Legal research, writing, and editing involved in the production for publication of analytical and scholarly commentary on the law. Enrollment is limited to candidates and members of the Whittier Law School Journal of Child & Family Advocacy.
This course explores classic jurisprudential questions about the theory of adjudication, that is, questions about how courts decide and ought to decide cases and when the parties ought to obey. The course may be a survey of such questions or may focus on one such question, at the discretion of the instructor. The questions include: What is a legal rule? Do legal rules constrain judicial decision-making? How ought courts to interpret legal rules? Are legal rules determinate or indeterminate? Where no legal rule controls a case, how ought judges to decide? When a court decides, ought the parties obey? Are principles of morality legally binding or even relevant when not enacted into positive legal rules? Is judicial decision-making distinct from political decision-making? No familiarity with either jurisprudence or philosophy will be assumed.
Juvenile Justice examines the evolution of courts that specialize in disputes involving child welfare, juvenile delinquency, and children’s constitutional rights in school and mental health commitments. The course provides an introduction to the legal ethics inherent in representing the government, parents, and children in those proceedings. The survey of law provides an historical, comparative state/federal/ and California analysis of cases and statutory laws and uses movie clips and class simulations to enable students to apply those legal principles to resolve discrete sets of facts affecting children’s legal rights.
The course provides an examination through simulation of alternative dispute resolution processes such as mandatory mediation and negotiation. Additionally, the use of practical strategies for interviewing child witness, medical, and psychological witnesses may be discussed.
Juvenile Trial Advocacy surveys and analyzes the specialized lawyering skills and evidentiary rules necessary to provide children and adolescents zealous and competent representation in juvenile cases involving delinquency, child dependency, status offenses, and mental health proceedings. Students will have the opportunity to learn and apply the full range of trial skills (direct, cross examination, closing arguments, and motion practice) in the unique procedural world of juvenile law.