In this course, we’ll introduce you to copyrights and copyright protection. This program is of low difficulty and no prior knowledge of intellectual property law is required.
A copyright is an intellectual property device that protects a creative work from duplication if it is fixed in a tangible medium. The course will look at the types of creations that can be protected by copyright law and discuss federal copyright law as set forth in Title 17 of the United States code.
The course covers the copyright requirements of originality, creativity and fixation in a tangible medium. We will distinguish between non-copyrightable “ideas” and copyrightable expressions. We spend much of our time looking at the important applications of these ideas to computer programs and software, which have often rendered traditional copyright rules anachronistic. Included in this discussion are the effects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
The course next turns to copyright duration, renewal and termination and how they are applied to copyrighted works based on the years that the works were created.
Finally, we will look at notice and registration, and compliance with registration and recording procedures with the United States Copyright Office. While these steps are not required for copyright protection to attach, we will discuss the important benefits that they bestow.
The goal of this program is to allow you to apply the copyright rules to determine whether work can be copyrighted, how copyright protection can be established and for how long the protection lasts. Enforcing copyrights and fair use and other defenses against copyright enforcement will be the subjects of another course.
This course is a primer in methods by which legal disputes can be resolved without litigation, both by the parties themselves and under the auspices of the justice system.
This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge or experience with dispute resolution or the justice system is necessary.
Our first module is an overview of the landscape of alternative dispute resolution and includes discussion of the Federal Arbitration Act, passed in 1925, which still largely governs ADR in the United States, and especially in the federal court system. The first module also introduces various other methods of dispute resolution.
Module 2 focuses on negotiation between the parties, specifically facilitation of settlements and the settlement process. We’ll also look at settlement negotiations that are required and supervised by courts in many cases. Finally, we will discuss settlement agreements and their requirements for enforceability.
Module 3 turns to mediation, which is more formal negotiation supervised by a mediator, but that does not result in a formal decision, as in the case of arbitration. The module looks at when mediation is appropriate and the role and responsibilities of the mediator. We also look at various styles of mediation and the governing bodies and organizations that discuss and encourage best practices.
Modules 4 and 5 discuss the most formal component of the ADR landscape: arbitration. Arbitration allows a binding resolution to be rendered outside of the court system. We will focus on arbitrator qualifications, arbitration procedures and arbitration agreements. In module five, we will look at the enforceability of arbitration awards and the mechanisms by which the awards can be confirmed in federal court so that they can be enforced by normal collection procedures.
This course should give you a thorough introduction to the world of alternative dispute resolution and serve as an important component of a comprehensive understanding of the processes by which disputes are resolved in our system.
An interview conducted by the ACLU in March of 2005, preceding a Supreme Court hearing in the case of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Gonzales. This case determined the accountability of local law enforcement for failing to enforce court orders that protect victims of abuse by a spouse or acquaintance.
Creative Commons licenses are kind of confusing. This set of infographics attempts to help clarify components of the Creative Commons licenses to help users select the appropriate license for their purposes.
This video-course surveys bankruptcy law and focuses on the most common forms of bankruptcy and most important rules. The course opens by looking at the structure of the bankruptcy code, the system of bankruptcy courts and roles of federal and state law in the bankruptcy process. We also look at the roles of the debtor, the creditors, the court and the bankruptcy trustee.
We then focus on rules common to bankruptcy proceeding, including the all-important automatic stay, the effects of bankruptcy discharge and exempt property.
Module 2-4 look at the specifics of the three most common types of bankruptcies: those under Chapters 7, 11 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. In each case, we’ll look at eligibility and the rules, qualifications and procedures that govern bankruptcy under that Chapter.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is liquidation, wherein all the assets of the debtor except for exempt property are vulnerable to collection, but which affords the debtor a discharge on most outstanding debts. We’ll look at the requirements for achieving this relief, the procedures followed by the trustee and the scope of the allowable discharge.
Chapter 11 and 13 are “plan” bankruptcies, under which the debtor re-organizes debts in negotiation with the creditors and under court supervision. Generally, Chapter 11 is used by companies, while Chapter 13 is only available for individuals. In both cases, we’ll look at the timelines and processes of the proceedings and the enforcement, modification or conversion of the applicable bankruptcy proceeding.
Finally, in Module 5, we’ll look at the forms and filings applicable to bankruptcy proceedings, including the petition, schedules and filing fees. We’ll also briefly look at bankruptcy crimes and penalties and other some laws that affect bankruptcy cases.
Once you complete this course, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the structure of the Bankruptcy Code and system, an understanding of how the bankruptcy system works and a basis upon which to research and learn more detailed necessary information.
This video-course is a survey of the civil litigation process, from the filing through appeals, though the discovery process is left for our video-courses in discovery.
This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge of law or the litigation process is required.
The course starts with an overview of the American court system, both on the state and federal levels. We’ll go over the separate systems, their roles and where they interact. We’ll also focus on the roles of the Supreme Court as the top of both systems for federal and constitutional issues. We also look at the questions of which courts to file in and which laws to apply – the questions of jurisdiction, venue and choice of law.
In module 2, we look at the pleadings: the complaint, answer, counterclaim, crossclaim, etc. We’ll examine the requirements of each of these documents and their elements. We’ll also look at the various types of motions that might be filed in response to pleadings.
Module 3 focuses on pre-trial practice. We’ll look at joinder of parties and joinder of claims. We’ll also look at the preclusion doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel, on which basis cases or claims can be dismissed as having been already litigated. We’ll look at class action lawsuits and their requirements. We’ll also focus on the filing, the summons and the service of process requirements to start a civil action. Finally, we’ll discuss impleaders and interpleaders, two other types of civil complaints.
Module 4 covers the trial process. We’ll focus on trial by jury and on the standards of proof and upon whom the burdens of proof rest. We’ll also go through the trial process itself, highlighting the federal rules that govern each step.
In the last module, we’ll look at the post-trial process. We’ll start with the motions that can be filed after the judgment, including motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, for new trial and for relief from judgment. Then, we’ll turn to the next step for a losing party: the appeal. We’ll use the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure as the basis for our discussion of this process. Finally, we’ll briefly look at the execution and collection of judgments, though those are covered in more detail in other courses.
We hope that this course will be a springboard to allow you to take more specific LawShelf video-courses that cover the litigation process and that this survey will help you understand the American civil litigation process.
This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge of law or contracts is required.
This course is a survey of basic contract law across a variety of areas. The first three modules cover the nature of contracts and the basic building blocks of contracts: offer, acceptance and consideration. The nuances of each element are considered, and the course focuses on rules such as the mirror image rule, the mailbox rule, mutuality of consideration and promissory estoppel. We also focus on the Uniform Commercial Code and its rules for contracts for the sale of goods.
In Module 4, we cover contract defenses, which allow contracts to be unenforceable despite the building blocks of the contract being in place. Defenses include illegality, incapacity, duress, unconscionability, undue influence, mistake and fraud. We will also look at the statute of frauds, which requires certain contracts to be in writing to be enforceable.
Our final module covers performance and breach, discussing when a contract has been breached and when one party’s breach allows the other party to cease performance. The module also covers contract remedies, which is the study of how contract damages are measured and when specific performance, where the court orders someone to do something, it an appropriate contracts remedy.
This course should give you an understanding of how contract law works the tools to continue with more advanced studies of more specific areas of contract and transactional law.
This video-course surveys crimes and their punishments under the state and federal justice systems in the United States. We’ll focus on the natures and elements of the most common crimes and criminal law defenses.
This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge of law or criminal law is required.
We’ll start the course by looking at the reasons for punishing crime and the various states of mind that are necessary to establish criminal culpability. We’ll also look at constitutional limitations on criminal law, including due process and the “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibition. We’ll also look at the sources of criminal law, including state statutes, case law and the Model Penal Code.
In module 2, we’ll look at “inchoate” crimes, which are crimes that are punishable even if the criminal acts contemplated are never carried out or completed. These include conspiracy, attempt, solicitation, facilitation and incitement. We’ll also discuss the after-the-fact crime of obstruction of justice.
In modules 3 and 4, we’ll turn to discussions of specific crimes. In module 3, we’ll look at violent crimes, such as homicide, rape, assault and arson. In module 4, we’ll turn to financial crimes, including theft, robbery, burglary, extortion and forgery.
In our final module, we’ll turn to defenses to criminal charges. We’ll discuss the requirements and limitations to many of these. They include self-defense, defense of others, necessity, duress, consent, insanity, diminished capacity, mistake, infancy and entrapment.
When you complete this course, you should have a broad understanding of crimes and the framework on which our criminal justice system works. This will make more advanced courses, such as white-collar crime and those that discuss complex criminal laws such as securities fraud, easier to understand and apply.
This course takes you through the federal laws and regulations that seek to protect our environment. It discusses landmark legislation such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act and looks at how these laws are administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.
This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge of law is required.
We will start the course by looking at remedies for environmental damages that are available under the common-law and standard tort rules, few though they are. We will look at environmental lawsuits based on trespass, nuisance and negligent and strict liability tort causes of action. We will also look at anti—SLAPP laws that many states have passed to protect people who file lawsuits against big companies for environmental and other injuries.
Module two moves to air pollution control and the clean air act. We will look at the reasons behind the statute and what it covers. We’ll discuss the pollutants regulated by the act and the national ambient air quality standards, which are set by the EPA to protect the public health. We will also discuss the state, federal and cooperative regulatory structure under which air pollution controls are enforced.
Module three moves to clean water, focusing mainly on the Clean Water Act, also administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. This time, we will look at the national pollutant discharge elimination system, which regulates point sources that discharge pollutants into the waters of the United States. We will also look at wetlands protection, storm water runoff and other areas also controlled by clean water legislation.
Module four segues to a wide variety of other pieces of environmental legislation. These include the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and many others. We will look at the roles of each of these acts in the landscape of environmental regulation.
Our final module looks at the protection of public lands and wildlife, including the Endangered Species Act, wildlife protection legislation and public land conservation. We will focus specifically on the balancing tests that must be applied to ensure that economically viable use can be made of public and private lands while keeping damage to the environment minimal.
When you complete this course, you will understand the key pieces of environmental legislation and their roles in the comprehensive framework of environmental protection.
This course is a survey of immigration law, from illegal entrants to legal nonimmigrant entrants to lawful permanent residents to naturalized citizens.
This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge of law or immigration is required.
The course starts with an explanation of the structure of US immigration law and the continuing economic and social forces that affect it. We’ll also cover the roles of the branches of government and discuss why immigration law is almost exclusively in the federal sphere. We’ll also go over the various federal statutes that govern immigration law.
Module 2 looks at nonimmigrant entry into the United States. We’ll look at the visa waiver program and then at the many visa classes available. We’ll also look trusted traveler programs that make entry easier, such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST.
Module turns to “lawful permanent residents,” otherwise known as “green card” holders. We’ll discuss the eligibility criteria and the process to obtain this coveted status. We’ll also look at how refugees and asylum seekers can earn green cards.
Module 4 turns to the ultimate step an immigrant can achieve: US citizenship by naturalization. We’ll look at the benefits of citizenship and the pathways to citizenship. We’ll go through the step-by-step naturalization process in detail and look at the standards by which the USCIS evaluates citizenship applications.
Finally, we’ll focus on immigration law in the scheme of international laws. We’ll look at treaties and other international laws and the problem of refugees and how international law and American law deals with them. We’ll also take a look at recent trends in immigration law in the US and global systems.
We are confident that this course will give you a solid background in immigration law and will be an excellent first step in learning this complex but important and relevant area of law.
This course looks at the responsibilities of legal professionals (mainly lawyers) to defend their clients and to preserve the integrity of the justice system. While the course is mainly based on rules applicable to attorneys, non-attorney legal professionals who work with attorneys are also indirectly bound by them, as non-attorney misfeasance can bring severe consequences for supervising attorneys and organizations.
This is a beginner-level course and no prior knowledge of law or legal ethics is required.
The course starts with a discussion of admission to practice law. Module 1 covers the requirements for becoming a lawyer, including law school and the bar exam. We’ll also cover the consequences of attorney misconduct and the agencies who are in charge of enforcing the attorney ethics rules. We will also focus heavily on the unauthorized practice of law rules, which are relevant to non-attorneys and to attorneys licensed in other states.
In Module 2, we’ll start on the attorney-client relationship. We’ll discuss the duties owed to the client, including the duties of diligence, loyalty and competence. We will look at who the “client” is in the context of a corporate representation. We’ll then focus on which decisions the client makes in a representation and which decisions the lawyer makes. Finally, we’ll cover the duty of confidentiality and the related attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrines.
Module 3 turns to the duties owed to others, including the court, opposing counsel and even to other parties. We’ll discuss the duty of candor to the court and the prohibition against ex parte communications with the judge. In discussing communications with third parties, we’ll distinguish between represented and unrepresented parties and discuss the steps that must be taken to avoid giving off the wrong impression about the attorney’s loyalty. We’ll also cover special responsibilities owed by prosecutors.
In Module 4, we’ll turn to the conflict of interest rules, which are components of the duty of loyalty. We will look at the different rules that apply to current client conflicts and former client conflicts. We’ll also cover conflicts of interest that come from other sources, such as business and family relationships.
In our final module, we’ll look at the business of lawyering. We’ll cover the rules of attorney’s fees and the limits thereon and the rules for client solicitations and advertising. We’ll also look at the problems of fee-splitting and partnerships with other lawyers and with non-lawyers.
This course should give you a solid foundation in the rules of legal ethics and we hope you’ll also take advantage of our other law-based courses.
In this course students will learn how to: Demonstrate an understanding of law, its historical development, judicial process, and the role of law in a complex social system, with emphasis on the American legal system and its institutions; Demonstrate the ability to analyze fact patterns in accordance with the legal professional case analysis method; to apply appropriate vocabulary and substantive legal principles; and then to analyze, compare, and evaluate the logic, reasoning, and arguments of other students, in accordance with established legal principles; Demonstrate the ability to complete a group project with other students, by identifying the applicable legal issues in a case or proposed statute, debating those issues, and producing a live course presentation; Identify and describe the basic principles of major business law subjects, such as constitutional authority to regulate business; common law contracts; the Uniform Commercial Code; agency; business associations; real and personal property and business-related torts; And identify and describe approaches to business ethics, social responsibility, and justice, and, demonstrate the ability, when confronted with an ethical dilemma, to weigh the arguments for alternative courses of action, and logically and persuasively argue for a particular course of conduct.
Law, in its simplest form, is used to protect one party from another. For instance, laws protect customers from being exploited by companies. Laws protect companies from other companies. Laws even protect citizens and corporations from the government. However, law is neither perfect nor all encompassing. This course will introduce the student to the laws and ethical standards that managers must abide by in the course of conducting business. Laws and ethics almost always shape a company's decision-making process; a bank cannot charge any interest rate it wants to charge that rate must be appropriate. By the end of this course, the student will have a clear understanding of the legal and ethical environment in which businesses operate. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: Identify sources of law in the United States; Describe the function and role of courts in the US legal system; Differentiate litigation from methods of alternative dispute resolution; List the elements of the major torts; List the essential elements of a valid contract; Describe how a contract can fail; Summarize the remedies available for breach of contract; Distinguish between real and personal property; Identify the various interests in real property and how they pass; Identify the requirements to hold various rights under intellectual property laws; Analyze the impact of the digital era on intellectual property rights; Distinguish between at-will employment and contractual employment; Identify laws that generally regulate the employer-employee relationship; Identify criminal acts related to the business world; Define white collar crime; Describe the various forms of business organization; Identify the major laws regulating business in the United States; Identify major ethical concerns in business today. (Business Administration 205)
This course de-constructs the process of preparing agreements that govern businesses, including corporations, LLCs and partnerships. We will go through the purposes of business governing agreements, discuss how to start the process and focus on ensuring that agreements satisfy the business’ needs and comply with applicable law.
This course is an intermediate level course that builds on the basics of business forms. It is recommended that users take this course after taking the Business Organizations video-course unless the user has background in the rules of business organizations.
The course starts with discussion of business governing agreements and their roles in establishing businesses. We will discuss the differences between various business forms and the types of agreements that are necessary or useful for each of them.
In module two, we will look at essential provisions of most business agreements. Provisions relating to organizational purpose, ownership structure and management information are common to all businesses, though the structure of ownership and management depends heavily on the business’ form. We also look at common provisions such as those relating to financial affairs, dissolution, capital accounts and record-keeping.
In module three, will turn to the effects of state law on governing agreements. While companies have broad discretion to determine the contents of their governing agreements, they must comply with state restrictions on management, timing and other requirements. We also look at the variances between state laws applying to corporations, partnerships and LLCs.
Module four looks at governing agreements’ roles in modifying or enforcing fiduciary responsibilities of the managers. We will discuss these responsibilities and the extent to which they can be modified by agreement. We also look at indemnification, lawsuit barriers and restrictive clauses that seek to limit the liabilities of managers.
Finally, the last module is a practical exercise. We’ll look at a sample corporation’s use of template provisions and show how they should be modified to allow the company maximum flexibility and ensure compliance with state law. We’ll look at several examples of how to re-draft template provisions that might be ineffective or inefficient with regard to a particular business enterprise.
In this course, we’ll introduce you to the wide array of business forms, discuss how to create specific business entities, and explain the benefits and pitfalls of each type of business organization. This is an introductory level course and no prior experience or knowledge of business law is necessary.
A business organization is an entity formed to advance a commercial enterprise. It can be formed by one person or multiple people. We interact with businesses daily and they drive our nation’s economy.
This course begins by discussing the types of business entities and the state and federal laws that impact business formation. We will spend much of our time describing the factors an entrepreneur should consider prior to forming a business, such as liability, ownership, costs, taxation and transferability of ownership interests.
We will then move to specific entities, starting with partnerships. We will discuss the benefits of partnership formation and consider the categories of partnerships before explaining partners’ rights and duties to one another and to the partnership.
In the next part of the course, we will focus on corporations. We’ll start with closely held corporations, including the “S corporation,” which is a pass-through entity for tax purposes. We’ll consider the process of incorporation and we will use examples to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of the corporate form.
In the latter half of our course, we’ll explore larger business organizations. We’ll discuss publicly traded companies, including the process of going public. We’ll also focus on how large corporations are managed and the roles of shareholders, directors and officers of a corporation. We will conclude by looking at limited liability companies, focusing on their benefits over other business forms and their operations.
In this resource, you will see the different types of law enforcement agencies there. Although there are many more that go into the federal government, this resources talks about state, city and county agencies. Further, it shows what their duties are.
Looking for some legal research resources? Worried about how to find and read judicial opinions? Interested in learning more about case briefs? Concerned about your prior experience with legal terms?This online resource is designed to support learners taking courses that require legal reading, writing and research.
This course covers the basics of child custody and visitation rights awarded to non-custodial parents. We will discuss joint custody and when sole custody is awarded. This is a beginner-level course and no prior knowledge or experience is necessary to take it.
The course starts with discussion of the historical approaches to custody and visitation and how they have changed in recent years. We will explain the differences between physical and legal custody and how and why they are bifurcated. We will also focus on the ubiquitous “best interests of child” standard and how it is applied.
Module 2 looks at the specifics of awarding joint and sole custody and the considerations that go into awarding each. We will also look at the mechanics of administering various types of custody arrangements.
Module 3 turns to visitation. It covers visitation normally awarded to non-custodial parents and when courts can limit or even deny visitation. We will examine the factors that courts consider in making these important determinations. We will also look at third-party visitation (such as for grandparents) and the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Troxell v. Glanville on state third-party visitation laws.
Modules 4 and 5 cover modification and enforcement, including rules and conventions that allow for nationwide and international enforcement of child custody awards, including federal and international laws designed to discourage and punish parental “kidnapping.” We also cover the grounds to modification of custody and visitation awards and the procedures for seeking modification.