Michael Cahill

Vice Dean and Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7943 |  Email  | CV
Areas of Expertise
Criminal Law
Sentencing Law and Policy
Criminal-Code Drafting
Criminal Juries
Attempts and Endangerment Offenses
Education
B.A., Yale University
M.P.P., University of Michigan School of Public Policy
J.D., University of Michigan Law School

Criminal Law

This course consists of an introduction to the criminal process and the role of the Constitution in reconciling the authority of government with the rights of the individual. The primary focus of the course is, however, on the substantive aspects of the criminal law. The role of the criminal law as the principal means of social control is explored, as well as the limitations on legislative power to define and punish criminal behavior. Cases and statutes are studied to develop a critical understanding of the fundamental concepts of criminal responsibility. The course includes the study of some specific crimes such as homicide and conspiracy, as well as the general principles of jurisdiction, accessorial liability, justification and the impact of mental disease, intoxication and mistake on criminal responsibility.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Final exam.

Criminal Procedure II

Prerequisites: Criminal Law and Constitutional Law

This course examines the manner in which a criminal proceeding is initiated and the conduct of a criminal case in court. Topics covered include right to counsel, arraignment and preliminary hearings, commitment or release on bail or recognizance, the grand jury, discovery and disclosure, plea bargaining, defendant's right to a speedy trial, jury selection, joinder and double jeopardy. Particular attention is given to the role and ethical obligations of prosecutors and defense counsel.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.

Criminal Sentencing Law and Policy

Pre-requisite: Criminal Law

Sentencing has always been a central component of criminal justice, as it addresses the ultimate ?bottom line? issue of how much (and, significantly, what form of) punishment is to be imposed. With criminal trials increasingly rare, the sentencing stage of the adjudicative process has gained further prominence and significance. Moreover, in recent decades, many jurisdictions have adopted formal sentencing guidelines and procedures to govern this once almost entirely discretionary, and therefore in a meaningful sense lawless, aspect of the system. tThis course will explore various legal, moral, institutional, and practical issues related to the sentencing process as a whole and the determination of appropriate sentences in specific cases. Though particular legal rules and doctrines will be discussed, the central focus will not be on learning the sentencing law of any specific jurisdiction, but on raising and confronting general policy concerns that arise at sentencing. Topics include the purposes of sentencing; the relative role of prosecutors, defense lawyers, juries, judges, and other players; structured versus indeterminate sentencing; evidentiary, procedural, and constitutional rules governing sentencing; and considerations relevant to the proper amount of punishment as well as its form (e.g., incarceration, fine, probation, capital punishment), including possible alternatives to criminal sanction.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Take-home exam.

Health Law

This course will survey legal issues related to the delivery of health care. Topics typically include access to health care (right to treatment, health care for the indigent, AIDS issues); health care financing; regulation and quality care control (malpractice, quality assurance, peer review); patient rights (consent, confidentiality, right to die, reproductive rights); and antitrust.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Take-home exam.

Property

This course introduces students to the laws governing real and personal property transfer and ownership. Topics covered may include the historical development of various kinds of present and future interests in property; the sale and financing of real estate; landlord-tenant law; land use regulation; gifts of personal property; and non-traditional property rights.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Final exam.