Course Title: Civil procedure

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: LAW5193

Course Title: Civil procedure

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6106 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact : Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:doug.gourlay@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Doug Cole 
Phone: +61 3 9925 5424 
Email: doug.cole@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 51

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites: VU20111 Legal Process and VU20110 Law of Evidence

Course Description

This course provides skills and knowledge in the area of litigation and civil procedure including the civil jurisdiction, structure, procedure and operation of the courts in Victoria.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20117 Civil procedure


Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Analyse, outline and assess the structure and purpose of the civil courts system as it presently operates within Victoria.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Identify the jurisdictional limits of the Supreme Court, County Court and Magistrates’ Court courts.
1.2 Assess the role and jurisdiction of the Federal Court.
1.3 Examine the role of administrative tribunals in relation to dispute resolution.
1.4 Identify the roles of court personnel.Learning Outcome 2 - Determine and analyse the standard of proof and burden of proof in civil and criminal cases, and specify types of presumptions.

Learning Outcome 2 - Assess the sources of procedural rules and practices in the Supreme Court.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Outline the nature of Court Rules, judicial interpretation of Rules, the Court’s inherent power to control procedure, and practice directions.
2.2 Identify the circumstances in which no rules apply and examine the action to be followed in these situations.
2.3 Examine the power of the Court to prevent abuse of its processes.

Learning Outcome 3 - Analyse the steps prior to litigation and the commencement of litigation.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Analyse and evaluate the steps prior to litigation.
3.2 Examine the commencement of a Supreme and County Court action.
3.3 Examine the requirements of a Magistrates’ Court Complaint.
3.4 Examine the method of .issue of a Writ and Complaint
3.5 Identify the means by which an originating process may be served.
3.6 Examine the requirements of Notice of Appearance (Supreme and County Courts) and Notice of Defence (Magistrates’ Court) including
• conditional appearance
• interlocutory and final judgments in default of .appearance
• judgment in default in the Magistrates’ Court.

Learning Outcome 4 - Assess the nature, function and form of pleadings, particulars and third party procedures.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Identify the course of pleadings.
4.2 Describe the content, form and requirements of a pleading
4.3 Outline the methods of answering an opponent’s pleading.
4.4 Analyse the procedures relating to counterclaims and compare with set-offs.
4.5 Examine the nature and purpose of particulars.
4.6 Examine the procedures relating to the joinder of third and subsequent parties and claims for indemnity or contribution between parties.

Learning Outcome 5 - Analyse interlocutory procedures in defended actions.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Examine the circumstances in which summary judgment is available under Order 22 of the Supreme Court Rules and the applicable procedures.
5.2 Examine the process of discovery of documents.
5.3 Examine the nature and purpose of interrogatories.
5.4 Analyse the uses and effect of Notices to Admit.
5.5 Examine settlement procedures.
5.6 Examine the role of judges, masters and magistrates in the pre-trial stages of litigation.
5.7 Analyse the methods of fixing a date for hearing in the Supreme, County and Magistrates’ Courts.
5.8 Apply the procedures listed above to a court setting using relevant case study material.

Learning Outcome 6 - Analyse and evaluate the process of preparation for trial, the enforcement of judgments or orders and costs.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Analyse the process of preparation for trial.
6.2 Evaluate the process of enforcement of judgments or orders.
6.3 Examine costs considerations in relation to litigation.

Learning Outcome 7 - Evaluate and analyse non-litigious avenues of dispute resolution.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Evaluate mediation as an alternative avenue of dispute resolution with reference to:
• the nature of the process of mediation
• the roles of the parties
• the legal status of outcomes
• pre-issue mediation in the Magistrates’ Court
7.2 Evaluate arbitration as an alternative avenue of dispute resolution with reference to:
• the nature of the process of arbitration
• the roles of the parties
• the legal status of the outcomes
7.3 Analyse the operation of and advantages/disadvantages of alternative avenues of dispute resolution including collaborative law using case study examples.


Details of Learning Activities

Students will study Civil Procedure skills and theory in class sessions and through prescribed exercises and assessment work. These concepts will also be explored through the investigation of appropriate real world and simulated environments.

The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Blackboard
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including: Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers and Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities


Teaching Schedule

Week (subject to variation)
Week beginning
TopicsLearning OutcomesAssessment
 Week 1 6 Jul

Introduction to the Course including:
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Course Blackboard access
• Accuracy of enrolment
• Assessment requirements/Cover Sheets
• Plagiarism
• Appeals
• Submission requirements
• Extensions/Resubmissions
• Feedback in this course
• Getting help

The structure of the court system

1 
 Week 2 13 JulThe place of procedure in the legal system, historical development of procedure 1 
 Week 3 20 JulSources of procedure, steps before commencement of litigation 2,3 
 Week 4 27 JulWrits and Complaints, service, appearance 3 
 Week 5 3 AugPleadings, particulars, remedies for defective pleading, amendment of pleadings 4 Assignment given out
 Week 6 10 AugCounterclaims and set-offs, disposition without trial 4,5 
 Week 7 17 Aug Joinder of parties, third party procedure, contribution between defendants 4Assessment Task 1:Short answer, multiple choice test (30%)
 Week 8 24 AugDiscovery of documents, interrogatories, notices to admit 5 
  Mid-semester break (student vacation) 31 Aug to 6 Sept  
 Week 9 7 SeptCourt control of interlocutory steps, case management, settlement negotiations, formal offers of compromise and Caldebank offers 5 
 Week 10 14 SeptSetting down for hearing, preparation for trial, expert evidence, briefing Counsel, conferences, court fees 5,6 Assessment Task 2: Assignment due (30%)
 Week 11 21 SeptTrial, costs, enforcement of judgments and orders 6 
 Week 12 28 SeptPractical placement  
 Week 13 5 OctPractical placement  
 Week 14 12 OctAlternative dispute resolution, ethical issues in litigation 7 
 Week 15 19 OctRevision  
Week 16 26 Oct Final Test Assessment Task 3: Final test. Open book (40%)


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text for this course. Students will be required to be familiar with, among other things, relevant provisions of the Magistrates’ Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009  the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 and the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) which can be accessed at www.legislation.vic.gov.au.


References

Hunter, Cameron & Henning , Litigation I Civil Procedure, LexisNexis Butterworths

Riethmuller, Civil Procedure, LBC nutshell series

Cairns, Australian Civil Procedure, LBC Information Services

Aronson, Hunter and Weinberg, Litigation – Evidence and Procedure, Butterworths

Williams, Civil Procedure, Victoria, Butterworths


Other Resources

Australasian Legal Information Institute (www.austlii.edu.au)
CCH Online (www.cch.com.au)
ComLaw (www.comlaw.gov.au)
LexisNexis Butterworths Online (www.butterworthsonline.com)
Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents (www.legislation.vic.gov.au)
High Court of Australia (www.hcourt.gov.au)
Federal Court of Australia (www.fedcourt.gov.au)
Federal Circuit Court (www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au)
Supreme Court of Victoria (www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au)
County Court of Victoria (www.countycourt.vic.gov.au)
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au)


Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks, for example:

• Test
• Practical exercise
• Assignment
• Class discussion
• Case study analysis
• Short answer questions
• Oral presentation
• Project (s)

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Assessment Tasks

To pass this course, you need to demonstrate you are competent to the industry standard as required of a paralegal. To achieve this, you must complete all assessments to an acceptable industry standard.

To demonstrate you have met all learning outcomes of the course, evidence of the following is essential:

• Knowledge of litigation and civil procedure including civil jurisdiction, structure, procedure and operation of the civil
courts system in Victoria
• Analysis of the structure, procedures and operation of the court systems in Victoria
• Assessment of the nature, function and form of pleadings, particulars and third party procedures
• Examination of interlocutory procedures in defended actions
• Analysis of the preparation process for trial, and the enforcement of judgements or orders and costs
• Evaluation of alternative avenues of dispute resolution including collaborative law in a case study

Assessment Task 1 - In Class Test
This task will require you to demonstrate your ability to analyse, outline and assess the structure and purpose of the court system as it presently operates within Victoria; Assess the sources of procedural rules and practices in the Supreme Court; Analyse the steps prior to litigation and the commencement of litigation; and analyse interlocutory procedures in defended actions.

Due Date:
Conducted in week 7 - during normal scheduled class time.
Indicitive weight: 30%
Submission Procedure: In class supervised open book test (1 hours plus 15 min reading time)

Assessment Task 2 - Writ and Statement of Claim Assignment
This assignment preparation of a writ and statement of claim, and requires you to analyse the steps prior to litigation and the commencement of litigation, and to Assess the nature, function and form of pleadings, particulars and third party procedures. You may be required to answer oral questions regarding the assignment.

Due Date:
Week 10
Indicative weight: 30%
Submission Procedure: Submit online through Turnitin on blackboard

Assessment Task 3 - Open Book Test
This task wil require you to demonstrate your ability to: Assess the nature, function and form of pleadings, particulars and third party procedures; Analyse interlocutory procedures in defended actions; Analyse and evaluate the process of preparation for trial, the enforcement of judgments or orders and costs; Evaluate and analyse non-litigious avenues of dispute resolution

Due Date:
Conducted in week 16 - during normal scheduled class time.
Indicative Weight: 40%
Submission Procedure: In class supervised open book test (2 hr plus 15 min reading time)


Assessment Matrix

Grades received throughout semester are only indicative of your performance. These grades will only contribute to your final grade if you complete all assessments to an acceptable industry standard. If students cannot demonstrate competency across all learning outcomes or elements of the course the maximum grade they can achieve is NN. If students fail to submit one or more pieces of assessment, the maximum grade available is DNS.

Please refer to the Final Grades table below:

80-89HDHigh Distinction
70-79DIDistinction
60-69CRCredit
50-59PAPass
0-49NNFail
DNSDNSDid Not Submit

 Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

Other Information

Submission Requirements
You should:
• Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date:
• If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for extensions of time. (Please refer to the information in the Late Submission Procedure section below)
• If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program manager or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
• Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks (hard copy and soft copy).
• When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration
and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for
assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for
assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on
Blackboard.
• Each page of your assessment should include a footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment,
unit code and title and page numbers.

Late Submission Procedures
If you are prevented from submitting an assessment on time, by circumstances outside your control, you must apply in advance for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.
More Information: http://www.rmit.edu.au/students/assessment/extension
Form to use: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/seca86tti4g4z.pdf

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration. Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.
More Information: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=g43abm17hc9w
Form to use: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/8a5dgcaqvaes1.pdf

Reassessment policy
Students who achieve an indicative grade of greater than 50%, yet have not demonstrated competency across all learning outcomes will be given the opportunity to undertake an oral questioning with the assessor in which they will be required to demonstrate competence in the elements or learning outcomes not yet demonstrated. If students cannot demonstrate competency across all learning outcomes or elements of the course the maximum grade they can achieve is NN or Not Yet Competent.

Adjustments to Assessment
In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:
More Information: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=kehn9bz22r41

Course Overview: Access Course Overview