Spring 2015
    Law No.: LAW9073
    Sched. No.: 115210118

Government Ethics: Conflicts of Interest, Lobbying and Campaign Finance*
Section 1
Kneedler, H L.
Mullen, Edward A.

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):R, 1930-2130 (WB127)
Capacity:16 **This information is current as of 05/22/2015 06:14:34 AM**
Current Enrollment:15 **This information is current as of 05/22/2015 06:14:34 AM**

Course Description:

There is increasing concern in Congress and state legislatures about the rules governing conflicts of interest, lobbying and campaign finance. Particularly at the state level, where legislators generally are part-time, conflicts of interest often are hard to avoid, and the appropriate remedy is not always clear. Should the remedy for a potential conflict be disqualification from participation in the consideration of a measure, or merely a requirement to disclose the conflict, leaving it to the electorate to decide at the ballot box whether a person has engaged in inappropriate conflicts? Should the rules cover appearances of conflicts, or be limited to actual conflicts? Lobbying presents equally difficult issues. Particularly at the state level, where individual legislator’s staffs and committee staffs are quite small, lobbyists often play an essential role in the legislative debate on issues. Yet lobbyists can abuse their access to legislators. What is the appropriate balance and how should it be achieved? Finally, what restrictions have legislatures and courts placed on the financing of campaigns, and what reforms are necessary? These issues are of great importance to the fabric of our society. It is becoming increasingly difficult for clients to conduct business with government officials and agencies without a reasonably sophisticated grasp of the rules governing conflicts of interest, lobbying and campaign finance. Clients expect their lawyer to be familiar with these rules. This seminar is intended to provide students with a working knowledge of current government ethics laws and rules and an opportunity to explore potential reforms.

MEETING SCHEDULE: The seminar will meet 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Jan. 22, 29; Feb. 12, 19, 26; Mar, 5, 19, 26; Apr. 2, 9, 16 and 23. We will not meet on Feb. 5 or the Thursday during Spring Break (Mar. 12). Because we will not be meeting on Feb.5, we will need to find a mutually convenient date to reschedule that class so that we have 13 classes for the semester, which is the Law School’s requirement. We have had to do this in the past and never have had a problem.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: Enrolled students who do not attend the first class session will be dropped. Students seeking to enroll in this course must attend the first class session.
COURSE REQUIREMENT: A substantial research paper

This course is on the approved upper-level writing requirement course list.