Immigrant Rights Clinic scores victory

The Immigrant Rights Clinic experienced a huge victory recently. Student clinicians Collin Coakley, Danitza Gonzales and Eric Ortiz zealously represented their client before the Orlando Immigration Court in an intensive two-day hearing. As a result of the students’ written and oral advocacy, the Immigration Judge granted Cancellation of Removal and the client is now officially a Lawful Permanent Resident, who can remain in the U.S. and continue to raise and care for her family.In his decision, the Judge commended the students on their performance in Court and excellent representation of the client. The outcome of this case will have long-lasting and life changing effects for the client and her entire family and Collin, Danitza and Eric should be applauded for their hard work and dedication.

The students were supervised by Clinical Teaching Fellow, Vanessa Bernadotte, and Adjunct Professor, Karen Winston. You can read more about this case on the Legal Clinics Blog.

It was another outstanding weekend for our Advocacy Teams. The Mock Trial Team competed again this year in the very prestigious Georgetown White Collar Crime Tournament. With over 88 students competing, Garth Cheek was honored for Outstanding Advocate. Previously he was awarded ” Best Direct Examination” at the Lone Star Classic National Tournament, was in the top 10% at the Nova Closing Argument Competition that is open to all Florida law students, was on the ABA Labor Law semi-finalist team last year, and he took second place at this year’s Spohrer Dodd Trial Advocacy Scholarship Competition.

This makes Garth the most individually honored student in Coastal Law mock trial history. Congratulations to Garth Cheek and the entire Georgetown team: Jon Gless, Laura Padilla and Jason Kemp as well as coach Professor Lois Ragsdale.

Congratulations to three Moot Court Honor Board teams on their success this weekend. Two of our teams competing this weekend in Washington, D.C. reached the national semi-finals in the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition, hosted by the National Asian and Pacific American Bar Association.

Over 70 teams from around the country competed in Tang. Having two of the teams in the final-four is a significant accomplishment. Our students argued in front of benches that included federal and state judges, including a state supreme court justice, and former United States Supreme Court clerks. Kristy Warren served as the Team Manager for both our Tang teams. The advocates on the two teams consisted of Alex Amador and Jansen Balisi (oralists/brief writers) and Nina Cano and Rishi Pattni (oralists/brief writers). In addition, Alex and Jansen won the national Best Brief Award for the competition. Professor Sander Moody coached both teams.

Another one of our Moot Court teams reached the octo-finals at the National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition in Chicago this weekend. The team consisted of Sarah Allen and Brad Moyer. Heather McGriff served as the Team Manager. Professor Jennifer Reiber coached the team. Congratulations to all.