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Third-year law student excels during courtroom argument in Fourth Circuit

Rio Kidd (’13), a Litigation Clinic student, had a rare and wonderful opportunity in November 2012, according to Litigation Clinic Director Carol Anderson.

“Rio had the opportunity to argue a case for the United States in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals through his clinic placement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Greensboro,” Anderson said.

The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District, Ripley Rand, accompanied Kidd to Baltimore and helped him prepare for the argument. The case dealt with a a bank robbery that occurred in 2009.

“Once Kidd was in front of the courtroom, he was immediately pummeled with difficult questions by Judge Andre Davis,” Anderson said. “These tough questions were not simply about the law: they were primarily about the policies and procedures of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  No one expected Rio to field questions on office policy since he was simply a law student.”

But Kidd “did us proud,” Anderson continued. “He answered all of the judge’s questions and remained composed and confident,  like the good career Marine he is. The case Kidd argued was just upheld on appeal, due in no small part to his impeccable performance.”

Kidd also received high praise from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on his performance: “He argued his case like a seasoned pro. We were so proud of him,” said Cliff Barrett, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division for the Middle District.

Kidd added, “Representing the United States of America for the Middle District of North Carolina was an inspiring mission, and I am very appreciative for Ripley Rand allowing a student to represent his office for the first time.  Professor Anderson and the Litigation Clinic prepared me very well by instilling a lot of confidence and realistic practical application in our sessions. “