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Law and Legal Systems

Ranney School
Instructor: Mr. Christopher Payne
Classroom: Annex 202
Required Textbooks: Introduction to Law, 4th Ed. By Joanne Banker Hames and Yvonne Ekern (Prentice Hall, 2010)
ISBN: 978-0-13-502-434-8
Required Software: Students will be instructed to install “Safe Exam Browser” on their laptops during the first week of school.
REQUIRED Student Resources:
1. Vocabulary Notebook This class is extremely vocabulary heavy. You will encounter a number of legal terms that are in
English as well as in Latin. It is required that you maintain a file or folder, organized by chapter, in which you keep a
running list of all bolded vocabulary words in each chapter along with the definitions. The book provides the definitions
but you will need a singular source to study from. Also, this source may also be utilized, when permitted, on some
assessments. This notebook may be electronic.
2. Reading Notebook – Each night you will be presented with various questions to answer as part of your reading
assignment. This is an upper level and advanced course. Your answers are expected to be formatted in complete
paragraphs! These assignments can and will be collected randomly and assessed for a grade. However, you will also be
expected to present your answer in class and comment on other students’ answers frequently and answers may be
evaluated informally. This notebook may be electronic.
Course Description:

This course will introduce students to the laws and legal systems of the United States. Students acquire a basic,
overview level of knowledge regarding the court system, both state and federal as well as various types of law
including Criminal, Juvenile, Torts, Public Policy, Contracts, Credit and Financial, Consumer, Family, Constitutional,
Workplace, Immigration and portions of International Law. Students will develop specific skills in the analysis and
interpretation of, primary source, legal decisions written by various levels of the court system. Conduct research and
write critical essays, hold debates throughout the year, as well as learn and practice research, summary and writing
skills using both landmark and lesser known court cases. The program utilizes a standard textbook, supplementary
readings, and primary source documents.
What The Course IS NOT: The predominant focus of the class is to use basic, overview legal knowledge (general legal
knowledge that is necessary to be a productive member of our democracy and an informed citizen) as a tool to develop high level
analytical and critical thinking as well as critical reading, critical writing, and logic skills. THIS COURSE IS NOT a law class
that would be experienced on the undergraduate or graduate level and students are not being taught how to practice law, in any
manner or form. The course IS an academic exercise and IS NOT a source of guidance or legal advice for real world problems
and should not be taken as such. For advice in legal matters please consult a licensed attorney.
Class Objectives and Activities:

Document Analysis: Analysis of primary source documents
Critical Reading: Text and supplemental readings, which may include companion questions, assigned for class and/or
Notebook and Organization: Student produced outlines, summaries and notes for assigned readings
Class discussions: Students will be expected to discuss primary source readings and other homework reading
assignments. In some situations students will be asked to prepare their own discussion questions based on the reading to
share with the class.
Seminar Days: Some class days will be devoted specifically to the discussion of primary sources or certain events in
history. Students should prepare as instructed in previous days.
Presentations: Print and oral presentations including speeches, debates and research projects.

Expository Essays and Research: Essays developed independently and or through a guided and unguided research
Assessments: Regular announced assessments based on chapters and discussed class material and unannounced
assessments based on homework and reading homework
Current Events: Students will also be analyzing current national and international legal questions and discussions as they
become news. Essays, discussions and presentations may accompany these assignments and activities.

Assignments will be weighted as follows
Essay Assessments/Projects/Large Essays: 50%
Multiple Choice Assessments/Small Essays: 35%
Homework/Classwork/Reading Quizzes: 10%
Classroom Engagement: 5%
Note: Please be sure to include your name on an assignment. Failure to do so will result in a 50% maximum grade.
Note: If students are able to successfully answer and complete coursework as we have covered it in class, this represents
“B” work. “A” work involves being able to make extensive applications of the course material and complete knowledge of
course material beyond basic class work (this will require extra study and effort on your part), i.e. mastery of the course
material. Answers must include critical thought, independent research, analysis, citations, and discussion above and
beyond the basic requirements of the class. “A” level work also indicates your ability to handle an AP classroom setting.
In order to qualify for an AP level history class next year you must achieve above a 90% for a final average. I DO NOT
curve 89% to 90%, you must earn this on your own.
Online Gradebook:
In the 2014-2015 school year, Ranney introduced an online gradebook. As a result, the history department has set internal
standards to post grades in a timely manner. Please understand that in order to effectively grade your work, more time may
occasionally be required due to unforeseen circumstances and other mitigating factors. If the situation occurs, I will announce to
the class that your grades have been delayed.
I will target posting grades with the following timeframes in mind:

Major assignments, including but not limited to: written assessments / essays / papers / projects / short answer questions /
multiple choice assessments that include short answer sections: 1-2 weeks.
Small assignments and minor assessments including, but not limited to: homework / classwork / pop reading quizzes /
multiple choice assessments that do not include written portions: 72 hours.

Please remember that not every collected assignment is graded. Sometimes I am simply checking for basic understanding and
evaluating student progress in an informal manner.
Classroom Engagement:
Students will be expected to be on task in class daily. This means making at least a good faith attempt to answer questions posed
to them by the instructor and following instructions when given. You do not always have to volunteer to answer questions but it is
encouraged. Learning comes by doing and I never expect everyone to know everything. I will be happy to come back to you for
your answer so that you may reference your notes.
While it is okay to disagree with a classmate or even me showing outward disrespect including, but not limited to, making fun of
another classmate for an incorrect answer or calling people’s answers or opinions “stupid” is not acceptable. Doing so will vastly
and negatively impact your task grade.

Every student begins a quarter with 30/30 task points. If you disrupt class, aren’t paying attention, are distracted by your
computer, talking to friends or all around not doing what has been asked of you, you will be told you are “off task” If you are told
you are “off task” you can expect that you will lose between 1 and 5 of your task points depending on the severity of the offence.
Distracting yourself hurts you directly and your classmates indirectly and continually being off task will result in harsher
deductions. However, students who are off task and are also, by their actions or words, distracting others, are directly hurting
other student’s ability to learn. As such off task actions that distract others may receive the maximum five point deduction.
Beyond simply being on task daily, attendance in class is also mandatory. Missing class, in either an excused or unexcused
manor, hurts the dynamic of the class and prevents your opinions from being heard by classmates. It also actively stifles your
growth as a students and a member of our classroom and community. Being part of a community means being responsible for
supporting that community, as such, unexcused absences and consistent / repetitive excused absences will adversely impact your
task grade.
Extra Help / Office Hours:
If you require extra help you MUST schedule an appointment at least ONE DAY prior. I am available before school at 8:00am
by appointment. I have also set aside Wednesdays for small need, walk in questions. I will make every effort to accommodate
your needs. However, I am a three season coach so scheduling can sometimes be a challenge. Please be assured that if you
require extra help prior to an assessment and I cannot see you before your scheduled test date I will be happy to postpone your
assessment date until we have a chance to meet.
Please understand that many students may require extra help. I will make every effort to ensure that I schedule students
separately. However, on occasion extra help sessions may include more than one student before your scheduled test date I will be
happy to postpone your assessment date until we have a chance to meet.
In order to be eligible for extra help you must have taken notes in class and made a good faith attempt to learn on your own. If
you can’t show me your notes, you cannot get extra help.
Midterm and Final Exams:
There will be no traditional midterm exam during a traditional midterm exam week. However, there will be a cumulative, one to
two period, written test that will cover ‘big picture’ items and themes covered from the first through the second quarter. This test
will count as 20% of your first semester grade. There will be no traditional review week and no traditional two hour exam.
At this point you will have a traditional, final exam that will be focused on the second half of the year.
Behavior and Technology Expectations:
Students will be expected to follow all school rules without exception.
Computer use in the classroom will be for general note taking and day to day class activities. Computer use is at my discretion. If
at any point I instruct the class to stop using their laptops you are expected to comply immediately. Failure to do so will lead to
an assumption that you are doing something that you shouldn’t and you will be subject to a zero for the day as well as a CSV.
The use of instant messaging programs, electronic note passing, or games of any kind is not allowed. If caught, your computer
will be taken from you, your computer use will be restricted for the remainder of the year and you will be referred to the dean of
students for disciplinary action. You are expected to be using your computer for academic purposes only. I reserve the right to
restrict or prohibit your use of a computer in my class. If you abuse your privileges they will be rescinded.
E-mail Communication:
All students enrolled are obligated to check their Ranney School e-mail on a regular basis and at least twice per day for
announcements and information from Mr. Payne. Not checking your e-mail is not an excuse for not receiving important updates
to assignments or scheduling changes for class / exams / quizzes etc. This will be my primary means of communication with you
outside of class.

Emails sent to Mr. Payne by both parents and students will be answered within 24 hours, between 8:00am and 4:00pm As a
result, e-mailing questions regarding homework assignments after school hours will not be seen until the next morning.
Attendance in class is mandatory. Students will be expected to report to class on time. If you miss class due to an absence it is
your responsibility to ask for any work you have missed and to get any class notes from another student upon your return.
Please see Google Docs for any particular material you may require. If you require physical handouts (unlikely as nearly
everything is electronic) or other items to complete from a missed day please ask me for these items the day you return.
Please reference the participation section of this syllabus for information regarding the impact of both excused and unexcused
absences on your grade.
Test Absences:
If you are absent from class during a test or any other assessment and return to school later that same day, you will be completing
your that day on your own time. If you fail to complete your assessment the same day it may be subject to a zero. If you are
absent on a test day and report to school the next day you will be required to take your test that day. Failure to do so will result in
a zero for the assessment. Sports and extracurricular activities are not a valid excuse for postponing the completion of a late test.
Medical excuses will always be accepted and extensions will be granted.
If you know you will be absent on a test day for an excused reason you must make up your test when you return. It is history
department policy to not give tests early.
If you are absent during an assessment for any unexcused reason you will lose 10% on your assessment or graded assignment.
Submission of Work:
The submission criteria of particular assignments will be specified when the project is assigned. Assignments will be posted on
Google Docs and you will be able to access documents and assignments from there.
Essays will be submitted through
Typed essays must be double spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, 1 inch margins. Your name should appear in the header of
each page left justified with a page number, on the same line, right justified. If you include a title it may not be larger than size 14
font. You will lose up to 10 points for each of these requirements you do not adhere to. See me if you are unsure how to
accomplish any of these requirements in MSWord. All writing assignments require a citation of sources.
Late Work:
Late work is subject to a 20% deduction in credit if the assignment is late. Late work will be considered late if you do not possess
the assignment at the time it is collected in class. If the work is not submitted the next class day before 3:25 it will become a
If you require extra time to complete an assignment please present me with a valid reason for an extension and if your need is
genuine it will be granted. Extensions will not be granted on the due date of the assignment except in extreme circumstances.
Nightly homework is not accepted late as we go over the answers in class.
Reading Assessments:
Throughout this class students will be expected to maintain a current awareness and knowledge of class material and reading
assignments. Students may be presented with announced and unannounced reading assessments on various topics and reading
homework. Furthermore, certain in class work may be counted as a quiz at my discretion. Reading assessments will count as
part of your homework grade.

Our class is assigned homework every day. In order to participate fully in class discussions it is very important for students to
complete nightly homework.
Homework will be checked roughly ten times per quarter for completeness and full effort and will be graded on a 10/10 scale. On
occasion, I will also collect homework and grade it for accuracy, effort and completeness. You may have one free homework pass
per quarter as your lowest homework grade will be dropped.
Students who complete homework simply as instructed with basic answers to questions that come solely from the
textbook can expect a grade between 8/10. In order to achieve a grade above an 8/10, you must do more than simply
copying your answers from the text. You must make a full and distinct effort to improve your knowledge through showing
independent thought, analysis, discussion and critical thinking where appropriate.
We will review the answers to homework questions each day. Therefore, it is not always possible to accept late work. However,
due to emergencies or unforeseen circumstances late work may be acceptable.
Homework is weighted at 10% and generally, a single missing homework (beyond your pass) will have very little impact on a
quarter grades.
Also included in your homework requirements are weekly discussion board posts and two replies on the class forum. This forum
is accessible through the class website Your responses on this site will be graded as homework
Academic Integrity:
Cheating and/or plagiarizing are serious offenses. Cheating includes but is not limited to the actual giving or receiving of any
unauthorized assistance or the actual giving or receiving of an unfair advantage on any form of academic work (this includes
homework and other small assignments). Plagiarizing includes but is not limited to the copying of the language, structure, idea
and/or thought of another and representing it as one’s own original work. If a student is to have been found cheating or
plagiarizing they will receive a zero on the assignment/assessment and will be referred to the Upper School’s Judicial Review
Board. Furthermore, any violation of the school’s honor code will be disciplined according to the school’s required process.
CLASSMATE OR SCHOOLMATE… EVER! You may work with independent tutors and other teachers.
Required Resources:
All students will be required to possess and bring to class
 Textbook as Indicated on Page one of this syllabus
 Your Laptop with access to Google Docs
o All written assignments must be uploaded in a .doc, .docx or Google Docs format.
o When specified assignments will be submitted on
 Pocket folders are suggested for returned, non-digital assignments.
 A pencil will be required on midterms and finals test questions.
 Electronic Notebook - as required on page one of the syllabus. – you may use any program you wish so long as items can
be saved or exported in a Microsoft Word (.doc / .docx) or Google Docs format.

Historical Content
and Analysis

General Paper

Answers all the
Questions / Thesis

Writing Style

Written Assignment / Test / Essay Evaluation Rubric
Paper shows a complete and nearly perfect analysis of all appropriate points, quotations and information. Historical information
from outside sources is cited and used in abundance. All Historical Facts are Accurate.
Paper shows an attempt at use of historical content and is missing very few points. Analysis is attempted, but may be incomplete.
Historical facts are accurate but may have some slight errors.
Paper lacks historical evidence and analysis nearly completely, some effort may be present. More than two historical facts are
The paper is nearly perfectly organized into properly formatted paragraphs. The ideas of the paper flow in a logical order and
information in each paragraph is limited to the information identified in the topic sentence. The paper has a formal introduction an
conclusion as well as appropriate body paragraphs that are defined by specific topic sentences. Introduction and conclusion
properly introduce and conclude entire paper and are missing no points. (When Required: Citations are done perfectly and there ar
no errors.)
The paper shows decent organizational qualities. Some minor problems may be present but for the most part paragraphs flow in
order. Some sentences may be out of place. Either the introduction or conclusion is missing and / or body paragraphs are not limite
to the topic sentence. New information is presented and discussed in introductory or conclusion paragraphs but it is not
overabundant. Introduction and conclusion neglect to introduce or conclude minor portions of your paper. (When Required:
Citations are attempted and show some errors. They may not be in ideal Chicago style.)
The paper shows a lack of organization. Sentences in paragraphs don’t fit well with the topic sentence and the flow of ideas is
incomplete or difficult to follow. The paper doesn’t possess a formal organization strategy lacking formalized paragraphs and
introductions as well as conclusions. New information is constantly presented and discussed in the introduction or conclusion.
Introduction and conclusion neglect to introduce or conclude major portions of your paper. (When Required: Citations show
significant errors or are not present. Citations are not in Chicago style: Note: a lack of citations may indicate plagiarism and can
be referred to the dean of students.)
The paper answers every question posed in the directions. There are no missed points and all questions are answered thoroughly.
Questions are expanded upon in some limited situations and a conscious attempt was made to do so in most situations. Your thesis
is complete and contains specific indications as to what your paper will be discussing.
The paper does a decent job in answering the questions. One question may be neglected and answers may, occasionally be mildly
incomplete. Questions are not expanded upon in any situations. Your thesis is present but is either incomplete, insufficient, and or
lacks appropriate indications as to the details of your paper.
The paper does not answer a number of questions or the directions of the paper were not followed. The questions posed are not
evident in the topic of the paper. Your thesis is ether not present or indiscernible from your introduction. If a thesis is present it
doesn’t answer the question and is exceedingly generalized.
The style is clear, concise and flows without question. There are few to no awkward sentences, spelling is not an issue, vocabulary
is well used, word choice is perfect and there are NO spelling / grammatical errors (if submitted electronically). The paper follows
all of the formal rules of writing and expectations of any history paper. The paper shows a careful regard for quality
The style shows problems with awkward sentences and structure and contains a number of grammatical / structural errors and
contains 1 to 2 spelling / grammatical errors (if submitted electronically). The paper may have incomplete and run on sentences or
unclear sentence logic. The paper is constructed carefully and is of high quality; however, some small careless mistakes may have
been made.
The paper shows pervasive inconsistency in sentence structure and writing style. The paper is difficult to read and follow in the
flow of ideas. More than two spelling / grammatical errors are present (if submitted electronically) and the paper shows a lack of
attentiveness to detail. You clearly neglected to run spellcheck and grammar check. The paper shows a careless regard for quality.

4/4 = 95-98(A); 3/4 = 85(B); 2/4 = 75(C); 1/4 = (68); 0/4 = F (Requires Full Re-Write for max grade of 65)
.5 = (Letter) +
.75 = (-) from letter grade above (ex. 3.75 = A-)
Name ______________________________________________________

Directions for Proper Citations
In college history classes you will most likely be asked to use citations in accordance with the Chicago Manual of
style. Therefore, it is highly suggested to begin to use this style in history class today. Chicago style uses a system of
footnotes (what you’ll be using) and end notes (don’t use these) to identify sources of information and give credit to
your resources. This citation style uses the same information as other citation styles you are used to. But, it gives a
much cleaner look to your paper and makes it far easier to read.
Creating a footnote
You will always use a footnote option in your word processor to create a footnote. DO NOT try to do this manually. It
will not work and it will look funny. In Microsoft Word 2003: Click “Insert: Reference: Footnote” Identify and specify
your format (Arabic numerals only) and click okay. In Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010: Click the “References” Tab
and “Insert Footnote.” Your footnote will appear like this.1 Once the note is inserted you may continue writing.
Placement of footnote
Where the number appears in the text is important. It should appear at the end of a sentence or at the end of a clause. It
appears after punctuation and if in the middle of a sentence a dash separates the cited portion of text from the
This is a sentence.1

This1 – is a sentence.

This is a (sentence.) 1

Duplicate footnotes and the Short Form
Once you create one footnote containing full citation information you DO NOT recreate that same full footnote.
Instead you create a shortened version of the same footnote and depending on its location the style of this shortened
footnote changes (See footnote for example). 2
If an author being cited has written more than one resource you are using your footnote should include a shortened
version of the title of the particular work. (See Footnote for Example)3
Two or more sources in the same footnote
If you are writing a sentence and you’d like to give credit to two separate sources for the same idea you may also
include multiple citations in the same footnote. You DO NOT use multiple footnotes at the end of a sentence. As in,
your sentence should not appear like this.1,2,3 Instead, create one footnote and put both citations in that same note
separated by a colon.
If you have any odd styles or citations needs using footnotes and have questions please ask me. I will be happy
to help.
Citation Format
You may want to use noodle tools to help you do this. If you do be sure that you are using Chicago Style:
Footnote Format and are not using endnote or Bibliographical Format.
Salam Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet (New York: Henry Holt, 1999), 1.
Author’s First Name Author’s Last Name, Title (Publishing Location: Publisher, Year Published), Page Number.

1 Samual A Morley, Poverty and Inequality in Latin America: The Impact of Adjustment and Recovery (Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), 241.
2 Morley, 251.
3 Morley, Poverty and Inequality…, 260

(Note) If the book has two authors simply place the word “and” between the two authors and continue as normal. If the book has an editor
rather than an author include “ed.” After the name if multiple editors are listed include “eds.” after the final name. If there is no author listed
just begin with the title of the book.

Scholarly Journals or Articles
Judith Lewis, “Maternal Mortality in the British Aristocracy, 1558-1959,” Journal of British Studies 37, no. 3 (1998):
Author’s First Name Author’s Last Name, “Title,” Journal Name Volume Number, Issue Number (Date) Page
Mike Royko, “Next Time, Dan, Take Aim at Arnold,” Chicago Tribune, September 23, 1992.
Author’s First Name Author’s Last Name, “Title of Article,” Newspaper, Date Published.
Web Sites
Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees, “Evanston Public Library Strategic Plan, 2000 – 2010: A decade of
Outreach.” Evanston Public Library. (accessed June 1, 2005).
Author’s First Name Author’s Last Name, “Title of the page,” title or owner of the site, URL (access date).
(Note) Websites are tricky because they do not always include all of the same information. These are considered informally published
electronic sources and still require citation. Be sure to include as much of the following information as possible:

In some larger research papers a Bibliography may be required. If so, the format of your footnotes is NOT the same
footnote for the Bibliography. A bibliography should include all of the works you looked at while researching or
writing your paper. You do not have to cite from these sources to include them in your Bibliography. In the case you
do use a bibliography please cite in the manner listed below:
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Title of the book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of
Journal Articles
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of the Article.” Title of the Journal Volume Number (Date of
Publication): Page Number – Page Number
Web Sites
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name, “Title of the page,” title or owner of the site, URL (access date).
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name, “Title of Article,” Newspaper, Date Published.