Comparative Law JD Offerings

LAW 6930: Foreign Enrichment: Business and Legal Environments in Latin America (2 credits)
Section 083D
Fall 2015
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
4:00-5:10 p.m.
Holland 359

LAW 6930: Comparative Procedure (2 credits)
Section 75HF
Professor Pedro A. Malavet
Summer 2015
Third Period: 11:50 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

LAW 6250: Comparative Law (2-3 credits)
Professor Pedro A. Malavet
Spring 2015 (3 credits)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
4:00-4:50 p.m.
Room 359

What is Comparative Law?
The Comparative Method

What are some of the Special Challenges
of Comparative Law Practice?

Course Overview and Syllabus Video

  • I prepared this video for Comparative Procedure, the course I taught in the Summer 2015 Program in France. But it provides a general overview of my approach to the Comparative Law courses. Naturally, some items are very specific to the topic, and to the nature of the program. For example, the no-long-weekends rule at the 15-minute mark was very much limited to the France program for the reasons that are clearly stated on the video.

Course Description: Foreign Enrichment: Business and Legal Environments in Latin America

This two-credit course will be taught in a condensed schedule of twenty (20) sessions of seventy (70) minutes in order to accommodate the busy schedules of the practitioners who will bring us their considerable experience. It will start on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 and end in October, 2015.

The course will start with an orientation and overview by Professor Pedro A. Malavet. The substance of the course will be taught by three outstanding professors with extensive practice experience in Latin America, whose short bios are included below.

Our first visitor, Professor Hugo Hurtado, a tax partner at Deloitte Touche Chile (, will start teaching that Thursday, September 10 and will teach the entire week that follows. Prof. Hurtado has an LLM and SJD from our Tax Program. He is followed by Prof. Walter Keiniger, a tax partner in Marval O’Farrell (, the largest law firm in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also holds an LLM from our Tax program. He will teach from September 21 to September 29. Our final visitor is Professor Javier Tous, a professor at the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia ( He will teach from October 5 to October 15.

Professor Hurtado will teach units on the general legal challenges of foreign direct investment in Latin America, especially the tax consequences and how tax treaties may apply; he will focus on the US-Chile tax treaty to illustrate the challenges of tax-planning when engaged in direct foreign investment. Professor Keiniger will teach about doing business generally, and direct investment in particular in Latin America, focusing on Argentina. He will discuss the challenges of complex international business contracts and adjusting to local laws and regulations, with special focus on currency exchange, profit-repatriation and local reinvestment and taxation rules.  Professor Tous teaches about the intersection of corporate law and doing business generally with human rights, focusing on Latin America.

The visitors will record some sessions for future viewing in order to make the best use of their time in Gainesville. Levin College of Law Professors Pedro A. Malavet and Daniel Sokol will teach any sessions left open by the visitors.

Generally, the course seeks to enable students to answer a basic series of questions from an American business client wishing to do business in Latin America:

  1. How do you get your money in.
  2. How do you get your money out (or reinvest it for profit).
  3. How do you reduce business risk (legal uncertainty) while you are doing business in a country other than the United States. If pertinent, this should include a discussion of anti-corruption rules.

Each faculty visitor will produce a modest course packet with their readings and these will be distributed through a course Canvas page maintained by Professor Malavet.

Course Description: Comparative Procedure

An introduction to the comparative method from the perspective of an American lawyer, focusing on procedure, rather than on substantive matters. Starts with a survey of Comparative Law, its history, current definition and scope. The more substantial part of the semester studies procedure within the Civil Law tradition, the most common legal system in our world today. Given our location in France, I will use the French legal system as the primary point of comparison to the system of the United States. We will cover legal structure, including the ordinary and administrative court systems of France and the specialized operations of the Constitutional Council. We will cover civil, criminal, administrative and constitutional adjudication; the structure of the bodies in which they are practiced; and the professionals that work in each system.

Course Description: Comparative Law

An introduction to the comparative method from the perspective of an American lawyer, focusing on methodology, rather than on substantive matters. Starts with a survey of Comparative Law, its history, current definition and scope, followed by practical uses of Comparative legal analysis in United States courts. The more substantial part of the semester studies the Civil Law tradition, the most common legal system in our world today. We start with foreign legal education and the legal professions, a critical matter for proper delivery of legal services to foreign clients and working effectively with international law partners. Then the Civil law system is placed in its proper context: historical roots; structure; approach to judicial review; judicial organization. We finish with a discussion of comparative constitutional law and modern legal systems.

Comparative Law is Especially Important for a Florida Lawyer

Comparative Law, or more precisely the Comparative Method, allows you to understand law, legal transactions, legal problems, legal professionals and clients that are foreign to you.

This is an especially useful tool for a Florida lawyer.

Florida has a very large population of persons who were born in or trace their roots to countries other than the United States. That means that a Florida lawyer will easily find herself faced by the challenge of explaining Florida law to a client whose legal culture is based on a non-United States experience.

Bridging this cultural gap will be critical to proper client service. The lawyers who are good at this will not only provide high-quality professional services, they give themselves a competitive advantage in the legal services market in this state.

Additionally, the Florida lawyer may find himself advising a client who needs to resolve a legal problem in his or her home country, or a client whose only connection to the foreign country is the need to complete a legal transaction abroad. Assisting such clients is an especially important professional opportunity in the Florida legal services market.

That is what Comparative Law is about. Allowing the students at the Levin College of Law to put their legal training in the law and legal system of the United States at the service of clients for whom and legal systems in which we are foreign.

New Video Lectures Posted Above

I have posted two lectures above. One is on the Comparative Method and the shorter second video is on Special Hazards (or challenges) in Comparative International Legal Practice.

Summer 2015 Final Exam Due July 23, 2015, 4:00 p.m.

The exam is HERE.

Exam numbers for the U.S. students are available here:

Click on "Exam Numbers". Professor Roche will provide exam numbers for the University of Montpellier students.

Summer 2015 Practical Project Due Thursday, July 16

The Practical Project is here and due on or before 5:00 p.m. Montpellier time, on Thursday, July 16, 2015. You may send it via email to me to upload an attachment on the Canvas page.

Latest News: Summer Syllabus for France

The Syllabus is here.

Spring 2015 Final Exam

The exam is here: Spring 2015 Final Exam.

Spring 2015 First Week

  • Classes will start on Tuesday, January 6 of 2015.
  • For our first day, please
    • Visit my website for this course and review the course syllabus and download Handout No. 1: The Comparative Method.
    • Assignments are posted in the assignments page, which I will update regularly.
    • Tuesday, January 6, Please read the syllabus and I will go over it and over course coverage
    • Wednesday, January 7, pages 1-23 in the handout
    • Thursday, January 8, pages 23-30 in the handout.


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