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Legal & Law Programs ►Civil Litigation Specialist Certification & Externship Program


Program includes National Certification & an Externship Opportunity



The Civil Litigation Specialist

Civil Procedure concerns the rules and principles that govern the litigation of a civil case. Whatever grievance or injury an individual might have, there is no legal recourse available to them without the proper application of civil procedure to their claim. Successful legal professions must have a comprehensive understanding of the ins and outs of civil litigation and the complex procedural and systemic issues related to how and where a lawsuit is filed. With any civil case or controversy, the first steps to civil litigation include an evaluation of personal and subject matter jurisdiction, venue, the notice required once a lawsuit has been filed, and which substantive law – state or federal – should apply. Once these critical evaluations are made, the case will proceed accordingly and requires legal professionals to be familiar with the various stages of a lawsuit, including: pleading; structuring the lawsuit; discovery; termination of a lawsuit without trial; trial; and actions that may be taken after a jury verdict or bench trial.


The Civil Litigation Specialist Program

Because they affect every aspect of civil litigation, an understanding of these rules and processes is essential to the everyday work of any legal professional. For those students looking toward law school or who are interested in the paralegal profession, this program offers an incredibly useful and realistic look into the actual work that lawyers and legal professionals do every day. This program explores the process and procedures associated with a civil case. It includes the initial client interview and fact gathering, preparations of pleadings, trial preparation, post-trial procedure, ethical considerations for handling a civil law case, and the application of technology in the preparation and trial of a law suit. Although reference is made to state laws, the course concentrates on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Describe a legal team in civil litigation
  • Describe the responsibilities of the paralegal in civil litigation
  • Describe the skills and tasks performed by paralegals in civil litigation
  • Apply the ethical rules governing civil litigation in your jurisdiction
  • Prepare for an interview with a client or witness
  • Investigate the facts of a civil case
  • Implement a case management system
  • Describe the rules that govern evidence in a civil litigation case
  • Differentiate between the types of evidence
  • Describe the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Describe the electronic discovery process
  • Apply the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to select appropriate evidence for a civil case
  • Describe documents filed in civil trial cases
  • Prepare civil trial documents
  • Describe types of issues presented in a civil trial
  • Prepare a memo to an attorney pertaining to a civil case
  • Describe civil case trial, appeal, and collection of judgment processes
  • Use Microsoft Office

THE PARALEGAL IN CIVIL LITIGATION

  • Identify typical members of the legal team
  • Define the primary role of each member of the legal team
  • Describe the role of the paralegal in various legal environments
  • Explain the rules governing paralegal participation and certification in your jurisdiction
  • List the types of skills required for a litigation paralegal
  • Outline the tasks typically performed by paralegals in civil litigation
  • Summarize the ethical rules governing civil litigation in your jurisdiction
  • Apply ethical rules governing civil litigation in your jurisdiction to a case study

CLIENT INTERVIEWS AND INVESTIGATIONS

  • Define the purpose of an interview with a client or witness
  • Apply the steps in preparing for an interview of a client or witness
  • Choose appropriate checklists and other tools to document an interview with a client or witness
  • Describe the appropriate environment, dress, and approach to use in the interview with a client or witness
  • Develop an interview strategy to include introduction, questions, signs of stress you will look for, and how you will make the client or witness more comfortable and cooperative
  • Analyze a sample interview to determine its strengths and weaknesses
  • Locate official reports relevant to a civil case
  • Identify the location of the incident
  • Identify tangible evidence related to a civil case
  • Diagram a timeline of the incident
  • Identify material witnesses and potential witnesses in a case study

ORGANIZING AND MANAGING CIVIL LITIGATION

  • Describe various types of case management software
  • Identify the components of a case notebook
  • Build a timeline to track deadlines throughout the case management process

EVIDENCE

  • Summarize the Federal Rules of Evidence
  • Differentiate between admissible and inadmissible evidence
  • Recognize each type of evidence
  • Determine the appropriate use for each type of evidence
  • Select appropriate evidence to support a civil case

SETTLEMENT AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)

  • Describe the settlement documents commonly used in civil cases
  • Outline the types of alternative dispute resolution often used in civil cases
  • Identify the damages relevant to a civil case
  • Prepare settlement documents for a civil case

PLEADING, COMPLAINT, SUMMONS, AND SERVICE

  • Describe the purposes of the types of pleadings often required in civil cases
  • Describe the components of a complaint
  • Prepare a notice pleading complaint for a civil case
  • Prepare a summons for a civil case

RESPONSES TO A COMPLAINT

  • Describe the components of an answer to a complaint
  • Prepare an answer to a complaint

INTRODUCTION TO DISCOVERY

  • Define privilege
  • Explain attorney-client privilege
  • Describe the difference between attorney-client privilege and common interest privilege
  • Explain the work product doctrine and its exceptions and limitations
  • Describe the five forms of discovery
  • Describe the sequence and timing of discovery
  • Identify information subject to mandatory disclosure
  • Identify information in a civil case that is subject to mandatory disclosure
  • Prepare the information in a civil case that is subject to mandatory disclosure for the opposing legal team

ISSUES IN ELECTRONIC DISCOVERY

  • Summarize the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that apply to electronic discovery
  • Outline the electronic discovery process
  • Identify ethical issues related to the electronic discovery process

INTERROGATORIE AND REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION

  • Describe documents used for discovery in civil cases
  • Prepare an interrogatory
  • Prepare a request for production

DEPOSITIONS AND OTHER DISCOVERY

  • Summarize the use of different types of depositions
  • Prepare a digest of testimony based on a deposition

TRIAL PREPARATION FROM POST-DISCOVERY TO PRETRIAL

  • Summarize the legal issues involved in civil trials
  • Describe the types of facts commonly presented in civil trials
  • Describe the components of a pretrial memorandum
  • Identify the elements of a trial brief
  • Summarize an issue related to a civil case
  • Compose a memo to an attorney

TRIAL

  • Outline the process of a civil case trial
  • Prepare a summary of an evidentiary issue presented as a motion at trial

POST-TRIAL PROCEDURES

  • Outline the civil case appeal process
  • Prepare a post-trial motion

ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGEMENTS

  • Outline the process of collecting and enforcing judgments
  • Explain the statutory limitations on collection efforts
  • Prepare a judgment satisfaction document
  • Gather case information
  • Assemble case information into an organized case notebook

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There are several National Certification exams that are available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.


National Certification

Upon successful completion of this Auburn University program, students would be eligible to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program at Auburn University will be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so. Auburn University works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.


Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location. Auburn University works with national organizations and has the ability to place students in externship opportunities nationwide.