LXD212 - Litigation I

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:57:43.669
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:58:04.077

Subject Title
Litigation I

Subject Description
This subject introduces the student to the civil litigation process in Ontario, beginning with a descriptive overview of the process from the commencement of proceedings to the end of the trial. Students then study in detail the process through to the close of pleadings, focusing on the rules of procedure and on practical tasks often undertaken by law clerks, such as opening files, as well as drafting pleadings and affidavits of service. Motions with and without notice, will also be covered in this course.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable towards the Law Clerk Diploma Program offered through the School of Legal and Public Administration and the Faculty of Continuing Education.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Describe the fundamental steps in a civil proceeding in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, from interview to appeal.

2. With reference to the Rules of Civil Procedure , describe in detail the steps in a civil proceeding in the Ontario Civil Superior Court of Justice, from issuing the claim to the close of pleadings, including motions.

3. Find and apply appropriate rules from the Rules of Civil Procedure given a hypothetical set of facts.

4. Open a file that complies with basic office procedures and maintain a docket.

5. Given a set of facts, draft pleadings for a simple civil action which comply with the Rules of Civil Procedure and standard practice in Ontario.

6. Draft fully compliant affidavits of service from fact situations using precedents.

7. Describe situations in which a motion is required, and draft fully compliant motion materials from fact situations.

8. Demonstrate an attitude of professionalism, as evidenced by an ability to meet deadlines, complete assignments and perform tests and in-class assignments as scheduled.

9. Demonstrate achievement of the following learning outcomes related to essential employability skills:

a) communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, and visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience

b) respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication

c) apply a systematic approach to solve problems

d) use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems

e) locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems

f) analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources

g) manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects

h) take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

EAC150 and all 100 level courses

It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Course content and your instructor's teaching assumes that students are academically prepared and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or advanced standing for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty. It is your responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on BlackBoard or in class. Students will not be able to access BlackBoard as of the last day of the student's class. 

Topic Outline
PART I: Overview of Civil Law Suit

  1. Pleadings
  2. Discovery
  3. Trial

PART II: Step by Step Procedure for Handling a Civil Litigation Claim
  1. Initial interviews with client and witnesses
  2. Opening the file and obtaining basic information
  3. Obtaining evidence re: liability and damages, perusal of forms and precedents for use prior to commencement of proceedings
  4. Commencing the action
  5. Pleadings
  6. Service of pleadings

PART III: Motions and Multiple Parties
  1. Counterclaims, cross claims and third party claims
  2. Interlocutory motions, affidavits and orders

PART IV: Case Management and Simplified Procedure Cases
  1. Civil case management rules
  2. Simplified procedure cases

PART V: Ethical Issues
  1. Ethical issues involved in litigation

Mode of Instruction
Students learn through classroom lectures and discussion based on the reading and supplementary materials. It is ESSENTIAL that students read assigned material before class and make careful notes on the reading material as well as in-class lectures and discussion. It is extremely important for students to be prepared for class and to be actively involved in discussions as this greatly aids the learning process.  

Prescribed Texts
Carthy, Millar, Cowan. Ontario Annual Practice. Aurora: Canada Law Book, 2016. ISBN# 9780888047441
Olivo, Laurence and Kelly, Mary Ann, Civil Litigation. Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2014. ISBN# 9781552395578

Reference Material
Recommended Readings
O'Briens Encyclopedia of Forms (Litigation) available on reserve in the Library and online.
Winterstein, M. Louise. Procedures for the Canadian Legal Office. Nelson Education Ltd, Latest Edition

NOTE:  Photocopied texts are not permitted.

Required Supplies
Notebook or three-ring binder, paper, pens, highlighter and above materials

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Grading is based on the following marking scheme:  

Term Test 40%
Assignment 20%
Final Exam 40%

Materials permitted into the test and exam are at the discretion of the instructor.

Please Note
Assignments, tests and the final examination are evaluated on subject knowledge as well as correct language usage, organization, and mastery of the subject. 
In recognition of the significance of proper language skills in the work of a Law Clerk, marks are deducted, in accordance with departmental policy, for language errors on all tests, assignments and exams. (i.e. spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence, and paragraph structure, etc.) 

  • The student must retain a copy of all assignments.
  • If assignments are handed in late without sufficient medical or other reason, which must be documented and approved, two marks per day will be deducted for each day the assignment is late up to a maximum of 10 marks in total. 
  • Assignments will not be accepted after the return of graded assignments to the class and/or the provision to the class of the answers to the assignment.
  • Written assignments must be word processed. At the professor’s discretion, assignments that are not word processed, may be subject to mark deduction or not accepted. 
  • For particulars, please obtain standards, dates, etc. from your instructor.

Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor within one week.  If your reason is accepted, the weighting of that test will be added to that of the final exam.  Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test.  You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence,  or other appropriate documentation.
  • Progress tests and quizzes may not be announced in advance and details of the assignment requirements may be explained in class.

Final Exam/ Final Assignment
  • Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

Field Placement Requirements
Students who do not successfully complete all professional courses may not be eligible for placement. 

Academic Honesty
Students at Seneca College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavours.  When students cheat on an examination, steal the words or ideas of another, or falsify their research results, it corrupts the learning process. A Seneca College degree, diploma or certificate signifies to society mastery of a set of defined learning outcomes in a designated field of study. If academic credit is obtained dishonestly, the value of every graduate's diploma in the field of study is diminished, as is the reputation of the college as a whole.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
The penalty for a first offence is a grade of '0' on the assignment or examination. The penalty for the second offence is expulsion for a time period determined by the Academic Honesty Committee, normally for a minimum of three terms.
For further information refer to the policies section of the Seneca College student handbook, or to the following website: http://library.senecacollege.ca/Academic_Honesty/

Please Note: In the Law Clerk Diploma Program, in accordance with graduation requirements, students are required to complete Twenty (20) days of field placement. Students must  achieve an average net keyboarding speed of at least 50 nwpm on three five-minute timed writings, with five errors or less. 

Approved by: Sandra Noble