LAWS240 Negligence and Personal Injury: Paralegal

Department of Business Studies: Paralegal/Law

I. Course Number and Title
LAWS240 Negligence and Personal Injury: Paralegal
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
2250 minutes
IV. Prerequisites
LAWS140 and either LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisites
None
V. Other Pertinent Information
None
VI. Catalog Course Description
An overview of personal injury and negligence law in Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in which a paralegal will practice personal injury investigation, preparation of legal pleadings, preparation and analysis of discovery materials, and preparation for trial. Principals and practices of law office management will also be stressed.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Understanding of the elements of civil procedure and practice as they relate to personal injury claims in local state and federal courts from both the claimant and defendant standpoint.
    2. The role of the paralegal in assisting a lawyer to prosecute and defend personal injury claims including the preparation of pleadings and pursuit of pretrial discovery.
    3. Understanding of the function and operation of the local state and federal courts and the role of the paralegal in the preparation for and representation of clients at trial.
    4. Understanding of the procedural and substantive aspects and ethical issues in the preparation of pleadings and discovery materials.
    5. Understanding the unique ethical and legal rules that apply to the negligence practice.
    6. Understanding the basic principles of negligence practice from investigation of claims through trial.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    1. Introduction to course, Introduction to Civil Litigation
    2. The Court System, First Party Recovery, Insurance contract for first party benefits
    3. Legal interviewing, Third Party Recovery, Ethical considerations in litigation practice, Contingent Fee Agreement
    4. Case Preparation, Negligence/Product Liability, Medical Exhibits, Assigned Claims Plan/Subrogation
    5. Commencement of law suit, Complaint, Peer Review/Health Care Cost Containment, Distribution of assignments for personal injury
    6. Pleadings and motions, Sanctions
    7. Discovery basics, Notice of depositions, Plantiff interrogatories
    8. Limited Tort/Full Tort, Insurance Declaration Page
    9. Discovery Support Systems, Arbitration in automobile cases
    10. Trial Preparation, Forms: Pre-Trial Memorandum and Voir Dire, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Claims, Insurance Contract: For UM and UIM coverage
    11. Trial, Jury Instructions in negligence and product liability
    12. Post-Trial Proceedings, Personal In- Write-U or Pleadings and Interrogatories
    13. Settlement
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    1. See course outline for required textbook and other supplements.
    2. Selected readings from periodicals and newspapers
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
  1. Reading assignments
  2. Classroom lectures
  3. Discussion of questions, exercises and problems, cases and projects.
  4. Audiovisual aids
  5. Computer exercises

Review/Approval Date - 9/02