Classes

Primary Courses

The Law of Blockchain

Fall 2018

This course will provide students with an engaging overview of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts to introduce them to the essential information every student should know about the legal implications of this emerging, disruptive global technology. The legal landscape includes government, payment systems, intellectual property, regulation, and civil and criminal liability.

Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt virtually every industry on a global scale in ways neither rivaled nor contemplated since the advent of the Internet. This course will involve individual and group work and challenge students to consider how this technology will impact their lives, their communities, and the world and prepare them to stay on the leading edge of innovation. Additionally, expert guest lecturers from the ecosystem (tech, law, business) will visit the class in person or via Zoom to present current issues, hot topics, and future trends.

Global Perspectives in Copyright

Spring 2018

Copyright law has become an increasingly complex area, particularly in the face of new technologies that challenge and call into question existing copyright laws and doctrines. This advanced seminar explores these legal complexities and relevant policy considerations in light of 21st century realities. This seminar focuses on selected issues of copyright law in greater detail than is possible in the Copyright Law course. Specifically, this course deals with cutting-edge issues through the examination of recent court decisions, laws (both domestic and international), scholarly and related works, and proposed laws regarding copyright. Students are assisted in writing articles of publishable quality on important issues facing the entertainment, computer, online services, publishing, and other industries. The course will include guest speakers who are involved in cutting edge issues in copyright, which will allow students to hear directly from and start networking with practitioners and others involved in copyright law.

Wills Trusts & Estates

Spring 2018

This course examines the various methods by which property is transferred at death. Topics covered include: the law of intestacy; wills, including the interpretation of wills, the formalities of execution and revocation, testamentary capacity, and undue influence; will substitutes, such as inter vivos gifts and joint tenancies; and trusts, including modification and termination, administration, and the rights and interests of beneficiaries and creditors. The course will also examine the inheritance rights of surviving spouses and children, and special considerations regarding health care directives and living wills. The estate, gift and income tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code affecting gratuitous property transfers will be reviewed in limited detail.

Copyright

This course surveys primarily the domestic and international laws and policies of copyright law, with a secondary emphasis on related areas of law such as rights of publicity, unfair competition, contractual protection of ideas in varying degrees. Topics to be covered include the subject matter of copyright; ownership and transfer of copyrights; the rights afforded to copyright owners in the US and via international treaties and conventions; duration of protection; infringement; and remedies.

Entertainment Law

The course will provide a practical and comprehensive overview of the business and legal issues arising in the entertainment industry, including motion pictures, television, music, book publishing and ethics. The topics will include acquisition of rights, talent agreements, project financing and structures, distributor and licensing agreements. The course will survey the various areas of the law that impact the entertainment industry, such as contract, business organizations, securities, labor, copyright, trademark and right of privacy/publicity law.

Entertainment Law & New Technologies

This seminar covers and analyzes the cutting edge legal issues and principles, developments, and business practices in the entertainment industry. Primary emphasis is on the impact of digital technology and the Internet in the film, television, publishing and music industries, but the course may also address fashion, gaming, and virtual worlds and their currencies. Although the specific topics covered in a given semester will vary and be driven by the current headlines, likely areas of interest include constitutional protection of entertainment projects, copyright protection, creative control, credit, defamation, enforcement of contracts, idea disclosure, impact of new technologies, marketing of entertainment product, privacy, right of publicity, social regulation of entertainment products, talent representatives and trademark protection.

Each student will be expected to participate in class discussions (including weekly “hot topics” debates), maintain a Twitter account specifically for this class to microblog about issues relevant to the class, write a paper of publishable quality on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the professor, and make an in-class presentation on the topic.

Other Courses

Property I

This course studies the basic elements of the law of real and personal property. Topics in personal property may include ownership and possession, finders’ rights, bailments, bona fide purchasers, gifts, bank accounts, and accession. Topics involving real property include adverse possession, estates and future interests, marital interests, concurrent ownership, and landlord-tenant law. The course may also include other topics which are covered in more detail in upper level electives: nuisance law, zoning, constitutional limitations on public land use regulations, eminent domain, private land use restrictions (easements, licenses, servitudes), and real estate conveyancing and recording.

Property II

Property II is a continuation of Property I. It explores the law of  private land use control law through easements, covenants, and servitudes and public land use control law through governmental police powers and eminent domain.