Kelsey Mellan (JD ’18) argues in the Fourth Circuit for Appellate Advocacy Clinic

Photo of stairs at court house.

Kelsey Mellan (JD ’18) argued on Oct. 24, 2017, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, as part of the Appellate Advocacy Clinic.Mellan and Mickey Herman (JD ’18) represent James Roudabush in the case of Roudabush v. Milano. The Court appointed the Clinic to address whether Roudabush stated an equal protection claim upon which relief may be granted.

Roudabush alleges that a state prison gave various preferences to inmates based on their race, retaliated against him when he complained about the disparate treatment, and thereby violated his constitutional right to equal protection. He appealed to the Fourth Circuit after the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The three-judge panel that heard Mellan’s argument consisted of Judge Paul Niemeyer of Maryland, Judge James Wynn of North Carolina and Judge William Traxler of South Carolina.

Herman, who witnessed the argument first-hand while sitting at counsel table, observed, “Kelsey performed beautifully, answering the panel’s many questions with confidence and ease.”

Mellan, Herman, and Professor John Korzen (JD ’91), director of the Appellate Advocacy Clinic, visited with Judge Robert King of West Virginia and one of his law clerks, Charlee Fox (JD ’17), before the argument.

Matt Cloutier (JD ’17) and James Lathrop (JD ’17), who were members of the Clinic last year, researched and drafted the Brief of Appellant for the appeal.