The PARALEGAL & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Stephanie Kain Ferrill, Esq.
WINTER Quarter 2016
Para 88 - 2 Units
CLASSES: Monday & Wednesday 12:30 pm – 1:20 pm, L22.
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment, as needed.
TEXTBOOK: Concise Guide to Paralegal Ethics, 4th Ed. by Therese Cannon; Aspen Press; Required. The California Rules of Professional Conduct, online at www.calbar.ca.gov.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Examination of the role of the paralegal in the legal system, as well as the ethical rules and guidelines governing legal professionals.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: To provide an understanding of the role of a paralegal in various legal and non-legal settings; identify the source of rules for professional responsibility as well as locate appropriate rules for specific factual situations; explain what constitutes the unauthorized practice of law; describe various types of conduct that create a breach of client confidentiality; explain how conflicts of interest arise for paralegals; identify the types of ethical problems related to collection of attorney fees and handling of client funds; analyze factual situation s involving potential ethical problems; consider possible solutions to ethical dilemmas; and describe sanctions for violating the rules of professional responsibility.
GRADING POLICY: The final grade is the cumulative number of percentage points each student achieves on the following exams and assignments, given the percentage weight as indicated:
1st Assignment 15% of final grade
Quiz – True/False 15% of final grade
2nd Assignment 15% of final grade
Take Home Final Exam 50% of final grade Due 3/23/16 no later than 11:45 AM
Class participation 5% of final grade
100-99 = A+ 98–93 = A 92-90 = A- 89-87 = B+
86-83 = B 82-80 = B- 79-76 = C+ 75-71= C
70-67 = D+ 66-62 = D 61-60 = D- 59-0 = F
NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED, AND THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP EXAMS.
ATTENDANCE: Attendance is required. Class participation is encouraged. Class participation and attendance will be factored into the student’s final grade. A sign-in sheet will be provided at every class session and each student is required to sign in at every class.
Drop Policy: If a student is present the first day of class and thereafter wishes to drop the course, the student must take responsibility for completing all paperwork. Instructor will not take care of this for the student. However, instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses 2 classes without contacting the instructor or fails to turn in 2 consecutive assignments. There is no guarantee however, that the instructor will exercise this right to drop a student. If the student wishes to be sure that he/she is dropped from the class without penalty then it is up to the student to take all necessary steps. Failure to do so may result in the student receiving an “F” grade in the class.
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
Dropping the Class: Students who drop the class or stop attending MUST process the appropriate form(s) through the Admissions and Records office in order to avoid receiving an “F” in the class. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm the last day to drop the class and have the proper paperwork timely completed and submitted.
Cheating Policy: Cheating and/or plagiarism will be considered student misconduct. While collaboration on assignments is fine, any material turned in by a student MUST BE IN THE STUDENTS OWN WORDS (unless it is a properly cited quote), AND REPRESENT THEIR OWN WORK. All quotes, sentences and other material obtained through other resources, book, case law, statute, the Internet, etc. must be properly identified and cited. If a student presents any plagiarized work as their own, they will be immediately dropped from the class with a failing grade. Additionally, if a student is caught cheating in any other way, they will be immediately dropped from the class with a failing grade and reported to the dean. Further discipline may occur.
Recording and Notes: Audio recording of the lectures is generally allowed, however students may not duplicate the recordings or duplicate and sell notes or records of the lecture(s). If a student is found to have duplicated and/or sold notes and lectures, they will be immediately dropped from the class and further discipline may occur.
Reasonable Accommodations: Please contact the college’s administration regarding any documented disabilities that require reasonable accommodations.
Cell Phones and Pagers: Cell phones, blackberries and other electronic devices must be turned off or on silent mode during the class.
Classroom Conduct: Students are expected to participate in class discussions. Everyone is expected to treat each other with respect and professionalism. Accordingly, rude and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated in or around the class. Non-compliance will result in the student(s) being removed from the classroom until appropriate behavior has returned. Depending on the nature of the offense, further discipline may occur.
“The PARALEGAL & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY” SYLLABUS
DATE TOPIC ASSIGNMENT
Weeks 1-2 Regulation of Lawyers and Paralegals Chapter 1
Weeks 2-3 Unauthorized Practice of Law Chapter 2
Weeks 3-4 Confidentiality Chapter 3
1st Assignment Due 2/1
Week 5 Conflicts of Interest Chapter 4
Week 6 Advertising & Solicitation Chapter 5
Week 7 Fees and Client Funds Chapter 6
Mid-term: Chapters 1-5
Week 8 Competence Chapter 7
Week 9 Special Issues in Advocacy Chapter 8
2nd Assignment Due 3/2
Weeks 10-11 Professionalism and Special Issues for Chapter 9
Paralegals; wind-up and review; questions
DISTRIBUTE TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM ON 3/16/16
TAKE HOME FINAL EXAMINATION DUE AT OR BEFORE 11:45 AM ON 3/23/16 IN PERSON (L22) OR BY EMAIL. STUDENTS MAY ALSO PUT THE EXAM IN INSTRUCTOR’S MAILBOX, LOCATED IN L1 BEFORE 11:30 AM on 3/23/16.
* Instructor reserves the right to change these dates.