University of Maryland Techni

Instructions

PROJECT 2 – Final Project (20 points /20% of final course grade)

Purpose

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.

Facts:

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.

Instructions:

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.

Part A

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.

Part B

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.

Part C

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

Date:

Re: Connor Child Visitation Case

Part A

1.

2.

Part B

3.

4.

5.

6.

Part C

7.

_________

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.

University of Maryland Techni

Instructions

General Instructions for Learning Activities

  • Read/watch all assigned materials listed for the week in Overview.
  • Refer to assigned course materials, cases, and/or statutes to support conclusions.
  • Review the grading rubric.
  • Put your name on your file.
  • Save your work in Word (.doc or .docx), RTF, or PDF format.
  • Submit your work to the correct week’s Learning Activity link in the Assignment Folder.

Learning Activity due 11:59 pm ET Saturday

Background: Chang and Martinez want you to prepare a research exercise they will use at the next READ professional development seminar for paralegals and legal assistants. You are to complete the assignment and submit it to them for approval.

Instructions:

Part A

1. On Westlaw, find the U.S. Code provision that states the criminal penalty for unauthorized use of the “Woodsy Owl” character.

Provide the full and correct Bluebook citation to this statute (including specific subsection, if any).

  • Tip: review Instructor Notes re: how to cite statutes.

2. On Westlaw, find the definition of “Smokey Bear” in the U.S. Code.

Provide the full and correct Bluebook citation to this statute (including specific subsection, if any).

3. Eliminating unnecessary characters saves time when searching with a citation in Westlaw. What would one enter in the GSB to retrieve section 2381 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code using only NINE (9) characters?

  • Tip: to locate a statute by citation in Westlaw, we don’t need to use Bluebook format in the GSB. See what happens when you reduce or eliminate spaces, punctuation, and some abbreviations.

4. Go to section 2381 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code; what is the name of this section?

  • Tip: look for the words just to the right of § 2381.

5. Does section 2381 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code have any KeyCite flags? If so, click on the flag and describe what it tells a researcher.

Part B

6. Go to the Westlaw home page.

  • Click on Statutes and Court Rules
  • Click on Maryland
  • Look to the right side of the page, under a column titled, TOOLS & RESOURCES
  • Click on Maryland Statutes Find Template
  • Enter 15-601 in the box next to MD EST & TRST s and click on, “GO.”

What is the name of this section?

  • Tip: look for the words to the right of § 15-601.

7. Within the section found in Question 6, find the subsection that defines the term, “Remote computing service.” Provide the full Bluebook citation for this subsection.

  • Tip: Be precise! Cite the relevant subsection, not the entire section.

8. Using Bluebook format, cite these consecutive sections of the Estates and Trusts article in West’s Annotated Code of Maryland: section 15-603; section 15-604; section 15-605; section 15-606; section 15-607; and section 15-608.

  • Tip: Do not list six separate citations. Provide one citation that, by its format, tells the reader to consult all six consecutive sections.

9. Using Bluebook format, cite these consecutive subsections of the Estates and Trusts article in West’s Annotated Code of Maryland: subsections 15-605(d)(2)(ii) through (d)(2)(iv).

  • Tip: Do not list three separate citations. Use only one citation that, by its format, tells the reader to consult all three consecutive subsections.

10. Using Bluebook format, cite these two non-consecutive sections of the Estates and Trusts article in West’s Annotated Code of Maryland: section 15-603 and section 15-608.

  • Tip: Do not list two separate citations. Provide one citation that, by its format, tells the reader to consult both non-consecutive sections.
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