Court of Special Appeals sits for oral arguments at Maryland Carey Law

Students at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law had a special opportunity on Oct. 7 to experience Maryland Court of Special Appeals' proceedings without even stepping outside the law school.  

After a two-year break (because of the pandemic) from the annual tradition, the Honorable Douglas Nazarian (presiding), the Honorable Dan Friedman ’94, and the Honorable Alexander Wright ’74 heard oral arguments in three cases in Maryland Carey Law’s ceremonial courtroom, which, for that morning, wasn’t just ceremonial. 

“Today is real court,” Judge Nazarian told the room overflowing with students. 

Before arguments began, Maryland Carey Law Dean Renée McDonald Hutchins addressed the assemblage. Thanking the judges, advocates, and audience for their presence, Hutchins remarked that in a time rife with attacks on democratic institutions, “it is important to lean into the opportunity to give transparency to the court.” To that end, the proceedings were livestreamed and broadcast on screens throughout the law school for the large overflow audience. 

Following the arguments, the three judges, who were joined by their clerks and students slated to clerk next year, generously stepped off the bench for a question-and-answer session moderated by Hutchins. 

One student asked about preparing for oral arguments. “Find your voice, know the record, and explain well,” advised Judge Wright. "Listen to questions you are asked.” 

Judge Friedman offered advice on being successful in a clerkship. “The best thing you can do if you want to clerk,” he said, “is write, write, write, write, write, all the time.” 

Sean Cooley '23 is vice president of the Maryland Carey Law Moot Court Board, members of which served as ushers and prepared summaries of the cases prior to the visit. 

He appreciated the opportunity the court visit offered to students. "It is fantastic to have the Court of Special Appeals sit for arguments right here at our law school," said Cooley. "It is such a unique opportunity for students to see the judges and attorneys in action and have the chance to ask questions of the judges after the proceedings." 

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