Michael D. Ramsey

               Professor of Law, University of San Diego Law School

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International Business Transactions, Spring 2017 Course Webpage




Class Meetings:    Monday & Wednesday, 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm, Room 2A., Warren Hall


Office Hours:     Monday & Wednesday, 9:00 am to 9:45 am and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm; Room 319, Warren Hall


Textbook:  Ralph Folsom et al., International Business Transactions: A Problem-Oriented Coursebook (12th edition, West, 2015), and the related Documents Supplement (12th ed. West 2015).   


Note:  The earlier edition of the casebook/documents supplement (11th edition 2012) is not an acceptable substitute, as there have been substantial revisionsMost of the materials in the Documents Supplement are also available online, for those willing to find them, but this approach is not advised.





This space will be used for announcements regarding class cancellations, make-ups, optional events of interest, and other updates regarding the course schedule.


This course will meet at its regular time and place on Monday, April 24, 2017, and will have its final meeting on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 (at 4:00 pm).  There is no class meeting on Wednesday, April 26.




This space will be used to post assignments for each class meeting; these assignments will also be announced in class.  After the first assignment, assignments will be keyed to the course Reading Lists.  The Reading Lists for Unit 1 (International Sale of Goods), Unit 2 (Some Regulatory Aspects of International Sales) and Unit 3 (Foreign Investment) are available below.


No new assignment for Tuesday, April 25, 2017 (last class meeting).  Review FSIA Sections 1609, 1610, 1611.


Assignment for Monday, April 24, 2017


Reading List Part VI, Problem 10.7 (text pp. 1115-1136)

Required Document: Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. §§1606, 1609, 1610, 1611


Assignment for Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Reading List Part V, Problem 10.6 Parts C & D (text pp. 1103-1115)


No class Monday, April 17, 2017 ((Easter holiday)


No new assignment for Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Assignment for Monday, April 10, 2017


Reading List Part V, Problem 10.6, Parts A & B (text pp. 1082-1103)

Required Document:  Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. §§1602, 1603, 1604, 1605

(Documents Supplement pp. 1035-1038)


Assignment for Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Reading List Part IV, Problem 10.5, Part B (text pp. 1064-1082)


Assignment for Monday, April 3, 2017


Reading List Part III, Problem 10.4 Part B (text pp. 1031-1038)

Reading List Part IV, Problem 10.5, Part A (text pp. 1052-1064)

Required Document:  Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. §1350


Assignment for Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Reading List Part III, Problem 10.4 Part A only (text pp. 1018-1031), focus on types of currency risks and how to manage them.


Assignment for Monday, March 27, 2017


No new reading assignment; consider the risks in Problem 10.3 and how they should be allocated.


Assignment for Wednesday, March 22, 2017


New Reading List, Part II (Problem 10.3, pp. 981-1018).


Assignment for Monday, March 20, 2017


New Reading List (Unit 3 — Foreign Investment) [available below], Part I:

Introduction, pp. 911-914

Problem 10.1 Parts A & B, pp. 914-931


Consider in particular:

What issues should especially concern a U.S. business considering an international investment?

What law(s) are likely to govern the investment?\

What corporate form (branch/subsidiary) should be used, and what are the implications of that choice?


No new assignment for Wednesday, March 15, 2017 (we will finish Problem 8.3).


Assignment for Monday, March 13, 2017


Reading List Part III, Problem 8.3 (pp. 715-750)

Required document: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1 (Documents Supplement pp. 1014-1018)


No Class Monday, March 6 or Wednesday, March 8 (Spring Break)


Assignment for Wednesday, March 1, 2017


No new reading; consider in the context of the EAR, (a) what is “knowledge”; (b) what is a “deemed export” and (c) before exporting your product, what else must you consider besides where it is going?

Also, visit the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) website (www.bis.doc.gov) and look at the Commerce Control List and the Commerce Country Chart


Assignment for Monday, February 27, 2017


Reading List Part II: Problem 8.1 (pp. 645-682).

Required Documents: Export Administration Act, excerpts (Documents Supplement, pp. 911-922) (skim); Export Administration Regulations (EAR), excerpts (Documents Supplement, pp. 923-964, 975-978, 978-982) (skim).


Assignment for Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Reading List Part I.B & C: Problem 6.2 parts B & C (pp. 409-430)

Required Document: Tariff Act, Section 1401a (Documents Supplement, pp. 534-541 (skim))


Assignment for Monday, February 20, 2017


New Reading List, Part I.A, Problem 6.2, part A (pp. 388-409)

Required documents: Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, General Rules of Interpretation, esp. Rules 2 & 3, and Additional U.S. of Interpretation, (Documents Supplement pp. 507-509.)


Note: this assignment requires close attention to pp. 392-396, especially the chart on p. 394, plus the material in the Documents Supplement.


Assignment for Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Reading List Part IX, Problem 5.3 (pp. 314-349)


No new assignment for Monday, February 13, 2017  (we will cover Problem 5.2).


Assignment for Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Reading List Part VIII, Problem 5.2 (pp. 281-314)

Required document: UCC 5-109 (Documents Supplement pp. 1108-1111)


Assignment for Monday, February 6, 2017


Reading List Part VII, Introduction to Letters of Credit (pp. 245-46) and Problem 5.1 (pp. 246-281)

Required documents: UCC 5-107, 5-108, 5-116 (Documents Supplement pp. 1100-1108, 1112-1114)


Assignment for Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Reading List Part VI, Problem 4.3 (text pp. 239-274)

Required documents:  UCC 2-615, CISG Art. 79


Assignment for Monday, January 30, 2017


Reading List Part V, Problem 4.1 Part B.  (Text pp. 84-104)

Required documents:  Convention on International Sale of Goods (CISG), articles 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 14, 18, 19, 35, and 36


Assignment for Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Reading List Part V, Problem 4.1, Part A only. (Text pp. 69-84)

Required Documents: UCC 1-301, 2-207, 2-314 to 316 (DS pp. 1060-61, 1068-70, 1072-77).


Assignment for Monday, January 23, 2017


Reading List, Part IV, Problem 4.5 (Text pp. 209-243)

Required Document: Federal Bills of Lading Act, Documents Supplement, p. 1003


Assignment for Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Reading List Part III, Problem 4.2 (Text pp. 104-138) [Note: not Problem 4.1]

Answer questions on pp. 105-106 (we will go over these in class)

Required Documents:  UCC 1-302(a), 2-319 through 2-323; Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA)


No class Monday, January 16, 2017 (King holiday)


Assignment for Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Reading List Part II, Problem 4.0 (Text pp. 37-69).

Be prepared to discuss and explain the chart on p. 62.


Assignment for Monday, January 9, 2017


In the casebook, read pp. 3-34 (introduction) and pp. 37-44 (description of the basic sales transaction).


Consider and be prepared to discuss: What risks are faced by the parties to the transaction described in pp. 37-44, and how do they differ from risks faced in a similar domestic transaction?






Assignment for first class meeting (Jan. 9, 2017)

Reading List -- Unit 1 (corrected 1/23)


Reading List -- Unit 2


Reading List -- Unit 3