Fall 2012 Course Schedule

Compar US/Brasil Lgl&Judcl Syst (LAW-795G-001)

Meets: 04:00 PM - 05:50 PM (W) - Room 351

Enrolled: 10 / Limit: 14

Administrator Access


Course Schedule:

Session 1: Wednesday August 22, 2012 - Comparative Law in General/Common Law & Civil Law Systems
Session 2: Wednesday August 29, 2012 -Introduction to U.S. & Brazilian Legal Systems
Session 3: Wednesday September 5, 2012 -Introduction to U.S. & Brazilian Legal Systems (continued)
Session 4: Wednesday September 12, 2012 -Constitutional Law
Session 5: Wednesday September 19, 2012 - Constitutional Law (continued)
NO CLASS - Wednesday September 26, 2012 Session 6: Wednesday October 3, 2012 - Governmental Regulatory Structures
Session 7: Wednesday October 10, 2012 - International Obligations: Treaties
Session 8: Wednesday October 17, 2012 - Legal Education and Legal Profession
Session 9: Wednesday October 24, 201 - Judges & the Judicial Career
*Session 10: Friday November 2, 2012 - Civil Procedure
*Session 11: Wednesday November 7, 2012 - Criminal Procedure
Session 12: Wednesday November 14, 2012 - Court Organization
*Session 13: Wednesday November 21, 2012 - Problems of Justice
Session 14: Wednesday November 28, 2012 -Judicial Reform


The study of comparative law has been growing at an accelerating pace not only in law schools, but in business, commercial, and interpersonal settings. With the emergence of Brazil as a critical world power, and in view of the many public and private interests it shares with the United States, the time is right for a course on comparative law that focuses specifically on and compares legal and judicial institutions of Brazil and the U.S. Class participation (i.e. questions, comments) and a paper comparing a Brazilian and American legal or judicial issue or issues will be the basis of the grade.

The course will be taught by Senior United States District Judge Peter J. Messitte of the District of Maryland. Judge Messitte, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in São Paulo in 1967-68, has been associated with the Brazilian legal system and the Brazilian Judiciary since that time.

Among the Brazilian attorneys who will serve as co-presenters during the seminar will be a Federal Regional Appeals Court Judge from São Paulo, a law professor from Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian law expert at the Law Library of the U.S. Congress in Washington, and a prominent binational lawyer practicing in Washington.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

1) William Burnham, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States (5th ed.) West (2011);

2) Mary Ann Glendon, Paolo Carroza & Colin B. Picker, Comparative Legal Traditions in a Nutshell, Thompson/West (2008);

3) Supplementary Materials

First Class Readings

Please read prior to the first day of class: Glendon, Ch. 1-11 and Oquendo (reprint), pp. 66-127. Refer to the syllabus for assigned reading for each class session.


Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):