Judicial Process 379 /CJ / PLS 379
Fall 2016 - 9:30 - 10:50 a.m. 
Harned Hall Rm. #115


Role of the American court system. Roots of Anglo-American jurisprudence; political aspects of legal institutions; structure of American court system.

Credits: 3 credits 

Instructor:  Shawn Newman, J.D. 

Office Hours: By appointment or Tues./Thurs online here

Required Resources:  

  • Christopher P. Banks & David M. O'Brien, The Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Judicial Process, Sage Publications 2016 ISBN 978-1-4833-1701-4.
  • Robert M. Cover, Justice Accused: Antislavery and the Judicial Process, Yale University Press 1975 ISBN 0-300-01789-8

Course Description & Objectives:

Role of the American court system. Roots of Anglo-American jurisprudence; political aspects of legal institutions; structure of American court system. 

Research Guides, Databases and Search Engines:
To be used to find primary authority (constitutions, statutes, regulations and caselaw) and some secondary authority (interpretations of primary authority)


Statement to Students concerning Academic Dishonesty:


Acts of academic dishonesty, plagiarism and cheating are considered unethical actions and a violation of university’s academic policy (SMU Catalog). Sanctions and procedures are included in the SMU Academic Catalog.

Statement to Students with Disabilities:

Students wishing to request appropriate accommodations are responsible for initiating contact with the SMU Office of Disability Support Services located at 214 OM [phone 438-4580; lpuryear@stmartin.edu]. The office will access the individual needs of each student, assist him or her in communicating those needs to faculty and staff and help the student obtain the materials, services, and the assistance necessary to successfully pursue their higher education.

University Mission and Academic Values (SMU Catalog - Selected Excerpts)

University Mission: To know, to care, to serve – to educate
University Academic Values: Knowledge, Spirituality, Hospitality, Service, Creativity, Communication, Inquiry, Discovery, Holistic Education.

Business Division Philosophy (SMU Catalog)

Built on the General Education foundation informed by Saint Martin’s Catholic, Benedictine heritage and values, Business and Economics offers a unified business program that integrates the separate functional areas of business. Acknowledging the technological innovation, ever-changing global marketplace and challenged ecosystems currently shaping the world, the Business Administration Program offers students an opportunity to learn and practice general management skills, discover the need for ethical decision-making and acquire functional business area expertise. Through practice and active learning, students also gain the ability to work cooperatively in diverse teams. They become effective writers and speakers, and they demonstrate sharpened critical thinking skills and professional judgment. Students graduate with a broad perspective on the business world and its place in our culture. Saint Martin’s graduates have the ability to work across business functions, adjust quickly to new situations, accept change and ambiguity as a natural part of life, and become enthusiastic lifelong learners. National or State Standards consistent with AACSB and AICPA

Course Grading Scale:

93-100 = A
90-93 – A-
87-90 = B+
83-87 = B
80-83 = B-
77-80 = C+
73-77 = C
70-73 = C-
67-70 =D+
63-67 = D
60-63 = D -
60: F

Grade determination method:

Quizzes (4+): 40% [may or may not be announced so keep up and do the problems at the end of each chapter]
Midterm: 25% - Final 25% - Active* attendance 10%

I expect students to come to class ready to engage: discuss the readings, participate in weekly forum discussions and raise current events of legal interest.

Class participation can and does make a difference!!

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Syllabus will be
on Moodle - log in here