# CTE Resource Center - Verso - Legal Systems Administration Instructional Scenarios

CTE Resource Center - Verso

Virginia’s CTE Resource Center

Instructional Scenarios

Friendly Chatter or Breach of Confidentiality?

Duty/Concept Area

Identifying Legal and Business Ethics

Scenario

Max, a people person, loves his new position as a legal assistant at a law office in his hometown. The firm has a diverse client base, and Max enjoys the variety of work. One morning, Mr. Smith, the husband of a prominent local government official, comes in for an early appointment. As Max gathers the standard new client information, he soon learns that Mr. Smith is filing for divorce from his wife on the grounds of adultery.
    Later that day, Max meets his friend, Sasha, for lunch. He impulsively tells her about Mr. Smith's pending divorce and the reasons why.
    By that afternoon, Sasha has repeated the gossip to several acquaintances and word gets back to Mr. Smith. At 5 p.m., he calls the law office and angrily blasts the attorney who was assigned to his case.
    Because it’s a small office, the attorney confronts Max on the matter and asks if he divulged the client's personal information to anyone.

Big Question

Focused Questions

SOL Correlation

English: 11.10, 12.8

Project-Based Assessment

Resources

American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct
www.abanet.org/cpr/mrpc/rule_1_6_comm.html

Law Office Confidentiality: Parts I & II (Videotape)
Publisher: State Bar of Wisconsin
http://marketplace.wisbar.org/Pages/Product.aspx?pid=ED0009


Order in the Court

Duty/Concept Area

Conducting Customer-Service Activities

Scenario

Kellie is a deputy clerk for the county traffic court. Her duties include collecting and processing fees. The court docket includes a case involving Michael S., who is found guilty of reckless driving. The judge imposes a fine of $500, plus court costs. After his case concludes, Michael storms into the Clerk's office and angrily protests the fine to Kellie. Using harsh language, he verbally abuses Kellie, who feels threatened.

Big Question

Focused Questions

SOL Correlation

History and Social Science: GOVT.17

Project-Based Assessment

Resources

Nonverbal Communication: Using Body Position to Defuse Angry People
www.hodu.com/defuse.shtml

Body Language Communication - 9 Things You Must Absolutely Avoid When Dealing With an Angry Customer
http://ezinearticles.com/?Body-Language-Communication-9-Things-You-Must-Absolutely-Avoid-When-Dealing-With-an-Angry-Customer&id=1406007


Don’t Take the Easy Way Out

Duty/Concept Area

Managing Records and Files

Scenario

Rafael works in a large law office as a legal clerk. The senior partner of the firm requests that Rafael prepare a new case file for Unique Fashions Inc., a well-known fashion design firm that faces heavy competition and is especially concerned about client confidentiality. Although Rafael is aware of his firm's policies and procedures for setting up a new case file, he decides to gather information from a paralegal in the firm whose brother is employed by Unique Fashions. He uses that quickly gathered information to set up the file and then heads out to lunch, leaving the file open on his desk.

Big Question

  • Has Rafael made mistakes in managing this new case file?

Focused Questions

  • What basic information is required in setting up a new case file?
  • What types of information should be verified?
  • What procedures should be followed to ensure client confidentiality?
  • What security procedures should be followed while Rafael is the custodian of the file?
  • Why is it important to adhere to filing procedures and systems?

SOL Correlation

English: 11.4, 12.4

Project-Based Assessment

Comprehensive outline of file-handling guidelines and policies, suitable for an office procedures manual

Resources

The Legal Assistant's Practical Guide to Professional Responsibility, 2nd Ed.
Publisher: American Bar Association
ISBN: 1590315022


Calendar Chaos

Duty/Concept Area

Developing Business Communication Skills

Scenario

It's a busy morning at XYZ Law Firm, and Danica, a legal assistant, has received a phone call from attorney Myers, who will be delayed in court for several more hours. He instructs Danica to cancel his noon appointment with Ms. Williams, who has just arrived in the reception area after a two-hour drive from a neighboring city. In addition, attorney Myers’ remaining three afternoon appointments will need to be rescheduled. Danica hangs up the phone and nervously glances at Ms. Williams, while she mentally reviews all of the work she will need to do to rearrange attorney Myers’ schedule.

Big Question

  • What problem-solving skills and resources will Danica need to handle this situation?

Focused Questions

  • How should Danica prioritize the rescheduling tasks?
  • What communication techniques can Danica use to explain the situation to Ms. Williams?
  • What customer-relations skills can Danica use to retain Ms. Williams as a client?
  • How do the court dockets and office calendar impact attorney Myers's schedule?

SOL Correlation

English: 11.4, 12.4

Project-Based Assessment

  • Role-playing with a scoring rubric to evaluate communication and office-management skills
  • Development of a detailed telephone script to follow when calling clients to reschedule appointments

Resources

Legal Office Procedures, Joyce Morton, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 013220956X

Office Procedures for the 21st Century, 7th Ed., Sharon Burton and Nelda Shelton, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0132308576

Can We Talk?

Duty/Concept Area

Developing Business Communication Skills

Scenario

As a new intern in a busy law office, Kayla was partnered with the receptionist, who arrives 15 minutes late each day, takes an additional five minutes for lunch and leaves 10 minutes early at the end of the day. On several occasions, Kayla has been left alone at the front desk with little training and the phones constantly ringing. Several important clients have complained about the amount of time they have been placed on hold or about being transferred to the wrong department. Since she is new, Kayla is often unsure how to handle the telephones, and is not as efficient as someone with more experience. She wants to say something to the office manager, but Kayla has just started working and does not want to hinder her relationship with her co-worker.

Big Question

  • Is it ever OK to “tell” on an associate or co-worker?

Focused Questions

  • Should Kayla speak with her co-worker before speaking with her office manager?
  • How does Kayla’s co-worker’s unreliable behavior affect the front desk procedures?
  • What resources should Kayla use to help her with answering the company phone?

SOL Correlation

English: 11.1, 12.1
History and Social Science: CE.4, GOVT.17

Project-Based Assessment

  • Role-play two scenarios, one with Kayla discussing the situation with her co-worker, the other with her supervisor.
  • Role-play procedures for answering the phone and placing a caller on hold.
  • Create a draft of a telephone procedure manual or guidelines for the office.

Resources

The Office: Procedures and Technology, 6th Edition, Mary Ellen Oliverio, William R. Pasewark, and Bonnie R. White, Cengage Learning, ISBN 13: 978-1-111-57435-2

Office Procedures for the Legal Professional, 1st Edition, Judy Long, Cengage Learning, ISBN13: 978-1-4018-4083-9

The Case of the Missing Diamond

Duty/Concept Area

Introducing the Legal System
Preparing Litigation Documents

Scenario (Mock Trial Simulation)

On July 7, Cindy Weaver had a cookout at her home. Cindy was single and had no children. Cindy invited several friends and family members to her home. Cindy has a large three-story home with a full basement. Cindy had everything outside, including tables, shelters, bathroom, pool and so forth, so no one needed to go inside the house for anything. In fact, for that very reason, she kept her doors locked. However, she did allow a friend of a friend, Allison (whom she never had met before), to go in to get a Band-Aid from the downstairs bathroom. Also, her next-door neighbor of five years went inside to get her cooler.

Everyone had a good time at the cookout. In fact, people did not leave until after midnight. Cindy decided to go to a concert the next day and wear the $10,000 necklace her grandmother had left her. Cindy usually locked the jewelry box but had left it on the dresser as she was rushing to greet visitors for the cookout. The necklace was gone.

Cindy started asking questions. She knew she had seen it the same day as the cookout. Her neighbor Jessica told Cindy that she remembered seeing the new guest, Allison, come down the stairs when she should have only gone to the bathroom downstairs.

Allison denied coming downstairs and denied taking the necklace. Investigators charged Allison with grand larceny after an investigation. They based their arrest on the fact that Allison was seen coming down the stairs, recently put a large deposit in her checking account, and that the pawn shop owner down the street had received the necklace from a person whom the owner thought resembled Allison.

Allison states that Jessica could have taken the necklace because she knew that Allison had the necklace.

Task: Generate a subpoena and/or subpoena duces tecum; generate interrogatories and request.

Determine whether Allison should be found guilty or not guilty.

Big Question

  • What are the various roles of legal specialization for this scenario? (i.e., judge, attorney, bailiff, legal secretary, court reporter, investigator)

Focused Questions

  • What are key factors when analyzing this case?
  • Who would receive subpoenas and other discovery documents, and how would they be prepared?

SOL Correlation

English: 11.1, 12.1
History and Social Science: CE.4, GOVT.17

Project-Based Assessment

  • Mock trial grading rubric:

Categories Point Value Points Awarded
Knowledge of court role (knows the legal role without instructions) 20  
Court documentation (legal forms prepared for the court) 20  
Teamwork/cooperation with other students (works well with all students) 20  
Attentiveness (pays attention and does not have to be told when to do his/her part) 20  
Willingness to perform any role assigned 20  
Total points 100