Appellate Advocacy Clinic finishes Spring 2017 semester with activity in six appeals

Photo of stairs at court house.

The Appellate Advocacy Clinic has just completed a busy stretch that included work in six different appeals in four appellate courts, according to Professor John Korzen (’91), clinic director.

On May 11, 2017, four days before graduation, Nicole Scallon (JD ’17) and Christina Banfield (JD ’17) argued in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, in the case of Davis v. Western Carolina University. The appeal is from a summary judgment in favor of the employer in an Americans with Disabilities Act case. Scallon made the opening argument, while Banfield handled the rebuttal.

Also on May 11, the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the Unites States Supreme Court on behalf of several local and state organizations and in support of Petitioner, in District of Columbia v. Wesby. Kayleigh Butterfield (JD ’17) and Paige Topper (JD ’17) drafted that brief. The issues involve probable cause to arrest suspects when officers do not find their explanations credible and qualified immunity.

On May 8, the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the Tenth Circuit on behalf of two non-profit organizatios in support of Petitioner, in Carney v. Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. The issue is one of first impression for any court and involves the First Amendment. Taylor Anderson (JD ’17), Drew Culler (JD ’17) and Kyleigh Feehs (JD ’17) drafted the brief. Carney is the Appellate Clinic’s first appearance in the Tenth Circuit.

On May 5, the Clinic’s petition for certiorari in Carvalho v. North Carolina was featured as the “Petiition of the Day” on SCOTUSblog, the leading source for news and analysis about the Supreme Court. Blake Stafford (JD ’17) drafted the petition, which raises two issues about North Carolina “speedy trial” law in a case in which the Clinic’s client was not tried for nearly nine years after his arrest.

On April 17, the Clinic filed a brief in the Fourth Circuit in Roudabush v. Milano, in which the Clinic was appointed to represent a prisoner alleging that his constitutional rights had been violated. Matt Cloutier (JD ’17) and James Lathrop (JD ’17) drafted the brief.

Finally, Malorie Letcavage (JD ’17) and Daniel Stratton (JD ’17) recently completed their work on a brief to be filed later this month in the North Carolina Court of Appeals in a case challenging the enforceability of a restrictive covenant.