Civil Practice – PLST 220

CG • Section • 01/03/2020 to 06/11/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is the study of the rules and principles governing the process by which courts adjudicate civil disputes. The subject matter covered includes study of the judicial process and the relationship between procedural and substantive law; pleadings; principles of jurisdiction, including jurisdiction over persons and subject matter; service of process and allocation of jurisdiction between state and federal court systems; and the discovery of evidence.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

Every lawsuit involves two primary and equally important components: substantive law that governs the litigants’ rights and obligations, and rules and principles that govern how the court will apply the substantive law. This course’s primary focus is the latter. Because mastery of civil procedure enables lawyers to plot sound strategy for their clients, it is essential to being an effective legal assistant and to being fully prepared to provide the necessary guidance. Moreover, the law of civil procedure represents our judicial systems’ best efforts to provide for fair and just resolution of disputes; therefore, this course emphasizes the need for litigants’ strong commitment to operate with “the rules” to achieve justice, integrity, and civility.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain general principles of civil litigation.
  2. Choose the mode of discovery in a civil lawsuit that achieves litigation goals and strategies.
  3. Evaluate various litigation strategies as they relate to a client’s best interests.
  4. Apply Christian principles of ethical and moral conduct to achieve justice and fairness.
  5. Classify the elements that comprise a complaint, or petition, as well as answers that comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other governing principles of civil procedure.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150 words.

Article Reviews (2)

The student will submit brief reviews discussing current news articles related to a trial or other actions that directly relate to the subject matter of civil litigation. News articles used for this assignment must come from the newspaper, a news program, or some other reputable news source (either traditional such as a newspaper or news magazine, or from a reputable online source). Each review must be in current Bluebook format and be 1–2 full pages, double-spaced.

Learning Labs (6)

The student will write a paper of at least 2 pages in current Bluebook style. The student must have at least 1 work cited in addition to citing the textbook. The student is also required to follow the instructions for each of the 6 individual learning labs.

Quizzes (5)

Each quiz is composed of 25 randomized multiple-choice and true/false questions. They will cover each module/week’s respective textbook reading. The student will have 1 hour to complete each open-book/open-notes quiz.