PA 2202: Litigation and Trial Practice

Course Title: Litigation and Trial Practice
Course Number: PA 2202
Credits: 3 semester credits
Prerequisites: PA 1102 – Introduction to Law and Contracts (Minimum grade: 2.0 GPA Equivalent) or permission of the Paralegal Professor.
Recommendations: This course requires the knowledge of legal analysis, the ability to do light legal research based on directions provided by the instructor, and the aptitude to learn how to draft pleadings.
Catalog Description: Examines selected aspects of the rules of evidence, principles of investigating and interviewing, practical applications of selected rules of civil procedure, discovery and preparation for trial and rules of professional responsibility. Particular emphasis is placed upon the role of the paralegal in the litigation process.
Course Objectives/ Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to:

  • Describe, interpret, analyze and evaluate the general litigation process.
  • Demonstrate and illustrate a practical familiarity with selected rules of evidence and civil procedure.
  • Use organizational techniques for investigation and interview of clients and/or witnesses.
  • Prepare selected litigation documents, which include basic documents for a civil lawsuit.
  • Summarize, interpret and analyze basic pretrial, trial and post-trial matters and procedures.
  • Gather and organize discovery.
  • Use an expanded legal vocabulary and understand legal concepts, especially as it pertains to civil litigation.
  • Explain the basics of the alternative dispute resolution process.
  • Conduct legal reasoning and analysis as it relates to civil litigation.
  • Recall, interpret and analyze the basic rules of legal professional responsibility, ethics and client confidentiality as it relates to civil litigation matters.
Topics Covered:
  1. Introduction (6 Hours)
    • Meaning of litigation
    • Litigation overview
    • Role of the paralegal
    • Lawyer and client relationships
    • Ethics
    • Court system review
    • Rules overview
  2. Evidence (5 Hours)
    • General
    • Judicial Notice
    • Presumption & Privilege
    • Expert Testimony
    • Witnesses
    • Relevancy
    • Hearsay
  3. Investigation and Interviewing
    (4 Hours)
  4. Service of Process (1 hour)
  5. Lawsuit (20 1/2 Hours)
    • Alterative Dispute Resolution
    • Causes of Actions  & Defenses
    • Pleadings
    • Filings including electronic case filing
    • Venue and Jurisdiction
    • Discovery including e-discovery
    • Subpoena & Motions & Affidavits
  • Trial
  • File Organization (4 1/2 hours)
    Strategies & Notebooks
    Electronic case
  • Judgments and Collections (2 Hours)
  • Post-Trial Motions and Appeal Process (2 Hours)
  • Examinations (3 Hours)

Total Semester Hours 48 Hours

Course Focus: To give the student a basic understanding, a general introductory background and insight into litigation and the trial practice process. To develop a working knowledge of the rules of civil procedure, state and federal, including the rules of evidence, jury selection, and legal analysis. To develop an understanding of the organization of trial notebooks, investigation and interviewing techniques, and how a paralegal assists the attorney at each stage of the litigation process.
Outcomes Measures: The student may take exam(s) and/or draft various court pleadings and documents using analytical problem solving and legal analysis. The student may legally analyze case problems and also use electronic spreadsheet, case management and portable document format software to complete projects.

Grading of assignments and exams may be on a numerical basis. The final grade will be a letter grade (A-F).

The final grade will be a full letter grade (A-F).