LAW 6502 - Civil Litigation Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of civil litigation practice and enable you as an entry-level lawyer to conduct civil litigation in first instance matters in at least one State or Territory court of general jurisdiction, in a timely and cost-effective manner. This course is not designed as a refresher course in civil litigation rather it builds on academic knowledge in a practical setting. Topics include: initiating a claim and pleadings, interlocutory applications, disclosure, gathering and presenting evidence and settlement and enforcement. The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 6502
    Course Civil Litigation Practice
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assumed Knowledge Civil Litigation at Undergraduate level
    Restrictions Available to GDLP students only. Not available for Study Abroad & Exchange
    Course Description The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of civil litigation practice and enable you as an entry-level lawyer to conduct civil litigation in first instance matters in at least one State or Territory court of general jurisdiction, in a timely and cost-effective manner. This course is not designed as a refresher course in civil litigation rather it builds on academic knowledge in a practical setting. Topics include: initiating a claim and pleadings, interlocutory applications, disclosure, gathering and presenting evidence and settlement and enforcement. The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Desiree Holland

    Course Supervisors:

    Glen Pearce & Julie Brownett

    Adelaide Law School Liaison academic- Associate Professor Anne Hewitt
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    This course will be taught intensively from 9 am - 5 pm over two days, or equivalent number of hours across several evenings. Full details of seminars and activities are made available on MyUni course website prior to the course commencing.

    Students are strongly advised to attend all seminars, as assessments are linked to content taught in class.

    Seminar 1
    2.5 hrs topic 1 Drafting Pleadings/Initiating a Claim
    2.5 hrs topic 2 Gathering Evidence

    Seminar 2
    2.5 hrs Settlements
    3 hrs Insolvency
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Identify purpose, audience and structure and construct concise and cohesive written documents for a/legal/professional/general/audience within the context of civil litigation.
    2 Prepare, and analyse client instructions, and provide advice, having regard to the circumstances, good practice and the requirements of the law.
    3 Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written legal arguments.
    4 Demonstrate effective communication skills individually and as part of a group.
    5 Collaborate and debate the issues in the course.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    No textbooks are assigned for GDLP courses.

    Seminar resources and readings are available on MyUni ONLY. Students must bring electronic devices to seminars to access seminar materials.

    Due to an emphasis on current legal practice other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted. Students are required to check MyUni daily to keep up to date.

    Recommended Resources
    Most course resources are provided to students online via MyUni. Relevant legislation can be accessed online via:

    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/

    http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/index.aspx

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/

    MyUni will be used to post announcements, post additional lecture materials (including slides, and where available, audio recordings of lectures) and announce assignment tasks. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Outline, Lecture and Seminar Guides, and
    Course Materials.

    Students are expected to check MyUni daily to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
    Online Learning
    The course is supported by the MyUni course website. The website contains the following resources:

    1. Course information – including seminar schedule and assessment outline.
    2. Course materials – such as lecture presentations, seminar materials, readings and resources.
    3. Assessment – items of assessment and online submission.
    4. Grade centre – where students’ results for assessments are entered.

    MyUni will also be used to post announcements in both this course and GDLP Essentials. Students are expected to check MyUni daily to keep up to date.

    Students should check daily their University of Adelaide email.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught intensively. Problem-solving seminars and practical exercises are supported by online lectures and readings.

    Students must come prepared for seminars and, where applicable, having listened to online lectures, undertaken prior reading and developed draft responses to seminar questions.

    A reminder that students must bring along electronic devices to the seminar so they can access the seminar materials electronically.

    Seminar Attendance-Attendance at seminars is not compulsory, however not attending will put you at a severe disadvantage in completing the assessments, as content taught in class is linked to the assessments.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact time
    This course will be taught intensively.

    Preparation time
    In addition to attending formal classes, it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for classes and to complete the course assessments.

    This is a three-unit course and the university workload measurement for students on this course, including class contact time, is 156 hours. This includes any required pre-reading before the classes commence, and any research and writing of assignments after the end of formal classes.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Learning activities will involve an intensive seminar series as well as online lectures and materials to be used in preparation for the seminars.

    Lectures are a teacher-driven learning activity; relaying of knowledge and information.
    Seminars are more interactive than lectures. Students are expected to prepare answers to seminar questions to facilitate useful in-class discussions between peers. As such, seminars are largely student driven. Seminar leaders are learning facilitators.

    Assessment tasks are also learning activities.

    A detailed seminar schedule will be posted to MyUni prior to the course commencing. Topics include: initiating a claim and pleadings, interlocutory applications, disclosure, gathering and presenting evidence and settlement and enforcement.
    Specific Course Requirements
    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2018 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission.

    In this course, the following elements of the National Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers are embedded:

    The national competency standards include underpinning knowledge and skills in:
    • Ethics and professional responsibility
    • Lawyers skills
    • Problem solving
    • Work management and business skills

    For further information please contact the LSSA Program Manager (GDLP).
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessments will be made available to students, prior to the nominated deadline. Assessment deadlines will be posted on MyUni prior to the course commencing.


    The assessment tasks due dates may vary to what is currently scheduled.
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Length Learning Outcome Redeemable
    Pre attendance Task-letter to client including costs advice Individual Day before course commences n/a 1,000 words approximately 1-3 yes
    Draft Pre-Action Claim to Respondent Individual Second week n/a 1,000 words approximately 1-3 yes
    Draft Statement of Claim Individual Second week n/a 1,000 words approximately 2-3 yes
    Preparing and Drafting Interlocutory Application and Affidavit-form Individual Second week n/a 2,500 words approximately 2-5 yes
    Respond to an Offer to Settle-memorandum Individual Third week n/a 2,000 words approximately 3-5 yes
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The purpose of the GDLP program is to facilitate your transition from undergraduate academic law studies to the legal professional employment environment through the demonstration and practice of professionally-based skills and competencies.

    Assessments will be made available to students, prior to the nominated deadline. Assessment deadlines will be posted on MyUni prior to the course commencing. Assessments guidelines will be provided for each assessment task.


    Assessment Detail
    All assessments are competency based (non-graded pass). Competence must be demonstrated in all assessment tasks and activities. MyUni requires a numerical value to display that competency has been demonstrated. Please note:
    1=Competency demonstrated (Non-graded pass)
    0=Competency not demonstrated (Re submission required)


    Assessment 1
    Pre task letter to client including costs advice
    Using the witness statement and supporting evidence and costs estimate worksheet, write a letter to the client confirming instructions and advising about litigation costs;
    Use the provided costs worksheet to calculate an accurate estimate of costs;
    Include the estimate of costs in the letter to the client;
    Provide an accurate and sufficiently detailed summary of client instructions;
    State relevant and sufficiently detailed factors that may influence costs;
    Provide accurate and sufficiently detailed advice on costs recovery issues (for/against).

    Assessment 2
    Draft Pre-Action Claim to Respondent
    Check and comply with the requirements of Rule 61.7 of the Uniform Civil Rules 2020 (SA)
    Provide fair and proper notice of the claim and process
    Provide accurate presentation of facts and claim for damages

    Assessment 3
    Draft a Statement of Claim
    Consider the required elements of the cause of action, and identify relevant material facts from the course materials.
    Use the provided draft Statement of Claim, and complete all relevant formatting and details on the documents.
    Draft accurate pleadings in accordance with client instructions and legal elements of the cause of action.
    Ensure that relevant material facts + fair notice of case pleaded.
    Ensure that the pleadings are compliant (no irrelevant facts, evidence argument, etc) and use appropriate language for Court documents.

    Assessment 4
    Preparing and Drafting Interlocutory Application and Affidavit
    Analyse instructions, pleadings (including the Respondent's Defence), evidence and each party's Lists of Documents to identify further evidence you will require.
    Set out the relevant facts in the affidavit (in your name on behalf of your client).
    Ensure the correct/appropriate orders are sought in your application.

    Assessment 5
    Respond to an Offer to Settle
    Draft a detailed memorandum to assist a senior practitioner to advise a client about the filed Offer.
    Accurately present the prospects of the case and consider the law and evidence.
    Provide an accurate presentation of damages and costs recovery scenarios (best / worst case recoveries)
    Provide appropriate advice that synthesises analysis of prospects with costs recovery scenarios.
    Advise the client that if they were to accept the offer (including the term for taxation of costs), what is the process and how much could they expect to recover.

    Further details will be provided on MyUni.


    Submission
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted electronically through Turnitin. Submissions to Turnitin are to be in Microsoft Word format (NOT in pdf)’.

    Students work will be marked in accordance with the marking rubric.

    Resubmission

    Students are required to demonstrate competency in all elements of the national competency standards and failure to do so will result in the relevant assessment being marked as non-competent. If the assessment is deemed non-competent students may be offered the opportunity to revise and resubmit the assessment. A re submission is only allowed if a bona fide attempt has been made in the initial submission. In most cases only the parts of the assessment that do not attain competence will be required to be resubmitted. Only ONE opportunity is provided for resubmission.

    Final assessments that do not attain competence on resubmission (fail), per University policy, are double-marked before the results are released back to the student.

    Extensions

    Requests for extensions must be made electronically via GDLP Enquiries GDLPEnquiries@lawsocietysa.asn.au Students MUST apply for an extension prior to the deadline. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate
    grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    Late Submission

    Assessments submitted late without an approved extension will not be marked.

    Failure to complete assessments

    All assessment in this course must be completed. Failure to complete any of the assessments will result in course failure.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    RP Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible  moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment  results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is  required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    Moderation

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:

    *assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    *detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    *sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    *reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    *comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    *automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    *the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    Student feedback The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider.
  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Academic Integrity
    All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Academic Misconduct is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic Misconduct (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia. Academic Integrity is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.