LAW 6001 - Dispute Resolution & Ethics (Hons)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

This compulsory course is one of two award-winning capstone courses that prepare our students for the Graduate Diploma In Legal Practice (taught at AOF level 9) and their professional life. In this course students must demonstrate a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge of law, legal practice and dispute resolution and be able to communicate these effectively in complex situations to a range of audiences with varying needs. This course requires the review, analysis, consolidation and synthesis of knowledge gained in previous courses throughout their degree to propose solutions for complex legal problems.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 6001
    Course Dispute Resolution & Ethics (Hons)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to Bachelor of Laws Honours Only
    Course Description This compulsory course is one of two award-winning capstone courses that prepare our students for the Graduate Diploma In Legal Practice (taught at AOF level 9) and their professional life. In this course students must demonstrate a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge of law, legal practice and dispute resolution and be able to communicate these effectively in complex situations to a range of audiences with varying needs. This course requires the review, analysis, consolidation and synthesis of knowledge gained in previous courses throughout their degree to propose solutions for complex legal problems.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Margaret Castles

    This course is coordinated by Margaret Castles.

    Margaret Castles
    Email: margaret.castles@adelaide.edu.au
    Phone: 8313 5572
    Office: 330 Ligertwood Building

    Contact information for other teachers in the course and contact times will be made available on MyUni.

    Course Timetable

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

    Lectures and Seminars will commence in Week 1, and continue to Week 13. There will be 10 teaching weeks in all, with some lectures provided online, and additional optional workshops available during the semester. Dates for all teaching events will be provided in early 2017.

    Please note that this course has a compulsory attendance. You may only miss 2x 3 hour seminars. If you miss more than 2 seminars you will not be eligible to pass. Seminar attendance assumes attendance at the entire seminar. Seminars may be missed for any reason, but be mindful that if you miss 2 seminars (for any reason) and then get sick, you will not be able to miss any more.

    If you encounter any significant medical or compassionate issue that means you have to miss more than 2 seminars, you can apply to the course coordinator for special consideration.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The Legal Practitioners' Education and Admissions Council (LPEAC) sets rules for the academic requirements for admission to legal practice in South Australia. Students must demonstrate a satisfactory level of understanding and application of 11 core areas of legal knowledge.

    This course covers the material in the Priestly 11 subjects “Civil Procedure” and “Ethics and Professional Responsibility”. In particular, it covers the following Priestly 11 material:

    Civil Procedure -
    · Court adjudication under an adversary system.
    · The cost of litigation and the use of costs to control litigation.
    · Service of originating process - as foundation of jurisdiction and choice of forum.
    · Joinder of claims and parties, including the defence of prior adjudication as instances of the public interest in avoiding a multiplicity of proceedings and inconsistent verdicts.
    · Defining the questions for trial - pleadings, notices to admit and other devices.
    · Obtaining evidence - discovery of documents, interrogatories, subpoena and other devices.
    · Disposition without trial, including the compromise of litigation.
    · Extra judicial determination of issues arising in the course of litigation.
    · Judgement; Appeal; Enforcement.

    These processes are covered in different degrees of detail. The aim of the course is for students to build a coherent overview of civil dispute resolution, and to develop the capacity to navigate and work with the rules and procedures within a dynamic and often chaotic environment.

    Ethics and Professional Responsibility -
    · Professional and personal conduct in respect of a practitioner’s duty:
    (a) To the law;
    (b) To the Courts;
    (c) To clients, including a basic knowledge of the principles relating to the holding of money on trust; and
    (d) To fellow practitioners.

    The specific learning outcomes of the course are the development of:
    1. Critical overview of different dispute resolution options within and outside the civil court system.
    2. Ability to critically analyse and apply legislation, rules and cases in context.
    3. Capacity to exercise judgement in the management of a civil dispute.
    4. Reasoned problem solving and solution generation skills.
    5. A deep appreciation of ethical principles which govern legal practice.
    6. An ability to communicate and operate effectively independently and as a member of a team.
    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, 8, 9
    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, 5, 7
    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
    10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 4, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    8, 9
    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
    7, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    • Margaret Castles and Anne Hewitt, Dispite Resolution and Ethics 2nd Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2015)
    • Dispute Resolution and Ethics 2017 seminar guides and workbooks (available on MyUni)
    • Supreme Court Rules Forms and Practice Directions (SA) 2006. Available online at SA Courts website:  http://www.courts.sa.gov.au
    • Law Society of South Australia, Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules. Available from the Law Society of SA website: https://www.lawsocietysa.asn.au/LSSA/Lawyers/Publications/Solicitor_Conduct_Rules.aspx
    • Robert Lunn, Sueing in South Australia, 2016.

    NOTE ON RESOURCES:

    This is the last year we will be using the text book (2015) it will be updated for 2018. So we recommend buying a second hand copy.

    There is no need to buy any of the other resources, we will discuss what resources will be useful when the subject starts.


    Recommended Resources
    A range of additional resources are available online and in the library, which you may find of assistance. Look on the MyUni site, or ask the librarians or course coordinators for suggestions.
    Online Learning
    Selected course materials will be made available on MyUni. This will include all seminar guides, assessment information and instructions, audio recordings of lectures and all lecture PowerPoints. Tools for individual preparation, practical exercises and some assessment exercises will also be offered online throughout the semester. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the semester.

    In addition to lectures and seminars students will be expected to complete a series of self-directed interactive online learning modules on examinable material throughout the semester. These modules provide flexible learning and revision opportunities relevant to important practical skills and substantive issues throughout the course. Detail of these modules will be provided at the commencement of semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught through lectures supported by interactive problem-solving seminars, practical exercises developing primary material, and online self-directed learning modules.

    Generally, there will be lecture on each topic, and a week later the seminar on that topic will be scheduled. This means lectures will usually be a week before the topic is covered in seminars.

    There will be at least 3 additional optoinal interactive workshops at which students can review work prior to submision for assessment, and get feedback on their drafts.
    Workload

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

    Lectures commence in Week 1; Seminars commence in Week 2. Both continue to Week 13. There will be 10 teaching weeks in all, with some lectures provided online, and additional optional workshops available during the semester. Dates for all teaching events will be provided in early 2017.

    Please note that this course has a compulsory attendance. You may only miss 2 x 3 hour seminars. If you miss more than 2 seminars you will not be eligible to pass. Seminar attendance assumes attendance at the entire seminar. Seminars may be missed for any reason, but be mindful that if you miss 2 seminars (for any reason) and then get sick, you will not be able to miss any more. If you encounter any significant medical or compassionate issue that means you have to miss more than 2 seminars, you can apply to the course coordinator for special consideration.Students will be expected to attend a two hour lecture and 30 hours of seminars during the semester.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures will commence in Week 1 of semester, Seminars in Week 2 and will continue into Week 13 of Semester.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Each student in this course will work in a small team to progress a client's case across the course of the semester. Under the supervision of a more senior lawyer (your seminar leader) your team will:
    • Advise your client about how to use the civil litigation process;
    • Review pleadings on behalf of your client;
    • Make and defend applications for interlocutory orders in two adversarial courtroom exercises;
    • Engage in a negotiation to try and resolve the dispute.
    Each of these activities will require your team to explore the rules of civil procedure and apply them to your client's situation in a simulated practice environment.

  • 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
    Assessment will consist of a range of small and large activities, culminating in an exam. These activities will be spread throughout the semester. Details of assessment and due dates will be provided prior to commencement of the course. As a guide, it is anticipated that one major 30% assessment will be due around the first week of Mid Semester Break, a second major Assessment (20%) will be due around week 10.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT

    Students who miss more than TWO (2) seminars during the course of the semester will be unable to pass the course. Students may complete make-up work for seminars missed for compassionate or medical reasons at the discretion of their seminar leader  and/or the course coordinator. The precise nature of this make up work will depend on the seminar missed and will be negotiated with the seminar leader.

    This subject prepares students for legal practice in SA and is a prerequisite for admission to the Bar in SA. It is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of civil and criminal litigation, which will be further studied at post graduate level prior to admission as a legal practitioner. Skills such as critical evaluation, exercising legal and forensic judgment, appreciation of the operation of judicial discretion, and the capacity to communicate legal procedural argument clearly and effectively are critical to practice in this area.

    The appreciation of legal ethical principles is also an important graduate attribute. Whilst legal ethics are couched in absolute terms, in practical application, there is considerable subjectivity at play. Seminars in this subject make regular reference to ethical dilemmas, and draw on students to engage in evaluation and resolution of such dilemmas by reference to given principles, and legal and social outcomes. The practice of law requires lawyers to be able to identify and resolve such issues, and this is almost always only achievable by consultation with peers and other professionals. Including such issues in seminars, and assessing students’ capacity to approach them in a professional and effective manner, is a necessary aspect of teaching future legal professionals, and is best achieved by direct observation and participation in class. The seminars are predicated on the assumption that students have undertaken given preparation, and approach the subject matter at a relatively sophisticated level based on this preparation. Individual or small groups of students will often be asked to prepare issues for discussion, to undertake small research exercises, or to otherwise contribute to future seminars. Activities of this nature are an essential part of being an effective professional in the legal field. Small class sizes (24) and a strong focus on interactive learning make methodology such as this an effective way of developing students strategic and forensic thinking skills.

    For these reasons attendance and satisfactory participation in in seminars is compulsory. Students who do not meet these requirements will not be eligible to take the exam. Responsibility for monitoring attendance and participation is set out below.

    Models of class participation are varied to meet different educational styles, cultural approaches, and gender implications. They include:
    • small group discussions (groups of 4 – 6) with different students invited to convene and record discussion
    • tutors moving between groups and assisting with discussion.
    • large group discussion with emphasis on directed questions, and reporting on preparatory work done for seminars
    • working in pairs on case evaluation and discussion
    • students being given specific small preparatory tasks for seminar, so that they have the opportunity to prepare and be confident of delivery and are not “put on the spot” 
    • students assisting each other in answering questions or developing themes in class discussions.
    It is expected that tutors will identify students strengths and weaknesses and utilise these strategies so as to encourage development and confidence and ensure equality of participation.

    Responsibility for monitoring attendance and participation is shared between seminar leaders and students as follows:

    Attendance - Students who miss more than 2 seminars during the semester MUST contact their seminar leader to establish whether make-up work for the missed seminars is possible. IT IS EACH STUDENT’S OWN RESPONSIBILITY TO MONITOR THEIR ATTENDANCE AND ENSURE THEY HAVE SATISFIED THE MINIUMUM ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT.

    Satisfactory participation - If students have satisfied the attendance requirement, but have failed to satisfactory participate in seminars, this will be brought to their attention by the SEMINAR LEADER. The seminar leader and student will then discuss the participation requirements of the course and any obstacles to participation by the student. If appropriate, additional work (as negotiated by the seminar leader and student) may be completed by the student to supplement their participation.
    Assessment Detail
    1. Individually assessed pleadings and ethics exercise – 25%
    The assignment will require students to draft a pleading (Claim or Defence) and prepare an explanatory memorandum covering drafting strategy, case strategies, and ethical issues. Assignment instructions will be posted on MyUni in week 3.
    DUE DATE MONDAY 10 April 8.00pm (First week of Mid Semester Break). Online submisison via Turnitin. A

    2. Group assessed advocacy exercise – 20%
    Assignment instructions will be posted on MyUni in week 6.
    DUE DATE MONDAY 29 May 8 pm (Week 12)

    3. Ethics Quiz 4%
    There will be an online multiple choice + short written answer quiz at the beginning of Week 13. This will be graded.

    4. Case summaries– 6%

    Each student must complete to a satisfactory standard:

    3 x individually completed case summaries which must be posted online in your MyUni group page by specified due dates; The dates will be provided in Seminar #1 in Week 2 of Semester. Each satisfactory case summary submitted on time will be worth 2% of final grade.

    4. Examination – 45%
    Take home examination to be held during the examination period. The examination will be available for 6 houers and will be scheduled by examinations office.
    Submission
    • Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    • Late submission penalty – assignments submitted after the due time and date without an extension granted by the Course Coordinator will be subject to a penalty of 5% of the total mark possible for that assignment every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an assignment that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.  Extensions on medical or compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University Policy (see below).
    • Word length penalty - assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks available per 100 words or part thereof (ie an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    • All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
    • 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.
    • Assignments will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the due date with written feedback. Students will be notified by email when assignments are ready for collection from the Law School Front Office
    Course Grading

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

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    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.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    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.

    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.
  • 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.

    In 2016 the SELT responses we received indicated that students were satisfied with the quality of the DRE course, although they found it quite demanding. We were particularly pleased with the positive response in the SELTs about the group work component of the DR+E course, and the positive response to the introduction of a single text resource. 

    Students appreciated the varied learning options including online exercises, group work, as well as the high level of practicality. The amount of feedback provided throughout the course was also appreciated.

    This year we have introduced additional online activities which will engage you with aspects of lawyers' professional practice, and also assist to prepare you for assessable activities. We have also taken on board feedback regarding the timetabling of the course, and have made changes to increase student flexiblity and also manage the complexity of the course timetable.

    We will also be introducing 3 voluntary workshops to assist students refining assessable work prior to submission, and to develop other critical skills.



  • 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 pactical 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.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at https://www.adelaide.edu.au/counselling_centre/

  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/group/law-school/policies-and-procedures 

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating
    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse 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.