Spring 2019 Course Syllabus
Course: LGLA-1345- Section: 01
Civil Litigation
LSCPA Logo Image
Instructor Information
Instructor Doneane Beckcom
Phone(409) 984-6548
Location:Student Center - Room: 415
Hours:MWF 12 - 1pm, TTR 9am - 1pm
Business and Technology
Chair:Sheila Guillot
Phone:(409) 984-6381
Course Information
Description Presents fundamental concepts and procedures of civil litigation including pretrial, trial, and post-trial phases of litigation and emphasizes the paralegal's role in civil litigation.
Prerequisites LGLA 1307 or concurrent enrollment
Learning Outcomes (Related PSLO in parenthesis)

PSLO Alpha measured by pretest/posttest.
All other PSLOs measured by embedded test questions and online discussion board.

1. Use terminology relating to civil litigation (ALPHA, 1)
2. Analyze sources relating to civil litigation and applicable court rules (ALPHA, 1, 2)
3. Draft documents used in civil litigation (2, 4)
4. Analyze the ethical considerations of the paralegal in relating to civil litigation (1, 3)

Core Objectives * Communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and visual communication.

* Critical Thinking Skills: Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis,
evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.

* Social Responsibility: Students will demonstrate intercultural competency and civic knowledge by engaging
effectively in local, regional, national and/or global communities.

* Personal Responsibility: Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to
ethical decision-making.
Program Student Learning Outcomes PSLO
ALPHA: Reading skills: demonstrates comprehension of content (legal) area.
PSLO 1: understand legal terms and the paralegal's role in the legal environment.
PSLO 2: apply correct drafting procedures to transactional and court documents.
PSLO 3: demonstrate appropriate ethics and professionalism in the legal environment.
PSLO 4: exhibit the ability to use computer skills.
Textbooks Civil Litigation, Kerley
latest edition
Delmar Publishing
Lecture Topics
Chapter 1: Litigation and the Paralegal
Chapter 2: The Courts and Jurisdiction
Chapter 3: Preliminary Considerations and Procedures
Chapter 4: Investigation and Evidence
Chapter 5: The Complaint
Chapter 6: Responses to the Complaint
Chapter 7: Motion Practice
Chapter 8: Overview of the Discovery Process
Chapter 9: Depositions
Chapter 10: Interrogatories
Chapter 11: Physical and Mental Examinations
Chapter 12: Request for Documents
Chapter 13: Request for Admissions
Chapter 14: Settlements, Dismissals and ADR
Chapter 15: Trial Techniques
Chapter 16: Posttrial Practice
Major Assignments
Week 1 Orientation
Chapter 1: Litigation and the Paralegal
Overview of litigation process and role of paralegal

Week 2
Chapter 1: Litigation and the Paralegal
Overview of litigation process and role of paralegal (continued)

Week 3
Chapter 2: The Courts and Jurisdiction
Structure and function of federal courts; subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction of courts

Week 4
Chapter 3: Preliminary Considerations and Procedures
Chapter 4: Investigation and Evidence
Cause of actions, statutes of limitation, ethical considerations; interviewing and investigation; overview of Federal Rules of Evidence

Week 5
Chapter 5: The Complaint
Drafting and filing the complaint and summons; service of process
Test 1 chapters 1-4

Week 6
Chapter 6: Responses to the Complaint
Chapter 7: Motion Practice
Drafting and serving answers, counter claims, cross claims and third party actions; defaults; overview of pretrial, trial and posttrial motions; drafting motions

Week 7
Chapter 7: Motion Practice continued

Week 8
Chapter 8: Overview of the Discovery Process
Nature and extent of discovery including ESI; mutual disclosure under federal rules; obligation to cooperate


Week 10
Chapter 9: Depositions
Nature of oral depositions, depositions in an electronic age, paralegal role before, during and after the oral deposition; depositions on written questions
Test 2 chapters 5-8

Week 11
Chapter 10: Interrogatories
Scope and purpose of interrogatories; drafting and responding to interrogatories, including use of ESI; objections to interrogatories; motions to compel

Week 12
Chapter 11: Physical and Mental Examinations
Nature and purpose of physical and mental examinations; requesting and objecting to requests and motions for physical and mental examinations; role of the paralegal

Week 13
Chapter 12: Request for Documents
Overview of document production; ESI and document production; drafting requests for production; responding to requests; privileges and protection of documents; organizing and indexing documents; inspection of property

Week 14
Chapter 13: Request for Admissions
Purpose and uses of request for admissions; drafting and responding to the request
Test 3 chapters 9-12

Week 15
Chapter 14: Settlements, Dismissals and ADR
Chapter 15: Trial Techniques
Settlement offers and agreements; dismissals and consent decrees; distribution of settlement funds; overview of trial procedure; role of paralegal at trial

Week 16
Chapter 16: Posttrial Practice
Calculating due dates; posttrial motions; overview of appellate procedures; preparation of appellate brief

Final Exam

Final Exam Date May 10, 2019 - 8:00 AM   Through  May 10, 2019 - 10:30 AM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A    80 - 89=B    70 - 79=C     60 - 69=D    Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Exams: 70%

Attendance: 10%

Discussion Board: 10%

Chapter exercises: 10%

We will generally test over every 3 - 4 chapters in the text, about every 4 weeks throughout the semester. There are 16 chapters and 16 weeks in the semester (with one week for spring break) so we will generally cover 1 - 2 chapters per week. I will drop your lowest test grade (but not your final) and I always offer extra credit at the end of the semester.
Course Policies
Instructor Policies The best way to reach me is via email: beckcomde@lamarpa.edu. To discuss grades please make an appointment to see me either in person or via phone.
Attendance Policy Attendance is crucial to understanding and mastering the concepts in this class. A student who misses more than 8 classes or misses two exams should consider dropping the course.

Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSC-PA policies (Section IX, subsection A, in the Faculty Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
Facility Policies
  1. No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

  2. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission.

  3. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
Important Information
ADA Considerations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the the Office for Disability Services Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.
MyLamarPA Be sure to check your campus E-mail and Course Homepage using MyLamarPA campus web portal (My.LamarPA.edu). When you've logged in, click the email icon in the upper right-hand corner to check email, or click on the "My Courses" tab to get to your Course Homepage. Click the link to your course and review the information presented. It is important that you check your email and Course Homepage regularly. You can also access your grades, transcripts, and determine who your academic advisor is by using MyLamarPA.
Other PLEASE DO NOT USE CELL PHONES DURING CLASS. I understand if you have young children or some other life issue where you need to be available at all times. Please be discreet and respectful of other students and of your instructor. DO NOT USE SOCIAL MEDIA WHILE IN CLASS.

If you miss a test it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to request a make up. You will have TWO WEEKS from the original test date to make up the test absent extenuating circumstances. Make up tests will be done in the Student Success Center.

It is HIGHLY recommended that you take notes in class. You are allowed to use written and typed notes on exams. Plus, note taking is an important skill to learn as a paralegal, for you will be taking notes very often when in practice.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.