Throughout the 2020–21 academic year, the Appellate Litigation Clinic continued its work advocating for its clients, with students often arguing before the courts virtually. Led by Director Thomas V. Burch and Counselor in Residence Anna White Howard (J.D.’10), students and recent graduates recorded several victories for their clients.
The clinic won two cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – Naranjo Garcia v. Barr and Arellano Herrera v. Barr. The cases were argued by third-year student Sarah A. Nelson and third-year student Jason N. Sigalos, respectively. Nelson and 2020 graduates Jonathan Kaufman and Joe Scarborough wrote the briefs for Naranjo Garcia, while third-year student Madison “Maddie” Conkel assisted with oral argument preparations. In Arellano Herrera, Sigalos co-wrote the briefs with fellow third-year student Mollie M. Fiero and 2020 graduate John Lex Kenerly IV.
The clinic, in partnership with 2011 alumnus Benjamin J. “Ben” Osorio, also won remand for a client before the Board of Immigration Appeals in the case Gutierrez-Flores v. Barr. Then-clinic students – who graduated in 2020 – Adeline Kenerly Lambert, Mandi E. Goodman, Miranda S. Bidinger, Amy E. Shehan and Georgia L. Turner briefed the case.
It also won a Section 1983 exhaustion appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case McIlwain v. Burnside.
Students were victorious in Webb v. U.S. Veterans Institute, a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Fiero presented oral argument and Sigalos helped write the brief.
Additionally, the clinic was successful in getting a client who was at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 released from detention after 19 months of being held without a bond hearing. Efforts to have him released included a bond motion and hearing at the Immigration Court, multiple parole requests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a habeas petition to the District Court and an opening brief and motion to expedite before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Graduates Addison Smith (J.D.’20) and Spencer D. Woody (J.D.’20), along with third-year student Steven L. Miller and second-year students Christopher O. Brock, Destiny J. Burch and Maria C. “Mia” Hughes, all worked on the case.
School of Law students also argued before the courts in other cases, including:
- Fiero argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the case United States v. Palacios.
- Conkel argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case Denis Aguilera Fernandez, Petitioner v. U.S. Attorney General.