PLD451 - Advocacy

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date 2018-09-24 00:14:06.885
Last review date 2018-12-03 00:15:54.23

Subject Title

Subject Description
This subject teaches the student the advocacy skills required in Small Claims Court, Provincial Offences Court and Tribunals. Students prepare and present opening statements, examinations-in-chief, cross-examinations and closing arguments in class. At the end of the term, students participate in a mock trial.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable towards the Paralegal Diploma Program, offered through the School of Legal and Public Administration and the Faculty of Continuing Education.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the roles and be prepared to demonstrate the basic techniques of opening statements, examinations, cross-examinations, re-examinations, closing arguments, and submissions for costs or sentencing.
  2. Conduct a client interview to determine
    1. Whether the client can receive advice and give instructions;
    2. What legal rights are at stake;
    3. What remedies may be available;
    4. What the client seeks; and
    5. Whether the client can be represented by a paralegal.
  3. Using hypothetical sets of facts, gather and analyze facts, documents and legal sources in a potential legal dispute to develop and assess a theory of a case and determine what evidence needs to be developed.
  4. During in-class simulations,
    1. Deliver an opening statement based on a theory developed by the student;
    2. Conduct at least one mock direct examination that would be acceptable in a court proceeding where rules of evidence were strictly followed and that showed the student's ability to prepare the witness;
    3. Conduct at least one mock cross examination that would be acceptable in a court proceeding where rules of evidence were strictly followed and one that exploits the advantages of cross examinations in adversarial proceedings;
    4. Tender and authenticate exhibits;
    5. Make appropriate objections; and
    6. Present a sentencing submission or submission on costs.
  5. Display acceptable courtroom etiquette in simulations and role plays.
  6. Develop communication and team-building skills by working in groups on in-class assignments and presenting the work of the group to the class.
  7. Working in a team, participate in a mock trial or hearing to combine skills developed by the simulations throughout the course to take a case from theory through to closing argument.
  8. Demonstrate an attitude of professionalism, as evidenced by an ability to meet deadlines, complete assignments and perform tests and in-class assignments as scheduled.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.