PA 2212: Personal Injury & E-Discovery

Course Title: Personal Injury & E-Discovery
Course Number: PA 2212
Credits: 2 semester credits
Prerequisites: Grade “C” or better in PA 1102: Introduction to Law and Contracts or instructor’s permission
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 or legal documents.
Catalog Description: Examines selected major issues and themes in civil litigation involving personal injuries and wrongful death with primary emphasis on negligence and medical malpractice. Significant case law, statutes, rules, procedures, and evidentiary and e-discovery principles will be covered.
Outcomes: Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate, interpret and analyze basic common law, statutes, and rules relating to personal injury litigation,negligence, tort reforms, and appeals process.
  • Perform and evaluate practical tasks a paralegal handles in a personal injury case including legal research, investigation, trial preparation, organization and preservation of evidence, motions and legal memorandum concerning various evidentiary matters, settlement, and case management.
  • Explain the basics of the trial process, the burden of proof, negligence law, and procedural considerations.
  • Review, analyze and evaluate a general understanding of medical malpractice and malpractice of other professionals.
  • Explain and interpret the basic law of automobile liability, premises liability, liquor liability, and products liability.
  • Draft, review and revise specific discovery documents, including e-discovery in a personal injury case.
  • Understand various ethical considerations, confidentiality, and the professional code of conduct concerning the handling of personal injury cases.
  • Explain methods of Alternative Dispute Resolutions for personal injury matters.
Topics Covered:
  1. Introduction, Definitions and the Courts (2 Hours)
  2. Client Interview; Summary; Questionnaire, and Retainer Agreements
    (1 Hour)
  3. Documentation/Organization of Files, Legal Malpractice and Ethics. (2 Hours)
  4. Review all Authorizations/Releases, Medical and Police Records.(2 Hours)
  5. No-Fault Insurance Issues, Dram Shop and Liquor Liability
    (2 Hours)
  6. Pleadings, i.e. Summons, Complaint, Answers & Counterclaims)
    (2 Hours)
  7. Discovery, E-Discovery, Depositions, Motions (3 Hours)
  8. Statement of the Case and Proposed Jury Instructions (3 Hours)
  9. Trial Preparation, and Video Testimony (3 Hours)
  10. Case Chronology/Outline, Exhibit Lists, Trial Notebook (3 Hours)
  11. Final Argument and Case Briefs. (2 Hours)
  12. Arbitration and Settlement.(1 Hour)
  13. Other Classroom Activities: Mock interviews, legal essays, trial notebook preparation and group work (3 Hours)
  14. Examinations (3 Hours)

Total Semester Hours: 32 Hours

Course Focus: To acquaint the paralegal student with personal injury litigation beginning with client interviews, retainer agreements, setting up a case file, including but not limited to, correspondence with doctors, governmental agencies and employers. The student will also prepare for a lawsuit including the drafting of summons, complaints, answers, counterclaims, and e-discovery.
Outcomes Measures: The student may take exams and/or prepare various legal document drafting exercises. Case management and computer technology may be used to complete projects assigned where appropriate.

Numerical grading may be used. The final grade will be a full letter grade (A-F).