AW 176 001 & 002





I. Objectives

The purpose of this course is to expose the student to the principal doctrines upon which commercial law is based and particularly the mercantile notions embodied in the doctrine of negotiability. Although it treats commercial paper, the bank collection process, funds transfers, letters of credit, and documents of title, the focus of the course is on the process by which sound commercial jurisprudence evolves.

II. Materials

Materials to be used for class are:

(a) Case Materials

The case materials are contained in available in an edited compilation, Byrne, Negotiability (9th edition, 2000) supplemented by Appendices.

From time to time useful supplementary materials will also be placed on reserve as announced.

(b) Statutes

It will be necessary to use the Model UCC on a daily basis as well as a number of commercial statutes. These are available in either the West or Foundation Commercial Statutes. Any edition after 1993 is satisfactory. Both the current Model UCC Articles 3 and 4 and the prior versions will be used. Students will be expected to acquaint themselves with Virginia=s non-conforming provisions of UCC Article 3 and to have the text of those variations which are contained in the Virginia Statutory Supplement to the case materials..

(C) Supplementary Materials

There are a number of treatises, study aids, and professional tools available to assist your understanding of UCC Articles 3, 4, 4A, 5, and 7. The principal sources are White & Summers, Uniform Commercial Code (5th Ed. 1995), C. Weber & R. Speidel, Commercial Paper (latest edition), and B. Stone, UCC in a Nutshell (latest edition).

III. Grades, Examination, & Method of Evaluation

The grades will be based upon a final examination which is scheduled for Monday, 1 May 2000 at 6:00 P.M.

The examination will (1) fairly reflect the material treated in the course, (2) test skills of organization of facts, analysis of issues, and their resolution; (3) test theoretical knowledge, practical skills and the ability to address specific problems in a successful manner; and (4) test ability to function under time pressure. It may contain a multiple choice segment but in no event will that segment constitute more than one half of the examination.

Where a problem is a given, a superior answer will not only state applicable rules and identify issues but will apply the rules to the issues in the context of the factual problem to obtain a resolution.

The examination will require familiarity with prior and current Articles 1, 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Codes as well as assigned sections of Articles 4A, 5, and 7 and state and federal statutes from the statutory supplements, especially those relating to credit cards. In addition, students will be responsible for material addressed in class, handouts, outside assignments, and casebook assignments, whether or not discussed in class.

Materials Permitted to be Taken into Examination

Only the following materials may be taken into the examination: the published selection of commercial statutes, statutory supplements and other statutory handouts. In order to facilitate consultation to these statutes, a photocopy of the Table of Contents of the statutes may be brought in a form physically separate from the bound book.

These materials may be annotated. AAnnotated@ means the emphasis of certain portions of the material or its explanation by cross-references to other statutory or regulatory provisions, by a comment or gloss, or by reference to a case or hypothetical. The focus of the annotation should be on the meaning of the particular provision or section being annotated.

The insertion in the statutory material of outlines, extensive lists of questions and answers, or general does not constitute an annotation which may be used on the examination.

No other materials may be used.

Questions Regarding the Examination

Any questions regarding the meaning or interpretation of this policy must be given to the instructor in writing so as to avoid confusion and all answers (as well as questions) will be publicly posted. So as to permit all students to benefit from this process, the deadline for such questions is the last scheduled class.

IV. Class Participation & Outside Assignments

It is expected that students will be regularly prepared for class as part of the attendance requirements. Preparation includes the completion of class assignments.

V. Notices

All notices will be sent to students by email and also posted. Students are responsible for providing a current and accurate email address if notice via email is desired.

VI. Attendance

A seating chart will be circulated at the first class. Please select a seat. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class based on this chart. Any student not seated in the seat selected will be marked absent. Anyone coming to class after attendance has been taken is responsible after class for advising the instructor of his or her presence. At the discretion of the instructor, an attendance sheet may be circulated for signature in which case only the student named may indicate his or her presence by signing.

The maximum number of absences permitted under applicable law school rules will be allowed for this course. There is no need to advise of an absence. Should the number of absences exceed 20% of the sessions, please contact the instructor to consider what steps can be taken to permit you to take the examination.

VII. Office Hours and Individual Appointments

Professor Byrne warmly welcomes any questions relating to the course or otherwise. He will be available regularly for office hours during the following times:

20 minutes before and after class.

If these times are inconvenient, he is available by appointment. His study number is 301-977-4035.

VIII. Topics to be Studied

Transfer and Assignment under Contract law
Historical Evolution of Negotiability
Formalities: What constitutes a negotiable instrument
In Due Course
Consumer Law
Agency Principles
Obligations of issuer, maker, indorser, drawee, acceptor
Notice and Dishonor and Protest
Suretyship in Commercial Paper
The Bank-Customer Relationship
Wrongful Dishonor
Fraud and Imposters
Termination of Authority
The Collection and Return Process
Final Payment and Accountability
The Return Collection Process
Documentary Drafts
Funds Transfers
Negotiability in Sales/Leases, Documents of Title, Letters of Credit, and Bankers= Acceptances

IX. Pace of Class Assignments

The class will be conducted with a view toward mastery of the concepts and techniques of personal property secured finance rather than coverage of preset materials at a preordained pace. Because every class is different, the assignment for the next class will be announced but will be approximately 20 to 30 pages from the end of the previous assignment. Special assignments or those due to be handed in will be both announced in class, sent via email and posted on the bulletin board.

X. Methods of Instruction

1. Case Analysis

Students will be expected to answer questions about assigned cases.

2. Hypothetical Problems

Students will be expected to find principled resolutions to hypothetical questions, drawing on their mastery of the course content.

3. Drafting Exercises

Drafting exercises will be assigned to enable students to draft notes and related pleadings and other legal documents.

4. Guest Speakers

Attorneys experienced in the field will be invited to appear so that students may practice eliciting information from them.

5. Simulated Trial Experience

One simulated trial exercise will be conducted .

6. Writing Exercises.

From time to time, students will be required to engage in writing exercises.

XI. Class Notes

The class motto will be:

ARevocate animos, maestumque timorem mittite; forsan et haec olim meminisse IUVABIT.@ Aeneid, Book I Lines 202-203