Introduction to Advocacy

Course code LAWS4056Units 10Level 4000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Law School

Covers trial preparation, trial technique and advocacy in both civil and criminal jurisdictions. Involves different types of advocacy exercises in various courts such as the Local and District Courts of New South Wales, and the Family and Federal Courts of Australia. In addition, seminars are conducted on some specialist jurisdictions.

This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice program (the Professional Program) and students must attend all lectures and seminars.

Not available in 2014

Previously offered in 2013, 2012, 2011
ObjectivesTo provide students with an introductory experience and the opportunity for developing an understanding of:
- the steps required by law, good practice and the circumstances of the case in preparing civil or criminal cases for interlocutory applications, trial/hearing and appeal;
- applying the law to the facts of various civil or criminal cases in an appropriate and defensible way;
- the practical and procedural matters that are relevant to the preparation and presentation of various civil or criminal cases;
- advocacy skills in presenting applications and interlocutory matters before an appropriate forum;
- the methods used to persuade a judicial officer of the validity and superiority of certain arguments in various civil or criminal cases;
- how to transfer learning in one jurisdiction or advocacy situation to another.
ContentThe course will be divided between three main areas for students skills exercises. Students will be divided into two litigation streams for theses skills exercises, either (i) civil and family or (ii) criminal. The specific performance criteria required by the APLEC "Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers" is included in brackets following a short description of the skills exercise:-
Advocacy in Applications & Interlocutory Matters
1. Civil Litigation: Local Court and District Court status conferences, call-over and motions list before a Registrar. (Civil Litigation Practice Elements 3 & 4; Ethics and Professional Responsibility Elements 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8; Lawyer's Skills Elements 1, 4 & 7) OR
2. Criminal Litigation: Local Court bail application and plea in mitigation before a magistrate. (Criminal Law Practice Elements 1, 2 & 3; Ethics and Professional Responsibility Elements 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8; Lawyer's Skills Elements 1, 2, 4 & 7).

Advocacy and the Trial Process
1. Family Court of Australia hearing of a contested application before a judge or federal magistrate. (Ethics and Professional Responsibility Elements 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8; Lawyer's Skills Elements 1, 2, 3, 4 & 7) OR
2. Local Court contested hearing of a summary criminal matter before a magistrate. (Criminal Law Practice Elements 1, 4 & 5; Ethics and Professional Responsibility Elements 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8; Lawyer's Skills Elements 1, 2, 3, 4 & 7).

Appellate Advocacy
1. Mentoring 1st year students in conduct of moots set as an application for special leave to appeal or appeal to the High Court of Australia. (Civil Litigation Practice Element 4; Ethics and Professional Responsibility Elements 1, 2, 3, 6 & 8; Lawyer's Skills Elements 1, 4 & 7).

In addition to the skills exercises in each litigation stream there will be lecture and seminar classes conducted by lecturers, clinical lecturers, solicitors and barristers dealing with the following matters:-
1. General tips for good advocacy - case presentation, oral skills, dealing with questions from the bench.
2. Advocacy preparation - interviewing and taking instructions from clients and other witnesses, fact gathering, witness statement taking and recording, accessing relevant law and procedure for various matters.
3. Advocacy in applications, interlocutory matters and call-over before Local Court and District Court Registrar.
4. Advocacy in criminal matters - appearing in bail applications and pleas in mitigation before Local Court magistrate.
5. Trial advocacy - opening and closing addresses, examination, cross-examination and re-examination of witnesses.
6. Trial advocacy (i) preparing and presenting a contested matter before a judge in the Family Court of Australia or a magistrate in the Federal Magistrate's Court; or (ii) preparing and presenting a contested criminal matter before a magistrate in the Local Court.
7. Appellate advocacy - judicial directions, nature of appeals, formulating arguments on appeal, mooting procedure and liaison with 1st year students.
8. Specialist areas of litigation and specialist tribunals, which may include (i) Victim's Compensation Tribunal and (ii) ADVO Applications in the Local Court.
Replacing Course(s)LAWS4051A Trial Process - Part A
LAWS4051B Trial Process - Part B
TransitionNot required
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeLAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1002A or LAWS2004A, LAWS1002B or LAWS2004B, LAWS1003A or LAWS2003A, LAWS1003B or LAWS2003B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS4003, LAWS4004, LAWS4054A, LAWS4054B.
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsProblem Based Learning
Lecture
Experience Based Learning
Seminar
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsMay include written applications, statements, affidavits and court documents.
JournalContinuous reflective journals
Case Scenario/PBL exercisesSkills Exercises
Simulated court presentations
Contact HoursSeminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for 1 weeks
Seminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 weeks