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The objective of this assignment is to 1) familiarize yourself with the concept
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The objective of this assignment is to 1) familiarize yourself with the concept of legal and judicial ethics and 2) apply your class learning and research to the facts and scenarios from the movie “The Verdict.” The movie is available through the College Library through “Feature Films for Education” (scroll down the main Library page to locate the link). Although this is an older movie (1982), the movie is about a medical malpractice case and an attorney who represents the family of a woman who is comatose due to the doctor’s negligence. Unfortunately, a few jokes aren’t funny (as I said, it is an older movie), but you can access the movie at no charge.
So, where do you begin?
First, watch the movie. I recommend you include close captioning so you can clearly “catch” the language used in the movie. Take notes on the movie. Second, review the Michigan Code of Professional Conduct and the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct. When you look at these materials, focus on the attorney’s responsibilities to a client (Michigan Code of Professional Conduct), and the obligations a judge has to the attorney and the public (Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct).
Then watch the movie a second time. Keep in mind the Professional and Judicial Codes of Conduct when you watch it a second time. Identify examples where the attorney meets his professional obligation. Then do the opposite and find examples of professional misconduct and violations on behalf of the attorneys and the judge. In other words, talk about both the positive and negative.
Besides reviewing the two professional Codes, consider looking at the website for the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, and the ethics page for the State Bar of Michigan, which includes ethics opinions from the State Bar.
So, what should your assignment look like? The title will be Legal Ethics and Class Concepts Applied to “The Verdict.” Your paper will need an introduction, and the last sentence of the introductory paragraph will have a thesis. The thesis will tell the reader what the paper will discuss, which will be 25 words or less.
Then you will have your body paragraphs. Each paragraph should have an APA compliant heading that will reflect the attorney’s ethical obligation that has been met or compromised, such as Client-Lawyer Relationship. You can also have subheadings under the paragraph heading, such as Competence or Fees. And the end of the discussion and ethics evaluation, you will include a paragraph telling me what you learned from the movie and what was unclear. Finally, you will end your paper with a conclusion paragraph. If you choose to include the text of a Professional Code section, it can be included in an Appendix. These are minimum content requirements. Feel free to include other headings and paragraphs as you feel will add value to your work.
The paper, as other assignments, must follow APA 7th edition. I would expect a well-written and researched paper to be at least 1000 words and in the range of 1000-1500 words. Remember, this is your final project, it is a research paper, and it is worth 100 points toward your final grade.
How will the paper be graded? 80 points have been given toward content, and 20 points are allotted for writing style and technique as follows:
Content: Located and described five professional conduct examples that correctly advocate for a client. The appropriate Professional Conduct rules are identified and applied. (8*5=40 points)
Conduct: Located and described five examples of professional misconduct by one of the attorneys and/or the judge that violates a Professional/Judicial Conduct rule. The appropriate Professional/Judicial Conduct rules are identified and applied. (8*5=40 points)
Technique: APA 7th edition is followed, including using the correct formatting for the Title Page, Text Cites, References, etc. (10 points)
Technique: A. Student demonstrates evidence of critical thinking in their writing. In addition, student shows originality and fresh perspectives in the assignment. B. Written work displays superior quality in verbal expression, attention to detail, and correct application of the English language conventions. The student uses appropriate paragraphing (including an introduction and conclusion) with clear supporting details in their written work. Sentences are clear and concise. Student varies sentence structure making use of subordinate clauses. Transitional words and phrases are used effectively. Points and ideas are well organized. Word choices are effective. English language conventions are applied correctly (i.e., spelling, capitalization, punctuation, agreement, pronoun usage, sentence structure). (10 points)
Note: There will be a one-point deduction for punctuation, grammar, usage, and spelling errors.