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Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

Dr. Frank Maurer


Course Description, Einführung in das US-amerikanische Recht, Winter 2015-16

Einführung in das US-amerikanische Recht (Introduction to US Law)

Course Description

Part One

This first part of the course focuses on (1) learning how to discover and interpret American law and (2) how American lawyers think about and work with the law. To those ends, we will study:

  • Case law analysis and synthesis,
  • Statutes and statutory interpretation,
  • The judicial system, and
  • The various sources of law and their relationships to each other.


Part Two

In the second part of the course, we will study the following (overlapping) areas of the procedural and substantive law, but keep a focus on interpreting and working with the law:


  • Constitutional law: Structure of the US government; Division of Power; Supreme Court; Judicial Review; Federalism; Protection of Human Rights


  • Litigation; Jurisdiction; Civil Procedure: Subject matter and personal jurisdiction, Jury trials, Pleadings, Discovery, Dispositive motions and other methods of terminating litigation without (or during) trial, Lawyering/Ethics


As time permits, we will continue on with topics in contracts, torts, intellectual property and corporations.

Preparation and participation is expected. Students will be expected to download some materials from Westlaw and/or www.jura.uni-tuebingen.de/professoren_und_dozenten/weston.

A final exam is available, but not required.

Recommended textbook: Abernathy, Charles F., Law in the United States (West Academic Publ. 2006).
NOTE: A copy of the textbook has been ordered by the law school library, but will probably not arrive until several weeks after classes have started. Until then, please use one of the alternative methods of obtaining the assigned reading. Alternatives will be provided with each assignment.
Reading assignment for the first class:
(1) Domino’s Pizza, Inc. v. McDonald, 546 U.S. 470, 472-477, 480 (2006).
Please print the whole opinion, but read the pages *472-477 and *480 only.
The opinion can either be downloaded from the course website or from Westlaw International in the juristisches Seminar online.
(2) Textbook, pages 2 - 11 & page 12 para.10.
The textbook contains additional notes on the how to read a case. Also, the text of the case as it appears in the textbook is shorter.
One copy of the textbook will be on reserve in the Law Library (juristiches Seminar).