The course initially provides an overview of the crisis, governmental responses (both internationally and the differing ones by various states in the United States), the economic crisis, and the current state of treatment protocols and potential vaccines. It then turns to its primary focus: the myriad of primarily private law legal issues resulting from the pandemic. Among the areas of the legal system and private law that the course will address are the following: (1) recent Federal legislation (the CARES Act) in response to the pandemic; (2) contractual and commercial law issues; (3) bankruptcy law; (4) securities law and financial markets regulation; (5) employment law issues, the gig economy, and “working” from home; and (6) the future of legal practice and the practice of law in the law firm, corporate in-house, and governmental agency settings.
The course begins in a lecture format primarily, moves to a more discussion-oriented approach, and concludes at the end of the semester with student team presentations on a topic selected by the student team and pre-approved by the instructor. Students will be evaluated collectively on an A-F scale on the basis of their team presentation (which will constitute 30% of the student’s grade) and individually on the basis of an individual six thousand (6,000) word journal quality paper (which will constitute the remaining 70% of the student’s grade).
In the case of the presentation, students will work with one other student of his/her/their choice on selecting a topic of interest to them that is then approved by the instructor. They will then each present (in equal duration) their group presentation over an aggregate thirty to forty-five minute time period to the other seminar participants and instructor. With respect to the student paper, students will each be solely responsible for and assigned separate grades in connection with each respective student’s paper.