PLEG 120 Week 1 Lecture v2.docx - PLEG 120 Week One Lecture – Civil Litigation Welcome to Week One In this class we will take an in-depth look at

PLEG 120 Week 1 Lecture v2.docx - PLEG 120 Week One Lecture...

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PLEG 120 Week One Lecture – Civil Litigation Welcome to Week One! In this class, we will take an in-depth look at civil litigation. Civil litigation is the process by which private disputes of opposing parties are adjudicated. Over the next several weeks, you will follow the civil litigation process from start to finish, within a law firm, including investigating claims and case evaluation, preparing and filing pleadings, gathering evidence during the discovery phase, and engaging in all phases of trial including pre- and post-trial phases. You will also be exposed to concepts in civil litigation more generally. Paralegals and other support staff in a legal office assist the attorney in many ways during the civil litigation process. Not only do paralegals support and assist the attorney, but they also bridge the gap between the attorney and the legal secretary by bringing a body of knowledge and skill set developed for practical realities in the law office. (Kerley, 2019). Specifically, a paralegal must be prepared to identify and understand not only what is required in a situation but also why it is required. (Kerley, 2019). This week, we begin by following a civil litigation case within a law firm and examining the concept of civil litigation, what it is, and what it entails more broadly. Finally, we end this week by discussing legal authority and what it is. A Client Walks into a Law Office… For many legal professionals, the civil litigation process starts when a client walks into the law office. While this is undoubtedly where the work begins, you will quickly learn that there is a rich background that the savvy paralegal must uncover to best serve the clients and their needs. The first step in any case is getting to know the clients – who are they and what are they looking for when they walk into a law office. Many individuals who go to a law office received legal papers and do not know what they mean. (Kane, n.d.). Other individuals want to accomplish something specific, but do not have any idea how to obtain that particular result. (Kane, n.d.). Your role as a legal professional is to identify, then answer, legal questions and issues to advise your client with an appropriate course of action. (Kane, n.d.). But before heading down the road to respond to and advise clients, it is essential to understand the WHO, WHAT, and HOW of each individual client that comes into your law office. Who is the Client? The most basic and obvious piece of this question is the name of the client. Though this is important, it is not the only part to consider when considering who is your client. Many law offices have a formal intake process or procedure that includes filling out forms and executing retainer agreements, while other offices take a more informal and laid-back approach. No matter how a law office functions, it is important to determine the role a client plays in their case. Generally, there are two parties in a lawsuit: the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff is the person or party who starts the legal action, typically by bringing a case against another in a court of law. The defendant is the person or party
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  • Fall '17
  • Jennifer Pala

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