B554 is taught by Popkin, D. Widiss
Statutory law has replaced common law as the principal source of many legal rights and obligations. Almost any area of law (e.g., bankruptcy, employment law, tax, intellectual property, commercial law, family law) is governed at least in part, and often in large part, by statutory law. Accordingly, it is essential for lawyers to be able to interpret statutory provisions and to be able to use the conventions of statutory interpretation to argue on behalf of clients.
This course will provide a systematic introduction to the legislative process and to the rules and customs judges use to interpret statutes. The course provides practical training in the process of statutory interpretation and a deeper exploration of what theories of interpretation best serve our constitutional democracy. Students will be required to engage in a legislative drafting exercise and to complete other credit/fail assignments during the course of the semester. Grades will be based primarily on performance on an in-class open-book examination, but performance on the assignments and class participation may also be taken into consideration.