DISCIPLINA: Introduction to Anglo-American Law|
|Douglas Bruce La Pierre|
Sítio da Disciplina: http://sca.lisboa.ucp.pt/e-sca/moodle.aspx?CdDis=14C421420173
Faculty: D. Bruce La Pierre
Academic Year: 2017/2018 | 1st Semester | Elective Course
Teaching Hours: 20 | 4 ECTS
Teaching Method: Theoretical-Practical Classes
This course focuses on legal method ? the ?thought process of American law.? Students will learn what, in the words of Charles F. Abernathy, is ?unique about American law? ? law as process: a blend of (1) common law, (2) statutory law, and (3) constitutional law. Students will learn how American lawyers and judges interpret and apply cases, statutes, and the Constitution. They will also learn how American courts have protected the individual rights of members of racial, religious, and other minority groups and will develop skills in analyzing individual rights issues. Instead of learning a set of legal doctrines, students will learn to think like an American lawyer in analyzing individual rights issues, and these skills will help them to find, interpret, and apply American law in other substantive areas.
In the first week, we will study the traditional English and American common law systems and examine the development of product liability law in one state, New York. In the second week, we will study constitutional common law?judicial elaboration of individual rights under the Bill of Rights of the American Constitution.
STATEMENT OF CONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE PROGRAM CONTENTS AND THE COURSE OBJECTIVES___________________________________________________________
Study of cases will afford students an opportunity to learn ?first-hand? how the law evolves in common law systems, to focus on the facts of individual cases, and to compare and contrast common law and civil law.
TEACHING METHOD AND ASSESSMENT _______________________________________
I will often begin a class with a short lecture to set the stage and to provide an overview, but I will teach most of each class by the ?Socratic? method? questions, answers, and discussion. I encourage all students to participate in class discussion and to prepare carefully for each class so that the discussion will be productive. I will often provide a set of class notes to guide the discussion.
Students will write a short, open-book examination, which I will distribute on the last day of class. I will consult with the students in selecting a date and time for submission of the examination answers, which students will submit by email. In assigning grades, the instructor will consider participation in class discussion and assign points for thoughtful comments and discussion. Grades will be submitted to the registrar within two weeks after completion of the examination.
Please note that class preparation and attendance is mandatory.
STATEMENT OF CONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE TEACHING METHODS AND THE COURSE OBJECTIVES ___________________________________________________________
Active participation in class discussion requires detailed knowledge of the cases, careful, critical assessment of the court?s reasoning and use of prior decisions, and a willingness to challenge orthodox, conventional thinking. These skills?honed in class discussion?will prepare students to work with lawyers trained in the common law and to practice law and lead businesses in a world that draws on the best of both the common law and civil law.
The path to learning American Law and to learning how to think like an American lawyer requires ?doing it.? As the Nike advertisements say, ?just do it.? You should be prepared to participate actively in class discussion; you should ask questions; you should discuss the cases and the issues with the instructor. The purpose of the class is not just to learn a body of law; the purpose is to learn the process of American law ? a process that will help you understand diverse substantive areas of American law like, torts, antitrust, commercial law, corporations, constitutional law, and criminal law.
Each day before class: Prepare at least 3 questions to raise for class discussion.
Class 1: Sexias v. Woods (pp. 1-2)
Class 2: Thomas and Wife v. Winchester (pp. 3-9)
Class 3: Loop v. Litchfield (pp.10-13)
Class 4: Losee v. Clute (pp. 13-15)
Class 5: Devlin v. Smith (pp. 15-19)
Class 6: Burkett v. Studebaker Bros. Mfg. Co. (pp. 24-26); Boyd v. Coca Cola Bottling Works (pp. 27-28)
Class 7: MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. (pp. 29-40)
Class 8: Introduction to American Constitutional Law: Constitution of the United States (Examine the overall structure and study carefully Art. I, § 8, cl.1-3, cl. 18; Art. III; Art. VI); Constitutional Common Law
Class 9: Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. (83 U.S.) 36 (1873)
Class 10: Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905)
Class 11: Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)
Class 12: Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
Class 13: Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986)
Class 14: Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
Class 15: Reserved
Class 16: Reserved
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY ________________________________________________
Cases and materials that will be posted on the course website.