Section Description Provided by Instructor
The course, consisting of 13 two-hour sessions, considers the law of Russia and other successor states of the former Soviet Union with a focus on transnational commercial transactions. The class will attempt to familiarize participants with major legal issues in the process of law reform in the region; it will not offer a comprehensive survey of that law. Particular attention will be paid to the commercial sector and to issues encountered by foreign investors in the region. After reviewing the sources of pre-revolutionary Russian law and the legal system of the Communist period (1917-91), we will look at the legal profession as it has developed in the region and will consider the steps involved in selecting, concluding a retainer agreement with and instructing local counsel. We will then explore sample transactions in specific sectors: real estate, securities, secured finance and natural resource development and exploitation. Special attention will also be directed to anti-corruption statutes, particularly the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and its consequences for transactions in which government actors are involved. A number of guest presentations will be made by practitioners from the United States and the region under study, judges and academics who write about the region. The course will be in seminar format and participants will be expected to present a paper on a topic closely related to the course materials. Knowledge of the Russian language is helpful but not required.
Course Requirements: Participants are required to (1) read the assigned materials, (2) participate in discussions of those materials, (3) select a topic for a researched and written paper of approximately 6500-8000 words which relates to the subjects addressed in the course, with the topic to be selected and approved not later than the first session in February (major or minor writing credit may be available for this work, subject to satisfaction of the specific criteria therefore), (4) make a 15-20 minute presentation in class which relates to the paper topic, and (5) submit their final paper not later than the date on which a paper examination oth-erwise would be administered. Seminar papers should be of a quality publishable as a note in the Survey of Eastern European Law or a comparable academic publication. Grades will be based 20% on attendance and participation in the seminar, 10% on a written examination covering comprehension of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to be administered at the beginning of the session on this subject, and 70% on the final paper, including its presentation and defense in a seminar session.
M 6:20p - 8:10p
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Knowledge of Russian language helpful.