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Richard H. McAdams : Courses and Seminars

Elements of the Law
LAWS 30101
This course examines certain issues that occur in many different areas of the law and considers the relationship between these issues and comparable questions in other fields of thought, such as moral and political philosophy, economics, and political theory. The subjects for discussion include the nature of, and justification for, reasoning from precedent; the meaning of such notions as consent, coercion, and voluntary choice; the decision whether to impose rules or allow discretion; the problems of interpreting statutes and other authoritative texts; and the objective or subjective nature of moral judgments. The student's grade is based on a final examination.
Autumn 2015
Richard H. McAdams
Greenberg Seminar: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the Urban Drug War
LAWS 95902
We will explore a series of works on urban crime, politics, and policing, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore: David Simon, “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” Sudhir Venkatesh, “Gang Leader for a Day,” Jill Loevy, “Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America,” and all of “The Wire.” We will focus particularly on the drug war – the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. But these works also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of urban education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail.
Autumn 2015
Richard H. McAdams, Jonathan Masur
Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory
LAWS 63402
Working from a variety of methodological orientations, the workshop examines questions arising at the intersections of public law, legal theory, and interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences, with an emphasis on politics, legal history, and legal theory. Sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty members from other institutions. Students must enroll for the entire year and will receive one pass/fail credit. Students are required to read the papers, attend the workshop, ask questions, and to post questions to the online discussion board.
Autumn 2015
Richard H. McAdams, Jonathan Masur, John Rappaport, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Laura Weinrib
Greenberg Seminar: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the Urban Drug War
LAWS 95902
We will explore a series of works on urban crime, politics, and policing, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore: David Simon, “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” Sudhir Venkatesh, “Gang Leader for a Day,” Jill Loevy, “Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America,” and all of “The Wire.” We will focus particularly on the drug war – the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. But these works also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of urban education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail.
Winter 2016
Richard H. McAdams, Jonathan Masur
Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory
LAWS 63402
Working from a variety of methodological orientations, the workshop examines questions arising at the intersections of public law, legal theory, and interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences, with an emphasis on politics, legal history, and legal theory. Sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty members from other institutions. Students must enroll for the entire year and will receive one pass/fail credit. Students are required to read the papers, attend the workshop, ask questions, and to post questions to the online discussion board.
Winter 2016
Richard H. McAdams, Jonathan Masur, John Rappaport, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Laura Weinrib
Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process
LAWS 47201
This course focuses on the constitutional law of searches, seizures, self-incrimination, and confessions. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.
Spring 2016
Richard H. McAdams
Greenberg Seminar: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the Urban Drug War
LAWS 95902
We will explore a series of works on urban crime, politics, and policing, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore: David Simon, “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” Sudhir Venkatesh, “Gang Leader for a Day,” Jill Loevy, “Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America,” and all of “The Wire.” We will focus particularly on the drug war – the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. But these works also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of urban education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail.
Spring 2016
Richard H. McAdams, Jonathan Masur
Privatization in Criminal Law
LAWS 99005
A fundamental policy choice in criminal law is the degree to which enforcement institutions are made public or private. This seminar will examine the historic creation of public institutions of criminal investigation, prosecution, and punishment, including the move away from using bounties and rewards to motivate enforcement agents, and recent trends back towards privatization. We will discuss whether such changes are desirable or undesirable, how best to motivate individuals actors in criminal enforcement, the problem of private lobbying against criminal justice reform, and what might be the optimal mix of private and public institutions. Reading topics will include private police, private prosecution, bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, private probation services, shaming sanctions, and private prisons. Students will write a series of reaction memos. The grade will be based on class participation and the memos.
Spring 2016
Richard H. McAdams
Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory
LAWS 63402
Working from a variety of methodological orientations, the workshop examines questions arising at the intersections of public law, legal theory, and interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences, with an emphasis on politics, legal history, and legal theory. Sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty members from other institutions. Students must enroll for the entire year and will receive one pass/fail credit. Students are required to read the papers, attend the workshop, ask questions, and to post questions to the online discussion board. Meets from 3:30 to 4:45 on Tuesdays, typically alternating with the Law & Economics Workshop.
Spring 2016
Richard H. McAdams, Jonathan Masur, John Rappaport, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Laura Weinrib