PLS 265 - Fact-Finding Research
Provides students with strategies for fact-finding and investigation. Included in the courses are interviewing techniques for gathering information from clients, witnesses and agencies. Also included are investigative techniques for determining what information is needed and finding, organizing, verifying and documenting the information. Fact-finding research is an important aspect of paralegal responsibility. Students will learn to develop critical thinking skills, communicate effectively while in pursuit of information, and apply good judgement and common sense when encountering ethical problems. One class hour.
Course Learning Outcomes
1. Explain the ethical considerations and responsibilities of the lawyer and paralegal in interviewing and investigating.
2. Identify the objectives of investigation, concentrate on the evidence reflecting those objectives and recognize affirmative and rebuttal evidence.
3. Demonstrate ability to gather facts from clients, witnesses, and agencies.
4. Develop strategies for determining what information is needed and finding, organizing, verifying and documenting the information.
5. Apply critical thinking skills to analyze sets of facts relating to legal dispute to determine what further information is required to prepare for resolution of the dispute and where this information can be obtained.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of how to prepare for and conduct an interview with a client and/or witness in preparation for the dispute resolution process.
7. Draft interview checklists, forms and other materials relevant to the interviewing and investigating process.
8. Succinctly summarize information discovered during fact-finding research.
9. Demonstrate how to identify witnesses or potential parties to a suit,and conduct an effective interview and record appropriate, accurate statements.
10. Prepare releases and requests to gain access to medical and corporate records.
Course Offered Fall only