and (b) learn to appreciate, balance, and navigate among the competing factors that characterize international business transactions.

  • Labor Law (C)

    Labor Law

    Course Description

    This course in Labor Law studies the federal regulation of employer-employee relations in an industrial society. The course will focus primarily on collective bargaining, which describes how employees may organize into unions; the processes by which unions and employees deal with each other in establishing agreements concerning wages, hours, and other conditions of employment; and the limits of permissible conduct of employers or concerted action of employees. The course materials will survey the enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act and related statutes by the courts and the National Labor Relations Board.

  • Law Office Management (D)

    Law Office Management

    Course Description

    In a few months you are going to be licensed to practice law. How will you manage the transition from law school to legal practice? The Law School hopes that you will become a great lawyer. There are many hallmarks of a great lawyer. One such hallmark is technical competence. Much more important is that the practice of law is a people business and will require skills in dealing with and interacting with clients. Second, being a lawyer will require skills in dealing with your staff and support personnel. Third, being a lawyer will require skills in dealing with other lawyers and judges.

    The fact that you performed well at the law school and are willing to work long hours are no longer sufficient to assure that you will be successful in your chosen professional occupation. In any capacity that you may wish to use your degree you must have good communication and management skills to survive in today's competitive marketplace.

    In this course you will learn about real life problems that you will encounter in your professional roles and how to resolve these problems. This course is an introduction to dealing with current, fundamental issues and problems faced by law graduates in organizing and living their professional role.

    The goal of this course will be to discuss with you why management in any context is important. We will discuss how to improve your communication skills, how to manage your cases and files, and how to work with clients and others successfully. You will be shown how to manage your time, bill your time, and how to use your time effectively. We will also discuss planning, budgeting, data management, and other topics relevant to your professional career.

    The course will use a group of practitioners who plan to assist you to be confident about your immediate and long-term future as an attorney.

  • Payment Systems (D)

    Payment Systems

    This course studies written instruments which represent money, such as promissory notes and drafts (e.g., checks), as well as guaranties and letters of credit. If certain requirements are satisfied, the person in possession of a note or draft may have superior rights to the transferor and may be able to enforce payment even though the obligor has defenses which would have been effective under contract law. The law with respect to notes and drafts is codified in Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and the course emphasizes problem-solving under these provisions.

    The course examines the formal requirements that a note or draft must meet to be deemed negotiable, how the negotiable instrument is negotiated to a holder, and the requirements which the holder must satisfy to be deemed a holder in due course, the bona fide purchaser of commercial paper. The focus then shifts to the various types of liability which may arise on commercial paper: contract, warranty, and tort. The course examines the rights and liabilities of various parties when commercial paper contains forgeries or alterations.

    The course also examines the checking account payment system, the bank collection process, and the rights and liabilities of banks and their customers. The course will consider the evolution of alternative payments systems, including the credit-card system, debit cards, wire-transfers, stored-value cards, and electronic money and commerce on the internet, as well as various closed, locally-based payment systems.

  • Non-Profit Corporations (D)

    Non-Profit Organizations

    Course Description

    During the past century, there has evolved a type of organization that serves society other than for-profit corporations and government agencies. As a group, these organizations are known as the third sector. The third sector sits somewhere been for-profit and governmental agencies. The third sector includes non-profit corporations of various kinds: charities, phalntropy, philanthropic organizations, fraternal and social organizations, trade associations and business leagues to name just some. Many of these organizations are extremely small, while others rival, Fortune 500 corporations. The emergence of the third sector resulted in part from tax benefits provided in the Internal Revenue Code.

    The purpose of Non-profit Corporation course is to look at the legal issues involved in the formation and operation of non-profit, tax-exempt organizations. The primary focus will involve the formation of organizations describe as section 501(c)(3) organizations (charities).

    In line with the focus of the course, students, besides preparing for and attending weekly classes, will be required to draft necessary corporate and tax documents with respect to the formation of a non-profit corporation and a supporting memorandum explaining the goals and formation processes implemented.

  • Regulation of Banking (D)

    Regulation of Banking

    This course will introduce students to the United State’s system for regulating financial institutions with an emphasis on federal regulation of banks.  The course will focus on 3 topics.  First, the course will discuss the history of U.S. banking law, including an overview of the policy justifications for strict regulation of banks.  Second, the course will continue by examining the statutorily granted powers conferred upon banks and the limitations placed upon the business activities of banks.  Finally, the course will end by covering the regulatory regime for (1) supervising bank activities (e.g. regulating a bank’s assets and liabilities, consumer protection, predatory lending), (2) correcting unsound banking practices, and (3) addressing bank failure.  If time permits, the course will also cover topics relating to the effect of technology, such as electronic banking and mobile banking, on existing banking regulations.  

  • Remedies (B)

    Remedies

    Course Description

    Parties generally do not sue (or seek arbitration) just to have the court declare they were right.  They seek some form of relief.  Remedies studies the different forms that relief may take.   In other words, Remedies is concerned with the “bottom line” of a lawsuit.  Remedies also addresses the litigation strategy that complainants may, or should, pursue in attaining that relief.

    Any relief necessarily must relate to the interest protected by the underlying claim on which a party sues.  Those claims are based in contract, tort, unjust enrichment, or breach of fiduciary duty.  The study of Remedies therefore, will show the relationship between the different claims and possible relief.  Thus, studying Remedies allows you to connect the substantive theories you have studied (e.g. contracts and torts and those theories based on contracts and torts) with different forms of relief.  Unlike your substantive courses, which concentrated on the substantive theories, Remedies focuses on the possible relief with substantive theories as the backdrop. Remedies is a good course to view the “forest”, that is, all the trees that go to make up civil litigation.

    The different types of relief covered by the course include: Damages, Restitution, and Equitable Remedies of Injunction, Specific Performance, Constructive Trust, Accounting, and Equitable Lien.  While reviewing these remedies, we will concentrate on which is the preferable remedy, considering the harm that the plaintiff has suffered.

  • Sales of Goods (C)

    Sales of Goods

    In this course, we will study Articles 2 and 2A of the Uniform Commercial Code, which cover the sale and leases of goods. In your contracts class, you have already looked at some of the sections governing warranties and contract formation. We will expand on these topics and look at such questions as the obligations of the seller and the buyer, remedies, anticipatory breach, conditions, and the parol evidence rule. In addition, we will consider the CISG (the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods), which can override the UCC as adopted by U.S. states. The focus of this course will be practical and problem-based. Class-time will be spent applying the UCC provisions and interpreting caselaw to specific fact patterns. There will be graded written problems or drafting exercises throughout the semester in addition to a final exam.

  • Secured Transactions (B)

    Secured Transactions

    This course introduces students to all aspects of security interests in personal property collateral, including creation, perfection, priorities (between competing security interests and between security interests and other property interest), and enforcement of security interests (including repossession/sale of collateral and distribution of sale proceeds). The main focus is Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and helping students understand various techniques in reading and interpreting the Uniform Commercial Code. This course will emphasize the use of problems as a primary means of learning how to use the code and counsel hypothetical creditor or debtor clients in both transactional and litigation situations. This course will be useful for all students as Article 9’s complex network of rules underlies the spectrum of seemingly simple transactions to complicated business deals.

  • Sports Law (C)

    Sports Law

    There is no such thing as Sports Law. This course will study the application of antitrust, constitutional, contract, international, labor and tort law, and other laws in sports. Field trips (perhaps out of town) to one or more games or a competition will be involved. The course may also include guest speakers.

    Students will participate in a negotiation exercise, including the drafting of a strategy memo and contrast terms, and will write a paper.

  • State and Local Tax (C)

    State and Local Tax

    Lawyers who practice in the business and tax areas should be well versed in state taxation. This is especially true in a state like New Mexico where State taxation raises more issues and has as much, or more, affect on planning transactions, than federal taxation.

    The State and Local Taxation course will address state tax issues by having students study those issues from both practice and policy perspectives. The course also will focus on statutory construction.

    During the initial 4 to 6 classes, class discussions will deal with policy, constitution and overview of taxing systems. Understanding tax policy principles is essential to understanding any taxation, especially state taxation. Because state taxing powers are limited by the commerce and due process clauses of the Constitution, the course will review the relevant court decisions dealing with the constitutional limitations imposed on a state’s jurisdiction to tax, providing the test or standards given to us by the Supreme Court.

    The course then will revolve around problems that I will hand out. The problems, which will be the basis for assignment, will involve current issues impacting New Mexico gross receipts and corporate income taxes. Although we are concentrating on New Mexico, the principles, and the underlying statutory provisions, are the same in most states.

    Helen Hecht, a nationally recognized state tax law expert, has graciously agreed to participate in the class. Helen is a graduate of the law school, practiced tax law with the Sutin Law Firm and is presently Tax Counsel for the Federation of State Tax Administrators.

    Students will be evaluated on class participation and written assignments. Students will be required to complete three or four memoranda of law, or similar projects, analyzing the issues raised by the problems. Helen and/or I will meet with students individually or in groups, as called for, to discuss each project.

    There will be no casebook for the course. I will assign cases statues and other materials accessible online or from the library, and handout other reading material.

  • Taxation of Business Enterprises (C)

    Taxation of Business Enterprises

    This course provides an overview of major federal income tax events with respect to business entities. These events include formations, contributions, operations, distributions, redemptions, and liquidations. The types of business entities covered in the course are entities that are taxed under federal law as Subchapter C corporations, Subchapter S corporations, and partnerships (including limited liability companies). This course will also consider policy issues related to the taxation of these business entities.

Civil Rights and Constitutional Law Courses

  • Children's Law (D)

    Children's Law Seminar

    Course Description

    Students will explore the legal system's response to children's special legal needs and issues. Constitutional law in the context of children's issues will be highlighted. Grades will be based on class participation, an in-class presentation, and a final paper.

  • Constitutional Rights (B)

    Constitutional Rights

    This course involves an in-depth inquiry into the building blocks of civil rights law; freedom of expression (speech and press), equal protection, due process, and religious freedom. There will be discussion of litigation strategy and the decision-making processes of the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Criminal Sentencing Writing Seminar (D)
  • Domestic Violence (B)

    Domestic Violence

    Course Description

    A practical course for law students and lawyers who are interested in learning about domestic violence, concentrating on civil orders of protection. This course will cover definitions of domestic violence, types of orders of protection, criminal domestic violence, various theories of domestic violence, the role of advocates and lawyers, interplay between domestic violence and other areas of the law, full faith & credit, batterer intervention programs, custody and visitation issues, lethality factors and enforcement of orders of protection. At the conclusion of this course participants will have an understanding of domestic violence issues and be prepared to represent litigants in civil domestic violence cases.

  • Employment Discrimination (C)

    Employment Discrimination

    This course will examine federal statutory law as it applies to discrimination in the workplace. We will focus on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its amendments; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and civil rights statutes from the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, including 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The course will explore the substantive meanings of “discrimination” under these acts, the models of proof for establishing a claim, the theoretical underpinnings of the statutes, and some of the procedural and remedial issues relevant to employment discrimination law.

  • Human Rights (D)

    Human Rights

    Course Description

    This course will examine the different legal mechanisms for the enforcement of international human rights norms, which have been established in various regions of the world. Particular attention will be devoted to three regional intergovernmental organizations: the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, and the African Union. In studying the efforts of these regional institutions to implement human rights protections, the course will explore the extent to which the culture, history, and character of political oppression in each region are reflected in the various legal frameworks, that have evolved.

    NOTE: Students who submit their seminar paper in fulfillment of the advanced writing requirement, for a total of 3 credits, will be expected to schedule an additional hour of independent study per week in addition to class preparation time.

  • Indian Law (B)

    Indian Law

    This course examines the power of the Indian tribes and the relationships among tribes, states, and the United States. Emphasis will be given to jurisdictional interfaces and conflicts among the three sovereignties.

  • Innocence & Justice: Part 1 of 2 (B)

    Innocence & Justice

    Course Description

    Students in the Innocence and Justice seminar work to provide post-conviction relief for inmates who have been wrongly convicted and who have a credible claim of factual innocence of the charged offense(s). During the first several weekly sessions, students will be provided with an overview of habeas corpus law. The next several sessions will be devoted to initial review and brainstorming of inmates' files; each student will be expected to present a short written case-brief of a number of inmates' files and a short oral presentation of pertinent information about the inmates' cases to the seminar participants, who will provide input on the strengths and weaknesses of the cases. Sessions on investigative techniques will follow. A second wave of case reviews will focus in greater depth on a subset of the cases reviewed in the first wave. Additional sessions may include other post-conviction remedies, such as executive clemency.

    Course work used for grading includes active participation in seminar, short written case-briefs during first wave of case reviews, a more detailed written analysis of a case during the second wave, presentations on miscellaneous topics throughout the semester, and preparation of a habeas corpus petition using one of the cases in the New Mexico Innocence and Justice Project files.

    In this unique seminar, students will apply newly-gained knowledge about the Great Writ to real cases involving inmates in New Mexico prisons who have submitted information about their cases to the New Mexico Innocence and Justice Project and who have a colorable claim of factual innocence. Seminar participants will learn invaluable investigative techniques in the process of uncovering the facts that eluded the trial court that convicted the inmates. Students will be responsible for several cases initially, which may be narrowed down to a single case. Students may also have the opportunity to work with practicing attorneys by drafting motions and pleadings.

    Enrollment is limited to twelve students in their second or third year.

  • Innocence & Justice: Part 2 of 2 (B)

    Innocence & Justice

    Course Description

    Students in the Innocence and Justice seminar work to provide post-conviction relief for inmates who have been wrongly convicted and who have a credible claim of factual innocence of the charged offense(s). During the first several weekly sessions, students will be provided with an overview of habeas corpus law. The next several sessions will be devoted to initial review and brainstorming of inmates' files; each student will be expected to present a short written case-brief of a number of inmates' files and a short oral presentation of pertinent information about the inmates' cases to the seminar participants, who will provide input on the strengths and weaknesses of the cases. Sessions on investigative techniques will follow. A second wave of case reviews will focus in greater depth on a subset of the cases reviewed in the first wave. Additional sessions may include other post-conviction remedies, such as executive clemency.

    Course work used for grading includes active participation in seminar, short written case-briefs during first wave of case reviews, a more detailed written analysis of a case during the second wave, presentations on miscellaneous topics throughout the semester, and preparation of a habeas corpus petition using one of the cases in the New Mexico Innocence and Justice Project files.

    In this unique seminar, students will apply newly-gained knowledge about the Great Writ to real cases involving inmates in New Mexico prisons who have submitted information about their cases to the New Mexico Innocence and Justice Project and who have a colorable claim of factual innocence. Seminar participants will learn invaluable investigative techniques in the process of uncovering the facts that eluded the trial court that convicted the inmates. Students will be responsible for several cases initially, which may be narrowed down to a single case. Students may also have the opportunity to work with practicing attorneys by drafting motions and pleadings.

    Enrollment is limited to twelve students in their second or third year.

  • Mental Health & Retardation Law (D)

    Mental Health and Retardation Law

    Course Description

    The seminar will explore issues encountered by people with mental disabilities in the civil justice system. Topics will include guardianship and competence, substitute decision making, civil commitment, right to treatment and habilitation, and discrimination based on disabilities. The primary focus will be on constitutional issues, although there will be some discussion of statutory matters as well.

  • National Security Law (D)

    Mental Health and Retardation Law

    Course Description

    The seminar will explore issues encountered by people with mental disabilities in the civil justice system. Topics will include guardianship and competence, substitute decision making, civil commitment, right to treatment and habilitation, and discrimination based on disabilities. The primary focus will be on constitutional issues, although there will be some discussion of statutory matters as well.

  • New Mexico Constitutional Criminal Procedure (D)

    Mental Health and Retardation Law

    Course Description

    The seminar will explore issues encountered by people with mental disabilities in the civil justice system. Topics will include guardianship and competence, substitute decision making, civil commitment, right to treatment and habilitation, and discrimination based on disabilities. The primary focus will be on constitutional issues, although there will be some discussion of statutory matters as well.

  • Poverty Law (B)

    Poverty Law In Practice

    Course Description

    Poverty Law In Practice is a course designed to expose law students and lawyers to the basic substantive laws and procedures associated with areas where attorneys are needed, and expertise is required. Areas to be covered initially will include: Benefits law (social security benefits--SSDI/SSI, Medicaid, LIHEAP, etc.), Landlord-Tenant/ Public Housing, and Consumer Debt Collection Practices and Used Car Sales Fraud.

    Three substantive areas will be covered in a given semester, with changes in the topics covered in the course based on needs for training in the community and availability of poverty law experts to serve as trainers.

    One goal of the class is to give students an introduction to the need to provide pro-bono and low-bono services. A second goal is to give practitioners competence in these areas of the law so that they can take on as clients, and adequately represent, under-served people. Attorneys who take the class will be asked to take on a pro-bono case in the area covered, and attorneys will be able to take segments for free CLE credit. Students will be required to attend all sessions, observe an attorney who practices in this area, and provide documentation of that observation, in order to earn credit for the course.

    John Feldman will coordinate the class and Sandi Gilley, of Law Access New Mexico, will be the lead instructor. Local attorneys with expertise in the relevant areas of law will also assist in instruction.

    The class will address the need to provide students with a chance to learn about pro-bono work, as required by the American Bar Association, and provide a core of additional attorneys to serve the needs of people as referred by legal services providers and the courts. The class will be set up for distance learning, allowing attorneys throughout the state to take this training.

    As an example of what would be covered in a four hour block on Landlord-Tenant/Public Housing law, students will study the New Mexico Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act and the rules from the Magistrate and Metro courts flowing from the Act. Students and attorneys would be given a benchbook for landlord-tenant practice, which students can use when they take clinic or graduate and take clients, and practitioners can use to bridge the gap that keeps them from taking on clients with these types of legal problems.

  • Sexuality & the Law (D)

    Sexual Orientation & Law

    Course Description

    This variable-credits seminar provides a survey of the legal landscape in the United States relating to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The seminar uses the newly published third edition of the groundbreaking casebook by Professors William Rubenstein, Carlos A. Ball, and Jane S. Schacter, Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law, which interweaves the relevant legal issues with broader historical, sociological, and literary perspectives. Specific topics include sexuality and liberty; sexual identity and equality; workplace discrimination against LGBT people; the coupling and parenting rights of same-sex partners; and the differences and similarities between sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The seminar will be co-taught by Professor John LaVelle and Lynn E. Mostoller, an associate with the law firm of Keleher & McLeod. The seminar will feature occasional participation by guest attorneys and activists who will discuss the development of sexual orientation policy and the practice of sexual orientation law in New Mexico. Each student is required to complete, in stages, a final paper on a sexual orientation law topic of that student’s choice, with additional requirements for students who elect to use this seminar to fulfill the law school’s writing requirement.

  • Supreme Court Decision Making (C)

    Sexual Orientation & Law

    Course Description

    This variable-credits seminar provides a survey of the legal landscape in the United States relating to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The seminar uses the newly published third edition of the groundbreaking casebook by Professors William Rubenstein, Carlos A. Ball, and Jane S. Schacter, Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law, which interweaves the relevant legal issues with broader historical, sociological, and literary perspectives. Specific topics include sexuality and liberty; sexual identity and equality; workplace discrimination against LGBT people; the coupling and parenting rights of same-sex partners; and the differences and similarities between sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The seminar will be co-taught by Professor John LaVelle and Lynn E. Mostoller, an associate with the law firm of Keleher & McLeod. The seminar will feature occasional participation by guest attorneys and activists who will discuss the development of sexual orientation policy and the practice of sexual orientation law in New Mexico. Each student is required to complete, in stages, a final paper on a sexual orientation law topic of that student’s choice, with additional requirements for students who elect to use this seminar to fulfill the law school’s writing requirement.

  • Wrongful Convictions (D)

    Wrongful Convictions

    The course is designed to provide students with an overview of the issues and case law related to wrongful convictions. Students will explore the many factors of wrongful conviction, including ineffective assistance of counsel, police and prosecutorial misconduct, mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, etc., as well as the legal process for relief from wrongful convictions. Students interested in or pursuing a career in criminal law, whether as a criminal defense attorney or a prosecutor, will find this course will better prepare them to avoid wrongful convictions through their understanding of the many factors so often found in wrongful conviction and factually innocent cases.

Criminal Law Courses

  • Advanced Trial Practice (B)

    Advanced Evidence/Trial Practice

    This seminar is an extension of the basic Evidence/Trial Practice class. As a result, prerequisites for the class are evidence and trial practice. (Either ETP or the separate evidence and trial practices classes will suffice.) Enrollment will be limited to 24 students. In addition to lectures and class discussions, the students will participate in trial practice exercises and will conduct a final jury trial at the end of the semester. The class will also include the writing and litigating of pretrial motions in evidentiary hearings. Practicing attorneys and judges will assist in the trial practice sessions and final trial.

  • Criminal Law in Practice (B)

    Criminal Law in Practice

    Course Description

    Pre-req.: Evidence, co-req.: Ethics

    Highly Recommended: Criminal Procedure I, Criminal Procedure II, Trial Practice, Evidence & Trial Practice

    This course will be led by Professor Leo Romero. He will be assisted by four adjuncts--two adjuncts assigned to the course by the Bernalillo County Public Defender’s Office and by two assigned by the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office.

    Law School Credit and Grading

    The course will be offered for four credits, and will be graded on a “CR”, “C-”, ”D+”, “D”, “D-“, “F” basis. Although the course includes a field experience component, it does not count toward the required six credit hours of “in-house” clinic.

    Classroom component

    The class will meet for two hours each week. Instruction will include topics of applied criminal law, evidence, professional responsibility, and trial practice. Students will view problems from the perspectives of both criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors. The perspective of others in the criminal justice system, such as judges and corrections workers will also be included to the extent possible. Because the classroom component will involve both defenders and prosecutors, principles of professionalism will be explored.

    Field Experience Component

    Eight students will be assigned to the Bernalillo County Public Defender’s Office and eight will be assigned to the District Attorney’s Office for field experience work. The field experience will consist of ten hours per week. The supervision of the students’ field work will be provided by assistant public defenders and assistant district attorneys. These attorneys will work with students to assure that the students have meaningful field work each week. In addition to hands on experience, students’ field work will include observation of many of the lawyering tasks undertaken within the respective offices. Students may be assigned to either the felony or misdemeanor division. Depending on a student’s qualifications (having completed courses in criminal procedure, evidence, and trial practice) she or he will be assigned direct case responsibility (under the supervision of an experienced lawyer) for handling all or portions of their assigned cases, including motions and trials in a wide array of cases. The experience will be rich, intensive, and diverse.

  • Criminal Procedure I (4th, 5th, 6th Amendments) (B)

    Criminal Procedure I (4th, 5th, 6th Amendments)

    This course will cover the pretrial stages of a criminal case and the Constitution's impact on criminal procedure. Classes will focus upon criminal/constitutional issues with emphasis on the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. Subjects covered will include searches and seizures, statements/confessions, due process, and line-ups.

  • Criminal Procedure II (Bail to Jail) (B)

    Criminal Procedure II (Bail to Jail)

    Course Description

    This course will focus on the aspects of criminal procedure that are not covered in Criminal Procedure I. Thus, we will not address the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) or the Fifth Amendment (due process and confessions). Using a problem oriented approach, this class will cover topics such as: charging decisions, bail, preliminary hearings, grand jury proceedings, discovery, Brady issues, double jeopardy, joinder and severance, speedy trial, plea bargaining, effective assistance of counsel, sentencing, and habeas corpus.

    This class will also be open to first year students.

  • Criminal Sentencing Writing Seminar (D)
  • Domestic Violence (B)

    Domestic Violence

    Course Description

    A practical course for law students and lawyers who are interested in learning about domestic violence, concentrating on civil orders of protection. This course will cover definitions of domestic violence, types of orders of protection, criminal domestic violence, various theories of domestic violence, the role of advocates and lawyers, interplay between domestic violence and other areas of the law, full faith & credit, batterer intervention programs, custody and visitation issues, lethality factors and enforcement of orders of protection. At the conclusion of this course participants will have an understanding of domestic violence issues and be prepared to represent litigants in civil domestic violence cases.

  • Evidence/Trial Practice (B)

    Evidence/Trial Practice

    This course will focus on trial procedure, evidence, and trial skills utilizing:

    1. lectures and class discussions on the principles of evidence and trial skills;
    2. demonstrations of trial skills;
    3. practice sessions in which each student performs various exercises to learn trial skills;
    4. individual review with me of videotapes of the trial practice performances; and
    5. a mock jury trial.

    Each student is also required to complete a trial notebook that is used during the mock trial.

    The entire class meets during the week for lectures and/or demonstrations in the scheduled Monday through Thursday morning time slots. The class will also be divided into eight groups containing no more than eight students each. Each of these groups will meet one day from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for the trial practice exercises. Approximately sixteen adjunct faculty, consisting of judges and attorneys, will work with the individual groups of students in these trial practice sessions.

    The trial practice sessions are scheduled from Monday through Thursday. Each student will be assigned to attend a session on only one of those days. I try to accommodate, if possible, students’ requests to be assigned to a particular day of the week for their small group trial practice session. That means, for example, if a student has other classes on Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 7, I will try to assign her/him to a trial practice group that meets on Tuesday or Thursday.

    Students taking this class must also be available for the mock trials on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

  • International Criminal Law (D)

    International Criminal Law

    Course Description

    International Criminal Law examines the fundamental principles of this exciting, developing body of law. We will explore the rationale for ICL, the bases for jurisdiction, the procedures used to obtain persons from abroad, the offenses prosecuted as violations of ICL (including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide), and potential defenses to those charges. Throughout the course, we will study the charters and decisions of various international tribunals, from the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court at The Hague. In particular, we will examine the provisions of the Rome Statute, which establishes the International Criminal Court.

  • Internal Investigations (D)

    Internal Investigations

    This course offers legal, ethical and practical analysis and insight into the context, use and nature of internal investigations. Students will examine the major substantive legal areas in which internal investigations are used (including health, employment and securities law). They will also consider the ethical and legal boundaries of internal investigations and gain practical skills in performing and reporting on the results of an internal investigation.

  • Mental Disability in Criminal Cases (D)

    Mental Disability in Criminal Cases

    Course Description

    The seminar will explore the implications of mental disabilities (primarily mental illness and mental retardation) to both substantive and procedural issues at every stage of the criminal justice process, including interrogation of suspects with disabilities, competence to waive constitutional rights, competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility (including the insanity defense), and sentencing. Course materials will include statutes, appellate cases, standards propounded by professional organizations, and clinical materials. Discussion will also focus on videotaped excerpts, which allow consideration of the actual functioning of defendants with disabilities.

  • New Mexico Constitutional Criminal Procedure (D)

    Constitutional Criminal Procedure in New Mexico

    This seminar will examine the rights of criminal defendants in New Mexico state courts. While the course will consider other issues, the New Mexico Constitution will serve as the centerpiece of the class. New Mexico appellate courts have frequently interpreted the state constitution to provide broad protections for criminal defendants that exceed the rights guaranteed under the corresponding provisions of the United States Constitution. We will explore these opinions and discuss the areas in which New Mexico law follows federal precedent as well as looking at the situations where New Mexico courts have charted their own path. The course will require a student paper that may be used to fulfill the writing requirement; no examination will be given. To enroll in this course, students need to have taken Criminal Procedure I or obtain instructor permission.

  • Pre-Trial Practice (B)

    Pre-Trial Practice

    Lawyers who are actively involved in asserting and defending clients' rights through litigation, in fact, spend very little of their time in trial, or even in the courtroom. This course will focus on lawyers' work before trial in both State and Federal court. Topics covered include case strategy, investigation, drafting pleadings, discovery practice, motion practice, the pretrial conference, and negotiation and settlement. Teaching methods will include discussions, readings, demonstrations, a court "field trip", and drafting exercises.

  • Trial Practice (B)

    Trial Practice

    Course Description

    This course teaches you how to be a trial lawyer through actual preparation and presentation of all segments of a trial. Extensive preparation will be required for each session. Students will learn techniques of basic direct and cross-examinations, impeachment, handling exhibits and demonstrative evidence, jury selection, opening and closing statements, advanced direct and cross-examination, and examination of expert witnesses. They will perform simulated trial exercises and their work will be critiqued by leading members of the New Mexico Bench and Bar.

  • Wrongful Convictions (D)

    Wrongful Convictions

    The course is designed to provide students with an overview of the issues and case law related to wrongful convictions. Students will explore the many factors of wrongful conviction, including ineffective assistance of counsel, police and prosecutorial misconduct, mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, etc., as well as the legal process for relief from wrongful convictions. Students interested in or pursuing a career in criminal law, whether as a criminal defense attorney or a prosecutor, will find this course will better prepare them to avoid wrongful convictions through their understanding of the many factors so often found in wrongful conviction and factually innocent cases.

Employment Law Courses

  • Employment Discrimination (C)

    Employment Discrimination

    This course will examine federal statutory law as it applies to discrimination in the workplace. We will focus on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its amendments; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and civil rights statutes from the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, including 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The course will explore the substantive meanings of “discrimination” under these acts, the models of proof for establishing a claim, the theoretical underpinnings of the statutes, and some of the procedural and remedial issues relevant to employment discrimination law.

  • Employment Law (C)

    Employment Law

    Course Description

    The course will survey the legal, social, political, and economic contexts in which the employer-employee relationship has developed in both the public and private sectors. Topics will address the establishment of the employment relationship (including hiring, restrictions on employers inquiries, medical and drug testing, employment discrimination and affirmative action), terms and conditions of employment (including regulation of wages and hours, equal pay and comparable worth, sexual harassment, working conditions, safety and heath, and disability benefits), and the termination of employment (including the employment-at-will rule and its limitations, wrongful discharge, employment security, and unemployment and retirement benefits). Grading will be by examination, and, possibly, a short research paper.

  • Labor Law (C)

    Labor Law

    Course Description

    This course in Labor Law studies the federal regulation of employer-employee relations in an industrial society. The course will focus primarily on collective bargaining, which describes how employees may organize into unions; the processes by which unions and employees deal with each other in establishing agreements concerning wages, hours, and other conditions of employment; and the limits of permissible conduct of employers or concerted action of employees. The course materials will survey the enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act and related statutes by the courts and the National Labor Relations Board.

  • Sports Law (C)

    Sports Law

    There is no such thing as Sports Law. This course will study the application of antitrust, constitutional, contract, international, labor and tort law, and other laws in sports. Field trips (perhaps out of town) to one or more games or a competition will be involved. The course may also include guest speakers.

    Students will participate in a negotiation exercise, including the drafting of a strategy memo and contrast terms, and will write a paper.

Environmental/Natural Resources Law Courses

  • Animal Law/Animal Ecosystems (D)

    Sports Law

    There is no such thing as Sports Law. This course will study the application of antitrust, constitutional, contract, international, labor and tort law, and other laws in sports. Field trips (perhaps out of town) to one or more games or a competition will be involved. The course may also include guest speakers.

    Students will participate in a negotiation exercise, including the drafting of a strategy memo and contrast terms, and will write a paper.

  • Environmental Justice, Climate and Distasters Seminar (C)

    Sports Law

    There is no such thing as Sports Law. This course will study the application of antitrust, constitutional, contract, international, labor and tort law, and other laws in sports. Field trips (perhaps out of town) to one or more games or a competition will be involved. The course may also include guest speakers.

    Students will participate in a negotiation exercise, including the drafting of a strategy memo and contrast terms, and will write a paper.

  • Environmental Law (B)

    Environmental Law Survey

    This course is designed to give students an introductory working knowledge of the major federal environmental laws addressing toxic substances, waste management, air pollution, water pollution, environmental impact assessment, and biodiversity. Some of these laws are implemented by state regulatory agencies (e.g., the New Mexico Environment Department) and have state law counterparts. Fundamentally, environmental regulation reflects a delicate balance among conflicting ecological, social justice and economic values. Active citizen involvement presents challenges to technology-oriented regulatory agencies. Scientific uncertainty and the global scale of climate disruption also present special complications. This course will examine these and other contemporary issues in environmental regulation.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Students will: (a) understand how the different environmental laws are structured and the range of regulatory strategies they use to address environmental problems; (b) learn to recognize actionable “triggers” under various regulatory regimes; and (c) be familiar with the regulatory processes that could pertain to the plans and actions of a potential client.

  • Environmental Litigation Drafting (C)

    Environmental Law Survey

    This course is designed to give students an introductory working knowledge of the major federal environmental laws addressing toxic substances, waste management, air pollution, water pollution, environmental impact assessment, and biodiversity. Some of these laws are implemented by state regulatory agencies (e.g., the New Mexico Environment Department) and have state law counterparts. Fundamentally, environmental regulation reflects a delicate balance among conflicting ecological, social justice and economic values. Active citizen involvement presents challenges to technology-oriented regulatory agencies. Scientific uncertainty and the global scale of climate disruption also present special complications. This course will examine these and other contemporary issues in environmental regulation.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Students will: (a) understand how the different environmental laws are structured and the range of regulatory strategies they use to address environmental problems; (b) learn to recognize actionable “triggers” under various regulatory regimes; and (c) be familiar with the regulatory processes that could pertain to the plans and actions of a potential client.

  • Federal Law of Water Resources (D)

    Federal Law of Water Resources

    Federal Law of Water Resources deals with various federal laws and programs regarding water allocation and management, addressing these topics in more detail than is possible in the basic Water Law course. Areas of emphasis include federal water projects, reserved water rights for federal and tribal lands, interstate water allocation, and the effect of federal environmental laws on water management and use. Federalism in the development and control of water resources is a recurring theme of the course.

  • Indian Water Rights (D)

    Indian Water Law

    Indian Water Law will explore the jurisprudential origins of the role of Indian tribes as governments, and tribal entitlements in property and land. After a review of the historical under-pinnings of tribal sovereignty, the course will explore contemporary issues confronting tribes and pueblos relating to the development and use of their waters. This aspect of the course will develop a working knowledge of the Winters doctrine, quantification of Indian water rights, and finally the potential environmental and economic development solutions that may be integrated into global water right settlements.

  • Introduction to Natural Resources & Environmental Law (B)

    Introduction to Natural Resources and Environmental Law

    Introduction to Natural Resources and Environmental Law is a 2-credit course designed to introduce students to natural resources law (e.g. water rights, public lands) and environmental law (e.g. pollution control, toxics). The course examines the nature of environmental and natural resource issues, identifies policy options for addressing them, and offers a “sampler” of relevant laws. Class sessions involve considerable discussion of legal and policy questions relating to natural resources and the environment. The course is open to all but is primarily geared towards first-year students, who may benefit from exposure to a field that is heavily statutory and administrative.

  • Land Use Regulation Planning (D)

    Land Use Regulation Planning

    Course Description

    Land Use Law provides the law student with the background principles of land use law and acquaints the law student with federal, state and local statutes, ordinances and regulations which regulate land use. Students learn the appropriate legal source material for land use law. They are required to submit a written project which utilizes their course knowledge and research skills in the context of a local land use problem.

    The course emphasizes the constitutional issues of land use regulation:

    1. Taking of private property for public use without payment of just compensation
    2. First Amendment: Land use regulation which involves speech, religion, assembly
    3. Procedural and substantive due process

    The course then addresses the zoning system, innovative land use regulatory techniques, and special exceptions such as variances and non-conforming uses, the role of planning in the land use regulatory process, and the subdivision of land.

    Attention is given to growth management issues and tools, including " The New Urbanism", in the context of contemporary New Mexico communities and the current drought. Land Use Law is related to other courses in the Law School curriculum, including Real Property, Natural Resources Law and Water Law, as well as Public Lands Law.

    In preparation for their Projects, students must attend meetings of federal, state or local governing bodies, agencies, homeowners associations, etc..

    Land Use Controls will be taught as an interdisciplinary course with the School of Architecture and Planning, Community and Regional Planning Program, with law students and graduate planning students having a unique opportunity to share their professional perspectives.

  • Natural Resources (B)

    Natural Resources Law

    This course surveys statutory and case law concerning federal lands, including undesignated Bureau of Land Management rangelands, National Forests, National Parks, and Monument Designations, while introducing students to environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act, conservation transactions, wildlife, the Endangered Species Act, oil and gas and coal leasing, and hard rock mining on federal lands. Students also are introduced to legal issues involving the management and protection of state lands, with particular emphasis on examples from New Mexico that supplement the text. We have presentations from natural resource practitioners and from those involved in legislative change.

  • Natural Resources: Indian Country (D)

    Natural Resources: Indian Country

    Course Description

    This course addresses issues of ownership, regulation, and jurisdiction that arise in the unique context of the management of natural resources in Indian country. Specific topics include ownership of land and water resources on Indian reservations; land use and environmental protection in Indian country; taxation of natural resources in the reservation setting; federally reserved Indian water rights; and off-reservation Indian hunting, fishing, and gathering rights. To enroll in this course, students must have taken the basic introductory Indian Law course or have obtained special permission from the instructor.

  • Natural Resources Managment (D)

    Natural Resources Management Seminar

    Course Description

    This course is a discussion-based seminar exploring the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary natural resource challenges. Topics covered will vary each semester.

    The Spring 2010 course will focus on natural resource issues related to energy development. The laws and policies regarding both renewable and nonrenewable energy resources will be examined, along with their corresponding environmental impacts. A research paper is required, and students will provide presentations based on their research. Field trips will be included throughout the course to investigate local issues relevant to the class.

    Much of the focus of the course will be on where we have been and where we are going in terms of energy consumption. The notion of “Peak Oil” will be examined, along with policy efforts to address global climate change in the face of growing demand for fossil fuels. Traditional energy sources including oil, natural gas, and coal will be examined with regard to their continued viability and corresponding ecological costs. Emerging energy sources such as nuclear power, biofuel, wind and solar will also be examined. The underlying political, legal and economic structures of all these energy sources will be examined.

  • Oil and Gas Law (B)

    Oil and Gas Law

    Course Description

    This course examines how the courts, legislative bodies and administrative agencies have adapted basic principles of property, contract and tort law to address the unique issues related to the development and production of oil and gas resources. The course will explore the nature of the interests created out of the oil and gas mineral estate and how these interests are protected. The oil and gas lease and its express and implied covenants will be reviewed as well as other basic contracts governing the production and sale of these resources. The role of the state in the regulation of oil and gas and the tools available to it including spacing, pooling and unitization will be examined. Public land issues and the relationships between the state, federal government and Indian Nations in the regulation of the oil and gas industry will also be explored. Finally, the course will addresses current issues related to coal methane gas production, horizontal drilling, split estates and the protection of ground water and the environment.

  • Water Law (B)

    Water Law

    Course Description

    Water Law is a course that explores the law relating to the acquisition, transfer, sale, abandonment, and forfeiture of water rights. Federal and constitutional water-related issues are examined as well as overall economics and environmental policy questions that are implicated.

    In addition, the course explores the transferability, quantity, and priority dates of federal Indian water rights and Pueblo water rights.

  • Wildlife Law Drafting (D)

    Wildlife Law Drafting

    This course provides an opportunity for upper-division students with an interest in wildlife law issues to delve into the subject matter through an interdisciplinary approach.The course will address the major topics in wildlife law at all levels of government, including state, federal, international and tribal, as well as overarching issues such as biodiversity protection and climate change. In addition, the scientific aspects of wildlife management will be examined, from biological and ecological perspectives.

    Assessment will be based on a drafting project and class participation. The drafting project can be in the form of model legislation or regulation, legislative testimony in support of pending federal or state legislation or rulemaking, comments on proposed species listing or de-listings, amicus briefings, or other option as agreed to by the instructor; plus a supporting research paper; and presentation of the project and paper.

Family Law Courses

  • Advanced DWI/Domestic Violence (A)

    Domestic Violence

    Course Description

    A practical course for law students and lawyers who are interested in learning about domestic violence, concentrating on civil orders of protection. This course will cover definitions of domestic violence, types of orders of protection, criminal domestic violence, various theories of domestic violence, the role of advocates and lawyers, interplay between domestic violence and other areas of the law, full faith & credit, batterer intervention programs, custody and visitation issues, lethality factors and enforcement of orders of protection. At the conclusion of this course participants will have an understanding of domestic violence issues and be prepared to represent litigants in civil domestic violence cases.

  • Children's Law (C)

    Children's Law

    This course examines the various roles that lawyers can play to improve the lives of children and families marginalized by virtue of socioeconomic status or other challenges. It will also examine the various legal systems in which those children and families may be involved. For example, the class will explore the ways that attorneys can affect change for children and families through advocacy in a variety of areas of law, such as child welfare, delinquency, education, mental health, domestic violence, immigration, and tribal law. In addressing these issues, the course will explore how attorneys can use their skills to improve the lives of marginalized children through a variety of means, such as negotiation, litigation, interdisciplinary collaboration, class action litigation, and legislative advocacy.

    The course is not structured as a traditional course focused on appellate case law. Instead, through class discussion, simulations, guest speakers, and other exercises, the course is focused on exploring the legal systems, policies, and unmet legal needs that affect low-income children and families and on developing professional skills that will serve you in advocating on behalf of children, families, and communities. In lieu of a final exam, students will work on a research project throughout the semester exploring an area of law that affects children and families, including the related legal systems, the individuals and organizations working to address that issue, and unmet legal needs in that area of law in New Mexico. The course will involve several additional classes earlier in the semester with fewer classes later in the semester, in part to accommodate student work on these projects. There are no prerequisites for this course.

  • Children's Law Drafting (D)

    Children's Law Seminar

    Course Description

    Students will explore the legal system's response to children's special legal needs and issues. Constitutional law in the context of children's issues will be highlighted. Grades will be based on class participation, an in-class presentation, and a final paper.

  • Community Property (B)

    Community Property

    Course Description

    The course examines the property rights of married couples, focusing especially on New Mexico community property law, with a comparison to the marital property law of other states. It covers community property ownership and management rights during marriage, at death, and at divorce, and an examination of choice of law issues. Particular emphasis will be placed on classification of property and problems of transmutation, commingling, and apportionment, as well as the treatment of specific types of property, such employment related interests ( e.g., professional degrees and licenses, goodwill, and pensions), credit acquisitions, and gifts.

  • Domestic Violence (B)

    Domestic Violence

    Course Description

    A practical course for law students and lawyers who are interested in learning about domestic violence, concentrating on civil orders of protection. This course will cover definitions of domestic violence, types of orders of protection, criminal domestic violence, various theories of domestic violence, the role of advocates and lawyers, interplay between domestic violence and other areas of the law, full faith & credit, batterer intervention programs, custody and visitation issues, lethality factors and enforcement of orders of protection. At the conclusion of this course participants will have an understanding of domestic violence issues and be prepared to represent litigants in civil domestic violence cases.

  • DWI & Domestic Violence Prosecution in Practice (B)

    DWI/DV Prosecution in Practice

    Course Description

    This class will consist of a classroom and field experience component which will educate and prepare students to address the specific needs of DWI and DV prosecution in the state. Students completing the course will have the essential skills required to pursue careers in the criminal law field.

    Classroom component
    The class will meet for two set hours each week. Instruction will include topics of applied criminal law, evidence, professional responsibility, sentencing and trial practice, specific to the prosecution of DWI, DV, and attendant crimes. In addition to the legal training in the area of prosecuting cases, the class will explore beyond the legal practicalities and educate students on the causes behind and treatment of DWI and DV cases. Students will get a well-rounded education to prepare them not only to prosecute, but to help work towards the prevention and reduced recidivism of DWI and DV offenses and offenders.  

    Field Experience Component
    Students will be assigned 10 hours of field experience work per week. Field experience will include both case prosecution as well as educational activities to complement the case work, such as attending roadblocks or drug court. The supervision of the students' field work will be provided by the professor, with occasional assistance from assistant district attorneys. Depending on a student's qualifications (having completed courses in criminal procedure, evidence, and trial practice) she or he will be assigned direct case responsibility (under the supervision of the professor) for handling all or portions of their assigned cases, including motions and trials in a wide array of cases. The experience will be rich, intensive, and diverse. Students who wish to gain further experience may be eligible for an Advanced Program the following semester.

  • Family Mediation (B)

    Family Mediation Training

    Course Description

    Prerequisite: Basic Mediation

    This two-credit course will be held over two weekends. It is a demanding and intensive 40-hour training which is co-offered to lawyers, judges, therapists, administrators, and other professionals for CLE credit. The focus of skills development will be on the mediation of parenting, support, and property issues in divorce and post-decree cases. Simulations of family mediations will be the primary training tool. Classroom focus will be on analysis of the mediation process and psychological issues of parenting and divorce in the context of New Mexico's legal structure. Journal or reflective papers will be required. This course will be graded on a CR/C-, D+, D, D-, F basis.

    Basic Mediation is a prerequisite for Family Mediation. And, as such, must be taken in a prior semester. Basic Mediation cannot be taken in the same semester as Family Mediation.

    The course will be scheduled on two weekends beginning at midday Friday, running all day Saturday, and through the afternoon on Sunday. See schedule for exact times. Attendance during all scheduled class time is mandatory. There will be no exceptions to the attendance requirement.

    If you have a conflict with another course that meets on Friday afternoon, you will have to make arrangements with the professor to miss those classes that conflict with the two Fridays that Family Mediation is scheduled. If those arrangements cannot be made, you will not be able to take Family Mediation. These arrangements must be made at the very start of the semester, so that another course can be scheduled if you are unable to get the excused absences that are necessary to attend Family Mediation.

  • Family Law Drafting (D)

    Family Law Drafting

    Check with instructor of record for course description.

  • Family Law I (B)

    Family Law I

    Course coverage emphasizes the creation of families by formal marriage and unmarried cohabitation, the legal aspects of ongoing relationships, and the dissolution of those relationships. Considerable emphasis is placed on the economic aspects of divorce (property division, spousal support, and child support), the enforcement of divorce decrees and agreements, and jurisdictional questions. New Mexico law is compared and contrasted to general legal principles.

  • Sexuality & the Law (D)

    Sexual Orientation & Law

    Course Description

    This variable-credits seminar provides a survey of the legal landscape in the United States relating to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The seminar uses the newly published third edition of the groundbreaking casebook by Professors William Rubenstein, Carlos A. Ball, and Jane S. Schacter, Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law, which interweaves the relevant legal issues with broader historical, sociological, and literary perspectives. Specific topics include sexuality and liberty; sexual identity and equality; workplace discrimination against LGBT people; the coupling and parenting rights of same-sex partners; and the differences and similarities between sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The seminar will be co-taught by Professor John LaVelle and Lynn E. Mostoller, an associate with the law firm of Keleher & McLeod. The seminar will feature occasional participation by guest attorneys and activists who will discuss the development of sexual orientation policy and the practice of sexual orientation law in New Mexico. Each student is required to complete, in stages, a final paper on a sexual orientation law topic of that student’s choice, with additional requirements for students who elect to use this seminar to fulfill the law school’s writing requirement.

Health Law Courses

  • Children's Law (C)

    Children's Law

    This course examines the various roles that lawyers can play to improve the lives of children and families marginalized by virtue of socioeconomic status or other challenges. It will also examine the various legal systems in which those children and families may be involved. For example, the class will explore the ways that attorneys can affect change for children and families through advocacy in a variety of areas of law, such as child welfare, delinquency, education, mental health, domestic violence, immigration, and tribal law. In addressing these issues, the course will explore how attorneys can use their skills to improve the lives of marginalized children through a variety of means, such as negotiation, litigation, interdisciplinary collaboration, class action litigation, and legislative advocacy.

    The course is not structured as a traditional course focused on appellate case law. Instead, through class discussion, simulations, guest speakers, and other exercises, the course is focused on exploring the legal systems, policies, and unmet legal needs that affect low-income children and families and on developing professional skills that will serve you in advocating on behalf of children, families, and communities. In lieu of a final exam, students will work on a research project throughout the semester exploring an area of law that affects children and families, including the related legal systems, the individuals and organizations working to address that issue, and unmet legal needs in that area of law in New Mexico. The course will involve several additional classes earlier in the semester with fewer classes later in the semester, in part to accommodate student work on these projects. There are no prerequisites for this course.

  • Health Law (D)

    Health Law

    Course Description

    The Health Law course is a traditional law school course that will focus on the fundamental legal principles underlying the provision of health care in the United States.  Using a practical problem-oriented approach, we will discuss:

    1. Quality Control in Health Care – licensing of health care providers, limitations on the scope of practice of  non-physician and alternative providers, accreditation of health care institutions, and basic malpractice law
    2. Confidentiality (Including Common Law issues and HIPAA), and Informed Consent
    3. Cost and Access: Private Insurance and Managed Care,  Medicare, Medicaid and Charity Care (including current litigation over the ACA)
    4. Business Structure of the Healthcare Enterprise

    This course will use Furrow, et al., Health Law (6th ed. 2007) and the 2011 Health Reform Supplement.   This course is not open to first year law students.  There will be a midterm exam and a final exam.

  • Mental Health & Retardation Law (D)

    Mental Health and Retardation Law

    Course Description

    The seminar will explore issues encountered by people with mental disabilities in the civil justice system. Topics will include guardianship and competence, substitute decision making, civil commitment, right to treatment and habilitation, and discrimination based on disabilities. The primary focus will be on constitutional issues, although there will be some discussion of statutory matters as well.

  • Psychology, Neuroscience & the Law (D)

    Psychology & the Law

    Course Description

    See Professor Roll for course description.

Indian Law Courses

  • Criminal Law in Indian Country (D)

    Criminal Law in Indian Country

    This course, Criminal Law in Indian Country, is designed to reflect upon crime and punishment in Indian Country, and the shared “criminal” history of tribal nations.  The materials are designed to investigate issues of criminal law, constitutional law and Indian law as they affect Indian individuals, Tribes, and policy. We will identify and explore impacts on Tribal sovereignty and individual rights of Native American Indians that have occurred over time through U.S. policy, statute and case law in the name of crime and punishment – including Treaties, Crow Dog and the Major Crimes Act, Public Law 280,  the Indian Civil Rights Act, Oliphant and Duro, and the more recent Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. With historical impacts in mind, we examine contemporary issues, such as Native American overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, sentencing disparity, and Natives juveniles in the system.  Students will also have an opportunity to review the unique aspects of criminal jurisdiction in different regions as part of the general understanding of criminal law and justice in Indian Country.  

    Through a problem-solving approach, students will prepare a final paper and present on an issue related to criminal law in Indian Country.  The goal of the paper/presentation is to expand and incorporate knowledge and contribute solutions to an emerging body of scholarship in this important and often misunderstood area of Indian law.  

    REQUIRED MATERIALS
    Sidney L. Harring, Crow Dog’s Case:  American Indian Sovereignty, Tribal Law, and United States Law in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994)
    Additional Course materials to be assigned by the professor.

    RECOMMENDED TEXTS
    William C. Canby, Jr., American Indian Law in a Nutshell, 4th edition, 2004.

    GRADE
    The final grade will be based upon a seminar paper/presentation, in-class participation, and course assignments.

    PRE-REQUISITE (none)
    The course is open to all students. There are no pre-requisites, but Indian Law or a background in Native American law or studies is recommended.

  • Economic Development in Indian Country (D)

    Economic Development in Indian Country

    The pace of economic development on tribal lands has greatly increased. This course will explore the process of economic and business development with its tribal, federal and state laws, cases, policies and practices in the area of natural resources, leasing, rights-of-way, taxation, gaming, and other business ventures. The role of individual Indian allottees will also be explored, and Tribal, federal and state jurisdiction and enforcement issues.

    In addition to learning the substantive law, this is a practical drafting course which will allow the student to understand the importance of structuring and drafting corporation documents, transaction documents, contracts, and rights-of-way agreements, which will have large scale impacts for a client. Legislative drafting of gaming and taxation codes and regulations will be another drafting technique covered in the course. And, finally, drafting correspondence will be reviewed. Accordingly, the class will emphasize writing assignments and discussion about the documents as well as the case law that is developing.

  • Federal Jurisdiction (B)

    Federal Jurisdiction

    This course explores the role of the federal courts, the nature of federal judicial power, its clashes with Congress, and its relationship with state and tribal legislative and judicial systems. The course will focus on civil rights, environmental, and Indian law cases as the primary vehicles for this analysis.

  • Indian Appellate Advocacy (D)

    Indian Children, Youth and Families Law

    Course Description

    This course will examine Indian child welfare matters, including the analysis of federal policies and the impact on Indian families and community; the Indian Child Welfare Act and tribal, state, and federal law. In addition, the course will provide an overview of issues concerning Native American youth and families from an Indian community perspective. Special emphasis will be given to resolving family disputes using case law, family conferencing and traditional dispute resolution models.

  • Indian Children, Youth & Family Law (D)

    Indian Law Appellate Advocacy

    Course Description

    This three-hour credit, drafting course is designed to provide practical experience and substantial feedback in written and oral appellate advocacy focused on the field of federal Indian law. This will include review of actual cases pending in appellate courts during the semester and preparation of briefs for one such case as well as practice oral advocacy. Overall, this course will help students to improve brief writing and oral argument ability, gain substantive, contemporary knowledge in the field of federal Indian law, and develop strategic skills for appellate advocacy generally.

    The course will meet once a week, beginning with a review of general appellate advocacy principles and best practices, and then will focus for the remainder of the semester on pending cases presenting significant federal Indian law issues. The latter will involve discussion of the background and Indian law, appellate advocacy, and other substantive and procedural legal issues involved. Students will review, evaluate, and discuss actual decisions, certiorari petitions, and briefs filed in pending cases, as available. Based in part on this review and discussion, each student will research for and prepare a complete brief on appeal for a pending case in compliance with applicable court rules, which will represent at least 75% of the course grade, such that the course will qualify for the Law School’s drafting course requirement.  Brief outlines, drafts, and issues will be discussed and provided feedback over the course of the semester before final submission of briefs for a grade.

    Depending on the case, issues, timing, and availability of appropriate clients, the briefs will be either moot briefs prepared as if on behalf of actual parties to the case or draft amicus curiae briefs that may ultimately be filed with the relevant court. If feasible, the students also may speak with attorneys involved in briefed cases. Students also will prepare for and participate in moot oral advocacy for the case briefed. Moot court will be held before judges of the relevant type of court, if possible. If scheduling and location permits, the students also may help prepare for or attend actual oral arguments for the case addressed. For example, the first time this course was taught, students reviewed filings in Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle Co., 128 S.Ct. 2709 (2008), and prepared a mock reply brief under applicable rules at the same time as the actual reply brief in the case, which the students then reviewed.  The students also provided questions for and attended a moot court session for the attorney who argued the case, and then discussed the actual oral argument transcript. The second time that this course was taught involved review of certiorari issues and preparation of amicus briefs and moot court arguments for United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation, 131 S.Ct. 2313 (2011), in advance of that case’s consideration by the Supreme Court.

    Dan Rey-Bear, a partner at Nordhaus Law Firm, LLP, has substantial experience in the fields of Indian law and appellate advocacy, including representation of tribal clients before all levels of federal, tribal, and state courts. He previously served as a Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

  • Indian Civil Rights (D)

    Indian Civil Rights

    Course Description

    This course analyzes the nature, scope and limitations of civil rights in Indian Country. As a dual-citizen with a distinct political relationship with a tribal government and the United States government as separate sovereigns, the individual Indian occupies a unique position in civil rights law. Students will examine the emergence of civil rights protections for individual Indians and discuss their enforcement in federal, state and tribal courts. We will identify the constitutional and statutory protections afforded to Indians and non-Indians and evaluate their impact and efficacy for Indians in state/federal and tribal forums and non-Indians in tribal courts. Materials will address the foundational questions of equal protection, due process, religious freedom, and protection from harm at the hands of the government for Indians on and off the reservation.

    The course examines the power and limitations of the United States to adequately protect the civil rights of Natives under its own constitution, as well as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (ICRA) as a vehicle to protect the rights of individual Indians vis-a-vis their tribe. Depending on the instructor, focus areas may include federal/state/tribal Indian civil rights actions in religious freedom, education, speech, gender, identity, enrollment and status, police action, and prisons.

    The class also examines the tribal role and response to ICRA, including the development of tribal infrastructures, common law and remedies to protect its citizens. Throughout the course, students will be challenged to revisit the so-called tension between individual rights and tribal collective rights and generate a discussion on tribal self-determination, good governance, and human rights.

    Course Objectives/Expected Outcomes:

    The goal of the course is to review civil rights in the tribal/federal context and to inquire whether federal/tribal civil rights laws work for Indian peoples. The course raises questions about civil rights protections, abuses, enforcement mechanisms, and remedies for tribal peoples. One objective of the course is to assist students in evaluating protections and remedies afforded to tribal peoples to challenge laws and governmental conduct that violate the United States Constitution or the Indian Civil Rights Act or both. Students will critically review civil rights issues in an Indian law context and develop frameworks, perspectives and responses to better protect Indian individual rights and include the tribe and tribal community interests.

    Major Assignments/Method Of Evaluation & Assessment:

    Evaluation

    • Attendance and Participation
    • Short Written Assignments on Reading Materials and Emerging Issues
    • Final Oral and Written Presentation
    • Or Final Examination
  • Indian Education (D)

    Indian Education

    This course will consider the legal history and policies, as well as the relationship to federal, state and tribal influences on the evolution of Indian Education in the United States. Topics will include: boarding school experiences; equality,integration, and community control; Indian Education and Finance; history of Indian Education in New Mexico; some of the cultural challenges Indian students face during their educational careers; and the current state of Indian Education in the United States. Besides legal materials, history as a scholarly discipline and as a legal tool will be covered.

  • Indian Law (B)
  • Indian Water Rights (D)

    Indian Water Law

    Indian Water Law will explore the jurisprudential origins of the role of Indian tribes as governments, and tribal entitlements in property and land. After a review of the historical under-pinnings of tribal sovereignty, the course will explore contemporary issues confronting tribes and pueblos relating to the development and use of their waters. This aspect of the course will develop a working knowledge of the Winters doctrine, quantification of Indian water rights, and finally the potential environmental and economic development solutions that may be integrated into global water right settlements.

  • Indigenous People and International Law (D)

    International Law and Indigenous People

    This course will cover the basic international law frameworks, instruments, and emerging norms that apply to indigenous peoples. After the basic principles of international law, including customary law, the course moves to indigenous peoples as the subjects and objects of international understandings. Indigenous peoples are acting to change the established norms, going beyond the formalized states of prior relations among nations to recognizing peoples, political entities who are not just another ethnic minority. The course will cover the emerging norms and their formalization including the International Labor Conference Convention 169 (ILO 169) and the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Draft Declaration). For the comparative scope, we will study laws and cases that (1) invoke the international law to protect the rights of indigenous peoples; and (2) how respective states use and do not use international law in matters involving indigenous peoples within their boundaries. The latter includes cases from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other states.

    Note: Indian Law (any Indian Law course) is recommended as prior coursework. Students without any Indian Law should talk to the instructor regarding a background reading to be completed prior to the start of the course. Prior international law coursework will be helpful.

  • Jurisdiction in Indian Country (D)
  • Law of Indigenous Peoples (D)

    Law of Indigenous Peoples

    This course provides a historical and a contemporary perspective on the internal law of Indigenous peoples, domestically and internationally. It is not a survey of the law; rather it provides a general introduction to the types of law by which Indigenous peoples govern themselves, as well as a format to discuss the development and effect of this law. This course is intended to familiarize students not only with traditional and contemporary aspects of the internal law of tribes, but also to consider the complex interrelationship between the two. The tremendous influence exerted by outside forces on the internal law of Indigenous peoples will also be considered in a critical manner.

    Student Course Work - Tribal Profile

    Students will be required to consider the internal laws of a tribe selected by the student and create a profile of the tribe's laws following the course outline. It is strongly recommended that the student choose his/her own tribe or a tribe with whom the student has a working relationship with or can develop a working relationship with, including a tribe the student may work with in the future or has worked with in the past. Students will be expected to add to the course materials as designated on the course syllabus. At the end of the semester, students will exchange the information gathered with appropriate appendices, notes and comments. The purpose of this project work is to allow students to consider the internal laws of one tribe in conjunction with the broader discussion that will take place in class. Students will be expected to share their observations based on the analysis and consideration of the internal law of their selected tribe as the semester progresses.

    Paper Requirement

    Students will be required to produce a research paper for the course. The paper is required to be at least 20 pages in length. The paper may be used to meet the writing requirement with my prior approval. The paper may be related to the tribal profile created by the student, but may also cover an unrelated subject.

    Course Materials and Recommended Books

    The course materials will be provided for you through the copy center. In addition, I will provide you with a list of the books I recommend. Many are the books from which we will be using excerpts. I recommend you obtain these books through amazon.com or other such service.

    Class Schedule

    The syllabus covers Monday classes. Any overflow from discussions we may not have completed will continue on Thursdays. The extra hour each week will also be used to facilitate student writing of tribal profiles and profiles. I also expect to meet with each of you throughout the semester and this hour will be used for these meetings.

  • Native American Rights (D)

    Native American Rights

    The course examines legislation, regulation, treaties, and case law that govern Native American rights. Specific individual and tribal nation rights, as traditional and emerging issues, are studied in a focused manner. Besides legal materials, history as a scholarly discipline and as a legal tool will be covered.

  • Natural & Cultural Resources: Indian Country (D)

    Natural Resources: Indian Country

    Course Description

    This course addresses issues of ownership, regulation, and jurisdiction that arise in the unique context of the management of natural resources in Indian country. Specific topics include ownership of land and water resources on Indian reservations; land use and environmental protection in Indian country; taxation of natural resources in the reservation setting; federally reserved Indian water rights; and off-reservation Indian hunting, fishing, and gathering rights. To enroll in this course, students must have taken the basic introductory Indian Law course or have obtained special permission from the instructor.

  • Pueblo Indian Law (D)

    Pueblo Indian Law

    Course Description

    The course will cover the major developments in law and policy toward the Pueblo Indians by Spain, Mexico and the United States from a critical perspective. Students will gain a historical perspective of the impacts of law on the Pueblos and its relationship to present treatment and emerging challenges.

  • Specialized Legal Research (Indian Law) (B)

    Specialized Legal Research (Indian Law)

    Course Description

    Prerequisites: None
    Credits: 2 (Elective)
    Outcomes: The goals of this course are to give students advanced and in-depth training on researching questions involving federal Indian law and tribal law. Specifically, the courses aims are (1) to teach students to evaluate legal information sources effectively and to formulate a rational research methodology which maximizes efficiency; (2) to introduce students to using the primary American legal and tribal sources (cases, statutes, and administrative regulations and reports) in traditional and electronic formats; (3) to introduce students to specialized American legal and tribal law sources in Indian law; (4) to hone skills in compiling legislative histories. Students will have numerous opportunities for "hands on" experiences with a wide range of legal materials and databases.
    Required text: The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (current edition)(www.legalbluebook.com)

  • State-Tribal Relations (D)

    State-Tribal Relations

    Course Description

    Tribal, state, and local governments have characteristically acted as if they were in parallel universes whose fates were determined by the gods in Washington. In fact their affairs are intertwined economically, socially, environmentally, and politically, and their fates are largely determined by the behavior of these local governments and the management of their intergovernmental relationship. This course will deal with the inescapable tribal-state relationship, first as a broad set of policy issues and then in a series of substantive areas such as environment, human services and the ever-popular gaming. As the past few years should have demonstrated, this course is NOT just for people with an interest in federal Indian law; it is for anyone who intends to practice in the State of New Mexico and do it right.

  • Tribal Natural and Cultural Resources Law (B)

    Tribal Natural and Cultural Resources Law

    This writing seminar explores the myriad of jurisdictional, regulatory and ownership issues that arise in the tribal natural and cultural resources context. It examines, among other things, the scope of tribal authority to protect and regulate natural resources on reservation, the role of tribes to participate in federal and state actions affecting natural and cultural resources off-reservation, and laws and cases that have developed under this broad area. The themes and topics covered in the seminar will allow a student to delve deeper into a particular area of tribal natural and cultural resources law that is of special interest to the student.

    There are two interrelated goals for this course. First, to ensure students write a piece of original scholarship, of publishable quality, on a topic with tribal natural and cultural resources law, and second, to ensure students become familiar with foundational cases and issues in the tribal natural and cultural resources area. Since this is a writing seminar, the primary focus of the course will be students’ papers. Accordingly, I intend to work closely with students on their respective papers and helping students become effective legal writers. I will have some guest speakers to help students with their research and writing, and their presentations will be in the first half of the class.

Intellectual Property Courses

  • Antitrust Law (C)

    Antitrust Law

    Antitrust Law protects competition among businesses against private restraint. It is a peculiar blend of legal, economic and business principles. Its practice requires a special mode of analysis called "antitrust analysis" or "thinking like an antitrust lawyer." In this survey course we will study monopolization, attempts and conspiracies to monopolize, mergers, and voluntary restraints on trade, including horizontal restraints among competitors and vertical restraints such as those among manufacturers and distributors. We will also cover the intersection of antitrust law with political activity and the extent to which a state may displace the federal antitrust laws in regulating its own industries. Some prior exposure to economics will be helpful, but this course itself will provide all the economic principles needed to understand antitrust law.

  • Art Law (C)

    Art Law

    Art Law explores the practical legal problems of visual artists and the commercial art world. We address the question of "What is art?" and examine artists' efforts to protect their art through copyright and moral rights as well as their legal relations with dealers in art (from museums and galleries, to auction houses and individuals).

    Artists who push the boundaries of what is acceptable in mainstream society have often faced attempts to censor their work. The course will include slide presentations of controversial works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Andre Seranno and Madonna (before entering motherhood and her spiritual phase).

    The course may include simulations, where students negotiate contacts to sell various works of art, and field trips to local galleries and museums. Past guest speakers have included David Lockington of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Edith Lambert of the Edith Lambert Gallery in Santa Fe, an auctioneer and a museum director.

    The text for this course is DuBoff, Burr, and Murray's "Art Law: Cases and Materials" (William S. Hein. & Co. 2004.

  • Copyright Law (D)

    Copyright Law

    Copyright Law will cover all aspects of U.S. Copyright law. Topics will include copyrightable subject matter, rights of copyright holders, limitations on copyright protection, and infringement. Discussion will include the developments in the law which are related to electronic forms of works.

  • Entertainment Law (B)

    Entertainment Law

    This course is designed to introduce law students to legal, business, and creative aspects of the entertainment industry. The course will cover copyright, contracts, compensation, credit, and First Amendment issues related to the film, television, music, and videogame segments of the entertainment industry. Students can earn extra credit points by participating, beyond the minimum requirement, in production work for the Channel 27 television show Arts Talk, which will tape at least four episodes during the semester.

  • Intellectual Property Law (B)

    Intellectual Property Law

    This course surveys the components of Intellectual Property Law, including the Law of Ideas, Copyrights, the Right of Publicity, Trademark Law, Unfair Competition Law, Trade Secrets, Patent Law. The marketing of Intellectual Property related goods represents one of the most dynamic sectors of the U.S. and world economy. U.S. exports of all intellectual property products are second only to those of aircraft.

  • Sports Law (C)

    Sports Law

    There is no such thing as Sports Law. This course will study the application of antitrust, constitutional, contract, international, labor and tort law, and other laws in sports. Field trips (perhaps out of town) to one or more games or a competition will be involved. The course may also include guest speakers.

    Students will participate in a negotiation exercise, including the drafting of a strategy memo and contrast terms, and will write a paper.

  • Trademark Law (D)

    Trademark Law

    This course covers U.S. trademark and unfair competition law (other than antitrust law), focusing on the Lanham Act, federal registration, and international conventions for trademark protection as well as the fundamental policies underlying unfair competition. The three-credit version of the course will also include detailed coverage of state trademark and unfair competition laws. In addition to these basic issues, the course will address issues of current interest, such as: protection of Internet domain names; trademarking celebrities; conflicts between trademark protection and the copyright and patent laws; and trademark dilution. The course grade will be determined by performance on written exercises and the final examination.

International and Comparative Law Courses

  • Advanced Immigration Practice (D)

    Advance Immigration Law in Practice

    Course Description

    This course will take a very practical approach to immigration law so that students will put the principles learned in the basic Immigration Law class to practice. It will be run like a law firm where students are the associates. A case study/set of facts will be discussed in each class and students will then be doing independent research on their own and preparing an application packet or a brief just like they would do in practice. The work students turn in along with attendance will comprise the entire grade. There will be no exams.

    In the basic Immigration Law class students learn about the various governmental agencies. In this class, the heads of the various local offices of the federal government will actually meet with the class and will share with students what it is that they do and what their agencies are in charge of. The instructor will try to arrange a field trip to the relevant government agencies the typical immigration lawyer interacts with. A field trip to immigration court in El Paso may also be arranged, however this would have to be done during a period of time when classes are not in session.

    For further information contact the instructor Olsi Vrapi, olsi@noblelawfirm.com or 352-6660.

  • International Criminal Law (D)

    International Criminal Law

    Course Description

    International Criminal Law examines the fundamental principles of this exciting, developing body of law. We will explore the rationale for ICL, the bases for jurisdiction, the procedures used to obtain persons from abroad, the offenses prosecuted as violations of ICL (including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide), and potential defenses to those charges. Throughout the course, we will study the charters and decisions of various international tribunals, from the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court at The Hague. In particular, we will examine the provisions of the Rome Statute, which establishes the International Criminal Court.

  • Immigration Law (Basic) (B)

    Immigration Law

    This 3 credit hours course examines the multitude of issues involving the immigrants and the law. Starting with the historical origins of the United States immigration law, the course will focus on family and employer sponsored immigration, asylum, naturalization, exclusion, and deportation regulations. The impact of the US Patriot Act will also be explored. Beyond the substantive analysis, the course will address the practical aspects of working as an immigration attorney. Various guests will provide insights into topics ranging from enforcement of regulations to the immigration procedures.

  • Immigration Law Practicum Crime ("Crimmigration") (D)

    Immigration Practicum: Criminal

    Course Description

    Pre-req.: Immigration Law, Immigration Practicum or Immigration Law field experience; co-req.: Ethics

    Highly Recommended: Criminal Law in Practice
    Background
    The changes in immigration law and practice over the past decade have inextricably tied the practices of immigration and criminal law. In fact, in many criminal cases the “collateral” immigration consequences of deportation are the most serious for the defendant. Because it is so difficult to undue a plea to a removable offense through post conviction relief, it is extremely important that criminal defense attorneys inform the defendants of the immigration consequences of a plea rather than rely on the possibility of relief. Moreover, in the Paredez decision, the New Mexico Supreme Court has effectively obligated criminal defense attorneys to determine the immigration status of their clients and if their client is a noncitizen, the attorney must advise them of the specific immigration consequences of pleading guilty. Unfortunately, most lawyers who encounter noncitizens in the criminal justice system are ill-equipped to fulfill this obligation.
    Law School Credit
    The course will be offered for four credits, and will be graded on a “CR”, “C-”, ”D+”, “D”, “D-“, “F” basis.  Although the course includes a field experience component, it does not count toward the required six credit hours of “in-house” clinic.
    Classroom component
    Students will be required to attend an “Immigration and Crimes” intensive training on January 11th and 12th. In addition to this training, the class will meet for two hours each week. Instruction will include substantive lectures on immigration and criminal law practice, as well as a special focus on the relationship of the New Mexico Criminal Statute to the Immigration and Nationality Act.
    Field Experience Component
    Students will be assigned to the Bernalillo County Public Defender’s Office for field experience work. The field experience will consist of ten hours per week. The supervision of the students’ field work will be provided by assistant public defenders. These attorneys will work with students to assure that the students have meaningful field work each week. Students will assist public defenders with research on the immigration consequences of common offenses and, in some cases, provide an analysis of immigration consequences for particular clients. They may also have the opportunity to assist in the negotiation of plea agreements based on their immigration consequences analysis. The precise work conducted will depend on the clients who need representation and the posture of their cases.

  • Immigration Rights Writing Seminar (D)

    Immigrants' Rights Seminar

    Course Description

    This seminar will examine the rights of non-citizens in the context of a variety of substantive areas of domestic law. We will analyze the effect of immigration status on eligibility for public benefits, health care, housing, education, employment, identification documents, and driver's licenses. The course will examine current struggles over immigrants' rights in the U.S., including police power in immigration enforcement, local government efforts to drive immigrants from communities, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. We will study the intersection of immigration and family, including domestic violence in immigrant communities. The course will offer a brief overview of substantive immigration law but will not cover topics taught in a traditional immigration law course. Students will research and write a paper on a related topic and give an oral presentation to the class about the research topic. Students will read and provide written critiques on other students' drafts.

  • Indigenous People and International Law (D)

    International Law and Indigenous People

    This course will cover the basic international law frameworks, instruments, and emerging norms that apply to indigenous peoples. After the basic principles of international law, including customary law, the course moves to indigenous peoples as the subjects and objects of international understandings. Indigenous peoples are acting to change the established norms, going beyond the formalized states of prior relations among nations to recognizing peoples, political entities who are not just another ethnic minority. The course will cover the emerging norms and their formalization including the International Labor Conference Convention 169 (ILO 169) and the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Draft Declaration). For the comparative scope, we will study laws and cases that (1) invoke the international law to protect the rights of indigenous peoples; and (2) how respective states use and do not use international law in matters involving indigenous peoples within their boundaries. The latter includes cases from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other states.

    Note: Indian Law (any Indian Law course) is recommended as prior coursework. Students without any Indian Law should talk to the instructor regarding a background reading to be completed prior to the start of the course. Prior international law coursework will be helpful.

  • International Business Transactions (D)

    International Business Transactions

    Negotiating Deals and Drafting Documents

    This course will allow students to negotiate and draft International Business Transactions (IBT) documents, from the point of view of both clients/commercial departments and legal practitioners. The class will analyze documents that are based upon actual transactions. Students will also engage in role-plays of commercial discussions and propose legal solutions that will be analyzed from the perspective of lawyers as well as clients/commercial departments. Because the course will include both JD and MBA students, special attention will be given to the interaction between the commercial and legal representatives of negotiating teams. The class will be organized in role-playing mixed teams of lawyers and clients/commercial departments, which will negotiate the most sensitive clauses of transactional documents. Because of the instructor’s professional background as a former manager of a European railway company, special attention will be given to transportation transactions and to related developments in New Mexico (e.g., Railrunner, Santa Teresa Port of Entry). Alternative final outcomes from each team will be considered, both in terms of different commercial deals/clauses and closing/collapsing of the transaction. The interactive review of the documents proposed by each team will allow students to understand the important interplay among legal and commercial needs, cultural and character issues, teamwork skills, adaptability, and creative thinking, in order to successfully negotiate and draft international business transaction documents.

    Learning Objectives:

    JD students will: (a) learn and apply practical drafting skills in the context of transactional documents, (b) learn how to respond to the needs of and interact effectively with business clients and opposing counsel, and (c) learn to appreciate, balance, and navigate among the competing factors that characterize international business transactions.

    MBA students will: (a) learn how to communicate their business needs effectively with their counterpart deal partners and their in-house or outside counsel, and (b) learn to appreciate, balance, and navigate among the competing factors that characterize international business transactions.

  • International Law (B)

    International Law

    What is international law and how does it relate to national law? How do treaties enter into force and how do they interact with customary law? What protection does the international community accord the dignity of individuals in time of war and peace? Does international law meaningfully regulate the use of military force by governments and other armed groups?

    These questions lie at the heart of public international law. In International Law we will begin to address them by exploring the basic concepts of international law through a problem-oriented approach. The course will introduce students to sources of international law, states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, international dispute settlement, jurisdiction, human rights, international humanitarian law, and the use of force. This is a three-credit course that is open to first year as well as second and third year law students.

  • Human Rights(D)

    Human Rights

    Course Description

    This course will examine the different legal mechanisms for the enforcement of international human rights norms, which have been established in various regions of the world. Particular attention will be devoted to three regional intergovernmental organizations: the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, and the African Union. In studying the efforts of these regional institutions to implement human rights protections, the course will explore the extent to which the culture, history, and character of political oppression in each region are reflected in the various legal frameworks, that have evolved.

    NOTE: Students who submit their seminar paper in fulfillment of the advanced writing requirement, for a total of 3 credits, will be expected to schedule an additional hour of independent study per week in addition to class preparation time.

  • Human Rights: Transitional Justice (D)
  • Law of Indigenous Peoples (D)

    Law of Indigenous Peoples

    This course provides a historical and a contemporary perspective on the internal law of Indigenous peoples, domestically and internationally. It is not a survey of the law; rather it provides a general introduction to the types of law by which Indigenous peoples govern themselves, as well as a format to discuss the development and effect of this law. This course is intended to familiarize students not only with traditional and contemporary aspects of the internal law of tribes, but also to consider the complex interrelationship between the two. The tremendous influence exerted by outside forces on the internal law of Indigenous peoples will also be considered in a critical manner.

    Student Course Work - Tribal Profile

    Students will be required to consider the internal laws of a tribe selected by the student and create a profile of the tribe's laws following the course outline. It is strongly recommended that the student choose his/her own tribe or a tribe with whom the student has a working relationship with or can develop a working relationship with, including a tribe the student may work with in the future or has worked with in the past. Students will be expected to add to the course materials as designated on the course syllabus. At the end of the semester, students will exchange the information gathered with appropriate appendices, notes and comments. The purpose of this project work is to allow students to consider the internal laws of one tribe in conjunction with the broader discussion that will take place in class. Students will be expected to share their observations based on the analysis and consideration of the internal law of their selected tribe as the semester progresses.

    Paper Requirement

    Students will be required to produce a research paper for the course. The paper is required to be at least 20 pages in length. The paper may be used to meet the writing requirement with my prior approval. The paper may be related to the tribal profile created by the student, but may also cover an unrelated subject.

    Course Materials and Recommended Books

    The course materials will be provided for you through the copy center. In addition, I will provide you with a list of the books I recommend. Many are the books from which we will be using excerpts. I recommend you obtain these books through amazon.com or other such service.

    Class Schedule

    The syllabus covers Monday classes. Any overflow from discussions we may not have completed will continue on Thursdays. The extra hour each week will also be used to facilitate student writing of tribal profiles and profiles. I also expect to meet with each of you throughout the semester and this hour will be used for these meetings.

  • Overview of Mexican Law (D)

    Introduction to Mexican Law

    Course Description

    This seminar will discuss the structure of the Mexican legal system, law and legal profession. The focus of the seminar will cover those legal topics of interest to a no¬Mexican person interested in doing business in Mexico, such as contracts, commercial sales, security instruments, real estate transactions, business entities, labor law and tax law. If time permits we will briefly examine the criminal system of Mexico. Appropriate Mexican legal terminology will be discussed as it relates to the various legal topics. If there is sufficient interest a field trip to Juarez and Chihuahua will be arranged to meet with legal educators, law firms and judges. Final grades will be determined by examination or paper. The course may be used to meet the writing requirement.

Law Practice, Litigation & ADR Courses

  • Advanced Legal Writing (D)

    Advanced Legal Writing (Persuasive Writing)

    This course is for those students who want to refine their basic persuasive writing skills and become more sophisticated in writing persuasive legal documents. The course assumes a solid grasp of the basic skills taught in LRRW and Advocacy; those skills will not be directly addressed in this course. Students will, however, be expected to use those basic skills competently within the context of this course.

    The class will generally address identifying, building and then writing legal arguments. While the focus is primarily on arguments written for briefs, discussion will include how to adapt basic argumentation techniques to other documents for both legal and non-legal audiences.

    Class will take the form of a hands-on workshop and will generally include one or more of the following:

    • Discussion and evaluation of actual briefs that have been filed with the courts;
    • Discussion of assignment due in class involving continuing "out-of-class case file" and based on prior week’s class topics;
    • Discussion of reading and short exercises due in class that involve current class topics;
    • Use of continuing "in-class problem" to illustrate and practice class topics;
    • Other in-class writing.

    By the end of the course students will have written a complete trial-level brief based on the "out-of-class" case file and will have written two in-class briefs.

  • Advanced Tort Litigation (D)

    Advanced Tort Litigation

    Course Description

    This seminar is designed for students who have an interest in personal injury litigation. The course will focus on the basic areas of personal injury litigation as set out below. The course is based almost entirely on New Mexico case law, although frequent references will be made to legal developments and trends outside New Mexico. Considerable emphasis will be given to the practical aspects of developing and trying personal injury cases in New Mexico from first interview through discovery and into trial. This is a problem-based course in which class discussions will be centered on addressing legal issues that are raised by an assigned semester long problem. Among the areas that will be studied are the following:

    1. Basic considerations in accepting and evaluating tort cases
    2. Ethical limitations on tort practitioners
    3. The nature of the attorney-client relationship in tort cases
    4. The contingent fee agreement; Statutes of limitation
    5. Basic Jurisdictional considerations and the New Mexico Long Arm Statute
    6. Choice of venue, forum and law in tort cases
    7. The importance of insurance in tort litigation
    8. Choice of law, direct suits and conflicts of interest
    9. The duties of insurer and insured
      1. The law of bad faith
      2. Subrogation
      3. Disclosure of insurance at trial
      4. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
      5. Arbitration of disputes between insurer and insured
      6. Survey of common liability theories to expand liability to third parties
      7. Settlements
      8. Damages

    To the extent class time is available, professional malpractice, governmental immunity, product liability and civil rights topics will be discussed. Class attendance, preparation and participation are expected of all students. Student grades will be based on class attendance, class participation and on the quality of the required course paper. No exam will be given in the course.

  • Appellate Advocacy (D)

    Appellant Advocacy

    Course Description

    See Professor for course description.

  • Appellate Decision Making (D)

    Appellate Decision Making: NM Court of Appeals

    The goal of this class is to offer a “behind-the-scenes” look into the appellate court, which, in turn, will offer insight into how to practice before the trial and appellate courts. Students will act as judges on the N.M. Court of Appeals and work in panels of three to resolve actual cases before the Court. Students will gain an understanding of how judges approach issues, decide cases, and write opinions. This will include the way in which judges limit issues, decide cases narrowly, try to get to the critical and decisive issue, and struggle with cases that can rationally be decided either way.

    In addition, students will complete this course with:

    • An awareness of the importance of careful trial practice (e.g., preservation of error; preservation of argument; identification of critical issues; development of facts, issues, and arguments; offers of proof).
    • An understanding of appellate briefing (e.g., quality product; identification of issues; lack of development of facts, issues, or arguments; identification of the standard of review; raising preservation issues; following rules; avoiding obvious mistakes; good writing skills; brevity; editing by colleagues).
    • An understanding of the importance of collegiality and the processes of panel discussions, collaborative decision-making, and opinion writing.

    Course Content: Class time will include training on the concepts underlying appellate review generally and the challenges appellate judges wrestle with daily, as well as the specific processes involved in the administration of the New Mexico Court of Appeals. Guest speakers will be invited to discuss appellate practice, judicial selection/elections, differences between the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and other topics.

    Each panel of three students will receive three cases (including briefs, excerpts of the record proper, and transcripts of proceedings) to resolve. We will hand out all case materials and assign panels and primary authorship to students on the first day of class. During the semester, each student will draft an opinion to circulate to the other two participants on their panel. Each participant will also draft a “participation memorandum” that makes substantive and technical suggestions with respect to the circulating proposed opinion. At some point, the panel members will discuss whether any participant will be writing separately in a dissent or special concurrence. A portion of class time will be devoted to discussing common challenges encountered at each step of the opinion drafting process and allowing students to receive guidance from and share their experiences and challenges directly with the professors. Students will be graded on their primary opinion and the opinions they join (or, alternatively, their special concurrence or dissent) as well as smaller assignments and class participation.

    Location: The class will meet in the library on the third floor of the N.M. Court of Appeals. The building is secured, so it is important that you arrive with enough time to gain access to the third floor.

    Min/Max Students: This course requires a minimum of nine (9) and a maximum of twelve (12) students.

  • Appellate Law in Practice (D)

    Appellate Law in Practice

    Course Description

    What if you were able to take a course that actually got you practicing appellate law in New Mexico? What if all your hard and late-night legal research and writing work this year could be put to use in real cases where it would actually make a difference? Would you like to work one-on-one with established and talented New Mexico appellate attorneys in the Appellate Division of the Public Defender on a variety of criminal law issues? Are you preparing for an appellate clerkship? How about working on cases you might actually be able to cite to on your resume? Appellate Law and Practice is a year-long course in which you will work on actual pending appeals and prepare pleadings, while covering in symposium-style topics such as brief writing, oral argument, summary calendar process, appellate ethics, appellate jurisdiction, standards of review and more.

  • Arbitration (D)

    Arbitration

    Course Description

    Arbitration has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional litigation.

    This course is taught using a national casebook supplemented with relevant New Mexico case law and statutes. The focus is on domestic rather than international arbitration and voluntary arbitration rather than arbitration compelled by statute.

    After a view of the content and relationship of the federal and state arbitration statutes, the course deals with the functional differences between arbitration and litigation, the drafting of arbitration clauses, the enforcement of agreements to arbitrate, the arbitration process, and the scope and limits of judicial review of arbitrator’s awards.

    At the completion of the course, students will have a firm grasp of the benefits and detriments of arbitration so that they can make sound decisions about whether to agree to arbitration instead of traditional litigation. They also will have an understanding of the tactics and strategy involved in arbitrating disputes successfully.

    This course is designed for students who will engage in transactional lawyering (drafting contracts, for example) as well as for those who will represent clients before arbitrators. It is not designed to teach persons how to be arbitrators.

  • Bar Strategies Seminar (D)

    Bar Strategies Seminar

    Course Description

    Elective (01 cr. hr.) 3L's only graded pass/fail

    This course will prepare students for taking the New Mexico Bar exam by helping them develop legal analysis and issue spotting skills, essay writing skills and multiple choice test taking skills. Focus will be on the most frequently tested New Mexico subjects – federal jurisdiction/civil procedure, estates/wills/trusts, and family law/community property. Other topics may be covered as time permits. There will be an introduction to the format and components of the bar exam. Students will have weekly reading and writing assignments and will receive feedback on selected written assignments. In addition, students will touch on stress and time management skills. This is an experiential class which requires attendance (80%) and in addition, group work, peer review and self reflection (100% of assignments must be completed). Those who would benefit from significant assistance with essay writing and bar study skills are especially encouraged to take this course. This course is not intended to replace commercial bar review courses such as BarBri and Kaplan/PMBR.

  • Civil Procedure Drafting Civil Litigation Documents (D)
  • Civil Procedure II (B)

    Civil Procedure II

    This course continues the analysis (begun in Civil Procedure I) of the procedural stages of a simple lawsuit, considers special problems raised by complex litigation, and explores alternatives to traditional litigation as a means of resolving disputes.

    Course topics include: pre-trial conference; judge and jury selection; judgment as a matter of law; jury instructions and form of verdict; findings of fact and conclusions of law; post-trial motions for new trial and renewed requests for judgment as a matter of law; appeal; motions for relief from judgment; collateral estoppel, res judicata and law of the case; joinder, impleader, intervention, interpleader, declaratory actions and class actions; and arbitration. The focus is on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but New Mexico procedural law is also considered throughout the course.

  • Conflicts of Law (C)
  • Ethics (A)

    Ethics

    We will study the rules governing the professional conduct of lawyers and explore the values of the legal system which justify and explain those rules. Specific subject matter includes: the duties of competence, confidentiality, and loyalty; acquisition and retention of clients (including undertaking representation, advertising, solicitation, and withdrawal from representation); and problems concerning the manner of representation (the "Principle of Professionalism" and "zealous advocacy within the bounds of the law"). Concepts will be illustrated through application of the rules to problems, use of video and audio clips for discussion, supplementary readings, and student presentations of rules and cases related to assigned fact patterns. In addition to the traditional final essay examination, quizzes on various topics, using questions taken directly from the MPRE practice exams, will be given throughout the semester.

  • Evidence (B)

    Evidence

    The course will consider the principles of law and rules governing the admissibility of testimonial and documentary proof in civil and criminal trials, including the concept of relevancy, the use of demonstrative evidence, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, impeachment of credibility, expert testimony, and hearsay. Traditional case materials, the federal rules of evidence, problems, and simulations will be employed to illustrate evidentiary concepts.

  • Evidence/Trial Practice (B)

    Evidence/Trial Practice

    This course will focus on trial procedure, evidence, and trial skills utilizing:

    1. lectures and class discussions on the principles of evidence and trial skills;
    2. demonstrations of trial skills;
    3. practice sessions in which each student performs various exercises to learn trial skills;
    4. individual review with me of videotapes of the trial practice performances; and
    5. a mock jury trial.

    Each student is also required to complete a trial notebook that is used during the mock trial.

    The entire class meets during the week for lectures and/or demonstrations in the scheduled Monday through Thursday morning time slots. The class will also be divided into eight groups containing no more than eight students each. Each of these groups will meet one day from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for the trial practice exercises. Approximately sixteen adjunct faculty, consisting of judges and attorneys, will work with the individual groups of students in these trial practice sessions.

    The trial practice sessions are scheduled from Monday through Thursday. Each student will be assigned to attend a session on only one of those days. I try to accommodate, if possible, students’ requests to be assigned to a particular day of the week for their small group trial practice session. That means, for example, if a student has other classes on Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 7, I will try to assign her/him to a trial practice group that meets on Tuesday or Thursday.

    Students taking this class must also be available for the mock trials on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

  • Family Mediation (B)

    Family Mediation Training

    Course Description

    Prerequisite: Basic Mediation

    This two-credit course will be held over two weekends. It is a demanding and intensive 40-hour training which is co-offered to lawyers, judges, therapists, administrators, and other professionals for CLE credit. The focus of skills development will be on the mediation of parenting, support, and property issues in divorce and post-decree cases. Simulations of family mediations will be the primary training tool. Classroom focus will be on analysis of the mediation process and psychological issues of parenting and divorce in the context of New Mexico's legal structure. Journal or reflective papers will be required. This course will be graded on a CR/C-, D+, D, D-, F basis.

    Basic Mediation is a prerequisite for Family Mediation. And, as such, must be taken in a prior semester. Basic Mediation cannot be taken in the same semester as Family Mediation.

    The course will be scheduled on two weekends beginning at midday Friday, running all day Saturday, and through the afternoon on Sunday. See schedule for exact times. Attendance during all scheduled class time is mandatory. There will be no exceptions to the attendance requirement.

    If you have a conflict with another course that meets on Friday afternoon, you will have to make arrangements with the professor to miss those classes that conflict with the two Fridays that Family Mediation is scheduled. If those arrangements cannot be made, you will not be able to take Family Mediation. These arrangements must be made at the very start of the semester, so that another course can be scheduled if you are unable to get the excused absences that are necessary to attend Family Mediation.

  • Federal Motions Practice (B)

    Federal Motion Practice Seminar

    Course Description

    This is a practice oriented, "hands on" seminar class where students will prepare written motions or written responses to motions and then argue them before Judge Johnson and/or other judges recruited by Judge Johnson. Students will be assigned criminal and civil motions from actual cases that are typical of what a young lawyer one or two years out of law school could expect to be handling in federal court. Litigation strategies will be discussed as well as topics relating to professional responsibility.

    Class size is limited to twelve students and class will meet at the U.S. Courthouse, 333 Lomas Boulevard in downtown Albuquerque. Proper courtroom attire is required. Students will be graded based on class attendance and participation and on the quality of their written and oral presentations.

    This class is designed for third year and second semester second year students who are interested in becoming litigation attorneys. Students wishing to take this class must have completed an evidence course.

  • Independent Research

    Individual Research

    A student and full-time law school faculty member may agree to an individual research project for one, two, or three hours of credit. It is anticipated that the student will meet with the faculty member regularly during the completion of the project to review the work being done. A written product normally is expected, but its length and content shall be determined by the supervising faculty member. It is the responsibility of the student to confer with the supervisor concerning the progress of the research before the deadline.

    Enrollment for individual research is completed by registration in Individual Research and submission of the approval form for individual research of a project approved in writing by the supervising law school faculty member. This form must be submitted to the law school Assistant Dean for Registration by the end of the second week of classes in any semester.

    No student may receive more than a total of six hours of individual research credit during his or her law school career, except with permission of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

    Limitation: Individual research programs are not intended to serve as substitutes for courses given at the law school. Accordingly, credit may ordinarily not be earned for study in subjects that are covered in classes that have been, are, or will be available to students during their law school careers. This rule does not extend to the following circumstances: (a) the subject matter of the proposed program is not available in the law school curriculum, or (b) the student has registered in the course covering the subject matter, but has been excluded from it because of class size limitations and will not have another opportunity to enroll in that or another course covering the subject matter of the proposed program, or (c) the student has taken, or is taking, a survey or introductory course in the area, and wishes to do advanced work which is not made available in the curriculum.

  • Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation (B)

    Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation

    Course Description

    This course is designed to develop students' skills in the fundamentals of interviewing, counseling, and negotiating agreements. These three skills have been identified by the ABA Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap as essential components of competent lawyering. The course will cover conceptual foundations for understanding the processes involved in interviewing, counseling, and negotiation, with a primary focus on negotiation

  • Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (B)

    Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution

    This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of Dispute Resolution (DR) theory and practice. The course will focus on the basic components of the dispute resolution spectrum: negotiation, mediation, arbitration and hybrid processes. Within these components, the course will examine the legal, ethical, and policy issues that arise from the various DR applications. A theme throughout the semester will be the appropriate selection of DR forums and representation of clients in DR.

  • Law Office Management (D)

    Law Office Management

    Course Description

    In a few months you are going to be licensed to practice law. How will you manage the transition from law school to legal practice? The Law School hopes that you will become a great lawyer. There are many hallmarks of a great lawyer. One such hallmark is technical competence. Much more important is that the practice of law is a people business and will require skills in dealing with and interacting with clients. Second, being a lawyer will require skills in dealing with your staff and support personnel. Third, being a lawyer will require skills in dealing with other lawyers and judges.

    The fact that you performed well at the law school and are willing to work long hours are no longer sufficient to assure that you will be successful in your chosen professional occupation. In any capacity that you may wish to use your degree you must have good communication and management skills to survive in today's competitive marketplace.

    In this course you will learn about real life problems that you will encounter in your professional roles and how to resolve these problems. This course is an introduction to dealing with current, fundamental issues and problems faced by law graduates in organizing and living their professional role.

    The goal of this course will be to discuss with you why management in any context is important. We will discuss how to improve your communication skills, how to manage your cases and files, and how to work with clients and others successfully. You will be shown how to manage your time, bill your time, and how to use your time effectively. We will also discuss planning, budgeting, data management, and other topics relevant to your professional career.

    The course will use a group of practitioners who plan to assist you to be confident about your immediate and long-term future as an attorney.

  • Lawyering in the Digital Age (D)

    Lawyering in the Digital Age

    During latter part of the 20th century lawyers were introduced to the use of technology as an integral part of their practice. The beginning of the 21st century, and especially the during the most recent decade, the pace of the growth of technological applications to law has accelerated tremendously. Social networking, instant communication, access to vast information resources, information capture, automation of lawyering tasks, computer assisted problem solving, technology mediated collaboration, and the use of technology tools for marketing and advocacy are pervasive. This course will focus on the intersection of technology with the practice of law.

    Students will explore the many uses of technology in the practice of law. This exploration will include hands-on learning through the actual use of selected technology tools. While the emphasis will be on the positive uses of technology, the risks to the profession and the ethical challenges posed by the use of technology in practice will also be covered. Students will be expected to attend and actively participate in the classroom component, complete hands on learning assignments involving the use of technology by lawyers, and complete a collaborative project relating to the course topic. The projects work will include a presentation to the class using technology aides other than PowerPoint. There will be no final examination. Finally, the Law School Clinic has agreed to allow students in this class to test their creative thinking about the best uses of technology against the actual uses currently in place in the Clinic, leaving open the possibility of adaptation of expanded and enhanced uses of technology by the clinic.

  • Lawyering in the Public Interest (DC Seminar) (B)

    Lawyering in the Public Interest

    This seminar is an academic class focused on three themes related to Public Interest Lawyering: ethics, federalism, and federal law and policy. The class is also designed to expose students to the wide array of career opportunities in Washington, DC. Each class will involve assigned reading and a guest lecturer. The semester begins by discussing what ethical rules apply to externs and federal employees, and students will attend a continuing legal education class. During the remainder of the semester students will explore issues of federalism (including state-federal-tribal issues) in the context of civil rights, energy law, criminal justice, national security, port security, and the response to Hurricane Katrina. Specifically, the course will address the role of lawyers in making federal policy and examine the forces that influence the work of policy making. Students will consider the various roles that think tanks, lobbyists, politicians, and federal agencies play in shaping policy debates, enacting laws, and implementing policy. Students will also examine the role that the government plays in creating law through enforcement and the role of litigants and judges in shaping the law, including at the Supreme Court.

  • Legal Research (A)

    Legal Research I

    Prerequisite:  LRRW

    Outcomes:  Students who take this course will understand governmental structures and where law comes from; court structures and stare decisis; the relationship between statutes, regulations, cases and agencies; where primary law is officially recorded; how to conduct cost effective research using both online and print formats; concepts of Boolean searching; how to locate Federal and New Mexico constitutions, statutes, regulations, case law and court rules; how statutes, regulations and case law digests are organized and hierarchically structured; how court rules are organized and adopted; how to use statutory annotations to locate related regulations and case law; how to find a public law; how to locate and use ALRs, treatises and law reviews; how to locate forms, checklists, jury instructions; how to update and citate statutes, regulations, and case law; how to locate a parallel citation; how to apply the correct citation form for statutes, regulations and case law under the New Mexico Rules of Citation (N. M. Sup. Ct. R. 23-112). 
    Methodologies:  Lecture and hands on practice opportunities (in and out of class)
    Required textbook:  None
    Assessment:  Graded assignments; final project
    Required text: The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (current edition)(www.legalbluebook.com)

  • Mediation (Basic) (A)

    Mediation

    Course Description

    This training seminar provides people with the opportunity to learn how to negotiate effectively and understand the theory and practice of mediation as a method of alternative dispute resolution. We will use simulations, small group exercises, and concept presentations based on realistic problems to provide an intensive, practice-oriented experience. Topics covered include:

    • tools for analyzing the dispute and selecting the best interventions
    • dealing with resistance and gaining commitment to constructive negotiation
    • mediating multi-party disputes
    • ethical dilemmas
    • strategies for balancing power
    • techniques for breaking impasses
    • reframing
    • assessing mediator competency
    • mediation as assisted decision-making

    Journal or reflective papers will be required. This course will be graded on a CR/C-, D+, D, D-, F basis. The course will be scheduled on two weekends beginning at midday Friday, running all day Saturday, and through the afternoon on Sunday. See schedule for exact times. Attendance during all scheduled class time is mandatory. There will be no exceptions to the attendance requirement.

    Basic Mediation is a prerequisite for Family Mediation and must be taken in a prior semester. Basic Mediation cannot be taken in the same semester as Family Mediation.

    Updated: August 17, 2012

  • Poverty Law (B)

    Poverty Law In Practice

    Course Description

    Poverty Law In Practice is a course designed to expose law students and lawyers to the basic substantive laws and procedures associated with areas where attorneys are needed, and expertise is required. Areas to be covered initially will include: Benefits law (social security benefits--SSDI/SSI, Medicaid, LIHEAP, etc.), Landlord-Tenant/ Public Housing, and Consumer Debt Collection Practices and Used Car Sales Fraud.

    Three substantive areas will be covered in a given semester, with changes in the topics covered in the course based on needs for training in the community and availability of poverty law experts to serve as trainers.

    One goal of the class is to give students an introduction to the need to provide pro-bono and low-bono services. A second goal is to give practitioners competence in these areas of the law so that they can take on as clients, and adequately represent, under-served people. Attorneys who take the class will be asked to take on a pro-bono case in the area covered, and attorneys will be able to take segments for free CLE credit. Students will be required to attend all sessions, observe an attorney who practices in this area, and provide documentation of that observation, in order to earn credit for the course.

    John Feldman will coordinate the class and Sandi Gilley, of Law Access New Mexico, will be the lead instructor. Local attorneys with expertise in the relevant areas of law will also assist in instruction.

    The class will address the need to provide students with a chance to learn about pro-bono work, as required by the American Bar Association, and provide a core of additional attorneys to serve the needs of people as referred by legal services providers and the courts. The class will be set up for distance learning, allowing attorneys throughout the state to take this training.

    As an example of what would be covered in a four hour block on Landlord-Tenant/Public Housing law, students will study the New Mexico Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act and the rules from the Magistrate and Metro courts flowing from the Act. Students and attorneys would be given a benchbook for landlord-tenant practice, which students can use when they take clinic or graduate and take clients, and practitioners can use to bridge the gap that keeps them from taking on clients with these types of legal problems.

  • Remedies (B)
  • Spanish for Lawyers I (D)

    Spanish for Lawyers I

    Course Description

    Pre-req: tested for at least 200 level proficiency
    This course will stress and teach the basic legal terminology that is used in our judicial system in a variety of practice settings. The course will strive to give the practitioner a basic understanding of the legal framework that their Spanish speaking clients come from if they are from countries with civil system traditions. Basic terminology will be taught in the areas of criminal law, domestic relations and minor civil disputes. There will be an emphasis in practical aspects of language usage and the student should enroll with the idea of actively participating.

  • Spanish for Lawyers II (D)

    Spanish for Lawyers II

    Course Description

    This course will stress and teach the basic legal terminology that is used in our judicial system in a variety of practice settings at a more advanced level than Lawyers for Spanish I. The course will strive to give the practitioner a basic understanding of the legal framework that their Spanish speaking clients come from if they are from countries with civil system traditions. Basic terminology will be taught in the areas of criminal law, domestic relations and minor civil disputes. There will be an emphasis in practical aspects of language usage and the student should enroll with the idea of actively participating.

  • Taking & Defending Depositions (C)

    Taking and Defending Depositions

    Taking and Defending Depositions is a course that follows the basic learning and teaching model developed by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. The emphasis is on “learning by doing” in a simulated deposition setting with constructive faculty critique. There will be some lecture and demonstration of deposition skills, along with consideration of ethical and professionalism issues that arise in the context of taking depositions.

  • Transactional Negotiations (D)

    Transactional Negotiations

    Course Description

    This course is structured around a simulated negotiation exercise in which the students in this class will be divided into two teams, with one team representing a pharmaceutical company (KJH Pharmaceutical Corporation) and the other team representing a Mississippi agricultural production company (Mississippi Cotton Corporation). The two companies are interested in working together to exploit a new technology developed by KJH Pharmaceutical that uses the cotton produced by Mississippi Cotton Corporation. The form of their collaboration could be a joint venture, a licensing agreement or a long term supply contract. The negotiations will take place through written exchanges and through live, face to face negotiations.

    The purpose of the course is to provide students with an opportunity (i) to experience the sequential development of a business transaction over an extended negotiation, (ii) to study the businesses, legal issues and strategies that impact the negotiation, (iii) to gain insight into the dynamics of negotiating and structuring business transactions, (iv) to learn about the role that lawyers and law play in these negotiations, (v) to give students experience in drafting communications, and (vi) to provide negotiating experience in a context that replicates actual legal practice.

    NOTE: This class has three 4-hour Saturday morning sessions, and has weekly 75 minute Tuesday or Thursday afternoon sessions. Due to the Saturday sessions, this class will be completed earlier in the semester than other classes.

  • Trial Practice (B)

    Trial Practice

    Course Description

    This course teaches you how to be a trial lawyer through actual preparation and presentation of all segments of a trial. Extensive preparation will be required for each session. Students will learn techniques of basic direct and cross-examinations, impeachment, handling exhibits and demonstrative evidence, jury selection, opening and closing statements, advanced direct and cross-examination, and examination of expert witnesses. They will perform simulated trial exercises and their work will be critiqued by leading members of the New Mexico Bench and Bar.

Legal Theory, History & Philosophy Courses

  • Jurisprudence (D)

    Jurisprudence

    Whether you are aware of it or not, you have imbibed a distinctive philosophy of law along with your legal education. A century ago lawyers and judges had a different understanding of law. Views have continued to change over the generations. Jurisprudence 555 will give students the opportunity to hold up the view of law they has picked up by osmosis in the law school classroom to critical reflection. The class will look at the history of thinking about what law is from the founding of the modern law school to the present. Although philosophies have changed, some fundamental questions have been posed and answered throughout this history: (1) Is law autonomous and distinct from other fields of knowledge and social practices? (2) Is law a science? (3) What is the relationship between law and morality? (4) What do judges do? The course will be divided into two parts. Part I examines the unfolding of the answers to these questions by lawyers, judges and legal scholars over the history that shapes current understanding and practice. In Part II the class will examine the array of jurisprudential movements that play a vital role in contemporary thinking about law. These include the critical jurisprudence movements, critical legal studies, critical race theory, feminist jurisprudence, and law and economics.

  • Spanish for Lawyers I (D)

    Spanish for Lawyers I

    Course Description

    Pre-req: tested for at least 200 level proficiency
    This course will stress and teach the basic legal terminology that is used in our judicial system in a variety of practice settings. The course will strive to give the practitioner a basic understanding of the legal framework that their Spanish speaking clients come from if they are from countries with civil system traditions. Basic terminology will be taught in the areas of criminal law, domestic relations and minor civil disputes. There will be an emphasis in practical aspects of language usage and the student should enroll with the idea of actively participating.

  • Spanish for Lawyers II (D)

    Spanish for Lawyers II

    Course Description

    This course will stress and teach the basic legal terminology that is used in our judicial system in a variety of practice settings at a more advanced level than Lawyers for Spanish I. The course will strive to give the practitioner a basic understanding of the legal framework that their Spanish speaking clients come from if they are from countries with civil system traditions. Basic terminology will be taught in the areas of criminal law, domestic relations and minor civil disputes. There will be an emphasis in practical aspects of language usage and the student should enroll with the idea of actively participating.

Legislative and Constitutional Law Courses

  • Administrative Law (B)

    Administrative Law

    This basic three hour course in Administrative Law studies the legal functioning of government agencies. Agency actions resemble actions of legislatures and courts, prosecutors and advocates, and "neutral" bodies with highly specialized technical expertise. Consequently, interesting problems of procedure, scope of judicial oversight, fundamental fairness and political influence have arisen and are in tension with each other. We will touch on these issues as we focus on the fundamental principles of Administrative Law. We will use a traditional casebook, focused on federal administrative law - where the core principles have been most fully developed.

  • Advanced Constitutional Rights (B)

    Advanced Constitutional Rights

    Course Description

    Advanced Constutional Rights is the continuation of my section's Constitutional Rights course, and focuses on First Amendment issues involving the speech, press, and religion clauses.

  • Church & State (D)

    Church & State

    Course Description

    This course will focus on both the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment. It will discuss the impact of various models of constitutional interpretation, explore the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the “religion clauses,” and consider the proper role of religion in a pluralistic, secular society. The course also will look at many contemporary First Amendment issues. These include, in the context of the Establishment Clause, such topics as religion in public education (e.g., school prayer, creationism), public use of religious symbols and financial support of religion. With regard to the Free Exercise clause, these issues include government regulation of religious practices, the contours of permissible religious expression and government-mandated accommodation of religion in both the educational and employment contexts.

    The class will be taught in a seminar format, and lively discussion is both expected and encouraged.

  • Constitutional Rights (B)

    Constitutional Rights

    This course involves an in-depth inquiry into the building blocks of civil rights law; freedom of expression (speech and press), equal protection, due process, and religious freedom. There will be discussion of litigation strategy and the decision-making processes of the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • >Federal Jurisdiction (B)

    Federal Jurisdiction

    This course concerns the proper place of the federal courts in a federalist system. The nature of federal judicial power, its relationship to federal and state legislative power, and its relationship to state judicial systems are analyzed. The civil rights case is the primary vehicle for this analysis. The course also examines the relationship of tribal judicial systems to federal and state courts.

  • Indian Law (B)

    Indian Law

    This course examines the power of the Indian tribes and the relationships among tribes, states, and the United States. Emphasis will be given to jurisdictional interfaces and conflicts among the three sovereignties.

  • Legislative Drafting (D)

    Legislative Process & Advocacy

    Course Description

    This seminar explores the principles and practices which shape how legislation is conceived, introduced, presented and managed through the legislative process to become law. It explores the role of various actors in the legislative process and numerous “veto gates,” or procedural hurdles that legislation must successfully overcome to avoid being defeated or otherwise derailed. To provide “hands on” experience in conceiving, writing, advocating for, and negotiating the passage of laws, the seminar will conduct a multi-day legislative exercise. Additionally class members will have the opportunity and be expected to work with one of many actors involved in the New Mexico state legislative session that will occur during the semester. Potential roles would involve working with non-profit advocates or groups, legislative committees or executive branch agencies, or individual legislators assisting with legislative projects and analysis. More specific information regarding such roles and opportunities will be developed by the professor in the fall. To extent that students express an interest in the seminar at an early date, it will facilitate optimal student placement. Because some of the most important legislative work is often done well in advance of the session, some of these placements may require making a commitment or doing work prior to the start of the spring semester. Total time commitment throughout the semester will be balanced out to ensure it is appropriate for a 2 or 3 credit course, as the case may be. A limited number of students, with the professor’s approval in advance, may take the course in satisfaction of the law school’s writing requirement.

  • State-Tribal Relations (D)

    State-Tribal Relations

    Course Description

    Tribal, state, and local governments have characteristically acted as if they were in parallel universes whose fates were determined by the gods in Washington. In fact their affairs are intertwined economically, socially, environmentally, and politically, and their fates are largely determined by the behavior of these local governments and the management of their intergovernmental relationship. This course will deal with the inescapable tribal-state relationship, first as a broad set of policy issues and then in a series of substantive areas such as environment, human services and the ever-popular gaming. As the past few years should have demonstrated, this course is NOT just for people with an interest in federal Indian law; it is for anyone who intends to practice in the State of New Mexico and do it right.

  • Supreme Court Decision-Making (C)

    Supreme Court Decision Making

    The focus of this course will be on the process of Supreme Court decision-making. The process questions to be considered during the semester will include the use of history, the treatment of constitutional facts, reasoned decision-making, principled decision-making, the value of precedent, the "art" of overruling, and the retroactivity of constitutional doctrine.

    The class will also sit as "The Court" in a pending case selected from the Supreme Court docket. Each student will be assigned the role of a sitting Justice. After consideration of the briefs and a "Conference" on the case, each member of the class will produce a written opinion expressing the views of his or her Justice.

Property Law Courses

  • Community Property (B)

    Community Property

    Course Description

    The course examines the property rights of married couples, focusing especially on New Mexico community property law, with a comparison to the marital property law of other states. It covers community property ownership and management rights during marriage, at death, and at divorce, and an examination of choice of law issues. Particular emphasis will be placed on classification of property and problems of transmutation, commingling, and apportionment, as well as the treatment of specific types of property, such employment related interests ( e.g., professional degrees and licenses, goodwill, and pensions), credit acquisitions, and gifts.

  • Estate and Retirement Planning (C)

    Estate and Retirement Planning

    Course Description

    Estate and Retirement Planning is a survey course in which students begin to learn how individuals may arrange their affairs such that:

    1. An individual's wealth and well-being will be managed adequately during his or her lifetime, even if the individual becomes incapacitated.
    2. The individual's wealth will pass efficiently (a) through life-time gifts or upon the individual's death to those persons the individual chooses, and (b) in a manner that minimizes taxes and expenses and takes into account the special needs a particular beneficiary may have.

    The course begins with an overview of how property passes at death through the use of wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations or by operation of law. Next is an introduction to estate, gift and income tax considerations in transferring wealth gratuitously. Building on that foundation, the remainder of the course (1) focuses on selected planning issues and on strategies that individuals and couples may use to preserve and transfer wealth gratuitously, and (2) introduces students to aspects of retirement planning, life insurance and annuities, charitable giving and other topics.

    As its name suggests, Estate Planning is a planning course and combines theory with practice. Students learn through readings, sample documents, problem sets, drafting, and class discussion. The course grade is based primarily on writing assignments that require students to draft and explain documents an estate planning attorney is likely to use in practice. Unless taught by an adjunct professor, the course satisfies the law school writing requirement.

  • Federal Estate and Gift Tax (C)

    Federal Estate and Gift Tax

    This course provides an overview of the federal gift tax and federal estate tax. Topics covered include the concept of a gift for federal gift tax purposes, when a gift occurs, components of the gross estate, estate tax deductions, and computation of the gift tax and estate tax. The matters covered in class are illustrated by examples drawn from current estate planning techniques. This course also covers policy issues surrounding proposals for permanent repeal of the estate tax.

  • Intellectual Property Law (B)

    Intellectual Property Law

    This course surveys the law of intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, right of publicity, and the common law of ideas. The course will cover the basic principles of each area of law by discussion and application of relevant cases and statutes. International treaties and foreign law will be considered briefly but will not be the focus of the course. The course will include three brief drafting exercises for documents such as a copyright registration, a licensing agreement, or a non-disclosure agreement as well as a final examination.

  • Property II (B)

    Property II

    Primarily focuses on private land-use arrangements (especially non-possessory interests in land such as easements, real covenants, and equitable servitudes). Other topics include landlord/tenant law, problems arising in the contract for sale of land, methods of title assurance (including the operation of the recording acts), and nuisance. Focus is on general theory and practice, with side-glances at New Mexico law for illustrative purposes.

  • Wills & Trusts (B)

    Wills and Trusts

    Wills continue to be one of the principal means by which an individual directs the disposition of his or her wealth at death, and trusts and other will substitutes are used increasingly to mange and dispose of property. Nevertheless, many decedents’ assets will pass by operation of law in the absence of a will or will substitutes. This course looks at these means for transferring wealth, which makes it a bread-and-butter course for students who anticipate dealing as lawyers with probate and estate planning issues.

    Wills and Trusts explores the ways by which an individual’s property passes at death; how individuals may affect that passage by creating a will or will substitute like a trust during lifetime; what the law requires for a will or will substitute to be enforceable; the extent to which the law may limit the disinheritance of a surviving spouse or child; and how fiduciaries administer estates and trusts.

    The course begins with an overview of basic concepts and then proceeds to examine specific topics, including: intestacy, which provides for distribution of property by operation of law when a person fails to leave a valid will; probate estates; nonprobate transfers and will substitutes; the personal representative’s administration of a probate estate; the requirements for executing a valid will; will components; changes of circumstances after execution; revocation; interpretation; will contests; the creation of testamentary and living trusts; the trustee’s administration of a trust estate; the nature of beneficial interests under a trust instrument; rules of survivorship; future interests; the modification and termination of trusts; and powers of appointment. Estate-planning and end-of-life planning basics may be introduced as time permits.

    The required textbook for this course is "Fundamentals of Trusts and Estates," 3d ed., by Roger Andersen and Ira Bloom (LexisNexis Publishing, 2007). A TWEN Course Web Site will also be used to access assigned statutes and codes, and a class calendar. This course will be graded on a 100-point scale. Students can earn points by satisfactorily drafting a will and completing various other take-home assignments during the course of the semester; in-class quizzes; and a closed book, multiple-choice final exam administered at the end of the semester.