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  • Civil Rights Appellate Clinic

Civil Rights Appellate Clinic

The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic provides intensive training in appellate advocacy by involving students in noncriminal civil rights cases before the state appellate courts, federal courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Students conduct research, draft briefs, assist in case selection, develop substantive legal positions, and plan appellate strategy. As this is a new clinical offering, an initial focus will be on amicus briefs; however, the driving decision for case selection will be which cases during any particular clinic sessions offer the best pedagogical value.

The clinic reproduces the type of representation and methodology comparable to that provided by the best appellate firms in the country, with teams of attorneys working in small groups on one case. In working on the cases, students have exposure to top civil rights and appellate litigators in the country. In addition to this work, students participate in classroom sessions (augmented by expert presentations) and attend oral arguments when appropriate.

The clinic is directed by Professor Michael Foreman, the immediate past deputy director of legal programs for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Law in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for supervising all litigation in employment discrimination, housing, education, voting rights, and environmental justice areas.

Student Clinic Application

Harwood v. American Airlines, S. Ct Docket (No. Pending), 37 F. 4th 954 (4th Cir. 2022)
The issue presented is the employer’s responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to place a service member in their rightful employment position following their service to this Country.
• Petition for Writ of Certiorari (pending)
• Motion to Proceed without Costs (pending)

Kitlinski v Department of Justice, S.Ct.  Docket No. 21-827, 994 F.3d 224 (4th Cir. 2021)
The issue presented involved the appropriate causation standard for retaliation under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  The Clinic prepared a Motion to Proceed without Costs which was granted, and a Petition for Certiorari which was denied.
• Petition for Writ of Certiorari
• Motion to Proceed without Costs

Natofsky v. The City of New York, S. Ct. Docket 19-732, 921 F.3d 337 (2d Cir. 2019)
The petition asked the Court to resolve the appropriate causation standard under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Petition was denied.
• Motion for Extension
• Petition for Writ of Certiorari
• Reply to Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Boente v. Baptiste, S.Ct. Docket 16-978, 841 F.3d 601 (3d. Cir. 2016)
The Clinic successfully opposed the Attorney General’s Petition for Certiorari challenging the Third Circuit’s decision striking down part of the Immigration and Nationality’s Act as being unconstitutional. The Clinic was appointed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in a complicated immigration removal case representing an elderly gentleman who was subject to removal from this country after having legally lived here for over 50 years. Based upon this litigation the client was finally released after spending over 4 years in “custodial custody.”
• Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Carder v. Continental Airlines, Inc., No. 10-1546, 636 F.3d 172 (5th Cir. 2011)
The Clinic was co-counsel for Petitioner. The petition was denied, but the clinic’s advocacy led the Department of Labor to recommend that Congress amend USERRA. Congress quickly did so, in a bipartisan action that now protects reservists and National Guard members from facing a hostile work environment for fulfilling their military obligation.
• Petition for Writ of Certiorari
• Reply to Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Supreme Court Amicus Briefs: Counsel for various national organizations, including but not limited to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, AARP, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, National Employment Lawyers Association, Impact Fund, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Asian American Advancing Justice , Equal Rights Advocates, and others on the merits:
• Saxon v Southwest Airlines Heights, 142 S. Ct. 1783 (2022)
• Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Beru, 140 S. Ct. 2049 (2020)
• Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American -Owned
Media et al., 140 S. Ct. 1009 (2019) • Fort Bend County v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 1843 (2019)
• Encino Motorcars LLC v. Navarro et al., 138 S. Ct. 1134 (2018)
• Perry v. Merits Services Protection Board, 137 S. Ct. 1975 (2017) Michael L. Foreman, page 4
• Maryland v. King, 569 U.S. 435 (2013)
• Vance v. Ball State, 570 U.S. 421 (2013)
• University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v Nassar, 570 U.S. 338 (2013)
• Township of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens, 11-1507 (settled)
• Staub v. Proctor Hospital, 562 U.S. 411 (2011)
• Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 664 U.S. 338 (2011)
• Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP., 562 U.S. 170 (2011)
• Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson, 561 U.S. 63 (2010)
• Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557 (2009)
• Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, 555 U.S. 271 (2009) •
14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 556 U.S. 247 (2009)
• Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., 557 U.S. 167 (2009)
• CBOCS West Inc. v. Humphries, 553 U.S. 442 (2008) • Domino’s Pizza, LLC v. McDonald, 546 U.S. 470 (2006) • Burlington Northern v. White, 548 U.S. 53 (2006)
• BCI Coca-Cola Bottling v. EEOC, 06-341 (settled)