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COM 557 Course Schedule (subject to change)

T 1/11   
Introduction to the course, each other, and the graduate program
• Special guest: Dr. Steven Alan Carr, Director of Graduate Studies
(F 1/14
Last day to add – Sun 1/16 is last day for full refund)
T 1/18
Intro to the link between communication and law and to the legal system (Read Bunn, 1964 and American Bar Association, 2004)
T 1/25
Types of dispute resolution and the development of disputes (Felsteiner, Abel, and Sarat, 1980)
• Courtroom Observation Assigned
T 2/1
Researching legal communication topics (Read Ramsey, 1999 and Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of Bourhis, et al.)
• Research Paper Assigned
T 2/8
Issues in lawyer identity: television depictions of lawyers (Read Pfau et al, 1995; Stern, 2002; and Davis, 2002)
T 2/15
Jury selection (Read Reinard & Arsenault, 2000)
T 2/22
Opening statements (Read Snedaker & Scheutz, 1985)
• Opening Statement Assigned
T 3/1
Evidence and direct and cross examination (Read Bennett, 1979)
• Midterm Exam Assigned
• Research Paper Proposal Due
T 3/8
No class – Spring Break
T 3/15
The narrative paradigm and the rhetoric of law (read Griffin, 1997 and Hagan, 1976)
Midterm Exam Due
(F 3/18 Last day to withdraw or change from credit to audit)
T 3/22
Closing arguments  (Read Rouslek, 2008)
T 3/29
Jury deliberation (Read D. Burnett, 2001 and A. Burnett & Badzinski, 2000)
T 4/5 Paper Workshop
• First Draft of Research Paper Due
T 4/12 Extra Special Guest: Dr. Isabel Molina
• Courtroom Observation Due
T 4/19
Legal interviewing (Read Cunningham, 2006)
• Opening Statement Due
T 4/26
Student presentations
• Final Draft of Research Paper Due
• Final Exam Assigned
T 5/3
5:45 pm: Final Exam Due


American Bar Association.  (2004).  How the legal system works.  In American Bar Association family legal guide (3rd ed) (pp. 22-45).  New York: Random House.

Bennett, W. L. (1979). Rhetorical transformation of evidence in criminal trials: Creating grounds for legal judgment. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 65, 311-323.

Bunn, C. (1964).  How lawyers use speech. Speech Teacher, 13(1), 6-9.

Burnett, A. & Badzinski, D. M. (2000). An exploratory study of argument in the jury decision-making process.  Communication Quarterly, 48, 380-396.

Burnett, D. G.  (2001, Aug. 26).  Anatomy of a verdict: The view from a juror’s chair.  New York Times Magazine, pp. 32-38, 50, 56-57.

Cunningham, C. D. (2006, Aug.) What clients want from their lawyers. Paper presented to The Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet, Edinburgh, Scotland.  Retrieved Dec. 24, 2010 from http://law.gsu.edu/Communication/WhatClientsWant.pdf

Davis, W  (2002, Mar 18).  'Law & Order': An offense to the defense?  Law.com.  Retrieved Aug. 1, 2002 fromhttp://www.law.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/View&c=LawArticle&cid=1019508856940&t=LawArticle

Felstiner, W., Abel, R., & Sarat, A. (1980).  The emergence and transformation of disputes: naming, blaming, claiming. Law and Society Review, 15, 631-654.

Griffin, E.  (1997).  Narrative paradigm of Walter Fisher.  In Griffin, E.,  A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.) (pp. 322-332).  New York: McGraw Hill.

Hagan, M. R.  (1976).  Roe v. Wade: The rhetoric of fetal life.  Central States Speech Journal, 27, 192-199.

Pfau, M., Mullen, L. J., Diedrich, T., & Garrow, K. (1995).  Television viewing and public perceptions of attorneys. Human Communication Research, 21, 307-330

Ramsey, G.  (1999).  Communication theories on trial: Can the scales of justice be swayed by the application of communication theories?  Communications and the Law, 21(1), 31-44.

Reinard, J. C., & Arsenault, D. J. (2000).  The impact of forms of strategic and non-strategic voir dire questions on jury verdicts. Communication Monographs, 67, 158-177.

Rouslek, L. F.  (2008).  Manipulative silence and social representation in the closing arguments of a child sexual abuse case. Text & Talk, 28, 529–550

Snedaker, K. & Schuetz, J.  (1985).  Storytelling in opening statements: Framing the argumentation of the trial.  In Cox, J. R., Sillars, M. O., &  Walker, G. B., (Eds).  Argument and social practice:  Proceedings of the Fourth SCA/AFA Conference on Argumentation (pp. 465-482).  Annandale VA: Speech Communication Association, (pp. 465-482).

Stern, G. M.  (2002, July 22).  Courtroom life imitates art: How TV can affect jurors' expectations.  The National Law Journal.  Retrieved Aug. 1, 2002 from http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1024079018151
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Last Updated: 7 February 2011
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