A Seminar: “Interplay of Civil and Criminal Law”

I was interested to learn that Columbia Law School offers a seminar, “Interplay of Civil and Criminal Law.”  It is co-taught by Judge Jed S. Rakoff, of the Southern District of New York, and Walter P. Loughlin, of the law firm K&L Gates.  The seminar focuses on many issues that are at the core of this blog.  Mr. Loughlin and Judge Rakoff were kind enough to send me the syllabus and to give me permission to post it.  Here it is (PDF).  And here is the description of the seminar in Columbia Law School’s course catalog:

This seminar is designed both for those who want to be successful practitioners and for those who simply want to know where the law is going and why: in other words, the seminar’s focus is both practical and jurisprudential. The subject of the seminar is the breakdown, if not abandonment, of the historic legal distinction between tort and crime. Civil juries, for example, are routinely requested to award “punitive” damages, while sentencing judges are required to impose “civil” restitution. The Supreme Court, asked to determine when “civil” fines constitute “criminal” punishment for double jeopardy purposes, has struggled to define a satisfactory doctrinal borderline between civil and criminal proceedings, twice reversing itself in less than a decade. Everyday business lawyers increasingly find it difficult to advise their clients of whether in, say, building a new plant, doing business overseas, or marketing on the Internet, they face risks of civil or criminal exposure, or both. Litigators increasingly find themselves simultaneously defending criminal prosecutions, regulatory proceedings, and private class actions all premised on the same underlying conduct. These and other such problems that characterize the ever-increasing interplay of civil and criminal law will be examined in the seminar from practical, theoretical, and policy perspectives in detailed case studies drawn from such diverse areas as tax, antitrust, securities, and racketeering. There are, however, no prerequisites for the seminar other than an open mind.

I hope we see more law schools offer courses on this important subject.  If you know of any others, please let me know in the comments or via e-mail (civil.criminal.distinction@gmail.com).

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