Learning in the Trenches

3/13/2014  - 

Countless Capital Law School Clinical students have helped prepare the defense in a multi-week capital murder case recently on trial in Franklin County. They have been working under the supervision of Defense Co-Counsel Adjunct Professor Adam Nemann and Professor of Clinical Studies Lorie McCaughan. One of the first legal interns, Gina Griffith L’13, just passed the Ohio Bar and is now is employed by Nemann, in part because of her work on the case. Dan Matusicky L’14, Keith Dyer L’14, Kendra Kinney-Liebherr L'13, and Gina helped prepare for trial by interviewing witnesses, researching and drafting various pre-trial motions, putting together trial notebooks, sitting through and being available during trial to assist counsel, as well as spending hours with the Defendant at the jail to prepare for trial.

“The real-world skills I have gained through this experience are immeasurable,” said Matusicky, who added that he has learned that “the practice of law is a team sport.”

Dyer also reported that the case presented a fantastic learning opportunity. “It was the most important experience of my education,” he said. “I had the chance to work with incredible team of attorneys on this case who have shown me what zealous advocacy truly looks like."

Additionally, other CapLaw students (not legal interns assigned to the case) volunteered for pro bono credit to listen to and to transcribe tapes and to take turns sitting at the jail with the defendant.

UPDATE – The defendant was found ‘guilty’ on all counts. The jury deadlocked on the death penalty, which resulted in life without possibility of parole.

Attorneys for the case are awaiting the judge’s ruling on a Motion for Mistrial based on plain error of a tainted jury. The jury alternates were permitted in the deliberation room with the panel and at least one of the alternates allegedly “disrupted” the proceedings.

The defendant will proceed with appeal(s) of the convictions and sentence set forth last Monday, March 31.