LAWS13013 - Legal Professional Conduct
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for LAWS13013 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Legal Practitioners owe professional and personal duties to the law, the courts, their clients and to fellow practitioners. This unit examines the personal and professional conduct expected of a legal practitioner. Students will also obtain a basic knowledge of the principles of trust accounting.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite:- LAWS11057 & LAWS11059

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).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Distance

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

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

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 40%
2. Practical Assessment 10%
3. Examination 50%

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 Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

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 Source Recommendation
Students seek further opportunities for formative feedback, particularly on the scripting activity. Surveys and consultations Provide opportunities for pitching and peer reviewing script concepts, with academic supervision.
Organising groups for the interview exercise was difficult for some students Surveys Look at enhancing the matchmaking options for the interview exercise
Difficulty in accessing resources on moodle given the large number of resources and slow moodle response Surveys Revise the moodle site, look to moving the resources from the main page to repositories
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Comprehend, analyse, and evaluate legislation and rules dealing with legal professional conduct.
  2. Compare and contrast the professional conduct rules in the United States with those in Australia.
  3. Think creatively in researching and presenting an ethical issue to your peers.
  4. Construct solutions to ethical issues involved with client interviewing.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Examination      
2 - Written Assessment  
3 - Practical Assessment  

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
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

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Examination
2 - Written Assessment      
3 - Practical Assessment      

Prescribed Textbooks

Ethics in Law: Lawyers' Responsibility and Accountability in Australia
Author/s: Ysaiah Ross Year: 2014
Edition: 6th Publisher: LexisNexis
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • iPad (optional)
  • www.zoom.us free license
All submissions for this unit must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorStephen Colbran (s.colbran@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Accountability and Responsibility

Ross Ch 1, 2, 3

Anne Daley, What Is the Recent Evidence on an Excess Supply of Legal Qualifications in Australia? The Australian Economic Review, 2012, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 441–54.

Week 2 13-03-2017

History, Structure and Regulation

Ross Ch 4, 5

Week 3 20-03-2017

Admission

Ross Ch 6

Mary Wyburn, ‘Disclosure of prior student academic misconduct in admission to legal practice: Lessons for universities and the courts” (2008) 8(2) QUTLJ 314-341. https://lr.law.qut.edu.au/article/view/46 (Accessed 4 January, 2014).

Week 4 27-03-2017

Money Matters

Part 1 Costs and Liens

Part 2 Trust Accounting

Gino Dal Pont, Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Australia and New Zealand (5th ed, 2013) Ch 14-16 extracts (referred to as ‘Lawyers Professional Responsibility’ 2013 Dal Pont Extracts (Course Resources Online)

Queensland Law Society, Trust Accounting Guide. Trust money and trust accounts, The new legislation regime – Part 3.3 Legal Professional Act 2007 Version 2.0, 29-08-2009

Week 5 03-04-2017

Discipline

Ross Ch 7

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Duties of Representation

Ross Ch 8

Week 7 24-04-2017

Communication and Control

Ross Ch 9

Professional Resource Creation - Ethical Issue Due Friday (28 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 8 01-05-2017

Competence and Care

Ross Ch 10, 11

Week 9 08-05-2017

Confidentiality

Ross Ch 11

Week 10 15-05-2017

Conflicts of Interest

Ross Ch 12

Week 11 22-05-2017

The Adversarial System

Ross Ch 13, 14, 15

Week 12 29-05-2017

Client Interviewing

and Conclusion

Helen Carr, Sarah Carter, Kirsty Horsey, Skills for Law Students (Oxford, 2009) Ch 31 (Course Resources Online)
Ross Hyams, Susan Campbell, Adrian Evans, Practical Legal Skills (Oxford, 3rd ed 2011) Ch 2 (Course Resources Online)
Ross Ch 16
Client Interviewing Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017
Central Examination Due Wednesday (14 Jun 17) 11:45 PM AEST

1 Examination

Assessment Title Central Examination
Task Description
Students are to undertake a central examination on material from all weeks of this course.
Assessment Due Date Exam Week Wednesday (14-Jun-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
See exam timetable for actual date
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
Examinations are not returned to students
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Attend an examination centre

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Comprehend, analyse, and evaluate legislation and rules dealing with legal professional conduct.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

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



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Professional Resource Creation - Ethical Issue
Task Description

This assessment is designed to develop your creativity, challenge your personal moral beliefs and ability to locate and critique primary and secondary materials in relation to an ethical dilemma of your own creation. Students are asked to prepare a visual scenario on an ethical issue related to legal work that you personally find morally repugnant. Your visual scenario can be presented as a

  1. comic strip; or
  2. animation; or
  3. storyboard for a scene in a film; or
  4. film of no more than 3 minutes duration.

Together with your visual scenario you are asked to prepare a 1000 word written summary of the legal and ethical issues involved.

Examples of legal work you may find repugnant may include, but are in no way limited to:

· Formation of a corporation that promotes paedophilia.

· Evicting a tenant, who is in hospital, unable to work and pay the rent.

· Creating a will that leaves all the assets to the old dog’s home rather than to impoverished close relatives who have cared for the client for a long period.

· Defending a person whom you believe, although not certain is guilty of manslaughter or murder.

· Conducting a civil litigation for a mining corporation against an environmental organisation trying to save the Great Barrier Reef.

· Defending a client who was forced out of necessity and to avoid starvation, killed and ate a fellow survivor of an accident at sea.

· Defending a potential serial killer, who in interview with you disclosed the location of other victims.

· A mortgagee exercising power of sale over a charities homeless shelter.[1000 words maximum] – 10%

· Why you find the instructions repugnant?

· How you will deal with the client in meeting the terms of your retainer?

· Critique the relevant professional rules (or lack thereof), case law and secondary literature concerning the ethical issue in your script.

The assessment will be judged according to the requirements of the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld), the Legal Profession Regulation 2007 (Qld), the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2012, case law and relevant literature (including a brief comparison with a USA jurisdiction) according the following rubric.

Assessment Due Date Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 9 Friday (12-May-2017)
Results will be posted on the course Moodle site.
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria
Assessment Criteria
Scenario (15)
HD D C P F
Structure 2 The scenario was very well structured. Clear and well organised sequence of events. The scenario had a good structure. Clear sequence of events. The scenario has generally good structure. The scenario had some structure. The scenario was unstructured.
Organisation 3 The flow of the scenario is logical and very coherent. Information is well organised and logical. Most information is well organised and generally logical. Some information is poorly organised and at times does not flow logically. Information is poorly organised or does not flow logically.
Creativity 10 The scenario is highly creative and demonstrates numerous fresh, original and inventive ideas. The scenario is moderately creative and demonstrates some novel ideas. The scenario displays some evidence of originality and inventiveness. The scenario displays an extensive collection of existing ideas. Little evidence of new thought or inventiveness. The scenario displays minimal or no creativity and is a rehash of others ideas. No evidence or new thought.
Written summary (25)
Content, evidence and argument 15 Thoroughly addresses all aspects of the topic. All relevant information is included. Information is well analysed and interpreted correctly. Extensive critical appraisal of the law and secondary literature. Strong, cohesive argument backed up with evidence. Original and/or novel observations. The summary addresses key aspects of the topic. Few omissions in information or misinterpretations of the law or secondary literature. Argument is strong and backed up with some relevant evidence of strengths and weaknesses of the law. Good evidence of critical analysis. Well-synthesised and coherent argumentation and observation and evidence. Some novel observations and original thinking. The summary addresses the selected topic. Some minor omissions in information and misinterpretation of the law. Looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the law and associated secondary literature. Some evidence of critical analysis. Argument is cohesive and backed up with some evidence. Some original observations. Some parts of the summary do not address the selected topic. Some major omissions in information and misinterpretation of the law or secondary literature. Some errors in deduction. Some cohesive argument. Few original observations. The summary does not address the selected topic. Crucial omissions in information. Serious misinterpretation of the law or secondary sources. Serious errors in deduction. Argument is weak or non-existent. No original observations.
Style and format 3 The summary is cohesively written. Clear format. No grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Excellent use of English language. Excellent layout. The summary is well written. Some minor grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Good use of English language. Well laid out. Some grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. English expression is sound. A number of grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Some problems with English expression. Not well layed out. Large number of grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. The reflection contains English construction that is incomprehensible. Poor layout.
Sources 5 A moderate number of sources and references, including seminal and recent articles from peer-reviewed literature. A variety of references are used. All sources are acknowledged and well referenced. A moderate number of highly relevant sources and references used. References come from a variety of sources. Sources are acknowledged. A moderate number of sources and references used. References come from a variety in the type of references used, especially articles from peer-reviewed journals. Mostly relevant sources used. Sources are acknowledged. A small number of sources and references used. References come from a limited number of sources – some not relevant to the task. Some sources are not appropriately acknowledged. Very few (4) sources and references used. References come from only one source or solely grey literature, personal anecdotes without critique. Incomplete acknowledgment or the work of other.
References 2 Meticulous attention to referencing conventions. Good and consistent use of referencing style. Referencing style is sound and mostly consistent Referencing style is at times poor and/or inconsistent in style. Referencing style is very poor.
Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Comprehend, analyse, and evaluate legislation and rules dealing with legal professional conduct.

2. Compare and contrast the professional conduct rules in the United States with those in Australia.

3. Think creatively in researching and presenting an ethical issue to your peers.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

8. Ethical practice



3 Practical Assessment

Assessment Title Client Interviewing
Task Description

Students will be assigned into teams of three. One student will play the role of a client, another the interviewer and the third student will be an observer. The process will be repeated three times by the group, enabling each group member to play each respective role. Each of the three exercises will involve a different scenario.

The interviews will occur at a scheduled time and all efforts will be made to accommodate everyone. Each of the exercises will be conducted over the Internet using Zoom. Sessions are to be recorded using Zoom by the student observing the interview. Scenarios will be sent to students with due notice. Students must not exchange with other students the scenario they have been provided. The information should be regarded as confidential.

Each student will be graded on a written reflection of their experience as an observer. After e-submitting their reflections, as a single pdf document, students will then exchange them with the other members of their group. The written reflection should not exceed 1000 words.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
Weighting 10%
Assessment Criteria

The reflection should address the following issues:

· Describe the character of the client. Were they easy or difficult to interview? Why?

· What techniques did the interviewer use to overcome any problems associated with the interview?

· Who was in control of the interview and how was that control established and manifest?

· Was there any noticeable body language, gestures, oral characteristics displayed by either the client or interviewer?

· How were the questions framed – open or closed questioning? Was this appropriate in the circumstances of the interview?

· Did the interviewer display empathy with the client’s situation?

· Was the interview mechanical and following a checklist?

· What other techniques should the interviewer have adopted to improve their interviewing skills.

· What additional questions should the interviewer have asked?

· Did the interviewer stay on point or were they distracted by the client towards irrelevant considerations?

· What have you learnt about client interviewing having observed the process?

Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Submit a single PDF document.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Comprehend, analyse, and evaluate legislation and rules dealing with legal professional conduct.

3. Think creatively in researching and presenting an ethical issue to your peers.

4. Construct solutions to ethical issues involved with client interviewing.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

5. Team Work

8. Ethical practice



Examination

Outline Complete an examination
Date During the University examination period
Weighting 50%
Length 120 minutes
Details Law dictionaries, Business and Law dictionaries (discipline specific dictionaries) are authorised.
No Calculators Permitted
Open Book
Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Comprehend, analyse, and evaluate legislation and rules dealing with legal professional conduct.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

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


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