module specification

LC7024 - Litigation (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Litigation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 39.5
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 395
 
79 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
316 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 60%   Civil Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy
Unseen Examination 40%   Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Thursday Morning
Autumn semester City Thursday Evening
Autumn semester City Thursday Afternoon
Autumn semester City Tuesday Evening
Autumn semester City Tuesday Morning
Autumn semester City Friday Morning
Autumn semester City Friday Afternoon

Module summary

 This module focuses on the law and practice of criminal and civil litigation procedure, evidence and advocacy. The module aims to equip students with the knowledge and confidence required to work on transactions on their first day of their training contract as a solicitor.

Prior learning requirements

 Qualifying Law Degree

Syllabus

 Civil Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy Curriculum

1. Taking instructions; client care and professional conduct and regulation
2. Identifying strategies for a client; costs; benefits and risks; selection causes of action and quantum of damages
3. Civil Procedure Rules; overriding objective; pre-action protocols
4. Funding; public; private; conditional fee arrangements
5. Alternative Dispute Resolution
6. Letters of Claim
7. Part 36 offers
8. Claim forms, particulars of claim, statements of case  and defences
9. Commencement of proceedings; case management; disclosure; directions; evidential issues; expert witnesses; witness statements; trial procedure
10. Interim applications; costs orders; summary judgement; application notices
11. Instructions to counsel
12. Injunctive proceedings
13. Post-trial; enforcement; appeals

Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy Curriculum

1. Taking instructions; client care and professional conduct and regulation
2. Police stop and search and human rights
3. Police station, arrest; custody; PACE codes; Forensic Medical Examiner; appropriate adults; right to silence and answering police questions; identification procedures
4. Public funding; Representation Orders; Recovery of Defence Costs Orders
5. Bail
6. Mode of trial and committal
7. Evidence: hearsay; irrelevance; s78 opinion; identification and hearsay
8. Character Evidence
9. Instructions to counsel
10. Sentencing and Appeals

Covers all Learning Outcomes

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

16 one-hour tutor led sessions (80 learning hours) and 16 two-hour student led sessions (160 learning hours) for Civil Litigation and 11 one-hour tutor led sessions (55 learning hours) and 10 two-hour student led sessions (100 learning hours) for Criminal Litigation. The tutor led sessions are one week ahead of the student led sessions to allow students time for reflection. Students are required to test their preparation for each student led session by completing short answer/ multiple-choice questions on WebLearn in advance of the session.

Learning outcomes

 At the end of the Civil Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy course, successful students should be able, under  appropriate supervision, to:

1. Research and apply knowledge of Civil Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy practice accurately and effectively
2. Identify a client’s objectives and different means of achieving those objectives and be aware of
3 The financial, commercial and personal priorities and constraints to be taken into account
4 The costs, benefits and risks involved in civil litigation and associated courses of action
5. Perform the tasks required to advance civil litigation matters and associated courses of action
6. Understand where the rules of professional conduct may impact and be able to apply them in the context of Civil Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy
7. Demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills in the areas of:
8 The core practice area of Civil Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy and
9 The course skills of Practical Legal Research, Writing, Drafting, Interviewing and Advising, and Advocacy. Students should also be able to transfer skills learnt in one context to another
10. Reflect on their learning and identify their learning needs.

General Litigation Outcomes:

On completion of Civil Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy, students should:
1. Understand the nature of civil litigation
2. Be able to identify the critical steps in the process of civil litigation.

Element 1: Case Analysis

Students should be able to analyse factual material, identify the legal context in which factual issues arise, relate the central legal and factual issues to each other and be able to:

1. Identify the elements of selected causes of action
2. Identify, analyse and, if necessary, research the propositions of fact going to the elements and be able to identify, analyse, secure and preserve evidence to support propositions of fact
3. Identify, analyse and advise on the admissibility and relevance of evidence and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case including, where appropriate, the opponent’s evidence.
4. Be aware of the possibility of a claim including issues under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Element 2: Courses of Action and Funding

Students should be able to:

1. Attend an initial client interview in a civil litigation matter, obtain basic information and give initial advice
2. Deal with issues of client care relating to costs and complaints
3. Identify possible courses of action, demonstrate an awareness of the legal and non legal consequences of selecting a course of action and advise the client on the attendant costs, benefits and risks
4. Understand the law governing quantum of damages and how this impacts on the client’s claim
5. Advise the client on the different ways of funding civil litigation, including the availability of public funding and be able to complete the relevant funding application forms

Element 3: Procedure

Students should be able to identify the steps and strategies that need to be taken in the preparation and conduct of civil litigation.

Specific Civil Litigation Outcomes:

Element 4: Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Students should be able to:

1. Identify the appropriate forum for the resolution of the dispute, including appropriate methods of alternative dispute resolution
2. Identify possible cost consequences of different outcomes, the effect of the different costs rules  and the impact of the likely costs orders on the conduct of litigation
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the Civil Procedure Rules, the overriding objective, and their  application and be able to use the above text as required in practice
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the court’s role in the litigation process, in particular the court’s case management powers and duties
5. Identify steps to be taken prior to commencement and be able to issue, serve and respond to claim forms
6. Advise on the case management conference and interim applications, prepare and appear at the case management conference and conduct other applications to the master or district judge
7. Understand the steps needed to prepare the case for trial and the procedure and evidential issues arising from expert witnesses, witnesses of fact and disclosure, and demonstrate an awareness of the basic elements of trial procedure
8. Demonstrate an awareness of the mechanisms which are available to enforce and appeal a judgment
9. Prepare the appropriate documentation and draft claim forms, particulars of claim, defences, allocation questionnaires, disclosure lists, application notices, orders and witness statements
10. Instruct Counsel where appropriate in civil litigation matters and draft instructions to counsel

At the end of the Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy course, successful students should be able, under appropriate supervision, to:

1. Research and apply knowledge of Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy practice accurately and effectively
2. Identify a defendant or prosecutor's objectives and different means of achieving those objectives and be aware of
• The financial and personal priorities and constraints to be taken into account
• The costs, benefits and risks involved in criminal litigation and associated courses of action
3. Perform the tasks required to advance transactions or matters
4. Understand where the rules of professional conduct may impact and be able to apply them in the context of Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy
5. Demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills in the areas of:
• The core practice area of Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Advocacy and
• The course skills of Practical Legal Research, Writing, Drafting, Interviewing and Advising, and Advocacy. Students should also be able to transfer skills learnt in one context to another
6. Reflect on their learning and identify their learning needs.

General Litigation Outcomes:

On completion of this core practice area, students should:
1. Understand the nature of criminal litigation
2. Be able to identify the critical steps in the process of criminal litigation.

Element 1: Case Analysis

Students should be able to analyse factual material, identify the legal context in which factual issues arise, relate the central legal and factual issues to each other and be able to:

1. Identify the elements of selected criminal charges
2. Identify, analyse and, if necessary, research the propositions of fact going to the elements and be able to identify, analyse, secure and preserve evidence to support propositions of fact
3. Identify, analyse and advise on the admissibility and relevance of evidence and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case including, where appropriate, the opponent’s evidence.
4. Gather and analyse evidence
5. Advise as to admissibility and relevance of evidence
6. Seek to exclude evidence on the basis of identifying hearsay, irrelevance, prejudicial opinion and evidence relating to bad character
7. Identify when a court will give evidential warnings in relation to bad character, identification evidence and in relation to uncorroborated evidence
8. Be aware of the possibility of complaint under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Human Rights Act

Element 2: Courses of action and funding

Students should be able to:

1. Attend to the client and deal with issues of client care, whether in custody or in the office
2. Identify possible courses of action, demonstrate an awareness of the legal and non legal consequences of selecting a course of action and advise the client on the attendant costs, benefits and risks
3. Advise the client on the different ways of funding criminal litigation, including the availability of public funding and the funding of expert witnesses

Element 3: Procedure

Students should be able to identify the steps and strategies that need to be taken in the preparation and conduct of criminal litigation.

 

Specific Criminal Litigation Outcomes:

Element 4: Criminal Law and Practice

Students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Criminal Procedure Rules, their overriding objective, and their application
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the court’s role in the litigation process, in particular the court’s case management powers and duties
3. Demonstrate an awareness of police station representative accreditation schemes, and the court duty solicitor scheme
4. Identify whether police have exercised their powers of stop and search and detention correctly
5. Explain the custody, review and detention limits under PACE and the role of the custody officer and be able to interpret the Custody Record and make representations for attendance by a Forensic Medical Examiner and/or Appropriate Adult
6. As to whether and when it is appropriate to exercise the right to silence, to stand in an identification parade, or agree to a caution
7. Identify the steps involved in making an application for a representation order and be able to complete one on behalf of the client and be able to challenge a decision by the court to refuse public funding
8. Identify the steps involved in making or contesting a bail application and be able to draft and present a bail application to a custody officer, magistrates’ court or a chambers application in the Crown Court
9. Identify the practical and tactical considerations involved in determining the mode of trial, including an awareness of the range of sentences available, and advise the client accordingly
10. Assist in the preparation and conduct of a summary trial, committal proceedings and a trial on indictment and be able to draft a brief to counsel
11. React appropriately to the criminal disclosure procedures for offences tried summarily and on indictment and be able to draft an appropriate defence statement
12. Demonstrate a tactical awareness of the significance of calling live lay and expert witnesses and the consequences of admitting written evidence at court
13. Demonstrate an awareness of the skills employed by the presenting advocate and be able to analyse and assess their own and other advocates' performance through examination or cross examination, including dealing with issues of client care
14. Demonstrate an awareness of the rules of professional conduct relating to advocacy
15. Demonstrate an awareness of the appeals procedure to the Crown Court and Court of Appeal and the relevant funding and time limit considerations

Assessment strategy

 The assessment is two open book exams with advance disclosure of documents and is of a transactional nature. This form of assessment is designed to replicate practice and enable students to demonstrate the application of legal principles in a realistic, practical context.

Students are given two formative assessments. One is self-marked with tutor feedback and for the other students receive examiners’ guidance.

Bibliography

 Basic Texts
Skills for Lawyers, University of Law Publishing

Online Materials
Supporting WebLearn materials and student study materials