Government Ethics: Conflicts of Interest, Lobbying and Campaign Finance

Section 1, Spring 17

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 13/16
Credits: 3

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? And how should conflicts involving administrative officials be addressed?   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.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): Due Date Only
Description: Students will be required to submit a substantial research paper via EXPO by 4:30 pm (EST) on the last day of the Spring examination period.
Final Exam Notes:

Students will be required to submit a substantial research paper via EXPO by 4:30 pm (EST) on the last day of the Spring examination period.


Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: Yes
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
117210078
Law No.
LAW9073
Modified Type
Seminar
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: