Unit of competency details

BSALLG501A - Assist with the discovery process (Release 1)

Summary

Releases:
ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 23/Sep/1997

Usage recommendation:
Deleted
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
Mapping:
MappingNotesDate
DeletedDeleted from BSA97 Administration (Superseded by BSB01)02/Sep/2001

Training packages that include this unit

Classifications

SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080901 Secretarial And Clerical Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080901 Secretarial And Clerical Studies  23/Sep/1997 
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Modification History

Not Available

INTRODUCTION

This Unit covers locating, preparing and collating documents involved in discovery and arranging any necessary meetings to inspect opposing party s discoverable documents.

Note: It is illegal for a person without a current legal practice certificate to provide legal advice, to sign off on legal work and to receive trust account monies. It is also illegal for persons to misrepresent their qualifications (ie. claiming to be a lawyer or acting as a lawyer when they are not qualified to do so). Contravening these conditions is illegal and compromises a firm s professional indemnity insurance. Accordingly all litigious work must be supervised by a qualified legal practitioner. Whenever work is carried out on behalf of an instructing legal practitioner, the work must be first checked by the instructing legal practitioner. Whenever clients or parties are contacted on behalf of instructing legal practitioner, own identity and position must be clearly stated and contact must proceed according to the legal practitioner s advice.

This unit can be assessed alone or in combination with other units making up a job role.

Element of Competency

Performance Criteria

Assist with interlocutory process

Meeting is arranged with instructing legal practitioner to discuss and arrange pre-trial actions and diarise critical dates

Client is contacted on behalf of instructing legal practitioner and purpose of discovery, discovery process and associated legal obligations are explained in clear and simple language

In conjunction with instructing legal practitioner relevant documents are identified and arrangements are made to retrieve them

Non-discoverable documents are excluded

Collate discoverable documents

Self or other is organised to collate discoverable documents

Discoverable documents are checked for the following:

- documents requested are provided in full

- the correct number of copies are present

- signatures are present where necessary

Self or other is organised to prepare table of contents

Self or other is organised to prepare lists of all documents involved in matter according to standard legislative procedures

Deliver list and collation to instructing legal practitioner

List is reviewed and amendments are made if necessary

Final list and documents comprising Part I of first schedule are presented to instructing legal practitioner for review

Assist with process of discovery in relation to opposing party s documents

Opposing party is contacted on behalf of instructing legal practitioner to request opposing party s discoverable documents

Appointment is made with opposing party s solicitor for pre-trial inspection of opposing party s list of documents and opposing party s discoverable documents

If requested by instructing legal practitioner support is provided at inspection of opposing party s discoverable documents

RANGE OF VARIABLES

Issues which need to be covered in initial meeting include:

timelines

identifying relevant documents

which documents are no longer in a firm s possession

obtaining documents from client

obtaining documents from

- hospital

- medical practitioner

- other expert

which documents are privileged and which documents are not available for inspection

how to compile the list

the reasoning behind the construction of the list

background to the legal matter

the opposing party s case

the court/tribunal in which the case is to be heard

contacting the client and information to be communicated to the client

contacting the opposing party and information to be communicated to the opposing party

possible interrogation questions

Arrangements to retrieve documents may include:

instructing support staff to retrieve documents

contacting clients and requesting documents to be forwarded to instructing legal practitioner

Explanation to client regarding the purpose of discovery may include:

the philosophy of discovery

legal obligations involved in discovery

which documents can be included in a court hearing

purpose of first and second schedule

purpose of Part I and Part II in first schedule

why documents can be reserved for client-solicitor legal privilege

Legal obligations may include:

explaining process to client

listing all documents involved in pleading

listing and making available all discoverable documents (First schedule, Part II)

listing but withholding specific documents from inspection (First schedule, Part II)

listing all documents inspected but no longer in a firm s possession (Second schedule)

maintaining confidentiality and security procedures throughout the entire process

Listed documents may include:

file notes

previous dealings with client or relevant third party

previous case histories/Common Law

letters

transcripts from supervisor s notes

agreements

opinion letters

memorandums of law

original research

medical reports

clinical reports

hospital discharge summaries

media

- television

- video

- audio

articles

- academic

- online

- newspaper

- journal

Non discoverable documents may include:

a client s medical history

a client s psychological history

financial information

- specific to firm

- specific to another firm

- specific to client

file notes

instructing legal practitioner s notes

confidential statements reserved for client-solicitor legal privilege

confidential letters solicitor/client letters

transcripts of conversations reserved for client-solicitor legal privilege

information not permissible in court

confidential government documents

documents protected by commercial in confidence legislation

witness statements

briefs to counsel

schedule II documents/content of non-discoverable documents

Support provided at discovery may include:

attending discovery of opposing party s documents

attending discovery of client s documents

assisting with the inspection and interpretation of documents

A firm s policies and procedures may include:

liaising with opposing party

discovery procedures

using checklists

office procedure manual

security/confidentiality/privacy procedures

time recording procedures

verifying and authorising information

recording information

emergency procedures

Nature of the legal matter may include*:

commercial law

corporate law

criminal law

family law

industrial relations

property law

tax law

litigation

wills and probate

* these are nine common areas of law, the area of law is not restricted to this list, other areas of law may be applicable

Legislative requirements may relate to:

relevant State/Territory/Commonwealth legislation

governing legal practice Acts in each State/Territory

the client and a firm (eg. Client Legal privilege, Consumer Credit Code, Privacy Act, secrecy laws, Codes of Practice, common law and Statutory Duties of Care involving financial relationships)

the area of law

discovery

Freedom of Information legislation

tort, equity and Statute law

commercial in confidence

EVIDENCE GUIDE

Critical aspects:

evidence of understanding of scope of own responsibility and others involved in the matter

evidence of understanding of the pre-trial litigation process (including the purpose composition of pleading documents, discovery interrogatory questions, the pre-trial conference and the Certificate of Readiness)

instructing legal practitioner and own diary is kept up to date and reminders are issued pending critical dates

instructing legal practitioner is kept up-to-date with all actions, activities and outcomes

instructing legal practitioner s instructions are followed

any irregularities, uncertainties or difficulties are referred immediately to instructing legal practitioner for resolution

  • concepts such as subpoena and Client-Solicitor Legal Privilege are understood

issues pertaining to confidentiality, security and discretion are comprehended and attended to

clients are kept up to date

where instructing other, instructions are clear with adequate explanation to allow the task/s to be completed

where instructing others, supervision is provided throughout the task in relation to:

- providing advice and assistance with resolving problems

- ensuring that work is completed within deadlines

- ensuring that staff work at a high standard

- ensuring that documents are collated and corrected correctly

- checking that list and table of contents are correct

- ensuring that filing requirements are fulfilled and that a copy/ies of report/correspondence is stored appropriately

- ensuring that confidentiality and security of information is maintained

interactions with opposing party are conducted efficiently and courteously

evidence of what is and is not disclosable in general and related to the case in particular

non-disclosable information is not communicated and where any doubt exists as to the information s status it is not disclosed

non-disclosable information may include:

- dates

- addresses

- names

- a firm s other clients

- fees

- content of non-discoverable documents

all activities, actions and outcomes are documented on file notes and time is recorded

all activities and outcomes may include:

- exchange of information

- financial transaction

- consulting experts

- verbal communication with external parties

- non-response

- documents which cannot be located despite efforts to retrieve them

- contact with representative from opposing party

- contact with client

- dates

- dates on which own/opposing party s documents were inspected

file/matter number is attached to relevant documentation and such documentation is filed appropriately

record of time is processed for client invoicing purposes

all work is conducted within accepted codes of conduct including those relating to: maintaining confidentiality, use of company property, duty of care, ethical behaviours, privacy, non-discriminatory practice, conflict of interests and compliance with reasonable direction

Resource implications:

The assessor must have access to appropriate documentation and resources normally found in the work environment and required to allow the job or task to be properly performed. These may include:

appropriate legislation and regulations relevant to discovery and to assisting clients

workplace manuals and reference materials such as company policy, procedural manuals, checklists and legal dictionaries

appropriate technology such as computers with relevant software, photocopiers

Consistency in performance:

This unit of competency will require evidence to be collected across a range of events, eg. dealing with different legal matters, and over a period of time to ensure that situational variables are consistently achieved.

Context of assessment:

Evidence of competency can be met in different situations, including:

on the job assessment

off the job assessment

placement in an enterprise

use of a Practice Firm or simulated work environment

Recognition of Prior Learning, Recognition of Current Competencies (in skill areas where there has been no significant change to work practice in recent times).

flexible delivery methods used by training providers to cater for distance education students

Evidence gathering methods may include:

questioning

workplace performance

simulation

oral presentation

third party reports

Underpinning knowledge and skills

Knowledge

purpose of discovery

steps involved in interlocutory procedure

what is and is not discoverable

conflict resolution techniques

relevant legal process

broad knowledge of general legal terminology and in depth knowledge of terminology relating to litigation and the area of law

relevant current legislation

indemnity insurance

Skills

literacy: reads and interprets intricate legal procedures and texts; demonstrates well developed writing skills; uses legal vocabulary and grammatical structures to achieve precise meaning

research: assembles and evaluates relevant documents and evidence; decides on degree of accuracy and identifies misleading, inaccurate or ambiguous information

provides clear written and oral sequenced instructions to instructing parties

communication: participates in sustained and complex transactions; questions to clarify information

problem solving: chooses appropriate methods of solution; uses developed estimation skills to check accuracy and relevance

numeracy: collate documents; accurate recording of documents, analysing and presenting statistical data; accurate time estimation skills

conflict resolution skills

developed proofreading and editing skills

liaison and negotiation: liaises with internal and external contacts

use of technological support tools such as databases for document management

KEY COMPETENCIES

Utilisation of the Key Competencies required in the performance of this unit

Communicating ideas and information

Collecting, analysing and organising information

Planning and organising activities

Working with others in a team

Using mathematical ideas and techniques

Solving problems

Using technology

2

3

3

3

1

2

2

Performance levels:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

carries out established processes

makes judgements of quality using given criteria

manages processes

selects the criteria for the evaluation process

establishes principles and processes

evaluates and reshapes processes

establishes criteria for evaluation of processes

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