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 - 2020

Online

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

Feedback

A more extensive explanation of what is expected for assessments, but overall this is not a big problem.

Recommendation

The Assessment instructions should be further fine tuned.

Feedback from Student feedback

Feedback

Make the Moot topic more focused rather than on a choice from a number of issues.

Recommendation

Assessment Four is due for a make over, which should consider this feedback.

Feedback from Student feedback

Feedback

Provide a marking template.

Recommendation

This is not practicable. There are rubrics and criteria and it is clear from the Study Guides supplemented in tutorial discussions what is expected. Feedback is given orally to each student after each group has completed. This is necessarily individually tailored for each student.

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 a good availability of second hand editions of these books. Please note that Assessment Two is a critique of, and requires you to have, the prescribed Stuesser text.

New paper copies are available at the CQUni Bookshop here: http://bookshop.cqu.edu.au (search on the Unit code). eBooks are available at the publisher's website.

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, 4th ed

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Angelo Capuano Unit Coordinator
a.capuano@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 13 Jul 2020

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: 20 Jul 2020

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

Assessment One Due 24 July 2020 at 23.55 (AEST).


Attend court hearing or equivalent (please see below due to COVID-19 restrictions) and post report. Due: Week 2 Friday (24 July 2020) 11:55 pm AEST
Week 3 Begin Date: 27 Jul 2020

Module/Topic

The Tasks of a Legal Advocate

Chapter

Reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 4 Begin Date: 03 Aug 2020

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: 10 Aug 2020

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: 17 Aug 2020

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Two (reduced text) due 21 August 2020 at 23.55 (AEST).


Opening address text and oral presentation Due: Vacation Week Friday (21 Aug 2020) 11:55 pm AEST
Week 6 Begin Date: 24 Aug 2020

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic

Opening Addresses Assessment Two.  

Week 7 Begin Date: 31 Aug 2020

Module/Topic

Sentencing and Pleas in Mitigation

Chapter

Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld); and reference readings and links in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Due date for written scenario and outline of plea (one document) 4 September 2020 at 23.55 (AEST).


Plea in mitigation of sentence Due: Week 7 Friday (4 Sept 2020) 11:55 pm AEST
Week 8 Begin Date: 07 Sep 2020

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic

Pleas in Mitigation Assessment Three. 

Week 9 Begin Date: 14 Sep 2020

Module/Topic

Witness Examinations, Special Witnesses, and Exhibits and Objections



Chapter

Lee Steusser, An Introduction to Advocacy (2nd ed, 2011), Chs 9 and 11, Appendix 1; Ch 14 and Chs 10 and 13 and reference readings in Study Guide.




Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 10 Begin Date: 21 Sep 2020

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

Scenario and Moot Rules will be posted on Moodle on 25 September 2020

Week 11 Begin Date: 28 Sep 2020

Module/Topic

Preparation for Moots

Chapter

Reference readings in Study Guide.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Due date for written outline 2 October 2020 at 11.55 (AEST).


Participation in a moot Due: Week 11 Friday (2 Oct 2020) 11:55 pm AEST
Week 12 Begin Date: 05 Oct 2020

Module/Topic

Moots

Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic

Moots Assessment Four.

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 12 Oct 2020

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Exam Week Begin Date: 19 Oct 2020

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Attend court hearing or equivalent (please see below due to COVID-19 restrictions) 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 (tribunal for example, QCAT, Fair Work Commission, QIRC)  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 500 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 500 words).

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS - ALTERNATIVE

Students who are unable to locate an available court are instructed to do the following:

1. Advise the UC of your inability to find a court or equivalent which is open by the end of Week 1.

2. If you cannot find a court or equivalent student must submit a 1000 word reflection on examples of good and bad advocacy. Students can access these examples online, however please ensure the videos/materials are properly identified and attributed in the reflection (this is essential). Students are expected to follow the AGLC.


Assessment Due Date

Week 2 Friday (24 July 2020) 11:55 pm AEST

To be submitted through Moodle


Return Date to Students

Week 4 Friday (7 Aug 2020)

To be returned through Moodle


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, following the AGLC (where appropriate), 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. The best advocates do not rely on notes/script. 


Assessment Due Date

Vacation Week Friday (21 Aug 2020) 11:55 pm AEST

The due day and time is for the reduced text. Presentations are made during Week 6.


Return Date to Students

Week 8 Monday (7 Sept 2020)

Marks will be released after the opening addresses are conducted


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 a day and hour to be arranged.


Assessment Due Date

Week 7 Friday (4 Sept 2020) 11:55 pm AEST

The due day and time is for the text. Pleas in Mitigation are presented in Week 8 the week following the submission of the text.


Return Date to Students

Week 10 Friday (25 Sept 2020)

The marks will be released online


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  and will be the same for all students. Students will form teams of 2, for the appellant or for the respondent. The Moot Rules will also be posted on Moodle. 

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. 


Assessment Due Date

Week 11 Friday (2 Oct 2020) 11:55 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

Review/Exam Week Friday (16 Oct 2020)

To be released online


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?