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UDM POL 201 - SYLLABUS

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POL 201 INTRODUCTION TO LAW Winter Term II Dr. Mantzopoulos Office: 243 Briggs Phone: 993-1056 e-mail [email protected] fax 993-1166 Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00-9:50, Tues 10-11:00, Friday 1:00-2:00, and by appointment Course Description: This course surveys the American legal system. Students will obtain an understanding of the structure of the American legal system, the strengths and weaknesses of law, and the role law plays in a complex modern society. The course is a blend of theory and case analysis in areas such as constitutional interpretation, due process, criminal law, civil law, torts, contracts, family law, and property. There are no prerequisites for the course, although a basic understanding of the structure of the courts may assist in understanding the foundational issues. Students will also obtain an understanding of briefing court cases. Text: Frank A. Schubert, Grilliot's Introduction to Law and the Legal System. 8th Edition Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Examination: There will be two exams worth 40% each. Each exam will cover cases as well as issues. Each exam includes both multiple choice and short-answer essay questions. Students are expected to write with proper spelling and grammar. At least one short answer essay question is a hypothetical case where the student must speculate what violations of law may have occurred. Emphasis on questions is based on integrating the application of law and cases. Some questions may question specific court cases. Emphasis on questions concerning cases is placed on identifying the significance of a case. The court's legal questions and opinions are important. The facts of the case should be limited. Students should study for the exam by identifying cases that develop themes. The themes are often developed with cases that seemingly are unrelated. Cases on different topics from different chapters are often related by a specific judicial philosophy or application. The final exam in not cumulative. ABSOLUTELY NO MAKE-UPEXAMS!!! Students arriving late will have only the remaining allocated time to complete the exam. Simulation: Each student will participate in a simulated moot-court session. The whole class will participate in a moot-court representing an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court. Each student will have a role as a judge, plaintiff, respondent, legal counsel, or other actor. Some students will be grouped together as legal staffs or as interest groups. Each student must also submit a report of their activities, their role, and rational for their position. The report must also contain a copy of the brief submitted to the court, or the decision if the student is playing the role of a judge. The simulation is worth 10% of the final course grade. Attendance is mandatory during all days of the simulation. Every absence during the simulation will result in a full grade reduction in the simulation grade as well as affect the overall attendance policy of the class, as outlined below. Class Participation: All cases assigned to be read will be briefed by the students in the class. Each student will be expected to brief 2-3 cases (depending on the class enrollment) during the semester. The brief must be orally presented at the front of the classroom. A written one-page single-spaced copy must be submitted to the professor at the beginning of the presentation. A guideline describing the format of a brief is attached, with another found in the appendix of the text. Missed class briefs will result in a reduction of the participation grade and count toward the class absenteeism policy outlined below. A student arriving late as their case is already being briefed by the instructor or other student will not be allowed to complete the brief. Missed briefs will not be rescheduled. Extra credit will be given to those students who give a brief that they were not scheduled to give. At no time will extra credit exceed points deducted when a scheduled brief was missed. All briefs will total 10% of the final grade. Attendance: Class attendance is especially important in this class. Student understanding of court cases is supported by hearing every case briefed in class. The significance of a case is always discussed in the class and is not always apparent by reading the case. Points will be deducted from the final grade based on the following absences (any student arriving late or leaving early will be considered absent): 0-1 0% deduction, 2-3 5% deduction, 4-5 10% deduction, 6 or more 20% deductionThe instructor reserves the right to deny any student missing 5 or more class meetings participation on any project or exam. The student may be required to withdraw from the course. Grading Scale: The following grading scale is used for the final course grade: 92-100% A, 90-91% A-, 88-89% B+, 82-87% B, 80-81% B-, 78-79% C+, 72-77% C, 70-71% C-, 68-69% D+, 60-67% D, 0-59% F. Notes: The instructor reserves the right to make necessary changes to these requirements. The instructor reserves the right to set a seating arrangement at any time. Students leaving early or arriving late will be considered absent from class. Plagiarism, fraud, or academic misconduct will result in an F for the course and a report to the Dean's office. Please remember that moot court meetings and class sessions have mandatory attendance, each missed day will result in a grade deduction and may prevent the student from full participation in the remaining sessions. Please remember that missed briefs will not be made up. Partial credit will be given for the submission of the written brief. Please attempt to respect the instructor and the students. If you arrive late, please enter quietly. Try to refrain from leaving and re-entering the classroom, or do so with little distraction to the class.Readings and Case Schedule Pol 201 Jan. 5 Introduction 7 What is Law, Chapter 1 9 Ethics and Law, Chapter 2 12 _____________ State v. Mobbley _____________ Holland v. State of Florida _____________ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Bonaldio _____________ Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Wasson _____________ Textiles Workers v. Darlington Manufacturing Company _____________ State v. Jones 14 The Judiciary, Chapter 3 16 The Judiciary 21 ______________In the Matter of the Application of


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