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Tracy Hester
Statutory Interpretation
and Regulation
LAW5397
Spring 2013

 



COURSE DESCRIPTION

While common law decisions and principles have traditionally provided the soul and creative spark of the law, today's practitioners typically look to statutes and administrative materials to guide their legal work. This course will introduce you to the basic processes that generate laws and administrative regulations, the theories and approaches used to interpret and apply those dictates, and various strategies to control or challenge administrative actions within a statutory context.

This course will use a combination of lectures, class discussions, case studies, in-class exercises and sample problems.  Where possible, I will introduce real-life on-going matters and projects to provide an opportunity to wrestle with some of the most active questions in current practice. We will also use role-playing exercises to give you experience in drafting, analyzing and contesting statutes and regulations. Last, some of our classes will include guest lecturers who can offer perspectives on the formulation and implementation of laws or regulations.



COURSE MATERIALS

We will use the following course book:

L. Bressman et al., The Regulatory State (2010)

You will not need to buy any statutory and case supplements because I will provide links on the website to background materials or new cases. The text is available in loose-leaf format to help reduce costs and make it more convenient for your use.

We'll also use class handouts and supplemental materials as needed. In addition to distributing them in class, I'll have these materials posted on the class website.

If you are interested in practicing in this area, I'll also point out additional supplemental reference materials for purchase or check-out at the Law Library. 



ASSIGNMENTS

Our class reading assignments will follow the course syllabus listing. Of course, you should read each day's assigned materials in advance and be prepared to discuss them in class. If we need to adjust the reading assignments, I'll be sure to announce the changes in class and post them to the class website as quickly as possible..



ATTENDANCE

Pursuant to the Law Center's policies and ABA requirements, you will need to attend at least 80% of the classes to receive credit for this class.

If we need to cancel any classes, we will reschedule a make-up class as soon as possible. According to the Law Center's policy, we will likely hold the make-up class on a Friday.



CLASS PARTICIPATION

Please be prepared to discuss the readings assigned for that day - it will make the class far more useful and productive for you (and me). While I will call on students randomly, I will also ask three of you to serve as a "reading panel" for each class. We will rotate through the entire class, so each of you should have at least one opportunity to participate on a panel.

I may adjust your grade based on class participation. It works both ways - you can raise your grade with energetic and insightful participation, or you can lower it by consistently failing to prepare adequately for class.



GRADING

Your grade in this class will be based on a final examination. This exam will last for three hours, and will consist of essay questions. You can bring your personal notes or outlines that your create, your text book for this class, and any handouts. No commerical outlines or briefs, please. We'll discuss the test format and other issues later in the semester.

Last, as per Law Center policy, I reserve the right to make adjustments to grades based on attendance and class participation. This adjustment can be upward or downward.



OFFICE HOURS

My office is located at Faculty Suites TU-II in office 142. You can reach me during my regular office hours at 1:00 to 2:30 on Mondays, or 9:00 to 10:30 on Tuesdays. I'm also glad to meet with you at any time you'd like to stop by my office (assuming that I'm not otherwise busy). I'm usually available in my office if you'd like to drop by, but please also feel free to call or email me if you'd like to schedule a visit during any particular time. You can reach me at 713-743-1152 (office) or at tdheste2@central.uh.edu .