Connor Brewer and Hanna Jolkovsky Represent California Prisoner In Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
On Friday, May 8, as one of their final acts in law school, two third-year students in the Pepperdine Caruso Law Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Connor Brewer and Hanna Jolkovsky, argued before a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The clinic's directors, Curt Cutting and Mark Kressel, supervised the students' briefing and preparation throughout the year. Due to pandemic protocols, the students argued remotely from the law firm Horvitz & Levy LLP, where Cutting and Kressel are law partners.
The clinic represented a prisoner in California state custody who challenged the constitutionality of the prison's drug testing protocols. The students argued that the trial court had dismissed the client's claim prematurely and that the client is entitled to further adjudication and process on his First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment claims. Professor Cutting reports that, after four moot sessions with attorneys and professors, the students were well prepared, argued with poise, and handled the court's questions very well.
The Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic handles pro bono civil rights cases on referral from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Over the course of the year, students, in teams of two, represent a client in every stage of a federal appeal. Students review the appellate record, research the legal issues presented by the case, prepare the opening and reply briefs, and argue the case before a panel of Ninth Circuit judges.
A video recording of the Ninth Circuit argument may be found here