Administrative Matters

Course Requirements and Expectations


Course Requirements and Expectations


Regular attendance is expected and required. Although much learning occurs outside of class, I believe it is not possible to get what you need from this course without being here.

This class complies with the Law School attendance policy.  Pursuant to that policy, students may miss up to three classes without explanation. If a student believes an absence should be excused, a request should be made to Nicole Francis in the Administrative Suite.  Students may miss no more than a total of three weeks of class (excused and unexcused absences combined).  In the event a student's absences exceed the limit, that student will be dropped from the course.  Where a student has fewer than three weeks of absences, I reserve the right to require that student to meet with me or submit written makeup work when I deem appropriate based on the number and timing of absences.


Effective learning, like effective lawyering, requires work, including sufficient and significant out of class reading, thinking and problem-solving.  Think of coming to class like going to court - you would not do it without being ready to engage productively.  I expect students to be prepared for all classes. If you are not prepared for class, I want notice of that fact (preferably in the form of a written note or e-mail) before class begins. I will excuse occasional unpreparedness with prior notice for good cause.  Being unprepared without prior notice may result in the assignment of written makeup work or reduction of course grade and, in an extreme case, may lead me to require that the student drop the course.

Being prepared means having read and thought about the material in the assignment for that class and any matters that you are asked to think about from the previous class, that are posted as discussion questions, or that are assigned as problems. Even if we fall behind the syllabus, you are responsible for keeping up unless I indicate otherwise. We may move ahead suddenly, but we will not go beyond the reading assigned for that class without advance notice.


The primary method of evaluation will be the final exam. The exam is expected to be a one  hour in-building exam (closed book short answer and multiple choice, perhaps with an outline permitted) followed by a take-home essay.  There may be occasional quizzes or other assignments that will count toward the grade. There will be no make-up opportunities for quizzes that are missed. Class participation may be taken into consideration in grading where a student's input significantly advances the class or where such participation reflects an absence of preparation, although class participation points will rarely be awarded.

The take home portion of the final exam will most likely contain one complex fact situation. A well-written exam answer will identify the issues in the exam, will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the existing law and the directions the law may go, and will contain analysis of that law in relation to the facts given. Critical reading of the problem and careful application of the law to the facts are essential, and demonstration of an understanding of the context is which the issues arise and the policy implications of the law as applied is desirable.

Class Organization and Assignments

All readings are in Dressler and Thomas, Criminal Procedure: Investigating Crime (West 2003). There may be occasional additional readings (new cases) posted on the Course Website.  As noted, you should keep up with assignments according to the Syllabus unless changes are announced in class.

Assignments Home