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Moot Court Syllabus

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: January 24, 2002
Latest Update: January 24, 2002

E-Mail Icon Faculty:
jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

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Sociology 370: Moot Court, Spring 2002

Instructor:

Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Office: SBS-B326
Telephone: 310-243-3831
Office Hours: Online hours will be arranged.
Course Time and Location: Online. Face-to-face workshops to be arranged.

  • Course Description: The Stanley Mosk Moot Court Competition has evolved over a fifteen year period. The 2002 Moot Court Experience is the first in this long history to remove all semblance of competition and to present collaboratively developed arguments based on the principle of advocacy. The course is designed to afford participants the occasion for disciplined argument in a civil discourse setting with experts in advocacy and reasoned argument: local practicing attorneys and sitting judges of our court system. The purpose of the course is to afford the best possible undergraduate and graduate liberal arts experience for future participation in civil discourse.

  • Readings:

    We will be applying legal reasoning and advocacy to current social issues. We will not be searching for answers. Unfortunately, there are no answers to these questions. Instead, we acknowledge that the issues are complex, and that in order to make effective practical decisions in our lived experience, we need to examine these issues with the same discipline we would use in any court of law.

  • Course Objectives:
    • To provide an experiential forum for civil discourse.
    • To select social issues of import to us for discussion of validity claims.
    • To review the priniciples of both legal advocacy and legal reasoning.
    • To review the principles of ethics and legitimacy in the system of law.
    • To produce collaboratively essays on the social issues chosen to serve as textual information for those to whom we present our discourse.
    • To produce an actual forum in which to present our civil discourse as a model for other students and community leaders.
      • Forum presentation at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in March 2002 for sharing the model with colleagues.
      • Forum presentation at the university for sharing the model with students.
    • To provide an opportunity for participatory decision-making throughout the project.

  • Grading and Suggested Measures of Learning:

    My permission for you to enroll in this course indicates that I consider you capable of earning an A. However, I recognize that crises occur and that you have many conflicting demands as students, family members, and workers. Please remember that As are earned, not given for the status characteristic of "being a good student who could get an A if he/she made the effort."

    These are the things I expect for an A grade:

    • Regular and consistent e-mail contact.

    • Regular and consistent participation in the collaborative writing process. This might consist of telling us that you don't get it. That is participation. But you are responsible for following up on that and making sure that you do eventually get it.

    • Participation in oral argument and presentation. For this, I would like you to have at least one partner, whom you meet with to talk about the issues and arguments. I will meet with you on occasion, but probably in small groups when we can fit me into your schedules. Your practice must go on regularly and consistently. Argue over coffee. Argue in the parking lot. Argue in my office (though not with me). Then when we come together we will have a chance to share with each other. If you have a friend who is willing to do this with you, invite them to come and take the course with you. Partners matter. You can't do this all by yourself.

    • Early selection of social issue for discourse. We should be able to discuss three or four different issues. I expect you to help in the selection of those issues, and to be acquainted with the arguments for all issues, so that you can participate effectively in the discourse. Materials for that purpose will be on the site for you.

    • Occasional attendance at workshop training sessions with jeanne. We will schedule these so that they fit your schedules. I have retired, and I don't intend to drive in three days a week. So we'll use our listserv to work out times that will work for you.

    • Participation in at least one of the presentation events we arrange throughout the semester. This could be a panel discussion at the ACJS in Anaheim, or a presentation here at school. These presentations will always involve several of us in a collaborative panel discussion group. You aren't asked to perform alone.

    • Ongoing participation in the evaluation and decision-making for the project. This is the objective that actually invites you to take part in academic discourse. You can do this with our listserv, by ordinary e-mail, in workgroups.

Our first task will be to arrange workshop times when I can teach the principles of legal advocacy and ethics. Material will be up on site shortly, and I will provide self-tests for you to check your understanding. As always, you are welcome to, encouraged to work in groups.