American Legal System | Outline

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Check here everyday for class cancellations, or other important updates.

Welcome to the First Week of Classes. Reminder, there is no class meeting on Thursday as I will be away. Instead click here to complete the online assignmnent (diagnostic baseline).

Bring this reading (print) to Class Monday: Click here

For a Traditional Syllabus: Click here


Total Points Possible:            200 points

See the Student Handbook for how points are calculated into a letter grade and GPA.

Assignments (90 points)

Diagnostic Baseline: 10 points

Writing Prompt 1: 10 points

Group Brainstorm: 10 points

Diagnostic 2: 10 points

Thesis Statement: 10 points

Campus Field Research: 10 points

Study Table: 10 points

Peer Review: 10 points

Tutoring Workshop: 10 points

Research Writing Assignment:    60 points (6  page research paper) 

Mid-Term Exam:             20 points

Final Exam:                30 points 


Calendar of Assignments, Readings, Lectures, Videos and other Course Materials

Monday Wednesday Thursday
3.4 Alice Clip 1

Groups: Discuss Fairness

Groups: What do you do when someone treats you unfairly?

FW: What is Law

No Class – Online Assignment (10): click here
3.9, 11, 12 In Class Reading: Kruse (2010): click here     ; Groups: What are the symbols of law in this article? Groups: What is the different uses of language of law in this article?


Writing Prompt (10): What are the differences between the symbols, language, and process of law?
3.16, 18, 19 Lecture: Introduction to the Science of Actor Network Theory: Competing Notions of Jurisdiction, Sovereignty, and Power Video: Critical Thinking: click here

Reading: Kustron (2020):  Chapter 2

Workshop: Taking Critical Notes and the difference between Philosophy, History and Science: Identify conflict points of Injustice in your lived experience

Groups: Create an Actor Network Map (Court system to CRj to Political) to use for this class; In Groups: Brainstorm about topics for final research paper. Complete Group Form and turn in at the end of class (10).  
3.23, 25, 26 Read Chapter 3: Criminal Trials 

Discuss: History of the Courts in the United States and England: Economic Base of Relations

Review Table of Contents: Federal Rules of Evidence: click here

Discuss: Evidence (see Federal Rules of Evidence): Admissibility, Relevance, Hearsay

Discuss: Burden of Proof and Access to a Competent Lawyer: Who should we put on trial for historical injustices? Reparations and Restorative Justice
3.30, 4.1, 2 Lecture: Establishing a Cause of Action in Torts. Brown v. Board of Education and the Doll Studies.

Torts: Cause of Action: Elements: Duty, Breach, Cause, Damages

Discuss: Women at Work  Discussion: Unpacking injustices, economics of social response to crime, historical trials.  

Diagnostic Two (10): How has your perception of Law changed so far?  free-write.

4.6, 4.8  Draft a Thesis Statement for your final research paper and bring to class (10).

Discussion: in Groups, draft inquiry questions about the content from class thus far; pay special attention to the readings, lectures, and the federal rules of evidence we talked about in class. Turn these in. I will make a copy and return to you before posting the midterm exam online. I will make the questions pulling from your inquiries. The midterm is an open book exam. You can use your notes.

4.13, 15, 16 SB SB SB
4.20, 22, 23 Midterm Exam (20) Lecture: Different approaches to teaching law: law as control, law as rights, law as construct. Discuss: Sources for Academic Study: Using JStor for Research. Identify non-academic, academic, and scholarly sources.
4.27, 29, 30 Conducting Field Research on Campus (10). Debrief: Conducting Field Research on Campus. Identify injustice through campus field work. Briefing a case: Scott v. Sandford and Chevron USA INC v. Natural Resources Defense Council.
5.4, 6, 7 Actor Network Theory Mapping Demonstration. Law, Symbols, Language, Process, Differences that make a Difference Lecture: The Three Dimensions of Power (Lukes). Eco-Crisis, Migration, UnHomelessness v. United Nations Sustainability Goals. Study Skills: In Groups use the Midterm Feedback Sheet to Construct a Table (10).
5.11,13,14 Peer Review: Bring in a Draft of Your Final Research Paper (10). Lecture: Integrating your Research Notes, Your Draft, and Your Course Study Table.

Final Research Paper Conclusion Prompt: How does the History and Structure of the Courts in the U.S.A. inform the Social Responses and Perceptions of Crime and the Law? 

Lecture: Major Theories in Criminal Justice you should know for Transfer Colleges: Foucault, Durkheim, Patricia Hill Collins, Alexander, Huntington, and Terrorism.
5.18,20,21 Reading: Article: Basketball in the Key of Law: The Significance of Disputing in Pick-Up Basketball. DeLand, M. (2013). Law and Society Review, V. 47, N 3.  Paper Writing Perfect Paragraph Activity: Sources of Legal Theory: Property Law, Human Rights Law, Positivism, Realism, Law and Society. Alternative Dispute Resolution. Negotiation and the Founders Understanding of Greek and Roman Justice.
5.25,27,28 OFF Reading: Federal Rules of Evidence: Using the Table of Contents to Applied Research.     Extra Credit: Visit the Center for Academic Writing Success and bring back Tutoring Compliance Form (10 points).

Tutoring Workshop with Guest Speaker (10)

6.1, 3,4 Review Questions and Answers (2 days)  Review Questions and Answers (2 days)  Last Class

Week 12: Research Writing Due; Conference with Instructor: Use Checklist

Hand in Completed Paper; Get Approval From Me or Revision Instructions.

Final Exam Overview, Handout, and Instructions

6.8 Finals Begin