Consumer Law Clinic student Zena-Melissa Sabell had a true taste of what it feels like to practice law last week. She had three hearings in one week: one in circuit court, one in county court, and one in small claims court.
In circuit court, she thought she was going in to argue a complicated motion to compel. But when we arrived at the hearing, we learned that the client had hired a new attorney and that he was planning to argue the motion to compel. We then had to address the procedural issue of what to do when two attorneys are counsel of record and they do not agree on what discovery is relevant.
In county court, Zena argued what should have been straightforward motion to dismiss in a debt collection case. However, the clinic students learned about judicial discretion and that despite was the rules may say, the judge has the final say on what is sufficient to state a cause of action.
And finally, in small claims court, Zena appeared at a pretrial conference to argue another motion to dismiss in a debt collection case. Most of the other clinic students were able to attend these hearings as well and share in the experience of litigating in state court!