California Western -- Michael Dessent
Courses Taught - Michael H. Dessent

Contracts I & II

Business Organizations

Enterprise Law

Internship Seminar


CONTRACTS I & II  (3 units each)
Study of the development of common law concepts of enforceable promises and statutory impact.  Encompasses the basic principles controlling the formation, performance, and termination of contracts.  Includes the doctrines of offer and acceptance, consideration, conditions, breach, damages, third-party beneficiary, assignments and the Statute of Frauds.
This course is organized in a manner which is intended to give you a practical view of the business world as seen by in-house counsel and the outside business attorney.  We will examine, as a law firm, the goals and problems presented to you by a client, and creatively determine the form of business most appropriate for that party.  Thereafter, we will use that same approach (as a law firm, collectively), to solve ongoing problems of the business entity which you have formed for your client.  Our key objectives are to contribute to your understanding of business law during each class, make you aware of ideas and issues with which you might not have had familiarity or considered, enhance your legal reasoning, and improve your ability to solve business problems creatively.   back to top
This course examines the strengths, weaknesses, methods of formation and practical aspects of entities such as sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, not-for-profit entities, professional corporations, joint ventures and REITS.  We will focus on the lawyer’s role when counseling and representing these entities, including drafting the necessary documents and the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty for each enterprise.  The California bar has announced that it will start to test these areas in the next couple of years, so it has importance in that regard as well.   back to top
This Seminar provides a forum for student interns to discuss their internship experiences with one another on a weekly basis.  These seminar meetings are in addition to individual private meetings with faculty supervisors.  Students are required to keep a daily journal and do short weekly readings on current topics related to the practice of law.  Topics include Advocacy, Law Reform, Ethics, and Equality.  Emphasis is on the often conflicting moral, professional, financial, personal and political values inherent in the profession.  There is no final exam or other written work requirement.  Enrollment may be limited.   back to top

 Full course descriptions are available in PDF format on the J.D. Curriculum page.

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