court visit - observations and ethics law208 (1 Viewer)

mrbsting

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hey guys

I'm doing my court visit sometime tomorrow. Yes I have been listening in my tutes and lectures, but I'm really not sure what I should "look out" for in my court visit. I'm just going to go in there and note what actually happens during my court visit, including general aesthetics, behaviour of solicitors/barristers and their clients, the way they dress, they way they are addressed, availability of interpreters, legal aid if any, any ethical dilemmas encountered, disability access etc.. I've seen some people say they're going to discuss the case and how that links back to ethics, however from memory I don't think that's what the purpose of the visit is.

Has anybody done a similar court visit? Please share your experiences!

cheers

b
 

antisheep

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Hey... i did mine a couple of weeks ago but i'm going back tomorrow because I think i could use some more material...

Everyone is attacking the assignment in a different way and I think it would be a mistake to see them as wrong for using the content of the cases simply because all of us will have observed different things at court... some people have been lucky and had cases that have been incredibly relevant as direct links to legal ethics, and therefore have been able to make links between the course materials and the cases in such a way. If, for instance, you happen to go in there tomorrow and have a client stand up and declare that their lawyer has been lying to them and misrepresenting them, then thats an obvious link... other people will have witnessed alot of things to do with pro bono schemes, legal aid, etc... what you see really dictates what you talk about and how you use the course materials.

Just pay attention to everything, both in and out of the court room... pay attention to what kind of conversations lawyers are having with eachother, with their clients etc. It seems you've got a good idea of what to look for... just make sure you can engage what you see with the readings and lectures...

Some advice - Go to the allocations court at the beginning of the day... it may seem boring but there's some interesting stuff in there that whilst it isn't substantively law related it is helpful for law208... and it'll also be a good indicator of where to go next... don't stick around in a court room just cos the case is interesting, it may be interesting but chances are it doesn't touch upon the law208 coursework too much if it's something like Witness questioning or something... so don't be afraid to move around a bit... spend some time in the waiting rooms... that's something Lise has really emphasized in the lectures... the court precinct is a good source for information.

Don't take an aeresol in your bag... lol... i got told off by security

Good luck to you though mate, you're going to have a hectic few days I'm guessing.... i know i am =/.
 
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mrbsting

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Thanks so much for that antisheep! I'll pop in tomorrow, though I'm really struggling because it seems so much stuff is due in Week 6.
 

antisheep

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9.2 Court Visit and Critical Reflection: Week 6 tutorials and Day Two of the on-campus sessions (20% of the total mark for this unit)

The Court Observation Report and Critique aims to build student knowledge of the operation of the law and the practice of lawyers through in-court observation. It further aims to assess students’ ability to synthesise and critically evaluate course materials by requiring students to put their observations into the context of a court visit and to engage in original, critical reflection.

Students will spend a minimum of half a day observing the court proceedings in any open court in the Australian jurisdiction. Students are just as welcome for instance to spend time observing proceedings in a Local Court as they are to choose to spend a day in the High Court in Canberra. Presentations will provide an account of the student’s observations. Students are expected to link these observations with the course materials on ethics and skills for Law 208. Students are to engage in critical reflection of their observations. How you link the observations with the materials is entirely up to you.

***Pile of admin stuff edited out***

This assessment item will be peer assessed using the marking criteria in this study guide.

Presentations will address the following:
A brief description of your observations both inside and outside the courtroom
An analysis of how your observations link to the materials on ethics and skills covered in Law 208
A critique of any aspect of the legal system observed as it relates to legal ethics or skills.



as you can see the guidelines are quite broad which is why I cautioned against deciding there was a "right" or "wrong" way... especially because it's peer assessed.
 
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misericordia

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Just couple of questions - is any of you using pamphlet as visual aid? do you think it's helpful? and how many courts did you go to? I just went to 1 and that might be insufficient :S
...
I feel like I'm heading to nowhere cause the court that I went to wasn't really adversarial & was super informal.
 
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antisheep

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Just couple of questions - is any of you using pamphlet as visual aid? do you think it's helpful? and how many courts did you go to? I just went to 1 and that might be insufficient :S
...
I feel like I'm heading to nowhere cause the court that I went to wasn't really adversarial & was super informal.
I'm not using any pamphlets etc because i think in this kind of situation they would work against you... you want people paying attention to you not a piece of paper. Remember that it's a presentation to your peers and that's what it's designed to be so you don't need to make it too "speechy"...

I personally was nervous and therefore went to court 2 days and went to local, district (for literally 5 minutes) and supreme... I got NO info from supreme, very little from district and a pile from local... really i could have not gone again after my first day but i was panicky...

i don't know what advice to offer you if you didn't get enough information... i'm sure there's things you can pull out of it in relation to the course themes, the connections just might be a bit more terse than you would have liked.... think a bit about where the client was in all of this, how much was explained to the client things like that that may not have been about the case as such... also did you make notes in the court precinct? Like, wait rooms etc???

good luck with it... mine's tomorrow... argh!
 

misericordia

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arrrrgh so i should have been to other courts... ok i think i should really consider whether i actually need pamphlets or not, thanks for advice :) uhmm. I've got a lot to talk bout (inadversarial system, misleading conduct and all that jazz) but the thing is its just on 1 court so i guess i gotta make my speech more dense in substance .... or try to give impression that i'm talking bout something smart cause i cbf changing my speech *yawn* bah I'm not really enjoying 208 because its so airy fairy :( but aaanyway *end rant*. Antisheep, good luck with tomorrow's speech, I'm sure you'll do well *sends good vibes* mine is on friday...
 

antisheep

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Oh my goodness, yes about the airy fairyness!!! And the textbook is HORRIBLE! They would've been better off prescribing the textbook that goes with the casebook and getting us to look up the relevant cases if need be... While the content is interesting it's just not very cohesive... oh well, all stuff for the unit survey at the end.

It sounds like you've got a good lot of stuff to talk about, certainly different... the problem is that cos i kind of bounced from place to place in the local court mostly, all the stuff I have is fairly generic and everyone has the same as me... for instance I'm talking quite a bit about punctuality, pro bono, professional conduct etc. All the same stuff as everyone else... But i've found it difficult to make good connections to the course materials... i can link it easily to stuff Lise has said in the lectures, but not the literature itself...

I'm not looking forward to the next assignment... pop culture... i mean what the hell!?!?

anyways, best of luck, let me know how it goes!
 

misericordia

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so i got the presentation done today. yayness. it was good cause ppl in our group allowed each other to see what marks they've got in the end. so it was like 17.xx out of 20 i think, which was sweet considering it was last minute kinda thing with 2 rehearsals (gotta love peer assessment! :) ) so how did everyone go? and how did everyone think of the LAW204 essay? I went waaaaay over the word limit, prob cause i included irrelevant stuff (minor's contractual capacity, etc). i hope my tutor won't notice (he probably will) how my paper is liek super super lengthy:uhoh:.
 

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I did mine today as well and I think i did alright. Just glad to have it over and done with. The contracts problem was alright as well. Time to relax a bit, before starting that ethics report due in week 9 :(
 

antisheep

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My contracts was really sketchy... like... my conclusion seems like it can't possibly be right :S But oh well... it's how you learn i suppose...

I actually ended up really enjoying all the presentations! Everyone in my group had fantastic observations and were really funny and really hit it on the head... makes me nervous cos i worry about how i looked next to them. Lol...
 

misericordia

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Snooty - oh my goodness. i completely forgot that the assignment two is due in couple of weeks time! :spzz: i prob should get it started next week...

Antisheep - so for the essay, what did you write in the end? i basically said (for Rad and Onj) that there was 1 contract which was validly extinguished by virtue of practical application of the postal rule and basically there was no contract in the end... for Rad and Sasha i was like there was a contract so Rad can sue her for breach of contract (cause there was anticipatory breach of contract kinda thing) and get remedy - something like that. oh well...it's already submitted so we can only wait 'till we get our results back :)
 

antisheep

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I wrote pretty much the same except for for Rad and Onj I wrote that it was unclear whether there was or was not a contract due to the varying authorities on whether or not it acceptable to revoke the acceptance in postal acceptance rule... But i did write that I would tend to say the contract remained in the end technically... but wasn't there a point to be made about equitable estoppel given the fact that Rad had tried to rescind the contract anyway??? That's what I didn't do because I couldn't find a relevant authority... but i might be misunderstanding the concept. I'll get my tutor to explain it to me this week.
 

mrbsting

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guys/gals,

I got my contracts essay back and guess what I totally blew it i.e I got less than 10/20. It's extremely disappointing considering the amount of effort I had put into it, after covering the readings and secondary case material, and desperately trying to condense 2000 words into 1500. I'm shattered.
 

misericordia

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guys/gals,

I got my contracts essay back
*hugs* i have a feeling that markers graded our essays quite harsh (i'm not blaming them, but from my observation i got that feeling). but if you do well in the final exam, i'm sure you can still get a good grade for the unit! :) i'm sure you'll do fine.
i feel frustrated with my essay, because all i had was one flaw (although it could have been a big one), ilijah commented that overall it was a very good discussion except for that one mistake... and boom he gave me 13. and i edited the damn thing for like literally 8 times before i submitted it. waaaaaaah. and i think i'm going to get PC or low P in the law208 assignment :( */end rant*
 

mrbsting

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*hugs* i have a feeling that markers graded our essays quite harsh (i'm not blaming them, but from my observation i got that feeling). but if you do well in the final exam, i'm sure you can still get a good grade for the unit! :) i'm sure you'll do fine.
i feel frustrated with my essay, because all i had was one flaw (although it could have been a big one), ilijah commented that overall it was a very good discussion except for that one mistake... and boom he gave me 13. and i edited the damn thing for like literally 8 times before i submitted it. waaaaaaah. and i think i'm going to get PC or low P in the law208 assignment :( */end rant*
hehe atleast you passed! Ditto to the frustration feeling :(

I just found that whoever marked and made comments on my paper did not adequately address any of my weaknesses other than 'please go back and re-review'. I could also put it down to the fact that I condensed 2,000 words into 1500 and really cut out alot of things, especially more material from cases that would of backed up what I said.

I just feel that the lecturers and the tutors did not prepare us adequately to complete this task and did not explain to us exactly what was required.

Wow and you even got a compliment and he slapped you with 13/20.

I finished the law208 assignment, I'm hopeful but filled with self doubt even though on the surface it did not appear that difficult.
 

Snooty

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I ended up with 14 for contracts, which i'm happy with given the harsh marking. I hardly had any comments either, just a few underlined sentences and a bunch of ticks:confused: meh, anyways atleast the final exam is 60% of the marks.

Hope I did ok for the ethical dilemma analysis, though I think I focussed too much on legislation and law =\ Just gonna have to wait and see I guess.

On the bright side...No more law assessments until the exams! On the other hand I have a 2000 word research essay I need to start for archaeology thats due on Wednesday :(
 

Tabris

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hey, it happens....

I have gone through 2-3 edits and still end up with disappointing marks....some students complain about the randomness so much that there is a facebook group, Macquarie Law marks random number generator (Something along those lines).

Anyway, its not over till the final.... I remember for my problem question....I got 8/20 and failed it......had to organise an appointment to bump it up to 10/20 - it seems i was completely off the mark
 

mrbsting

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hey, it happens....

I have gone through 2-3 edits and still end up with disappointing marks....some students complain about the randomness so much that there is a facebook group, Macquarie Law marks random number generator (Something along those lines).

Anyway, its not over till the final.... I remember for my problem question....I got 8/20 and failed it......had to organise an appointment to bump it up to 10/20 - it seems i was completely off the mark
Facebook group! What a joke, it did appear to be completely random. I actually tore mine up in frustration. I have actually reviewed my assignment again on my computer, in light of what Ilija and Susan have said. The problem I have is that, if I had another go at it I would probably get the same mark if I don't do this:

1. Pay attention to detail
2. The assignment task requires a large amount of academic research. The timing of the assessment and weight of the mark obfuscates this fact. By this I mean 10+ journal articles and 10+ cases would get you 15/10+ regardless of what you wrote.
3. Don't cut out OBVIOUS information only because you're assuming the lecturer knows it.
3. REFERENCE cases directly and avoid using the course materials / textbook. Use a third party textbook this demonstrates that you have 'researched'.

From the comments / inscriptions I had on the first page - e.g circling the textbook reference and the inscription of question marks my paper was immediately dismissed as weak and slapped with a fail grade.

I have moved on (or dismissed this subject entirely) and I'll be trying to get a decent mark in the final exam to pull myself up to a creditish average.
 

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