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Law of Investigations (Hoffa)
Fall 2020   LAW 912-001  

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Meeting Times/Location
M 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Silverman Hall 245A

Linda Hoffa

Lecturer in Law

Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Other Professional Skills:

60% Paper,
40% Other (Other - assigned oral reports and presentations in class.)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can send you an email with instructions for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.



Very few federal criminal cases go to trial. Approximately 97% of federal criminal cases are resolved by guilty pleas and only 3% go to trial. Thus, the majority of work performed by criminal counsel occurs during the investigative stages of a criminal matter – not during trial.

For those interested in pursuing a career in criminal law or corporate compliance, it is critical to learn how to effectively conduct an investigation, as well as represent individuals and corporations during an investigation.

The course will cover both law enforcement's methods of investigation, such as interrogations, grand jury testimony and subpoenas, search warrants, undercover operations, informants and whistleblowers, wiretaps and social media surveillance. The course also will examine evolving technological means of investigation and explore the limits on the government’s power to use such new technologies.

The course will examine statutory and constitutional constraints on criminal investigations and debate the need to balance security and safety interests and privacy rights. The course will demonstrate how criminal litigation strategies for both the prosecution and the defense are developed during the course of an investigation.

In this interactive seminar, student teams will make oral reports on recent headline criminal prosecutions they have researched. One team will make in class a presentation for a declination decision or deferred prosecution agreement and the other team will argue in favor of prosecution - just as is done every day at US Attorney's Offices in white-collar investigations. To prepare, students are expected to investigate how those cases were initiated and investigated and understand the charges and evidence supporting those charges.

Course grades will be determined by performance in the oral reports (40%), and a paper at the end of the semester (60%). Class participation is always encouraged.

Course Concentrations

Criminal Law and Procedure Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of criminal law and procedure; Perform legal analysis in the context of criminal law and procedure; Communicate effectively on topics related to criminal law and procedure; Demonstrate an understanding of the role criminal law and procedure play in society and their impact on other areas of law and society.


"Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations" by Daniel J. Fetterman and Mark P. Goodman
Edition: 2020
Publisher: Thomson West
ISBN: 9781539231974