LAW 6502 - Civil Litigation Practice

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 2 - 2019

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 Trimester 2
    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 Supervisor:

    Christian Haebich
    Course Timetable

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

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
    This course will be taught intensively. Full details of seminars and activities are made available on the MyUni course website prior to the course commencing.

    Note: In most cases assessment tasks are linked to seminars activities. Attendance at all seminars is highly advisable.
  • 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. Online lectures are supported by activities such as face to face interactive problem-solving seminars and practical exercises.

    Students MUST come prepared for seminars, namely having listened to online lectures, undertaken prior reading and developed draft responses to the seminar questions. If students have not prepared and / or arrive more than 10 minutes late they may be asked to leave the seminar group.

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

    Attendance at seminars is advisable to ensure that students are part of the interactive and reflective learning environment (which enhances learning outcomes) and provides students with the ability to develop their skills of oral presentation, teamwork and persuasion (valuable to the professional environment). Students are expected to behave in an ethical and professional manner as would be expected in the workplace environment (compliant with the professional conduct rules and standards).
    Workload

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

    In addition to attending seminars it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for seminars and to complete the course assessments. Students are expected to spend about 15 hours per week in private study which includes reading the materials, listening to lecture presentations, conducting research and preparing for seminars. In addition students will need to dedicate time for the completion of assessments.
    Learning Activities Summary
    In this unit, you will be provided with a civil litigation scenario and asked to take steps running the matter, from initial engagement
    with the client, through pleadings and disclosure, interlocutory applications, and offers to settle.

    Initial material will be released prior to the seminars, to allow you to familiarise yourself with the basic facts, and undertake the first task given you by a senior practitioner:

    Pre-Seminar Task

    1. Write a draft R33 (and / or Supp R17) Letter to the
    Defendant

    Over the course of the seminars, further material will
    become available that will allow you to complete the following tasks:

    Module 1

    2. Write an initial letter of advice to the client,
    including advising about litigation costs

    3. Draft pleadings based on the client’s instructions

    4. Advise the client about disclosure obligations

    Module 2

    5. Analyse the matter and prepare a simple interlocutory
    application

    6. Respond to an offer to settle

    7. Prepare a Deed of Settlement

    Each of the above tasks are assessed work.



    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 order to pass this course you are expected to demonstrate competence in these standards.

    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
    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
    Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessments will be made available to students, prior to the nominated deadline.

    Note: Competence must be demonstrated in all assessment tasks and activities.


    * Assessment deadlines will be posted on MyUni prior to the course commencing.
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Task 1
    Pre-attendance
    Individual 1 day prior to course commencing n/a 1-3
    Task 2
    Initial letter to client
    Statement of claim
    Letter to client disclosure
    Individual First week n/a 1-5
    Task 3
    Application and affidavit
    File note -offer analysis
    Deed of settlement
    Individual Second week n/a 1-5
    Task 4
    Attendance
    Individual n/a n/a n/a
     
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Detailed information regarding assessment tasks will be provided on MyUni .

    In this course, students will also be assessed on the following:

    • Attendance
    • Punctuality
    • Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines
    • Display active engagement in practical activities
    • Demonstrate respectful behaviour towards others
    • Maintaining a high level of confidentiality at all times
    • Satisfactory completion of prescribed exercises
    • Underpinning national competency standards (as noted in ‘Specific course requirements’)

    Unless otherwise stated, there will be no prescribed word limit for assessments. This is because the purpose of the GDLP programme 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. In a legal practice it is highly unlikely you will be set 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.
    Assessment competence will take into consideration: expressions, structure, correct grammar, typography, etc.

    Note: In most cases assessment tasks are linked to seminars activities. Attendance at all seminars is highly advisable.

    Assessments will be returned to students within 3 weeks from the due date, unless otherwise notified by the GDLP Program Coordinator through a Course Announcement.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment detail will be published on MyUni with a marking Rubric.

    The seminars will take the form of small workshop tasks taken in pairs or small groups. Ideally, students will need to work with at
    least one computer / device between 2 – 4 people.

    Assessed work is expected to be that of each individual student and plagiarism and all other rules regarding academic dishonesty apply.


    Pre-attendance - Write a draft R33 (and / or Supp R17) Letter to the Defendant




    Submission
    Students must retain a copy of all assessments submitted.

    Students are to submit assessments online via Turnitin.

    Please note: where forms or documents have been outlined in assessment activities for completion these should be downloaded from original sources and completed in an electronic format, if not supplied.

    Students 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. 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.

    In 2019 a supplementary teaching day will be offered. Students who will be allowed to resubmit may attend this day, though it is not compulsory to do so. Resubmission of the assessment will be allowed after this additional teaching day. If a student is unable to demonstrate competency after this resubmission then they will need undertake the course again and pay additional fees. Please note that all final fails are double marked before the results are released to students.

    Note: Attendance and participation in seminars, and/or the completion of online activities will be considered as determining factors in the offer of a resubmission.

    Extensions

    Students MUST apply for an extension prior to the deadline to the LSSA GDLP Team.

    Extensions on medical and compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University policy.

    Late Submission
    Assignments submitted late will not be marked.

    NOTE: in this course, students are assessed against the national competency standards and professional workplace standards; namely

    • Ethical and professional responsibility
    • Lawyers skills
    • Problem solving
    • Work management and business skills
    • Punctuality
    • Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines

    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.

    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.

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


    Grade reflects following criteria for allocation of grade:
    Reported on Official Transcript
    Fail no submission 
    No work submitted for assessment FNS
    Competency not demonstrated  Fail 
    Non-Graded Pass Competency demonstrated NGP
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN


    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.

    Please note: GS8 Course Grading, Pass, Credit, Distinction, High Distinction DO NOT apply to this course.

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

  • 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 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 Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (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 honesty 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.