PROJECT 2 – Final Project (20 points /20% of final course grade)
The purpose of this project is to use Westlaw to research and apply statutory law and interpretive case law relevant to facts.
Course Outcomes Met by Project 2:
- Practice computer-based legal research tools, retrieve, navigate, and update primary legal authority.
- Cite to and explain the relevance of primary authority to a given legal topic or issue.
Background: Chang is working with a LCA consulting client, Attorney Mark Adams, a senior partner in a Baltimore, Maryland law firm. Adams has consulted Chang about a child visitation case. Chang has asked me to assist in the consultation by researching relevant statutory and case law and presenting my findings in a Research Summary Report.
Clementine Connor, the Client, reports that her child’s father has physically abused both her and their 7-year old child. The Client provided substantial, credible corroborating evidence of this abuse, including records of the child’s father’s criminal convictions for domestic abuse in Maryland. The child’s father, however, insists that the criminal trial was a fraud and that he was framed. The father has refused to complete the parenting skills and anger-management courses ordered by the judge in the criminal case.
The father now is seeking unsupervised, overnight visitation with the child. The Client fears for her child’s and her own safety if the father is allowed to have the visitation he is seeking. She wants advice regarding whether the father is likely to succeed in obtaining visitation.
Confine your research to the Family Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Focus on this Research Question:
Whether a Maryland court may reject a request for visitation when the parent seeking visitation has a documented history of child abuse and refuses to complete court-ordered parenting and anger-management classes?
I need help with my research in a Research Summary Report. Attorney Adams is a busy practitioner, so Chang wants explanations that are thorough, but concise. Each explanation should be written in complete sentences that use my own words. Scroll down for the complete Report format.
1. Using Westlaw, locate a directly relevant statutory provision in the Family Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland that addresses the research question. Cite the statutory provision in correct, complete Bluebook format.
2. Explain why the statutory provision is directly relevant to the Research Question.
Go to the Notes of Decisions tab/column for the statute you identified in Part A. From the list of annotated cases that appear there, select one reported Maryland state court opinion that is relevant to the Research Question.
3. Explain why the selected opinion is relevant to the Research Question.
4. Provide a short quotation (maximum 50 words) from the opinion that supports your response to Question 3. Use quotation marks to show that the text is not your own original work. After the quotation, provide a pinpoint citation to the regional reporter using Bluebook format.
5. Is the selected opinion “on all fours” with the Client’s case? In your answer, remember to compare and contrast the legally significant facts and the controlling law.
6. Is the selected opinion still “good law”? State your conclusion and explain how you made this determination.
7. Using A > B > C > D format, provide a detailed description of your entire research process. Start your description on the Westlaw launch page and include all steps are taken to locate the cited statute (from Part A) and court opinion (from Part B). A reader unfamiliar with Westlaw and legal research should be able to recreate your entire search process by following the steps of your A > B > C > D description.
Research Summary Report Format
Label and number all parts and responses. Use complete sentences and paragraph format were instructed to do so.
Research Summary Report
To: Alicia Chang, Esq.
From: (Your Name), Paralegal
Re: Connor Child Visitation Case
Review the Project
Thoroughly read the presentation to ensure all required elements are present.
Review the grading rubric to ensure that you earn the most points possible for this assignment.
Use Bluebook format for citations.
Proofread for spelling and grammatical issues. Use the spell and grammar check in Word.
Answers that require explanation should be thorough, but concise and clear. On Questions 2, 3, 5, and 6, aim for responses that are between three and eight sentences, and no more than 200 words long. Use complete sentences and write in your own words.