Fundamentals of Law Practice (Law 7336)
Spring Semester 2015

Link back to Course Home Page

Syllabus (as of January 24, 2015 )

Please bring your Domestic Violence Binder and laptop to every class.

"Starting Your Georgia Law Practice," Law Practice Management (State Bar of Georgia 2014) = LPM
Binder = Domestic Violence Manual handed out at first class

All writing and other projects assigned to prepare for a particular class are due at noon on the Tuesday preceding class unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus, to give the instructosr sufficient time to review before Friday class. You will generally have at least 10 days to work on each assignment. Unless otherwise indicated, submit assignments by emailing to both instructors and copy email to the appropriate Clio matter (e.g. Class-YourName or Field-YourName).

Key Dates:
Fieldwork Period Begins: January 26, 2015
Writing Assignment 1: January 27, 2015 (plan for client meeting in Rice simulation)
Writing Assignment 2: February 3, 2015 (evidentiary memo for Rice simulation)
Submit Fieldwork Agreement signed by Fieldwork Attorney: No later than February 6, 2015
Fieldwork Period Ends: March 12, 2015
Draft Fieldwork Report to Fieldwork Attorney for review: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Friday, March 13, 2015)
GSU Spring Break: March 14 - 22, 2015
Fieldwork Attorney Comments on Draft Report: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Monday, March 23, 2015)
Revised Fieldwork Report to Fieldwork Attorney for final approval: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Wednesday, March 25, 2015)
Fieldwork Attorney Signs Approval of Final Report: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Wednesday, April 1, 2015)
Final Fieldwork Report due to Professors Cunningham and Roberts: No later than 5pm on Friday, April 3, 2015

Protective Order Hearings::
All Students: 1/23/15 Courtwatching & Swearing-In, Cobb County Superior Court
Teams 1&2 - 2/13/15 Hearings - [Cunningham/Roberts]
Team 3 - 2/27/15 Hearing - [Roberts]
Teams 4 & 5 - 3/6/15 Hearing - [Cunningham/Roberts]

Week 1 - Class on January 16

Course Overview

  1. Review course home page
  2. Instructions for fieldwork and blank fieldwork agreement (Word document)
  3. Read excerpts from two field reports written by prior students (the excerpts will be emailed separately)
  4. G.M. Filisko, "Turn-Around: Solos Seek Advice to Survive a Struggling Economy," ABA Journal 51-55 (March 2010)(note especially profile of Marietta solo practitioner at 54-55).

    Practice Management Tools


  5. History of the Clio web-based practice management tool
  6. Review on-line instructions for using Clio
  7. Skim index of Clio instructiona support resources
  8. Review Cio Privacy Policy at: http://www.goclio.com/privacy/
  9. Skim Clio Terms of Service at: http://www.goclio.com/tos/

    Practice Essential: Timekeeping


  10. Bilinsky & Best, Drafting Bills Clients Love to Pay, Law Practice Today: The Monthly Webzine of the ABA Law Practice Management Section (Nov. 2008) (6 pages)
  11. Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 01-1: Is it ethically permissible to charge for a standard unit of time without regard to actual time expended? (2 pages)
  12. Galvez v Cuevas (S.D. Fla. 2009) (lawyer failed to keep meticulous, contemporaneous time records that revealed how hours were allotted to specific tasks; attorney fee award reduced by $11,250) (5 pages)
  13. In the Matter of Denise L. Majette (Supreme Court of Georgia March 28, 2014) (former state court judge [1993-2002] and Member of Congress [2003-2004] disbarred; did not keep contemporaneous time records but reconstructed time sheets and invoices from memory).
  14. Review Course Requirements for Recording Activity with Description and Time Expended

    Practice Essential: How do clients find lawyers to represent them?
  15. Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977) (established 1st Amendment right for attorneys to advertise)
  16. Falanga v State Bar of Georgia, 150 F.3d 1333 (11th 1998) (Georgia's rules prohibiting lawyers and their agents from soliciting professional employment from potential clients face-to-face and without invitation survives First Amendment commercial speech scrutiny)
  17. In the Matter of Anonymous, 775 N.E. 2d 1094 (Ind. 2002) (example of deceptive lawyer advertisement)
  18. Read Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5
  19. Read Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 05-6: Ethical propriety of lawyer advertising where the intent is to refer out to other lawyers.
  20. Read Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 03-3: Is it ethically permissible for an attorney to enter into a “solicitation agreement” with a financial investment adviser?

    The Domestic Violence Landscape in Georgia

  21. Slain woman predicted her own death
  22. Stacey Dougan, Waiting for the bad guys to do more; Stephen D. Kelley & Peggy H. Walker Orders can protect, but help is needed (Atlanta Journal Constitution January 11, 2013 Page A14)
  23. 2014 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review: Annual Report pp 31-48


    Week 2 - Class on January 23
    Interviewing, Establishing the Lawyer-Client Relationship, Representing a Petitioner for an Order of Protection in Cobb County
    Court Observation and tour of court offices and other agencies in Marietta

    Meet at the Manely Law Firm at 8:30 am to walk to Cobb County Courthouse
    The Manely Law Firm - The Justice Cafe
    211 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060
    Free parking in behind building


  24. Smith on Patient-Centered Interviewing Foreword, Chapter 1 (all), Chapter 2 (all), and Chapter 3: pp. 29-55
  25. "Taking Notes," from Foonberg, How to Start & Build a Law Practice (pdf) (1 page)
  26. "Asking Questions," from Conference Skills (Inns of Court School of Law)
  27. Assessing for Lethality, Georgia Domestic Violence Benchbook, Appendix B
  28. Screening for Domestic Violence, Georgia Domestic Violence Benchbook, Appendix C
  29. Price Exercise 1
  30. John T. Phipps, New “limited scope legal representation” rule gives solo and small firm practitioners special opportunity to expand practice with “unbundled legal services", 38 General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section Newsletter No. 5 (Illinois State Bar Association March 2010)
  31. Client Agreement form used by Cobb County Legal Aid for domestic violence cases 

    Week 3

    Exercise 1: Prepare for meeting with Renee Price ( Will be counted toward Portfolio Grade.)
    Due Tuesday, January 27 at noon. (Due to delay in distributing Smith on Patient Interviewing, any email request for an extension to noon on January 28 will be granted.)
    Also due January 27 at noon are your court observation documents (not graded but required). Turn in to 4th floor reception or scan and email to instructors. (Many of you already turned in your observations at the end of class on January 23.)

    Class on January 30 - Manely Firm

  32. Domestic Violence Binder, pp 4:1 to 4:185 (this is not as long as it seems, there are lot of pages that are mostly white space)