School of Law
1045 W. Maple St.
Robert A. Leflar Law Center
Waterman Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 575-5601

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Selected Spring 2014 Course Descriptions

ABOTA: Trial Prac Series

Instructor: David Matthews – M 8:00-9:50

ISIS 5121, LAWW 500(2)

This course features a slate of seasoned trial attorneys and judges, all members of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). ABOTA’s primary objective is to educate the American public about the history and value of the right to trial by jury. In this course, these experienced practitioners will use lectures and trial practice materials to help develop our next generation of trial attorneys and judges.

Created by the Arkansas Chapter of ABOTA and scheduled first thing Monday mornings to accommodate the trial dockets of its featured speakers, the series will cover a series of topics relevant to both pre-trial and trial practice, including such topics as:

  • The Evaluation of a Case
  • Preparation, Presentation and Argument on Jury Instructions
  • Preparation of witnesses
  • Pretrial Motions and Conferences; Scheduling Orders
  • Civility in the Courtroom; Dealing with Judges
  • Voir Dire
  • Opening Statement
  • Direct Examination of Witnesses
  • Cross-Examination of Witnesses
  • Making and Defending Objections
  • Presentation and Cross-Examination of Experts, with some treatment of the psychology of the expert witness
  • Closing Arguments

Professor Kathryn Sampson will coordinate these lectures and also administer a final exam. The textbooks for this course are: James W. McElhaney, McElhaney’s Trial Notebook, and R. Lawrence Dessem, Pretrial Litigation in a Nutshell.

American Indian Law Clinic

Dean Leeds – Day and Time TBD

ISIS 11037, LAWW 648(2 or 3 credits) Section 005

Emphasizes the development of legal infrastructure within tribal governance structures and the practice of American Indian law in the federal and tribal systems. Students will represent American Indian tribes or advocacy organizations in matters involving: the development of tribal law through drafting statutes and codes, the enforcement of federal and tribal rights, and provide support to tribal justice systems, including fostering intergovernmental relationship between tribal, state and federal entities. The course focuses on selected current American Indian law topics and the development of lawyering skills. Enrollment prerequisite is American Indian Law or the permission of the instructor.

Bar Exam Substance & Strategies

Instructor: Pamela Vesilind – TTh 2:00-3:15

ISIS 10809, LAWW 500(3)

In Bar Exam Substance & Strategies, you will sharpen the analytical and writing skills that, with repetition, will raise your chances of passing the bar exam. You will master complex multiple choice questions like those on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), and refine your approach to answering essay questions. Throughout the semester, you will be responsible for studying and outlining key legal rules in each substantive area on the MBE: Torts, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Contracts, Constitutional Law, and Property. This course is not a substitute for a post-graduation bar prep course. Instead, it is an opportunity to identify possible vulnerabilities in time to address them. Grading will be based on individual improvement.

Business Lawyering Skills

Prof. Goforth – WF 8:00-9:50

ISIS 10591, LAWW 5213

Business Lawyering Skills, formerly called Business Planning, is a 3-credit certified skills class designed around a series of client-based simulations. All of the exercises are designed to introduce you to various aspects of what it would be like to represent clients who want you to assist them in connection with some aspect of setting up and starting a new or relatively new business enterprise. The exercises will include drafting a client representation letter, conducting and observing simulated client interviews, participating in a simulated negotiation, doing lease or other document review, a mock arbitration, a mock business mediation, and preparation of a client memo and organizational documents. You must have completed Business Organizations BEFORE enrolling in this course. Federal Income Taxation of Individuals is helpful but not required. Grades are assigned primarily on the basis of drafting projects. A portion of the grade is based on class participation and exercises. There is no final exam.

Capital Punishment

Instructor: Sacharoff – WF 8:35-9:50

This course examines the death penalty in America. It begins with the big questions, including whether we can ever justify imposing the death penalty and whether we can do so fairly. But we will spend most of our time reading Supreme Court cases to understand how the death penalty works in practice and to understand the complex rules the Court has established in an effort to make a death sentence just, fair and accurate. On the substantive side we will examine such questions as whether it is constitutional to execute the innocent, or to execute the guilty who are juveniles or mentally retarded; on the procedural side, we will see how the Court has tried to balance individualized justice with the need for fairness and uniformity. The grade will depend upon a final exam and participation.

Child Welfare Practice

Instructor: Sharum – Th 4:00-6:40

ISIS 8760, LAWW 648(3), Section 003

Child Welfare Practice is a three-credit litigation skills course that will introduce students to the practice of law in Arkansas’s child welfare system. Students will learn the substantive law that governs civil cases involving the abuse and neglect of children by parents and other caretakers, as well as litigation and professional practice skills such as trial strategy, hearing practice, and witness examination. Students will also gain practical experience in applying these skills through simulated hearings that will follow three real-to-life cases from the initial investigation to the return of children to the custody of their parents, the termination of parental rights, and other possible outcomes. Each student will receive feedback on his or her efforts from the instructor as well as from judges and practitioners from around the state, all with the goal of giving each student the confidence and the skills to be successful lawyers in and out of the courtroom.

Civil Clinic

Professor Annie Smith – M 3:00-5:00

The Civil Clinic represents low-income clients seeking to enforce their rights in a variety of civil matters, including unpaid wage cases and unemployment appeals. Under close faculty supervision, students develop and refine their ability to effectively and ethically practice law. Students handle all aspects of client representation, including interviewing and counseling, fact investigation and discovery, negotiation, and court appearances. Students also participate in a weekly seminar and may have the opportunity to engage in other forms of advocacy.

Counseling Homeowners on Mortgage Foreclosure

Instructor: Nate Coulter – M 3:20-5:20

ISIS 5116, LAWW 500(2) Section 002

Counseling Homeowners on Mortgage Foreclosure will be a graded, two credit seminar focusing on the substantive issues of Arkansas mortgage law and defending foreclosure actions. The class will address predatory lending and loan servicing practices, with particular emphasis on the recently adopted servicing standards of the Consumer Finance Protection Board, and various loan modification programs facilitated by the federal government. In addition to the study of these substantive areas, there will be two clinical components to the class. Students will attend a drop in foreclosure clinic on two occasions where they will interview homeowners facing foreclosure, answer questions about foreclosure law, and offer attorney-supervised legal assistance. Students will also make a short presentation to a northwest Arkansas community organization that serves homeowners facing foreclosure. Students will draw upon their substantive knowledge developed in the first portion of the class for both practicum settings later in the term. In addition to the students’ classroom participation, grades will be based on the quality, accuracy, organization and effectiveness of their (1) contributions to the substantive materials generated collectively for use in the clinical settings; (2) notes and reports on their clinical experiences with homeowners; and (3) speaking activities in the community organization outreach sessions.

Deposition Practice

Instructor: Elliott – January 6-10 (1-week Intersession) 9:00-11:30a

ISIS 1030, LAWW 500(1), Section 006

The focus of this class is to teach how to take, defend and use depositions in civil cases. There will be extensive study of Rules 28-32 of the Arkansas and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Additionally, the State and Federal cases applicable to depositions will be discussed and reviewed. Further, we will discuss the practicality of a deposition such as the timing, scheduling and expenses in depositions. Guest speakers will include a certified Court Reporter, a defense lawyer and a plaintiff lawyer. Finally, the students will observe parts of several video depositions followed by a discussion. Final grade will be based on a final examination and class attendance. Final grades will be based on the following criteria:

Classroom Participation and Attendance (10%): I will base your classroom participation and attendance grade on your preparedness for, and participation in, classroom discussions. I hope to foster an interactive classroom, for which I will need your assistance. Students are expected to be punctual. Attendance is mandatory and in the event a student misses a class 5% will be deducted from their grade.

Drug Law

Instructor: McKee – TTh 1:00-1:50

ISIS 5124, LAWW 500(2), Section 010

This course will provide an introduction to articles regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. While the course will focus on prescription drugs, it will also cover other products regulated by the FDA including food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and medical devices.

Topics covered will include the drug and device approval processes, prescription drug advertising, generic drug competition, the regulation (or lack thereof) of dietary supplements and cosmetics, and drug development for rare diseases.

This course will be open to both J.D. and LL.M. students. While knowledge of administrative law will be helpful, a prior course on administrative law will not be required. Similarly, a prior course on food law will be helpful but is not required. Students will each be given the choice of a paper on any topic covered in the course or an in-class open book exam.

Effective Corporate Compliance Programs

Instructor: Asbury/Sommer – M 5:30-7:20

ISIS 5120, LAWW 500(1), Section 008

This course will provide a high-level overview of the importance and structure of an effective compliance program within a business, with the purpose of mitigating legal risk. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines specify the elements of an effective compliance program, and federal agencies like the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human services, as well as some state agencies (New York Office of Medicaid Inspector General) have interpreted these or implemented them through regulation. Students who choose to work for a corporation (even in the legal department) will need to be familiar with how that corporation implements the elements of an effective compliance program, so as to effectively defend or advise the corporation. We request the students to purchase Compliance 101: How to Build and Maintain an Effective Compliance and Ethics Program by Debbie Troklus, Greg Warner, and Emma Wollschalger Schwartz, which can be found on the bookstore. Additional course material will be listed in the syllabus and be available on the internet. This will be a springboard for the more in-depth legal discussions that will take place during class.

Environmental Law

Instructor: Vesilind – MTTh 11:00-11:50

ISIS 2314, LAWW 6913

In under an hour, the town of Mayflower is deluged by 84,000 gallons of thick black sludge erupting from an oil pipeline. On New Year’s Eve 2010, 5,000 birds fall from the sky over Beebe, Arkansas. The City of Fayetteville finds its new wastewater treatment plant the target of a lawsuit that goes all the way to the Supreme Court. The USDA urges Arkansas farmers to prepare for the effects of climate change. These events illustrate human impact on the natural environment. How are these impacts measured and regulated, and why do they matter? This course examines how governmental regulatory agencies, the judiciary, and various stakeholders have shaped our national and state environmental policies. You will become familiar with major environmental statutes and case law, and gain insight into the important work of environmental lawyers.

Essential Legal Research

Professor Thompson – M Th 9:00-9:50

ISIS 5209, LAWW 500(2), Section 021

This course covers the research techniques, books, and databases essential to practicing law. Skills developed include creating a research plan to solve specific practice problems, identifying and locating all of the case law, regulations, and statutes on a question in a jurisdiction and determining their current status through later citation, accessing government documents, assessing what statutes and regulations are in force at a given time, locating or creating legislative histories, locating foreign law, locating international law, determining how best to use treatises, monographs, and journals, and developing elementary skills in finding and utilizing materials and resources from other disciplines, such as medicine, science, or the social sciences.

European Law, Commerce, and Education

Instructor: McLeish — TTh, 3:30-5:40

ISIS 5196, LAWW 500(2), Section 012

European Law, Commerce, and Education will meet T,Th, from 3:30-5:40 pm, from Feb. 4 to March 12. It is a two-hour class, though students in some university divisions may enroll for a three-hour option by completing a research paper by April 30. The course includes an introduction to the recent history of Europe focusing on the foundation of the European Union, the legal structures of governance and regulation in the EU, and the regulatory balance between the EU and the member states of Europe, with a focus on the institutions of currency and finance that have affected the global economy. The course will next focus on the commercial law and culture of Europe with an emphasis on information needed for American corporations and individuals doing business in an EU state. The course will then take the problems of sport and football (“soccer”), which Europeans consider an economic and public sector, and focus on these enterprises as a case study in commercial, regulatory, and social integration. The course is taught by the Right Honorable Henry McLeish, fellow of Cambridge and of Edinburgh, a former Member of Parliament in the UK, former member of the UK government under Tony Blair, and former First Minister of Scotland, and former professional footballer.

General Practice Capstone II

Instructor: K. Sampson – W 2:15-4:55

ISIS 10811, LAWW 500(3), Section 015

General Practice Capstone II provides students with practical information to help transition directly from law school to a general practice, and to give the students tools to recognize sophisticated legal issues that should be referred to specialized counsel. In the Spring 2014 session, the focus will turn to matters before specialized tribunals with a particular focus on state administrative law proceedings. Among the legal matters taken up during the spring semester will be worker’s compensation, unemployment appeals, liquor licenses, private proper takings for public works, matters managed by a part-time city attorney, simple bankruptcy processing, social security disability, matters involving public utilities, and rudimentary immigration matters.

The fall semester General Practice Capstone I course offered is not a prerequisite for the General Practice Capstone II spring semester course, and students may earn credit for both the Capstone I & II courses.

The School of Law’s Director of Capstone Courses will arrange for experienced practitioners to present a series of workshops on discrete practice areas and will administer an objective exam (short answer and multiple choice) during the finals period. In the General Practice Capstone II course, practitioners will provide checklists, sample pleadings, common forms, and other practice aids to help students build a useful forms file that will help them navigate the legal system during their early years of practice.

Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation

Dean Circo – WF 8:35-9:50a

ISIS 10697 LAWW 648(3)

This course provides instruction and practice in interviewing and counseling clients and in negotiating on behalf of clients in a wide variety of situations. In addition to teaching strategies and techniques, the course will provide extensive practice through the use of simulated exercises. When you complete this course, you should be familiar with the most common interviewing, counseling, and negotiating techniques and strategies, and you should be able to implement those techniques and strategies in many different situations that lawyers face. This course satisfies the skills requirement. By including adjunct professors working with a full-time professor, this course will provide feedback and assessment to students from multiple perspectives in an arrangement that permits enrollment of more students than is possible in a more traditional skills course structure taught by a single professor. Students who have already taken the separate Interviewing and Counseling course or the separate Negotiations course may not take this course.

The Law of Democracy and Elections

Instructor: Coulter – W 2:15-4:05

ISIS 10597, LAWW 533(2)

The Law of Democracy and Elections will be a graded, two credit seminar focusing on the legal structure of the political process. The class will address the right to vote, representation and apportionment, including partisan gerrymandering, campaign spending and contribution limits and disclosure, public financing, preclearance and the Voting Rights Act, campaign administration including access to participation/voter ID and judicial elections. In addition to the students’ classroom participation, grades will be based on a final paper.


Instructor: Taylor – M 3:20-6:15

ISIS 5692, LAWW 7073

(This course requires that students attend classes on Saturday, January 11, and Sunday, January 12, for 6 hours each day (exact times TBD). Other required class meetings will be on Mondays as indicated, with the final class meeting before Spring Break. Course description and further details to be provided.)

Mergers & Acquisitions

Prof. Foster — WF 10:00-10:50

ISIS 5117 LAWW 500(2)

Mergers and Acquisitions involves the study of a wide variety of transactions in both publicly traded and private company contexts. The class explores the legal, economic, business, and tax issues involved in structuring mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, spin-offs, divestitures, and related transactions. The course covers the mechanics of these transactions under both Delaware law (the predominant state for publicly traded companies) and other statutory regimes, as well as the theoretical underpinnings and case law giving rise to standard practices. Significant time is devoted to directors’ duties and shareholder rights related to or arising out of both invited and hostile transactions.

In the optional Mergers and Acquisitions Lab, students work through the documentation of a transaction from start to finish. This practice-oriented component focuses on the drafting considerations and techniques employed in early stage confidentiality agreements, deal-consummating purchase or merger contracts, and even post-closing filings.

Military Law

Instructor: Dak Kees – Tu 9:00-9:50a

ISIS 8764, LAWW 500(1)

This 1-hour course explores the nature and function of military law today. Topics examined include the constitutional rights of military personnel; court-martial jurisdiction and offenses; the roles of commanders, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the president; domestic issues such as child custody, marital property and retirement benefits. The course will focus on real life scenarios that allow the students an opportunity to apply client counseling techniques, analytical thinking as applied to trial strategy, and negotiation opportunities.

Museums, Conflict, and Law

Professor Don Judges – Mondays, 4:00-7:00

ISIS: 5197, LAWW 500(2), Section 013

This course looks at the history, purpose, and legal structure of museums; the significance of national laws, international treaties and the ethical considerations that govern acquisition, accessioning, deaccessioning, deacquisition, loaning, borrowing and conserving art and antiquities. We will explore such questions as how museums deal with the art and antiquities market, with artists’ rights, and with cultural property during conflict. In Rome, the focus will be on how Italy investigates art and antiquity theft and provides for recovery and return.


Professor Rob Leflar – Th 2:00-3:50

ISIS 2332, LAWW 406(2)

This seminar is certified as an upper level writing course and will compare how the U.S., Canada, and various European and Asian countries (including Japan) approach key issues in the area of law and health. Topics to be addressed include the right to health care; the rights of patients (malpractice law, informed consent, and confidentiality); and bioethics (abortion, assisted reproduction, and the right to die). The comparative perspective should inform students’ appreciation of current controversies about reform of the U.S. health care system.

The seminar will meet Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:50 pm. It is open to all 2Ls and 3Ls. There are no prerequisites, although students who have taken Health Law or Health Policy will find some of the issues to be familiar.

All students will submit research papers (25 pages minimum), which will be the chief basis for students’ grades. Students must obtain my approval of their paper topics, submit a preliminary outline and a preliminary draft that I will critique, make presentations to the seminar about their paper topics, and critique other students’ presentations. There is no exam. Students successfully completing the seminar will have fulfilled the law school’s upper-level writing requirement.

The seminar is limited to 15 students. I will accept advance applications until 9:00 am Wednesday, Nov. 13 and will circulate a notice to accepted students by 5:00 pm that same day, prior to general registration Nov. 14. If places remain after advance applications are considered, they will be filled on a first-come first-served basis in general registration.

To apply for a place in the seminar, please provide me a one- or two-paragraph statement of your reasons for wanting to take the seminar, your background (if any) relating to health or medical issues or international studies, and any other pertinent information (such as the titles of any research papers you have previously written on any subject). You may send your application to or drop it by my office, Room 207.

The main coursebook will be T.S. Jost, Readings in Comparative Health Law and Bioethics (2d ed. 2007; $45 paper; used copies available and table of contents viewable at Supplementary materials will be provided by Mr. Leflar.

This seminar will offer students the opportunity to step back and consider some of the larger issues at the intersection of law, science, and society. Students whose concerns are fixed solely on nuts-and-bolts aspects of legal practice and how to pass the bar exam may prefer to look elsewhere.

School of Law

1045 W. Maple St.
Robert A. Leflar Law Center
Waterman Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 575-5601

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University of Arkansas School of Law