Litigation Procedures I

Hours: 60

Prerequisites
Refer to your registering institution's course outline and calendar for complete information about course prerequisites.

In addition to your registering institution's prerequisites, we strongly recommend the following courses as additional prerequisites: 45 wpm keyboarding, Online Learner Success, Introduction to Computers and the Internet, Word Processing I, Word Processing II, Business English, Legal Office Procedures, and Introduction to the Canadian Legal System.

Course Description
Litigation Procedures I introduces you to the functions and duties of a legal administrative assistant working in civil litigation in BC. Subjects covered will include terminology and rules relating to preparing and handling legal correspondence and documents in civil litigation actions and matters in the Supreme Court of BC. Litigation Procedures I will also introduce you to the legal concepts necessary to a basic understanding of the functioning of the courts and the professional environment that you will be entering.

This is primarily a hands-on course in which you integrate keyboard, computer, transcription, and document formatting with a knowledge of civil law. Because it is intended that you will progress on to Litigation Procedures II after taking Litigation I, this course deals with documents and procedures from the initiation of a lawsuit through to the completion of pleadings and the possibility of obtaining default judgment. It does not deal with preparation for trial, interlocutory applications, or procedures after trial, all of which are covered in Litigation Procedures II.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, you will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Prepare documentation for a civil action in the Supreme Court of BC from commencement until the close of pleadings
  2. Prepare the documentation necessary to obtain default judgment
  3. Understand basic legal concepts which underpin the court system in BC and affect the daily work of a civil litigation law office
  4. Understand the environment of a law office and respond to some of the possible challenges in such an office including dealing with people in a law office, possible ethical challenges, and maintaining an appropriate professional appearance and demeanor
  5. Use transcription skills and theory in preparing litigation documents

Textbooks
See this link: /courses/course-text-books/legal-admin-assistant-textbooks.jsp.

Course Content

  1. Overview and objectives
    Character traits of a legal administrative assistant
  2. Civil litigation defined
    Constitutional roots of courts
    Statute and common law
    The court system
  3. Precedent and court authority
    Duties of a legal administrative assistant
    Some rules re: capitalization - names of judges
    Limitation period
  4. Client's first appointment
    Dealing with emotionality
    Opening files
    BF systems
  5. Notice of Civil Claim - review and practical concerns
    Identifying parties - individuals and companies
    Parties with legal disabilities
  6. Service - personal and ordinary
    Within BC
    Outside BC
    A note of jurisdiction
  7. Opening the defendant's file
    Admitting service
    Limitation periods revisited
    Appearances
    Transmittal letters
  8. Pleadings continued
    - counterclaims and third party notices
  9. Amended Pleadings and Affidavits
  10. Default Judgment
  11. Case planning
  12. Overview

Course Design/Activities
Readings and reenforcement activities assigned by your instructor are your principal learning activities. In addition, each week of the course will contain activities in the following:

  • Self-evaluated quizzes to allow you to monitor your own progress
  • Participation in group discussions, via chat or discussion board, on an assigned topic
  • Additional individual activities

Evaluation and Grading

Production tests - document production (5 documents) 50%
Mid-term exam 20%
Final exam 20%
Participation (including discussion items and individual activities) 10%

The registering institution will assign a letter grade.

Computer Equipment Requirements

  • Internet Explorer version 9.0 or higher
  • Office 2010
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download from http://get.adobe.com/reader )
  • Windows 7
  • High-speed Internet connection
  • Computer headphones and digital foot pedal
  • One unused serial port or unused USB port for foot pedal (required for digital transcription activities)
  • Express Scribe digital transcriber software

Withdrawing or Dropping Courses
If you wish to either withdraw or drop a course, contact the Program Coordinator at your registering institution. See your institution's website for add, drop, and withdrawal dates.

Refer to your registering institution's course outline for further information about plagiarism, missed tests, appeal policies, and other institutional policies.