LAW 6502 - Civil Litigation Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This course aims to provide an understanding of civil litigation practice to enable you to conduct a civil litigation file as an entry level lawyer. 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
    Prerequisites LAW 6501
    Assumed Knowledge Civil Litigation at Undergraduate level
    Course Description This course aims to provide an understanding of civil litigation practice to enable you to conduct a civil litigation file as an entry level lawyer. 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: Maree Cutler-Naroba

    Course Timetable

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

    LECTURES
    For Civil Litigation there are 10 hours of lectures: the lectures are pre-recorded and available online.
    There are NO face to face lectures.

    SEMINARS
    For Civil Litigation there are 10 hours of Seminars divided into the following blocks of time
    All Seminars are compulsory
    Students enrol in ONE seminar group ONLY

    Topic 1: Initiating a Claim 2 hours
    Topic 2: Interlocutory Applications 2 hours
    Topic 3: Disclosure 2 hours
    Topic 4: Gathering and Presenting Evidence (including Preparing a Brief for Counsel) 2 hours
    Topic 5: Settlements and Enforcements 2 hours

    ONLINE ACTIVITIES
    In addition to the Lectures and Seminars there are 4 hours of online activities to be completed.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course you should be able to:

    1. display competence in tasks that a junior lawyer would complete in a Civil Litigation matter, including proficiency in applying the District Court Civil Rule;

    2. draft common documents in a Civil matter such as a statement of claim, a disclosure list, letter of demand, and a settlement deed;

    3. prepare an interlocutory application for or against setting aside a default judgment;

    4. have an overview of the disclosure process in four major civil jurisdictions and understand your professional responsibility to advise the client of their disclosure obligations, including the consequences of non-compliance;

    5. understand four different methods to gather evidence including the purpose, timing and drafting tips for each method; and

    6. understand the appeal process in four major civil jurisdictions for interlocutory and final judgments and your professional responsibility in meeting the appeal requirements.
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1 to 6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1 to 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,2,3,5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1 to 6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,2
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1 to 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1 to 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,4,5,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Seminar resources are available on MyUni ONLY. Please NOTE there will be no hard copy of seminar resources printed. Students must bring along an electronic device to seminars so that they can access seminar materials. Reading resources are also available on MyUni, along with supplementary non-assessed online quizzes and activities to enhance your learning.

    Topic 1: Initiating a Claim


    Acts
    Rules
    Forms

    Law Society papers 

    Lazarevich, Alex, Pleadings, Law Society of South Australia, 2006
    Anonymous, Practical Advice on Running a Civil Litigation File, 2013.

    Topic 2: Interlocutory Applications


    Cases

    Lunn Commentary 

    • District Court Civil Rules 2006: ss131-135 (Interlocutory Applications)

    Law Society Papers 

    • Mayfield, Cathy, Interlocutory Applications, Law Society of South Australia, 2012

    Topic 3: Disclosure

    Lunn Commentary 

    • District Court Civil Rules 2006: ss136-145 (Disclosure)
    • District Court Civil Rules 2006: ss146 (Non-Party Disclosure)

    Law Society Papers

    • Anonymous, Disclosure: An Overview, Law Society of South Australia, 2013
    • Heinrich, Peter, Disclosure & Non-Party Disclosure, Law Society of South Australia, 2009

    Topic 4: Gathering & Presenting Evidence

    Acts

    Rules

    • Supreme Court Civil Rules, 2006: Rules 156 and 157 (Admissions), 171-183 (Subpoena)

    Lunn Commentary

    • District Court Civil Rules, 2006: ss150-152 (Pre-trial examination by written questions)
    • District Court Civil Rules, 2006: ss156-158 & 171-181 (Notice to Admit)

    Law Society Papers

    • Blumberg, Mark, Gathering and Presenting Evidence, Law Society of South Australia, 2011
    • Paulson, Leonie, Preparing a Brief for Counsel, Law Society of South Australia, 2005

    Topic 5: Settlements and Enforcement

    Acts

    Cases

    Lunn Commentary 

    • Supreme and District Court Civil Rules 2006: ss33, 73-79, 85-86 and 98-100
    • Supreme and District Court Civil Rules 2006: s194 (Security for Costs)
    • Supreme and District Court Civil Rules 2006: ss263-270 (Costs)
    • Supreme and District Court Civil Rules 2006: ss280-294 (Appeals)

    Other Commentary 

    • Magistrates Court (Civil) Rules 1992: s106 (Costs)
      Supreme and District Court Civil Rules, Practice Direction 6, Appellate Proceedings

    Law Society Papers 

    • Cameron, Robert A, Negotiating Compromises and Taking Action to Enforce Orders and Settlement Agreements, Law Society of South Australia, 2011
    Recommended Resources
    Note: all of the resources are provided to students ONLINE.
    Due to the emphasis on the currency of legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted.
    Details of supplementary readings and resources will be posted online under the Content section of Civil Litigation Practice.
    Online Learning
    All course materials are provided on My Uni. This includes readings, seminar materials, assessment information and instructions, and audio recordings of lectures. Students are expected to check MyUni frequently over the time of the course, to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught through online lectures supported by face to face interactive problem-solving seminars and practical exercises developing primary material.

    Students must come prepared for seminars with prior reading of material and draft responses to the seminar questions. Students must arrive on time for the seminars. If students have not prepared seminar responses and/or have arrived more than 10 minutes late they will be asked to leave the seminar group and enrol in another seminar group.

    A reminder that students MUST bring along an electronic device to the seminars so that they can access the seminar material electronically.

    Attendance is necessary to ensure that students are part of an interactive and reflective learning environment (which enhances learning outcomes of the substantial material covered) and develop their skills of oral presentation, teamwork and persuasion (valuable communication skills in professional environments).

    Preparation for seminars is an essential element of this course. The necessary interactive learning environment in a seminar cannot be achieved without informed participation from all students. Further, by working in small groups within seminars to answer some questions, students develop skills of teamwork. Moreover, active participation in seminar discussions requires students to develop their skills of oral presentation, and their abilities to persuade others through the use of reasoned argument.

    Students who, due to disability, compelling medical or compassionate reasons, or in exceptional circumstances, are unable to attend the required number of seminars, may complete alternative work in lieu of attendance. The precise nature of this make-up work will depend on the seminar missed and will be negotiated with the GDLP Program Director. Students should inform the GDLP Program Director at the earliest opportunity if they will require this permission.

    For these reasons seminar attendance is compulsory and active participation is required.
    Workload

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

    There will be 10 hours of online lectures and 10 hours of face to face seminars during the course plus an additional 4 hours of online activities

    Civil Litigation is a 2 week intensive course.

    In addition to the lectures and seminars, we recommend that you spend 8 hours per week in private study which includes reading the material, preparing for lectures and seminars and undertaking the assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 1: Initiating a Claim 

    Lecture 1: 2 hours

    Seminar 1: 2 hours


    Topic 2: Interlocutory Applications 

    Lecture 2: 2 hours

    Seminar 2: 2 hours


    Assessment: Multiple Choice Quiz Topics 1 and 2, 10%


    Topic 3: Disclosure 

    Lecture 3: 2 hours

    Seminar 3: 2 hours


    Topic 4: Gathering and Presenting Evidence (including Preparing a Brief for Counsel)

    Lecture 4: 2 hours

    Seminar 4: 2 hours

    Assessment: Multiple Choice Quiz Topics 3 and 4, 10%


    Topic 5: Settlements and Enforcements 

    Lecture 5: 2 hours

    Seminar 5: 2 hours

    Additional 4 hours of online activities complementary to the lectures and seminars.


    Assessment: Statement of Claim and Letter of Demand 40%

    Assessment: Interlocutory Application for/against a default judgement  40%



    Specific Course Requirements

    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2004 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission. In order to pass this course you are required to demonstrate competence in these standards. Consequently, compulsory attendance and active participation in seminars is required.

  • 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
    Topic 1: Initiating a Claim  and Topic 2: Interlocutory Applications

    Assessment:

    Multiple Choice Quiz Topics 1 and 2, 10%

    Available: 17/3/14, 9am
    Deadline: 24/3/14, 5pm


    Topic 3: Disclosure
      and 
    Topic 4: Gathering and Presenting Evidence (including Preparing a Brief for Counsel)

    Assessment:

    Multiple Choice Quiz Topics 3 and 4, 10%

    Available: 19/3/14, 9am
    Deadline: 26/3/14, 5pm


    Topic 5: Settlements and Enforcements


    Assessment:

    Statement of Claim and Letter of Demand 40%

    Available: 21/3/14, 9am
    Deadline: 28/3/14, 5pm


    Assessment:
    Interlocutory Application for/against a default judgment 40%

    Available: 24/3/14, 9am
    Deadline:31/3/14, 5pm

    All assessments are individual assessments and are redeemable.

    The 4 assessments cover the Learning Objectives 1 to 6.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance and satisfactory participation in seminars is compulsory.
    Assessment Detail
    Unless otherwise stated, there is no prescribed word limit for assessments.

    This is because the purpose of the GDLP is to transition you from academic study into professional employment. In a workplace it is highly unlikely you are going to be told a certain number of words or pages for the tasks you are asked to complete.

    However, in the majority of assessments guidelines will be provided.

    The quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process.

    Marks may be deducted from assessment because of poor expression, incorrect grammar, typographical errors etc.

    Presentation is to be single spaced and 2.5cm left margin.

    Assessments will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the due date, unless otherwise notified by the GDLP Program Director through a Course Announcement.

    The marked and scanned copy of assessments will be returned via email.
    Submission
    SUBMISSION
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All failed assignments, per University policy, are double-marked before the result is released back to the student. The first and second markers then discuss what the final result will be.

    If a student still fails after the double marking process, they have to revise and resubmit the assignment to a pass standard. The maximum mark a student can receive is 50%.

    Late submission penalty
    Any assignment submitted after the due date without an approved extension will receive a penalty of 5% for every 24 hours of lateness.

    Approved extensions are through the GDLP Program Director.

    Extensions on medical or compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University Policy.

    Late assessments are to be submitted to gldpassessment@lawsocietysa.asn.au

    If a student receives a mark between 50 to 55%, but subsequently fails due to late penalties then 50% is the maximum mark they will receive. BUT, in addition, the student will be asked to revise and resubmit a task from the assessment, at the discretion of the GDLP Program Director.

    If a student receives a mark of 56% or above, but subsequently fails due to late penalties, then 50% is the maximum mark they can receive. There is not an opportunity to resubmit this assignment.

    For example if a student gets 64% and has a late penalty of 20%, giving a result of 44%. This student would get 50% for the assessment and will not be able to resubmit this assignment.

    RESUBMISSION
    All the assessments for this course are redeemable. This means, if you fail the assessment due to the quality of the work (not because of late penalties) then you are able to revise and resubmit the assessment. You have 7 days from the time you are informed by email from the LSSA GDLP Office to resubmit your assessment.

    The parts of the assessment you are to resubmit are the parts that you received less than 50% on. You only have ONE opportunity to revise and resubmit your assessment. An alternative task will be set for the non-redeemable assessment.

    When your assessment is resubmitted it is marked according to the marking rubric. Your result, for example maybe 64% BUT the most you can receive for a revised and resubmitted assessment is 50%.
    Course Grading

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

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    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.

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