The Client Relationship: Spring 2022
Law 6022 3 credit hours
Wednesday 3:00pm - 5:45 pm Online
First class: Wednesday, January 12
This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement
and therefore can be taken instead of Law 6020.
Anonymous suggestion or complaints are welcome: Anonymous Suggestion Box (operated by Survey Monkey – IP addresses are not recorded)
Professor Clark D. Cunningham
Home page: www.ClarkCunningham.org
Office: Room 210 (2nd floor)
Administrative Specialist, Law Faculty Support:
Sharon Buie, firstname.lastname@example.org (404) 413-9082
Office hours by Zoom (to be determined after January 19, after
surveying students about availability and preferences)
No textbook to purchase at bookstore
Starting with Class 2 on January 19,
this course will be administered through a Westlaw TWEN website.
The selling, sharing, publishing, presenting, or distributing of instructor-prepared course lecture notes, videos, audio recordings, or any other instructor-produced materials from this course for any commercial purpose is strictly prohibited unless explicit written permission is granted in advance by the course instructor. This includes posting any materials on websites such as Chegg, Course Hero, OneClass, Stuvia, SuDocu and other similar sites. Unauthorized sale or commercial distribution of such material is a violation of the instructor's intellectual property and the privacy rights of students attending the class, and is prohibited.
All required readings linked to the on-line syllabus which is updated and posted on TWEN.
The following “books” for the course will be available for downloading in pdf format from the “Case Studies, Georgia Legal Ethics” folder on the TWEN website starting January 12.
It is recommended that you print copies of at least (1) and (4) because you will be regularly referring to both the Georgia Rules and The Garrow Case while taking quizzes and engaging in firm discussions.
An on-line guide to Legal Ethics in Georgia is available at www.clarkcunningham.org/GeorgiaLegalEthics.htm
This course is taught entirely on-line, which means there is no expectation that students will meet face-to-face with each other or the instructor in the law school building at any point during the semester. However, students are expected to be available for on-line activities via Zoom during the weekly class time scheduled as Wednesday, 3:00pm – 5:45pm unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus.
The course will be taught using a TWEN (The West Education Network) website rather than through iCollege. Students will be automatically added to the TWEN course using GSU registration information starting on January 11; students can not directly add themselves to TWEN course site. Access to the TWEN course website is not necessary for Class 1 assignments and activities.
The course is designed to use a variety of online tools for interactive learning, including on-line quizzes, discussion problems, and exercises.
The course grade will be calculated as follows:
20%: Paper: 3-5 double-spaced pages, due mid-semester (See Learning Objectives, below)
50%: Composite score based on quizzes, assignments, and class participation
30%: Final exam: 2-hour open-book, multiple choice exam (See Exam, below)
The College of Law mandatory mean for required courses applies to this course. Therefore, the class mean (i.e. the average grade) must fall between 2.9 and 3.1.
In this course students will learn how to develop effective and ethical relationships with clients, become competent in recognizing moral dilemmas in the real-life situations encountered by lawyers, and begin to acquire the professional judgment necessary to resolve the kinds of complex problems that arise in legal practice. Students will become skilled in interpreting and applying the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and will understand the attorney discipline system in Georgia as well as basic common law principles arising from malpractice and attorney disqualification decisions. In order to put student learning in the context of real-life law practice, the course is taught primarily from the standpoint of the Georgia rules and Georgia law. However, students will still be well-prepared to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) which tests the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct because significant differences between the Georgia and ABA Model Rules will be covered. Students will engage in exercises that develop client relationship skills and ethical decision making. They will write one paper that applies what they have learned to analyze videotaped lawyer-client meetings and propose what they would have done in the situation. There will also be regular on-line quizzes and discussion problems and a two-hour, open-book multiple-choice final examination.
Students are expected to submit quizzes and other assignments when due and be available during weekly scheduled class hours absent good cause A student may be required to withdraw from the course without credit based upon repeated failure to submit assignments when due, absence and/or a pattern of not being available during scheduled class hours. If a student fails to submit an assignment by the due date, it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor promptly (and preferably before due date) and provide good cause for late submission if the student wishes permission to submit the assignment after the deadline.
If a student is going to miss class or has missed class and needs an excused absence, or needs modification of a required assignment deadline, because of illness or quarantine the student is required by the University to submit documentation of medical need to the Office of the Dean of Students through the online form at: https://deanofstudents.gsu.edu/student-assistance/professor-absence-notification/ . The instructor will be notified by the Dean of Students office staff; there is no need to submit any paperwork to the instructor. Students with medical needs will be accommodated but must submit all the necessary details through the online form to the Office of the Dean of Students.
The case studies are based on actual cases. Students must be prepared to engage in rigorous discussion about the details of the cases and to analyze the decisions and actions of the lawyers
Students will be frequently viewing videos online in connection with readings and assignments. Some videos are linked directly to the online syllabus and can be viewed using the VLC Media Player, a free and open source cross-platform player and framework that plays most multimedia files. Download the VLC Media Player at: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html
Other videos can only be viewed through the course iCollege website, for example:
From the course iCollege home page select
This new window should appear. For example, to view “Gandhi Part 1”
The final examination will count for 30% of the course grade and will be a two-hour open book multiple choice exam administered on iCollege.
Students will be expected to be familiar with all the assigned readings, including all pages assigned from the case studies. Students must also be familiar with the fact patterns for the exercises. Students will need to know the content of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct assigned on the course syllabus including the accompanying comments. When an ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct is assigned on the syllabus, students will NOT be tested on the accompanying comments unless the ABA comments are separately assigned in the syllabus. Students will not be tested on the “maximum penalty” specified for each Georgia rule.
Some of the questions will be questions of the type found on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination that ask the student to apply the rules of professional conduct to a hypothetical fact pattern. Some questions will test knowledge and comprehension of court decisions and other materials assigned for reading. Many of the questions will be based on fact patterns from the Exercises and Case Studies and will focus on issues of ethical decision making and professional judgment of the type explored in on-line quizzes, discussion problems, and other assignments during the semester.
There will be a variety of interactive lawyering exercises. In one type students will view online the videotape of a simulated or actual example of legal work and then analyze what they have observed. In a variation of this type of exercise (e.g. Simon Exercise – Part 1), after watching a simulated lawyer-client meeting students develop follow-up questions which then be answered by the instructor taking the client’s role. In the most extended “live” exercise, Simon Exercise – Part 2, an entire firm will role-play a client meeting on Zoom in real time with firm members taking lawyer and client roles based on confidential instructions. Finally, students will view two videos of students from prior years conducting the same role-play as Simon Exercise – Part 2, and write a paper (worth 20% of the course grade) proposing how the student would conduct the same meeting, to addressing issues identified through analysis of the videotapes and the student’s own experience of Simon Exercise – Part 2.
After the drop/add deadline of January 14, students will be assigned to a team or "law firm" of 4-6 students. Much of the course’s interactive work will take place in these law firms. Law firms play an important role in relation to course quizzes – see below. In addition to collaboration on quizzes, a number of other tasks will regularly be assigned for teamwork during class time.
There will be two types of quizzes: knowledge review quizzes and class discussion quizzes.
Knowledge review quizzes are to be completed by the student in advance of a given class on the TWEN website without consultation with any other person and typically will simply test that the student has viewed instructional videos and done readings assigned for that class. Students will not be allowed to complete knowledge review quizzes after the indicated deadline absent good cause (including medical reasons as indicated below.)
In contrast, class discussion quizzes are designed to be answered in consultation with other members of the student’s firm and are intended to be more challenging than knowledge review quizzes. The syllabus will provide discussion quiz questions to review in advance of class. These are open book questions that the student may discuss before with members of their firm but not with any other person. Students are encouraged to carefully review these questions and come prepared to offer a defensible reason for selecting a given answer choice.
During class, students will be presented with some or all of the discussion quiz questions posted on the syllabus in advance, recording their answers both on the TWEN website and also using the Zoom “poll” feature. Students may also be asked additional discussion quiz questions not provided in advance.
The “Zoom” poll feature will allow the instructor to display the range of answers to each question as given. The instructor may give students a second opportunity to answer a question, particularly if the Zoom poll shows a range of different answers from class members. Before answering a given question for the second time, students will have a break-out Zoom meeting with their firm to discuss what answer they selected and why, although the instructor may elect to not have a firm meeting following every question. Students are not required to choose the same answer twice, especially if they decide during the “firm meeting” another answer is more defensible.
If students are given a second chance to answer a quiz question, both the first and second answers will count. While there will be more than six weekly discussion quizzes during the semester, only the student’s six best weekly quiz grades will be counted toward their overall course grade. Allowing lowest weekly discussion quiz grades to be dropped is in lieu of allowing make-up quizzes to be given in case of absence.
When a Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct is assigned, the accompanying comments are also assigned unless otherwise indicated. When an ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct is assigned, you are NOT required to read the accompanying comments unless the ABA comments are separately assigned in the syllabus.
GRPC = Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct. MR = ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct.
CLASS ONE (1/12/22) Readings and assignments for Class One are not linked to the course TWEN website.
Assignment: Due by 3:00 pm on January 12 to receive 3 quiz points
Ethical Dilemma Survey Questions (answer online)
Webcast presentations (review by January 19 class, preferably before January 12 class) (not yet linked)
3:00 – 4:00 Available for viewing webcast presentations on your own
“Live class” via Zoom begins at 4:00
4:00 – 4:50 “Representing Osama bin Laden’s Driver,” Presentation and discussion of Charles Swift representation of Salim Hamdan, see Hamdan v Rumsfeld, 126 S.Ct. 2749 (2006)
4:50 – 5:20 Small group and class discussion of Ethical Dilemma assignment
5:20 - 5:30 Overview of semester
5:30 – 5:45 Open question and answer period