March 22, 2012 -- The Law School’s new Supreme Court Clinic has won its first case. Last spring, Jenny Osborne ’11 and Katie Strickland ’11 helped write the respondent’s brief in Missouri v. Frye, which was argued in October. The Court announced its decision on March 21: a 5-4 victory for the Clinic’s client, Galin Frye. The case involved the question whether the constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel applies during plea negotiations that do not end in a guilty plea.
The Clinic worked on the case in cooperation with Emmett Queener of the Missouri Public Defender’s office, who gave the students most of the credit for the win. “I’m sure the brief was way, way more persuasive than the few minutes I spoke to the Court,” Queener said.
Supreme Court Clinic students work on real cases before the United States Supreme Court, while learning how the Court selects and decides its cases and how lawyers shape their arguments. This was the Clinic’s very first merits case before the Court.