Course Catalog

Appellate Advocacy and Law Reform Clinic (4/4, 5)

Summer:

The focus of this summer clinic will be appellate advocacy and law reform on behalf of indigent defendants. Under the supervision of Professor Brian Saccenti, students will work on several projects, which could include:

(a) drafting proposed legislation and/or conducting the research necessary for such legislative advocacy;
(b) drafting proposed changes to the Maryland rules of procedure, preparing written testimony, and/or conducting the research necessary for such advocacy;
(c) preparing templates of petitions, motions and/or memoranda for trial attorneys to use to challenge specific allegedly unlawful court practices;
(d) work on amicus briefs;
(e) work on appellate impact litigation challenging allegedly unlawful practices; and/or
(f) representing individual clients and exploring how advocacy on behalf of individual clients relates to larger law reform efforts.

Fall and Spring:

A student can take this specialty only for 2 semesters (4 credits each semester for a total of 8 credits). Evening Division students have a preference. Students must be able to commit to be available during the daytime for a few days over the course of the year. The focus of this clinical specialty will be appellate advocacy and law reform on behalf of indigent defendants.

Appellate Work: Professor Brian Saccenti and his students will represent convicted defendants on appeal in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Each student will handle at least one appeal. The student will first read the transcript and attempt to spot potential appellate issues. After an initial consultation with the supervising attorney, the student will conduct research to identify potential issues. Thereafter, the student will prepare several drafts of the brief and, in concert with the supervising attorney, will put it into final form for the court. The students will participate in moot courts. Subject to the professorís approval and a joint assessment that it would be in the clientís interest, the student may present oral argument in the appellate court.

Law Reform Projects: During the year-long clinic, each student will also participate in at least two other major projects seeking legal reforms that would benefit indigent clients. These projects could include:
(a) drafting proposed legislation, preparing written testimony for or against certain bills, presenting oral testimony on a bill to a legislative committee, and/or conducting the research necessary for such legislative advocacy;
(b) drafting proposed changes to the Maryland Rules of Criminal Procedure, preparing written testimony, presenting oral testimony to the Rules Committee, one of its subcommittees, or the Court of Appeals judges (when they are sitting in their rule-making capacity), and/or conducting the research necessary for such advocacy;
© preparing templates of petitions, motions and/or memoranda for trial attorneys to use to challenge specific allegedly unlawful court practices;
(d) preparing amicus briefs;
Ä working on appellate impact litigation (in addition to the studentís individual appeal) by representing clients in challenges to certain allegedly unlawful practices; and/or
(f) representing individual clients on issues designed to support larger law reform efforts.

Educational goals: The class work will focus on the case experiences, but, in addition, it will involve a more comprehensive examination of appellate practice. Thus, in addition to criminal appeals in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the students will consider civil appeals in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, and civil and criminal appeals in the Maryland Court of Appeals, as well as in the Supreme Court and federal courts. A second major educational focus of the clinic is examining the various ways in which lawyers, in conjunction with clients and other advocates, can bring about changes in the law. We will explore the role of appellate advocacy in law reform, and the tension between representing a client and advancing a cause. The students will also learn about how lawyers advocate law reform in the Maryland General Assembly and in the Judiciaryís rule-making process. We will use case studies to examine some of the very pragmatic issues law reformers face regarding dealing with the press, selecting clients (where this is possible), finding allies, and making strategic decisions.

Students who enroll in this course are required to attend a full, one day Law Practice Orientation Program.

Current & Previous Instructors:
Brian Saccenti;

514F (CRN: 26030)       Credits: 4
    Saccenti.
    Spring, 2015 (Evening).
    Wed: 6:30-8:30  
    Room 307.
    
514F (CRN: 62259)       Credits: 5
    Saccenti.
    Summer, 2015 (Day).
    TBA  
    Room TBA.
    0 openings. (Limit 4). Faculty permission required to add or drop.
    
514F (CRN: 96560)       Credits: 4
    Saccenti.
    Fall, 2015 (Evening).
    Wed: 6:30-8:30  
    Room 307.
    0 openings. (Limit 6). See course waitlist.
    
514F (CRN: )       Credits: 4
    Saccenti.
    Spring, 2016 (Evening).
    Wed: 6:30-8:30  
    Room 307.
    


Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2015, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved