I.     Course Prefix/Number: PAR 113

       Course Name: Litigation

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PAR 101 with minimum grade of C or consent of program coordinator.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers the role of the paralegal in litigation. Content includes an analysis of civil procedure and instruction in preparation of documents used in lawsuits, covering pre- and post-trial matters, evidentiary problems, and assistance during trials.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the role of the paralegal in the practice of trial law.
  2. demonstrate a knowledge of the ethical problems that arise in the litigation process.
  3. understand the important concepts of litigation, the rules of courts, the pleadings, motions,  methods of discovery, the various forms of evidence, and trial techniques in general.
  4. show the ability to digest transcripts of depositions and court proceedings.
  5. demonstrate the ability to assemble, organize, and index documents, exhibits, and evidence,  and to otherwise act under the supervision and control of an attorney in the trial of a lawsuit.
  6. describe the role and function of federal and state courts.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Descriptions of the courts of the community, their functions, personnel, and related agencies; integrating the role of the attorney and paralegal assistant
  2. The concepts of Jurisdiction and Venue, 'In Personam,' and 'In Rem.' The distinctions in geographical authority, particularly federal, state, and inter‑state conflicts. The distinctions in criminal and civil law
  3. A review of relevant statutes, rules and publications, Illinois Civil Practice Act, Supreme Court Rules, federal rules, useful periodicals, and checklists
  4. Ethical concerns that arise in litigation
  5. Specific reference to statutes of limitation and various necessary statutory notices
  6. Docketing and "Tickler' practices
  7. The initial stages of client interview and gathering of facts
  8. The preparation of process and the problems of service
  9. Drafting initial pleadings
  10. The responsive stages: general and special appearance
  11. The preparation of responsive pleadings, answers, counter‑claims, and third party actions
  12. Bill of particulars

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture, some dialogue as modified by subject matter at hand
  2. Cases, problems and questions
  3. Relevant materials to be covered as assigned

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading Assignments
  2. Writing Assignments

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

McCord, Litigation Paralegal, 5th ed., Delmar, 2002.
West, Illinois Code of Civil Procedure & State Court Rules, 6th ed., West, 2006.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Student participation
  2. Written answers to assigned problems
  3. Performance on examinations
  4. Attendance

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.