Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

286.31 sec. 001 - Legal Risks and Protections for Low-Income Car Purchasers and Owners (Spring 2020)

Instructor: Sharon Djemal  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
Instructor: Miguel Soto  
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 1

Due to COVID-19, law school classes were graded as credit/no pass in spring 2020.


    M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
    Location: Law 111
    From January 13, 2020
    To March 09, 2020

Course Start: January 13, 2020
Course End: March 09, 2020
Class Number (1Ls): 32196
Class Number: 32196

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 3
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 20
As of: 06/16 11:02 PM

The modern American needs a car to live, and a car is often the most valuable asset most Americans will own. This combination of need and expense is a siren call to creative predators, who take advantage of people who need something they can’t normally afford. This class will teach you how real-world contract law, tort law, and consumer protection statutes do (and don’t) operate to protect the public from unscrupulous salesmen, finance companies, mechanics, repossession companies, auto title lenders, and even local government, all of whom want to separate you from your money as quickly as possible. Lessons will be based on real-world clients and cases, and will teach you:

- How car contracts are actually made, interpreted, and enforced.
- How to use existing laws to protect people from unscrupulous automobile sales, repair, and lending outfits.
- How class action attorneys fight automobile fraud.
- How public advocates have and are continuing to use legislation, litigation, and grassroots advocacy to reign in the automobile industry, fight drivers’ license suspensions for unpaid tickets, and combat tows.

The final will be a short paper, legislative proposal, legal memorandum, or other practical project you craft to begin or support necessary reforms to fix these problems. Some of your predecessors used similar projects to draft, propose, and ultimately pass laws that benefit hundreds of thousands of Californians; now it’s your turn.

Sharon Djemal is the Director of the Consumer Justice Clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center, a community-based legal services clinic affiliated with UC Berkeley School of Law. The Consumer Justice Clinic defends, enforces, and advances the rights of low-income consumers by engaging in a full range of litigation, policy advocacy, and community education. Sharon joined EBCLC as a Supervising Attorney in the Housing Practice in 2000. Prior to her work at EBCLC, she was a Soros Fellow at the Urban Justice Center’s Homelessness Outreach and Prevention Project, where she represented public housing tenants being evicted from their homes based on criminal allegations.

J.D., Columbia Law School (1998)
B.A., Macalester College (1991)

Miguel is a Supervising Attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center's Consumer Justice Clinic. He attended UC Berkeley as an undergrad and Santa Clara University as a law student. While at law school he spent two years with the consumer program at the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center. After graduating he worked as a solo practitioner focusing on consumer protection cases. He also volunteered with the Justice and Diversity Center in San Francisco, providing pro bono legal services for low income consumer cases.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend in order not to be dropped.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
This is a credit only course
Course Category: Social Justice and Public Interest

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.

A reader will be used in this class.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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