Legal Studies Courses Fall 2020

Check the schedule of classes for days and times: http://classes.berkeley.edu

R1B: Class Action Litigation: Policy and Practice, Meredith Spoto, 4 units, Area N/A

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

This seminar will focus on the social policies undergirding class action legislation, and how different actors and judicial interpretations ensure or detract from those goals in practice. Students will learn about class action litigation from the perspective of a new practitioner in the field, and the course will be excellent preparation for developing the skills required for first year law school courses. Students will begin by reading The Buffalo Creek Disaster, one of the greatest triumphs of class action litigation. Once students have a basic understanding of how a class action operates and why they exist, students will read primary source material, including relevant portions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and legislative history and related case caselaw illuminating how the concepts contained within these documents play out in the real world. Through this course, students will gain a solid foundation in reading and interpreting case law, and will learn how to write a simple legal brief. By reading caselaw that illuminates various aspects of class action litigation in practice—including certification, settlement, and objection—students will delve deeply into a variety of applications of the law that either serve or thwart the goals of class action legislation. The writing portion of the course will challenge students to choose two to three cases as exemplars and develop a thesis, drawing on the course materials for the entire semester, addressing how those cases align or conflict with the policy intentions of the legislation.

NOTE: R1B courses must be taken for a letter grade.

39D:  Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution  Frosh/Soph Seminar, Alan Pomerantz, 2 units, Area N/A

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

We will read Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum, and consider not only the opinions of the Justices, but also why they hold those opinions. We will seek to discover the way in which courts use authority and craft law.

100:  Foundations of Legal Studies, Morrill, 4 units, Core (H, SS)

This is a liberal arts course designed to introduce students to the foundational frameworks and cross-disciplinary perspectives from humanities and social sciences that distinguish legal studies as a scholarly field. It provides a comparative and historical intro to forms, ideas, institutions, and systems of law and sociological ordering. It highlights basic theoretical problems and scholarly methods for understanding questions of law and justice.

102 – Policing and Society, Perry, 4 units, Area I

This course examines the American social institution of policing with particular emphasis on urban law enforcement. It explores the social, economic and cultural forces that pull policing in the direction of state legal authority and power as well as those that are a counter-weight to the concentration of policing powers in the state. Special attention is given to how policing shapes and is shaped by the urban landscape, legal to cultural.

103:  Theories of Law & Society, Lieberman, 4 units, Core (H, SS) or Area II

Surveys leading attempts to construct social theories of law and to use legal materials for systematic social theorizing, during the period from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century.  The course considers major discussions of such themes as the relationships between law, politics, society and economy; the connection between historical change and legal change; the role of law in the processes of social integration and social discipline; and the distinctive elements of legal ordering in the modern west.

106:  Philosophy of Law, Kutz, 4 units, Area IV or V

This course explores philosophical themes bearing on the nature of the law and its relationship to morality: e.g., What is law—does its claim rest only on social processes or does law necessarily embody moral claims? Do we have an obligation to obey the law? What are the moral limits of legal punishment? The course will sharpen students’ skills in practical reasoning through the analysis of logical argument. The materials consist of readings from the assigned text and additional readings available on bCourses. The format will be a combination of lecture and classroom discussion, with a substantial number of ungraded group debates and simulations.

107:  Theories of Justice, Kutz, 4 units, Core (H) or Area II or III or IV

This is a lecture course in political philosophy, focusing on liberal political theory which emphasizes the protection of individual freedom as against social demands, the maintenance of social and economic equality, and the neutrality of the state in conditions of cultural and religious pluralism.  By studying mainly modern authors, we will attempt to understand the importance of these goals and the possibility of their joint fulfillment. Attention will be paid to the work of John Rawls, to the problem of moral and political disagreement, and the relation between “ideal” thinking about justice and thinking about justice in conditions of racial, gender, and class hierarchies.

107WI:  Writing Intensive Discussion Section 101 for Theories of Justice
This is one of the discussion sections for LS 107. It is a writing intensive discussion section. LS107WI section differs from the other sections for LS107 in that it is more demanding, and will serve as a forum for intense and iterative development of analytical writing and speaking skills. It is sponsored by the campus Art of Writing program. The 107WI section will generally be longer (up 10 1.5 hours long) and will feature weekly writing assignments and in-class debates (with out-of-class preparation). It is aimed at students anticipating careers in fields that require the deployment of complex arguments about politics and justice, including law, public service, and education. One further independent study credit will be available to students in the section. LS107 and 107WI share the same requirements for graded work, which will include 2 analytical papers, an editorial, an in-class final exam, and an ungraded, peer-reviewed take-home midterm.

The lecture component of the two courses is identical (same room, same time, same lectures). Only this LS 107WI section differs. You should enroll in LS107WI if, but only if, you are willing to put in extra work (and reap corresponding benefits) in this course to develop your writing and speaking. Places are limited and enrolment will be by application to the instructor. If you are principally interested just in learning about theories of justice, you should enroll in LS107 or PS117.

Students, after applying and being chosen by Prof. Kutz (see below), will sign up for LS 107WI and attend the same lecture as those enrolled in LS 107.

Application instructions: Students interested in enrolling in LS107WI should send the instructor, Professor Kutz, ckutz@berkeley.edu, a short paragraph describing their interest in the course and in the writing-intensive section.  Please also submit a sample piece of essay/paper writing you have done in college (6 pages maximum length).  It does not need to have been graded.

125: Human Rights and War Crimes Investigations: Methods, Koenig, 4 units, Area I or IV

This seminar offers an introduction to the concept and practice of human rights research and investigations, with an emphasis on the collection and analysis of online open source information. In addition to lectures and readings, the course will engage students in the Human Rights Investigations Lab at Berkeley Law’s Human Rights Center, an effort that supports the work of Amnesty International, the Syrian Archive, and a number of other organizations that are working to bring awareness to and collect evidence in support of international atrocity cases, including human rights law firms and international commissions of inquiry. In the seminar and lab, students will have an opportunity to engage in one or more real-world investigations.

130: Human Rights: The Native Experience, Elizabeth Tejada, 4 units, Area IV or V

This course highlights aspects of the development and implementation of human rights in society. Cases reveal the question facing all nations: to what extent should indigenous peoples be secure in their land, cultural integrity, political and economic rights. Fundamentally, this inquiry depends on recognizing the existence of inalienable and indivisible rights afforded to all humans.

C134: Membership & Migration: Empirical & Normative Perspectives, 4 units, Song/Bloemraad, Area II or V

We will explore questions about migration and membership in the contemporary world by drawing on empirical and normative perspectives. By “empirical,” we investigate what social science evidence tells us about the drivers of migration or the benefits of citizenship. By “normative,” we think through questions of what a society ought to do: what is the morally right, just, or fair thing to do about issues of migration and citizenship?

Also offered as Sociol C146M. Sociol C146M will count towards the Legal Studies major.

138:  The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Ben Brown,  4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV or V

This course examines a number of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions in terms of what policy alternatives were available to the Court and which ones it chose. Prospective costs and benefits of these alternatives and who will pay the costs and who gets the benefits of them are considered. Among the areas considered are economic development, government regulation of business, national security, freedom of speech and discrimination. Readings are solely of Supreme Court decisions.

140:  Property & Liberty, Ben Brown, 4 units, Area II or III

The course will explore the relation between property law and limits of liberty in different cultures and at different times.  The course will cover theories of property law, slavery, the clash between aboriginal and European ideas of property, gender roles and property rights, common property systems, zoning, regulatory takings, and property on the internet. Readings will include legal theorists, court cases, and historical case studies.

145:  Law & Economics I, Prof. Bruno Salama, 4 units, Core (SS) or Area III

This course introduces economics as a tool for analyzing, evaluating and interpreting the legal framework that underpins a market economy. The first part examines the most basic legal foundations of markets, namely property, contract, corporate, tort, administrative and criminal law. The second part introduces relevant topics in the regulation of markets. It covers a few conceptual questions (the role of efficiency considerations in law and policy, the concept of regulations and the role of courts, and the dilemma between growth and distribution) as well as applied topics such as insurance, bankruptcy, labor, family, antitrust, and intellectual property law.

149:  Law, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Bruno Salama, 4 units, Area III

Entrepreneurship plays an increasingly essential role in today’s global economy.  New companies and startups play valuable roles in the formation of new industry, also spurring established incumbent companies towards further growth.  This course is designed to explore the role of law in facilitating the development of entrepreneurial enterprises, paying special attention to the complex interaction between innovation and regulation.

152AC: Human Rights & Technology, Michael Chang, 4 units, Area II or III or IV

Scientific advances promise great increases in social good, but whether those advancements herald a better or worse world, depends on how scientific knowledge is applied. Applying scientific knowledge in the service of humanity is challenging, and requires an informed, deliberate method. Through lectures, discussions, case studies, and field research, students will gain an understanding of the international human rights framework, historical and social context for contemporary human rights violations, insights into the role of race, gender, and technology in structural inequality, opportunities to work across disciplines on real-world design challenges, and experience assessing needs and designing for specific, selected human rights apps.

***Canceled***153: Law & Society in Asia, Marshall, 4 units, Area II or V

This course offers a comparative perspective on law and legal institutions. Looking comparatively helps shed light on our own system and question what is “normal” or “natural.” From what it means to be a lawyer to notions of what is “just” or “fair,” courts and dispute resolution outside the U.S. can be both very different and, at times, surprisingly familiar. After an overview of concepts and classic approaches to the study of law and society, the course will explore these differences and similarities in three Asian settings: China, Japan, and India. Topics include lawyers, illicit sex, and environmental protection, to see how each country’s history, political structure, values, and interests shape how legal issues are defined and play out. ***Canceled***

160.1:  Punishment, Culture, & Society, Perry, 4 units, Core (H,SS) or Area I or II

This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls “penality”) from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and consequences of what some have called “mass imprisonment.” To gain some comparative perspective the course will also take up contemporary penality (or penalities) in Europe, South Africa, Central America, and Asia, as well as US penality and society at some earlier conjunctures.
In our analysis of penality, we will draw upon a range of social science theories with general relevance but with particularly rich application to the study of punishment. These theories provide the “tool kits” we will use to interpret and analyze multiplex implications of punishment and its relationship to changes in economic, social, and political relations associated with modernization and more recently the globalization of modern capitalism. The course will examine many examples of penal practices and the ideas associated with them including mass imprisonment, the death penalty, and restorative justice. In the last portion of the class we will examine the recent crisis in California’s juvenile prisons through the lenses both of different social theories and the examples of different national and historical penal patterns.

160.2:  Punishment, Culture, & Society, Kristin Sangren, 4 units, Core (H,SS) or Area I or II

This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls “penality”) from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and consequences of what some have called “mass imprisonment.” To gain some comparative perspective the course will also take up contemporary penality (or penalities) in Europe, South Africa, Central America, and Asia, as well as US penality and society at some earlier conjunctures.
In our analysis of penality, we will draw upon a range of social science theories with general relevance but with particularly rich application to the study of punishment. These theories provide the “tool kits” we will use to interpret and analyze multiplex implications of punishment and its relationship to changes in economic, social, and political relations associated with modernization and more recently the globalization of modern capitalism. The course will examine many examples of penal practices and the ideas associated with them including mass imprisonment, the death penalty, and restorative justice. In the last portion of the class we will examine the recent crisis in California’s juvenile prisons through the lenses both of different social theories and the examples of different national and historical penal patterns.

164:  Juvenile Justice & the Color of Law: The Historical Treatment of Children of Color in the Judicial System – Delinquency & Dependency, Trina Thompson, 4 units, Area I or II or IV

Juvenile Justice and the Color of Law investigates the profound role of law and legal institutions in shaping and defining racial minority and majority communities. Students will interrogate the definition and meaning of race in U.S. society (e.g., whether race is biological, cultural, environmental, based on White supremacy, or a social construct that is constantly being transformed) and will critically examine the connection between law, race and racism, both in the historical context and in modern society. The course is a collaborative effort to learn the truths of our collective history; to share the truths of our individual experiences and lives; and, to determine if we desire a more just society, and if so, how to create our own paths and contributions to this endeavor.

170:  Crime & Criminal Justice, Elizabeth Tejada, 4 units, Area I

This course examines the scope and causes of the crime problem in America, and the uses and limits of our criminal justice system in dealing with it. The class will look at recent trends in crime and at how our crime problem compares with that of other countries. Topics include the massive expansion of the American prison system in recent years and its effect on the crime rate, critical analyses of different theories of the causes of crime, strategies for preventing and controlling crime, death penalty, gun control, white-collar crime, and crime in the family.

180: Implicit Bias, Plaut, 4 units, Area IV

Implicit bias—automatic or unconscious stereotyping and prejudice that guides  our perception of and behavior toward social groups—is one of the fastest growing areas of law and psychology.  It also lies at the heart of one of the raging debates in American Law: whether the results of psychological studies showing the operation of unconscious gender, racial, and other biases can be used as courtroom evidence to prove discrimination.  Students will be introduced to cutting edge research that bears not only on the highly relevant substantive areas of employment discrimination and criminal law, but also on questions regarding other legal contexts, such as communications, voting, health care, immigration, and property.  Students will learn how implicit bias works, how to interpret and use empirical research findings from psychology, how to understand the major critiques of implicit bias research, and how to understand courts’ use of implicit bias findings. Remedies to implicit bias will be discussed throughout the course.

184: Sociology of Law, Kristin Sangren, 4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV

This introductory course explores major issues and debates in the sociology of law.  Topics include theoretical perspectives on the relationship between law and society, theories of why people obey (and disobey) the law, the relationship between law and social norms, the “law in action” in litigation and dispute resolution, the roles of lawyers, judges, and juries in the legal system and in society, and the role of law in social change.  The course will examine these issues from an empirical perspective.

190.2: Liberty, Equality, Privilege and the US Constitution, Alan Pomerantz, 4 units, Area IV or V

Personal liberty and inalienable rights have been a central tenet guiding our nation since the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The government was created to protect those liberties. But the founding documents were drafted by men of privilege who for decades occupied the important governmental and judicial positions of power. Accordingly, it was inevitable that the preservation of those privileges and the resulting inequities regarding race, the status of woman, sexual preference, gender and voting became imbedded. These inequities began to be addressed beginning with the Civil War, and accelerated after World War II when the federal government and the Supreme Court began to mandate equality at the expense of certain individual liberties and privileges. Recently, the trend has moved back towards protecting individual liberties and historic privileges at the expense of mandated equal treatment. But now the constitutional arguments are different and are based on religious freedom, individual morality, an expanded definition of verbal and “non-verbal” speech and prohibitions on government mandated speech and behavior. In the coming terms, the Supreme Court will be asked to re-examine issues regarding religious freedoms, race, health care, gender, abortion, and self identity through the lens of the developing emphasis on individual rights and privileges.
The course will address the evolution of the Supreme Court’s and federal government’s
activities in areas where liberty and equality are in conflict. The goal is to understanding the current political situation and the likely outcome of decisions the Court will be asked to make that implicate the inherent conflict between individual freedom and mandated equality.

190.3: Minority Rights: The Israeli Balance, Roy Peled, 4 units, Area IV or V

The murder of George Floyd and the following unrest across the United States have shown how far the nation is from racial equality, even more than 150 years after the abolition of slavery and 50 years after major civil rights’ legislation. Why is racial hostility so deeply rooted and why is overcoming it so difficult? The State of Israel, officially self-declared as a Jewish State, but with a 20% Arab-Palestinian minority is facing some similar questions. This course offers an opportunity to look into the forces behind different kinds of ethnic, racial and national hostilities, to understand their sources and to look at how the law in Israel and the US as well as international law deals with them. We will discuss basic concepts of group rights and minority rights in general and will then present some of the choices made in Israeli policy, politics, and law as to the balance between the various competing right and interests’. The 3hr sessions will be split into a lecture/Q&As, followed by a break and then some experiential learning / small group discussions / debates, role plays, etc…

190.4: Information, Media and the Public Discourse in Politicized societies: Israel and the US, Roy Peled, 4 units, Area(s) II or III or IV

From the response to Covid19, through the mainstreaming of Black Lives Matter to voting by mail, everything in our public discourse has become highly politicized and partisan. Where does the information that fuels these debates come from and how can tell if its reliable? Where do all the false ideas come from and why is fake news so easily disseminated? Can President Trump really regulate Twitter?

One of the goals of media law should be to provide for a reason based and well informed public discourse. However, the law has done little to adapt to the dramatic changes in the media landscape over the past twenty years. Many democracies are struggling with finding the proper legal and regulatory mechanisms to balance the various rights and interests in this new world. This is especially true in politicized, and growingly polarized, societies where shared understandings of basic values such as freedom of speech and of the press are coming into question.

This course will provoke you to think of current debates on media and free speech through the lens of their impact on political public discourse. It will analyze contemporary dilemmas regarding the regulation of the media, free flow of information and social networks, through 21st century cases in Israel and the US. Topics will include: Access to government information, Transparency in the media and tech companies, regulation of online media, political funding and advertising and libel. The 3-hour sessions will be split into lecture/Q&As, break and then more experiential activities, small group discussion and debates/role plays.

190.5: Public Interest Impact Litigation, Anne Bloom, 4 units, Area II or IV

This course will explore the many ways that public interest impact litigation figures into the politics of social struggle and change. We will analyze public interest impact litigation in terms of particular institutions (courts, agencies), professional elites (lawyers, judges), and cultural norms such as “rights” discourses that are routinely mobilized by public interest legal activists.  Does law matter in the struggle for social change? How do law and lawyers influence social change? How do courts influence social change? What variables influence the social impact of lawyers and law? What kinds of legal strategies are most likely to succeed? We will consider all of these questions and more while working our way through several legal classics and evaluating several significant “impact” cases – both historical and current.

 

 

 

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