CQUniversity Unit Profile
LAWS12064 Legal Advocacy
Legal Advocacy
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The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

Legal Advocacy concerns the preparation for and oral presentation of persuasive legal arguments. The unit includes how to prepare for, structure and present oral arguments - examining topics such as interviewing, negotiation, and fundamentals of trial technique. It is essential that lawyers know how to present their arguments in a coherent and persuasive manner. Students will prepare numerous oral presentations culminating in a moot.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 2
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite:- LAWS13010 & corequisite LAWS13017

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 2 - 2018

Distance

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Practical and Written Assessment
Weighting: 10%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment
Weighting: 20%
3. Presentation and Written Assessment
Weighting: 30%
4. Presentation and Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student Feedback and self.

Feedback

Poor quality internet adversely affects student performance.

Recommendation

Students should be instructed that without access to good quality internet their performance in this unit will be adversely affected.

Feedback from Student Feedback.

Feedback

There should be more assessments. There should be fewer assessments.

Recommendation

No change to the number of assessments. Students generally appreciate the stages in grades of the four assessments.

Feedback from Student feedback.

Feedback

There should be more information about assessments.

Recommendation

This applies to Assessments Two and Four in particular. Consideration be given to redesigning and simplifying Assessment Two. For Assessment Four explanation of what constitutes an issue and examples be given.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Competently prepare and present persuasive quality oral arguments and presentations that are simple, clear, comprehensive, unambiguous, ethically sound, ethnically sensitive, gender neutral, and in plain language.
  2. Implement a research strategy to support a moot and a plea in mitigation.
  3. Analyse and explain how clients and the public interpret and construct meaning from oral arguments.
  4. Apply analytical and critical legal skills in formulating an oral and written argument.
Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical and Written Assessment - 10%
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 20%
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 30%
4 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 40%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Practical and Written Assessment - 10%
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 20%
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 30%
4 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 40%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

An Introduction to Advocacy 2nd edition (2011)

Authors: Lee Stuesser
Thomson Reuters
Sydney Sydney , NSW , Australia
ISBN: 9780455227580
Binding: Paperback
Supplementary

Fundamentals of Trial Technique 3rd Australian edition (2011)

Authors: • Thomas A Mauet and Les A McCrimmon
Thomson Reuters
Sydney Sydney , NSW , Australia
ISBN: 64058914668
Binding: Paperback

Additional Textbook Information

There should be second hand copies of both books available for purchase, now that the unit is into its fifth year.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Students who do not have access to internet adequate for Zoom (both video and audio) should not enrol in this elective. Zoom.us is a free application via Google, which must be downloaded by all students in this unit. Assessments 2, 3 and 4 are via Zoom. Familiarity with Zoom and access to good quality stable internet is essential.
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Christopher Walshaw Unit Coordinator
c.walshaw@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 09 Jul 2018

Module/Topic

Qualities and Skills of Legal Advocacy

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Ch 5; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 16 Jul 2018

Module/Topic

Ethics and Etiquette

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Ch 15; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 23 Jul 2018

Module/Topic

The Tasks of a Legal Advocate

Chapter

Reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment One due 27 July 2018 at 22.00 (AEST).


Attend court hearing or equivalent and post report. Due: Week 3 Friday (27 July 2018) 10:00 pm AEST
Week 4 Begin Date: 30 Jul 2018

Module/Topic

Preparation for Trial

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Chs 1, 2, 3, and 4; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 06 Aug 2018

Module/Topic

Oral Submissions

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Chs 5, 6, 7,and Appendix 1; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 13 Aug 2018

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 20 Aug 2018

Module/Topic

Witness Examinations

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Chs 9 and 11, Appendix 1; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Two Text due on 24 August 2018 at 22.00 (AEST).


Opening address text and oral presentation Due: Week 6 Friday (24 Aug 2018) 10:00 pm AEST
Week 7 Begin Date: 27 Aug 2018

Module/Topic

Special Witnesses

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Ch 14; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Two Presentations.

Week 8 Begin Date: 03 Sep 2018

Module/Topic

Exhibits and Objections

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Chs 10 and 13; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9 Begin Date: 10 Sep 2018

Module/Topic

Sentencing and Pleas in Mitigation

Chapter

Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld); http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/Current/P/PenaltASenA92.pdf; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Three Text due 14 September 2018 (AEST).

Moot Problem posted on 14 September 2018.


Plea in mitigation of sentence Due: Week 9 Friday (14 Sept 2018) 10:00 pm AEST
Week 10 Begin Date: 17 Sep 2018

Module/Topic

Written Submissions and Appeals

Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Ch 8; reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Pleas in Mitigation of Sentence.

Week 11 Begin Date: 24 Sep 2018

Module/Topic

Moots

Chapter

Reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Four Text due on 24 September 2018 (AEST).

Some moots, if necessary.


Participation in a moot Due: Week 11 Monday (24 Sept 2018) 10:00 pm AEST
Week 12 Begin Date: 01 Oct 2018

Module/Topic

Moots

Chapter

Reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Moots.

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 08 Oct 2018

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Exam Week Begin Date: 15 Oct 2018

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Term Specific Information

You should not enrol in this elective if you:

  1. think you already have expertise in advocacy; or
  2. do not have access to stable and quality internet and are not able or willing to access the Zoom app using both video and audio; or
  3. have other commitments that do not enable you to attend all of the oral assessments; or
  4. are not able to receive oral critique and behave in a respectful manner in the group asssessments.

Assessment Tasks

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Attend court hearing or equivalent and post report.

Task Description

Assessment One: attend court hearing or equivalent and post report

Students are encouraged to attend a court hearing or equivalent as soon as an opportunity presents itself, even if this is before the unit commences. This assessment has two components:

1. Attend a court hearing and evaluate the effectiveness of one or two advocates as they appear to (1) you and (2) the judge. You must NOT make notes in court without the permission of the presiding judge. Make your notes immediately after you leave. See Study Guides for Topics 1 and 2 for guidance. (Maximum 400 words).

2. And (3) evaluate the effectiveness of one or two advocates in terms of courtroom etiquette and (4) describe one or two points that appear to give rise to ethical issues. (Maximum 300 words).

Students who are unable to locate an available court should contact the UC by e mail. An alternative will be suggested, including a video of a court hearing.


Assessment Due Date

Week 3 Friday (27 July 2018) 10:00 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 5 Monday (6 Aug 2018)


Weighting
10%

Minimum mark or grade
10%

Assessment Criteria

  1. Demonstrate powers of observation and assessment.
  2. Articulate clearly, concisely and relevantly your observations and assessments.
  3. Display critical thinking.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the factors relevant to the qualities and skills of advocacy.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the factors relevant to ethics and etiquette in court.

Marking Rubric

All students who post, on time and within the word counts, a report that complies with the task description will receive 10 marks. Marks will be deducted to the extent that this does not occur.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Competently prepare and present persuasive quality oral arguments and presentations that are simple, clear, comprehensive, unambiguous, ethically sound, ethnically sensitive, gender neutral, and in plain language.
  • Analyse and explain how clients and the public interpret and construct meaning from oral arguments.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Cross Cultural Competence

2 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Opening address text and oral presentation

Task Description

Assessments Two, Three and Four via Zoom

Assessments Two, Three and Four require the posting of written material on Moodle and live presentations via Zoom. The live presentations are given in groups of no more than 4 and at a day and hour to be arranged with students. For each group and after all presentations, feedback is provided orally on a group basis unless a student objects to that. Group members may collaborate but this is not necessary, except for teams of two in Assessment Four. The presentations are not recorded. Note the Assessment Criteria and Rubrics for each Assessment.

Assessment Two: opening address text and oral presentation

Read the Study Guide for Topic 5. Read the note of Waite v Stewart in Stuesser pages 191-203. Read about the content of an opening in Stuesser Ch 6, pages 51-57. Ignore other references to this case in Stuesser. Read and be guided by the Study Guides for Topics 1 – 4 and the required reading, especially about theory of the case and quality of presentation in the courtroom.

Read aloud the sample complete opening for the plaintiff in Stuesser at pages 55-56. Time it. Devise your own theory of the case. Write your own opening address no longer than two thirds the length of the Steusser opening, avoiding any risk of overstatement and being one-sided, which I suggest is a problem with the Stuesser opening.

Watch the short instruction video.

Write out the reduced text and submit this as a document for assessment by posting on Moodle under assessment Two. Present (not read) your opening address on Zoom at a day and hour to be arranged.


Assessment Due Date

Week 6 Friday (24 Aug 2018) 10:00 pm AEST

The due day and time is for the reduced text. Presentations are made during Week 7.


Return Date to Students

Week 8 Friday (7 Sept 2018)


Weighting
20%

Minimum mark or grade
20%

Assessment Criteria

1. Demonstrate that you

  • Have an understanding of what is required to adequately present oral argument in court;
  • Have an understanding of the nature and content of an opening address;
  • Are familiar with the aids to structuring your arguments.

2. Demonstrate that you are familiar with the theory of the case.

3. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate oral argument prepared by another advocate.

4. Demonstrate in the oral presentation an ability to be concise, relevant and persuasive.

Marking Rubric

Maximum mark of 20 for a combination of presentation of opening, content of opening and content of document, graded with reference to the assessment criteria and this Rubric (content refers to written and oral content):

HD 17-20: Court ready in all respects and outstanding down to excellent.

D 15-16: Excellent to very good presentation let down by content, in that it is incomplete and/or repetitive or lacking in focus.

C 13-14: Good presentation let down by lack of clear strategy and focus and/or content that it is incomplete and/or repetitive.

P 10-12: Effort but out of comfort zone with presentation. Adequate down to barely adequate content.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Competently prepare and present persuasive quality oral arguments and presentations that are simple, clear, comprehensive, unambiguous, ethically sound, ethnically sensitive, gender neutral, and in plain language.
  • Apply analytical and critical legal skills in formulating an oral and written argument.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy

3 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Plea in mitigation of sentence

Task Description

Assessments Two, Three and Four via Zoom

Assessments Two, Three and Four require the posting of written material on Moodle and live presentations via Zoom. The live presentations are given in groups of no more than 4 and at a day and hour to be arranged with students. For each group and after all presentations, feedback is provided orally on a group basis unless a student objects to that. Group members may collaborate but this is not necessary, except for teams of two in Assessment Four. The presentations are not recorded. Note the Assessment Criteria and Rubrics for each Assessment.

Assessment Three: written and oral plea in mitigation of sentence

Students will engage in the following steps:

1. The preparation of an imaginary scenario that requires a plea in mitigation of sentence (no more than one page).

2. The preparation of an outline of the plea (no more than one page).

3. Posting of the scenario and outline in one document by the due date below.

4. An oral presentation of the plea via Zoom on the day and hour to be arranged.


Assessment Due Date

Week 9 Friday (14 Sept 2018) 10:00 pm AEST

The due date is for the document containing the scenario and outline of the plea. Pleas in Mitigation are presented in Week 10.


Return Date to Students

Week 12 Tuesday (2 Oct 2018)


Weighting
30%

Minimum mark or grade
30%

Assessment Criteria

  1. Demonstrate an ability to construct an interesting scenario that also shows knowledge of sentencing rules and guidelines.
  2. Competently prepare and present a concise, relevant and persuasive outline and oral argument in mitigation of sentence.
  3. Make a presentation that is simple, clear, comprehensive, unambiguous, ethically sound, ethnically sensitive, gender neutral, and in plain language.
  4. Implement a research strategy to support the plea in mitigation.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of particular rules and guidelines relevant to the scenario.
  6. Apply analytical and critical legal skills in formulating an oral and written argument.

Marking Rubric

Maximum mark of 30 for a combination of presentation of plea, content of presentation and content of document, graded with reference to the assessment criteria as follows (content refers to written and oral content):

HD 25-30: Court ready in all respects and outstanding down to excellent.

D 22-24: Excellent to very good presentation let down by content, in that it is incomplete and/or repetitive or lacking in focus.

C 19-21: Good presentation let down by lack of clear strategy and focus and/or content that it is incomplete and/or repetitive.

P 15-18: Effort but out of comfort zone with presentation. Adequate down to barely adequate content.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Competently prepare and present persuasive quality oral arguments and presentations that are simple, clear, comprehensive, unambiguous, ethically sound, ethnically sensitive, gender neutral, and in plain language.
  • Implement a research strategy to support a moot and a plea in mitigation.
  • Apply analytical and critical legal skills in formulating an oral and written argument.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy

4 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Participation in a moot

Task Description

Assessments Two, Three and Four via Zoom

Assessments Two, Three and Four require the posting of written material on Moodle and live presentations via Zoom. The live presentations are given in groups of no more than 4 and at a day and hour to be arranged with students. For each group and after all presentations, feedback is provided orally on a group basis unless a student objects to that. Group members may collaborate but this is not necessary, except for teams of two in Assessment Four. The presentations are not recorded. Note the Assessment Criteria and Rubrics for each Assessment.

Assessment Four: participation in a moot

The moot will involve the presentation of written and oral arguments before an appellate court in a civil appeal. The moot problem will be posted on Moodle on 15 September 2017 and will be the same for all students. Students will form teams of 2, for the appellant or for the respondent. Moot Rules will be posted on Moodle on 15 September 2017.

Each team will post and exchange a written outline of their intended argument in accordance with the Moot Rules. Each team member supports that argument in oral submissions before the appellate court and responds to questions from the court. The hearings, which will be no longer than one hour, will be via Zoom.

The written outline of the intended argument must be posted on Moodle and be delivered to the opposing team on or before the due date below. Timetables and hearing times will be fixed in consultation with students. The moots take place at a day and hour to be arranged during Weeks 11 and 12.


Assessment Due Date

Week 11 Monday (24 Sept 2018) 10:00 pm AEST

The due date is for the posting and exchange of the written outline. Moots take place during Week 12.


Return Date to Students

Exam Week Friday (19 Oct 2018)


Weighting
40%

Minimum mark or grade
40%

Assessment Criteria

A demonstration of the following abilities:

  1. Competently prepare and present a concise, relevant and persuasive outline of the intended oral argument.
  2. Make a presentation that is persuasive, and is clear, comprehensive, unambiguous, ethically sound, ethnically sensitive, gender neutral, and in plain language.
  3. Implement a research strategy to support the argument.
  4. Apply analytical and critical legal skills in formulating the written and oral argument.
  5. Apply the qualities and skills of advocacy including an ability to respond to questions orally.
  6. Appropriate manners.

Marking Rubric

Maximum mark of 40 for a combination of presentation at moot, content of presentation and content of outline, graded with reference to the assessment criteria as follows (content in written and oral content):

HD 34-40: Court ready in all respects and outstanding down to excellent.

D 30-33: Excellent to very good presentation let down by content, in that it is incomplete and/or repetitive or lacking in focus.

C 26-29: Good presentation let down by lack of clear strategy and focus and/or content that it is incomplete and/or repetitive.

P 20-25: Effort but out of comfort zone with presentation. Adequate down to barely adequate content.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Competently prepare and present persuasive quality oral arguments and presentations that are simple, clear, comprehensive, unambiguous, ethically sound, ethnically sensitive, gender neutral, and in plain language.
  • Implement a research strategy to support a moot and a plea in mitigation.
  • Apply analytical and critical legal skills in formulating an oral and written argument.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Team Work

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?