Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet (LAW ‘94) delighted the students in the Case Western Reserve University School of Law Appellate Litigation Clinic when she joined a Zoom seminar session on Feb. 10. Dallet, whose judicial clerk Joseph Shell (LAW ‘20) co-teaches in the law school’s Appellate Litigation Clinic with Professor Andrew S. Pollis, offered a fascinating “from the bench” perspective on effective appellate briefing and oral argument. Her advice was invaluable to the clinic students, all of whom will file appellate briefs and many of whom will deliver oral arguments in the Ohio Court of Appeals by the end of the semester.
“Justice Dallet’s perspective deepened my understanding of appeals, particularly surrounding the value of candidly discussing one's case with the bench,” said third-year law student Paul Willison. “Justice Dallet highlighted how candor about your case and the law—both the good and the bad—can help you gain credibility while ensuring that the bench discusses only the most important issues with limited oral argument time.”
During the pandemic, the law school is offering small in-person courses, hybrid courses and online courses like the Appellate Litigation Clinic. One of the unexpected benefits of virtual teaching is students’ opportunities to interact with distinguished guest lecturers from across the country. Last spring, former FBI Director James Comey joined law school’s White Collar Crime class for two hours on Zoom to answer student questions about the Russian probe and President Trump’s impeachment.
“I left the discussion encouraged by how this Case alumna was making a difference on the bench,” said Willison. “I’m excited to apply her insight working in the Appellate Clinic.”