Constitutional Law I(T) (Fall 2017)

Professor Schnably

Ground Rules

You should be familiar with the following rules and any others I mention in class.

Seating Chart:

I will pass around a seating chart on the first day of class.  You must be on the seating chart to receive credit for the course. This includes anyone making up an incomplete, as well as those registered for the class. If you are not on the seating chart, I will not turn in a grade for you at the end of the semester, even if you take the exam. It is your responsibility to see to it that your name is on the seating chart.

You must sit in your assigned seat for each class. If you would like to move to a different seat after the first day, just let me know and I’ll be happy to adjust the seating chart.


Attendance Policy and Irma-Related Revisions to Schedule (Including Cancellation of Fall Break and Post-Thanksgiving Classes)

I will handle any absences on extra classes needed on account of Irma on a case-by-case basis. See the Syllabus for the list of these dates. If you are absent any day (including those days), please file an absence form.

Keep in mind that (a) attendance is crucial to your understanding of the materials, and (b) my policy (see below) allows you to miss up to 5 days for any reason, with no lowering of your grade. Beyond that, I may excuse absences for matters such as illness.

This means that you may be able to manage any Irma-related absences within your allotted 5, without any special consideration. Still, I understand that the storm and the closure of the University may cause disruptions to your schedule that are very hard to avoid, which is why I will consider them on a case-by-case basis. In considering any given case, I may ask you to let me know, for example, whether you anticipate any other absences during the remainder of the semester. I may also want to discuss with you how you plan to ensure adequate coverage of the material.

My aim in approaching these questions will be to take account of the disruption we have all suffered, while still helping you ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, you get the benefits of class attendance.

Attendance is mandatory, as is preparation. Class discussion is crucial to your understanding of the materials. Attendance is of course required for the portion of the class after the break as well as before.

Attendance Sheet. I will pass around an attendance sheet at the beginning of each class, except for the first day, when I will pass around the Seating Chart. If you somehow miss the seating chart, please come up after the end of that class to sign it.

No more than five unexcused absences are permitted. If you have more than five unexcused absences, I may lower your grade for the course by half a grade. So long as your unexcused absences number five or fewer, being absent will have no effect on your grade. Of course, if you are absent you will miss the class discussion that day, and that may have an indirect impact. The unexcused absences are for your discretion. It’s better, of course, to miss as few classes as possible, but there may be occasions when you have some other activity (connected with the law school or not) when you need or prefer to miss class.

There is no set limit on excused absences (e.g., for illness), but if the number of excused absences becomes so great that in my judgment it calls into question whether you could learn the material covered in the course, I would talk to you and consult with the Dean of Students, and then reach a conclusion as to whether you may continue being enrolled in my class.

Procedure in case of absence: If you are absent for any class for any reason (including an absence you expect to be unexcused), please fill out one of the absence forms in the Dean of Students, which you can do on-line through the "Absence Notification Online Form found on the Dean of Students page. It’s fine to e-mail me as well, but you must submit the Dean of Students form in any case. As for what constitutes an excused absence, these include:

My judgment in each case (based on the form you file with the Dean of Students Office) is final. No absence will be excused for any date the student is not present if the student does not file a form with the Dean of Students Office. You should file the form before the date you will be absent, if possible, or within a few days afterwards. In no event will forms be accepted after the last day of class.

I will keep you apprised of how many unexcused absences you have. If you think an absence that wasn’t excused should have been, or just have questions about why it wasn’t, it’s fine to talk to me about it in class or in my office. I don’t mind that at all. But all questions about forms that have been submitted must be resolved before the start of exam period.

Class conduct:

Taping/Live-streaming classes:

You may tape or live-stream the class only with my prior permission.


If you have or suspect you have a disability that might affect your ability to comply with any of these ground rules or otherwise affect your performance, please contact the Law School’s Coordinator of Disability Services at the Office of Disability Services for information about available opportunities, resources, and services. The phone number is 305-284-9907, and the email address is You may also visit the Office of Disability Services website.

Class e-mails:

I will send e-mails to the class e-mail list the Law School’s IT department created for this class. I will try to post anything in an e-mail on the web page, but there may be times when you will need to see the e-mails. For example, I might occasionally change an assignment for the next day.

This class e-mail list is generated with your law school e-mail address. If you have another e-mail account you prefer to use, you can have your law school account direct the e-mails to that address. If you can’t do that, you can ask my assistant Ms. Sue Demmings to include that other e-mail address on the class e-mail list by clicking here.

Back to the Syllabus