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Upcoming Practices

Wed. October 26
12:00PM - 1:00PM CRIM PRO SD C Janice Stillman Ylan Jennifer Bentley Nate
12:00PM - 2:00PM Pepperdine Moot Court MCR Steven Wall Janice Stillman Doug A.
7:00PM - 9:00PM Health Law E Rob Schwartz
7:00PM - 8:30PM Nationals (3L Team) TBD

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Alex Andorfer, JR Olson, Mitchell Vanlandingham

The questions under review are:

(1) Whether the City of North Shore Safe Renters Ordinance (“Ordinance”), mandating the verification of immigration status, is preempted by federal law.

(2) Whether a federal district court has subject matter jurisdiction to review de novo a denial of a naturalization application pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1421(c) and grant declaratory relief once removal proceedings have begun, or if both are barred by 8 U.S.C. § 1429.

Last practice November 5.

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Madeline Lough-Stevens, Francesca Reifer, Naomi Strauss

On April 16, 2010, Respondent ("Mason") was convicted by a jury of the offense of felony aggravated sexual assault of a child, and was sentenced by Judge Marilyn L. Robbins in Wash County Superior Court.

Mason filed a direct appeal, which was heard in the Court of Appeals on September 10, 2012.  On appeal, Mason brought two constitutional claims:  (1) the admission of his confession constituted trial court error in violation of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination, including the omission of Miranda warnings prior to questioning; and (2) admitting the written Juvenile Sex Offender Program ("SOM") report  at trial violated his Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.  He also argued that his defense counsel's failure to object on constitutional grounds to admission of his confession and the SOM report rendered the assistance of counsel ineffective in violation of the Sixth Amendment.  On January 23, 2013, the Court of Appeals unanimously rejected all of these claims and upheld his conviction, finding no error in the judgment of the superior court. 

Mason appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court of West Carolina and his case was heard on September 25, 2014.  On July 13, 2015, the Supreme Court of West Carolina reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and vacated Mason's sentence and conviction.  The Supreme Court held: (1) the admission of a confession made in a court-ordered SOM program violated his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, as well as failing to provide Mason with Miranda warnings during his custodial interrogation in the program; (2) the admission of the psychosexual sentencing evaluation violated his Sixth Amendment right to confrontation because it contained testimonial statements of an unavailable witness; (3) Mason has met his burden to prove prejudicial error on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, which violated his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

The State of West Carolina filed a petition for writ of certiorari.  On August 3, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is limited to the following questions:

(1)  Does admission into evidence of the unwarned statements of a juvenile detainee in a sex offender management program violate the Self-Incrimination Clause of the Fifth Amendment?

(2)  Does admission of a written psychosexual evaluation report produced for a prior juvenile sentencing hearing by a now unavailable witness violate the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment? 

(3)  Was appellant deprived of the effective assistance of counsel when defense counsel neglected to object to the admission of evidence on Fifth and Sixth Amendment grounds?

Last practice November 1.

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Andrew Johnson and Asha Vora

Petitioner, Ms. Cheryl Robinson is a practicing member of the Waldenism religion.  Waldenism is the practice of a variety of traditions, beliefs, and spirituality, based on Henry David Thoreau’s book, Walden.  Specifically, Waldenism highlights the book’s transcendental theme of simple living and self-sufficiency.  Waldenists believe personal relationships trump money and “conspicuous consumption.”  The underlying belief of Waldenists is the concept “less is more.”  Thus, by living simply, owning fewer material goods, and spending money on experiences rather than possessions, Waldenists find happiness and believe they are “liv[ing] large.”  Most Waldenists believe that ownership of no more than 100 possessions is the key to happiness.  The unique beliefs and practices of Waldenism made headlines, when an extremist of Waldenism terrorized clothing stores by damaging material merchandise. 

Ms. Robinson began practicing Waldenism after abandoning a successful career and what most consider the “American Dream.”  Unhappy with her life of excess and 80-hour work weeks, Ms. Robinson transitioned to Waldenism, by transforming her life of materials, to a life without.  Specifically, Ms. Robinson sold her large home, most of her belongings, limited her possession to 100, quit her job, and sought part-time work as a nature photographer.  Additionally, Ms. Robinson branded herself as a Waldinist with a tattoo on her wrist.  Finally, Ms. Robinson purchased a “tiny house,” which was temporarily parked in her friend’s driveway.  A “tiny house,” is typically less than 400 square feet, built on wheels, and resembles a traditional house.  Because tiny houses are a relatively new phenomenon, Ms. Robinson’s home received ample negative attention and intrusions.  Many neighbors were unhappy with the presence of a tiny house in their neighborhood, fearing it would lower property values.  Ms. Robinson was even threatened by a neighbor, whose dogs attacked her, while the neighbor claimed it was an accident and asked when she planned to move her “tacky house.”

 Ms. Robinson genuinely feared for her safety following the threat and obtained a handgun.  Afterwards, Ms. Robinson was pulled over for speeding, while driving to the grocery store.  The police then discovered Ms. Robinson had a gun, but was prohibited from possessing a gun, because of her juvenile criminal background. Ms. Robinson’s juvenile history included two counts of heroin possession with intent to distribute and aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon.  Under the Everton Code of Juvenile Justice, juvenile defendants are not entitled to a jury trial.  Following these convictions, Ms. Robinson participated in the Scared Straight Juvenile Awareness Program and turned her life around.

Ms. Robinson’s gun possession charge was moved to federal court under Everton’s participation in Project Exodus, resulting in a felony possession charge under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).  The prosecution added an enhancement to her charges, based on Ms. Robinson’s juvenile criminal history.  Ms. Robinson proceeded to a jury trial where she contested the charges.  During voir dire, when asked about any potential bias against Ms. Robinson, although some jurors noticed her Waldenist tattoo, none of the jurors apparently answered questions which purported bias.   Although the jury was not presented with any evidence of Ms. Robinson’s delinquency adjudications, after two days of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict.  That afternoon, the juror forewoman A.W., contacted Ms. Robinson’s defense counsel.  A.W. indicated that five of the twelve jurors repeatedly expressed “religious slurs” against Ms. Robinson during deliberations. A.W. authored an affidavit of what occurred and provided it to Ms. Robinson’s defense counsel.  The following day, Ms. Robinson moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for a new trial, supported by A.W.’s affidavit, regarding the five jurors.  Specifically, A.W.’s affidavit included the juror statements: “ha, only 100 possessions, too bad her brain isn’t one of them,” “remember the nut case who slashed clothes at the mall, they’re all criminals,” “the Unamerican Dream is anti-American – she’s no better than a terrorist and should be locked up,” and “the only reason their houses are on wheels is so they can make a quick getaway!”  A.W.’s affidavit indicated her belief that the five jurors’ statements were made to cause another juror, who was a nominal holdout, to change her vote.

The district judge determined held A.W.’s affidavit was inadmissible under Fed. R. Evid. 606(b)(1), Prohibited Testimony or Other Evidence.  Ms. Robinson now moves for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or, in the alternative, for a new trial, contending that extraneous prejudicial information influenced some of the jurors.



1. Whether religious bias is an exception to Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b); and,

2. Whether a juvenile adjudication without a jury may be used as the basis for a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. §924(e).

Last practice November 2.

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Dinero Asvestas, Jessica Do, Michael Slater

1. Whether the Marketplace Equality Act, requiring out-of-state sellers to collect use taxes for in-state consumers, is constitutional.
2. Whether Agent Rattata’s action of opening and viewing all of the spreadsheet files stored in the “FMEA” folder was an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Last practice November 17.

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Scout Moran, Eric Schmoll, and David Casarrubias

1. Whether the Marketplace Equality Act, requiring out-of-state sellers to collect use taxes for in-state consumers, is constitutional.
2. Whether Agent Rattata’s action of opening and viewing all of the spreadsheet files stored in the “FMEA” folder was an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Last practice November 16.

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Criminal procedure issue addressing whether preventing sex trafficking qualifies as a special need and whether apparent authority existed to allow for a reasonable consent search. 

Last practice November 10.

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Natalie Harlacher, Bryan Trader, and Skyler Sugimoto

Lanham Act Trademark Issue

Last practice November 10.

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Mitchell Song and Yuping Lin

Apalsa enacted a statute which removed state funding for public accomodations which discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  


Living Mission Church is a non-denominational evangelical Protestant church that has actively supported proposed legislation to ban same-sex marriages in Apalsa. Its pastor, Reverend Jeremy Kim, has repeatedly stated that “God created men to unite with women in marriage,” and the Church has participated in numerous media campaigns to further this message. That this is a sincerely held religious belief of the leadership and members of the Church is not contested.


Living Mission Church also runs a pre-school on its property, which serves 120 students aged 2-5.  Established as an independent non-profit corporation in 1981, the preschool was merged into the Church in 1996.Living Mission Church views the preschool as part of its ministry and incorporates Christian religious instruction into its curriculum. The preschool program is affordable and widely regarded as an excellent choice for working parents. As a result, it always has a long waiting list. Like other preschools, both secular and religious, it has fairly consistently received grants from the state for transportation, playground equipment, and subsidized meals.


In 2014 Lily Eun-chae Park and Alicia Kang, a same-sex couple, attempted to put their infant son Philip on the waitlist for the Living Mission Church preschool.  Their son's application was rejected, and after several calls to the preschool, Park was informed that because the Church considered homosexuality to be a sin, the preschool did not enroll children of same-sex couples.


In late 2014 the State of Apalsa declared the Church ineligible to participate in “Kids Learn” programs that subsidize school lunches and the purchase of school buses until it changed its admissions policies to comply with the Anti- Discrimination Act. Since then the Church has not applied for any further state funding for its preschool programs. Kids Learn funds were previously granted to the Church and continue to be awarded to other religious organizations. The record does not indicate whether any of these other organizations exclude persons from their programs on the basis of sexual orientation.


Church appears to be the only instance, to date, in which Apalsa has denied funding to a private organization based on the statute’s prohibition of discrimination based upon sexual orientation.




  • Following Apalsa’s denial of state funding to the Church, the Church filed suit in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Apalsa against Apalsa.  The claim alleged that the denial of state funding violated the Church’s right to religious freedom (Free Exercise Clause) and constituted excessive entanglement between church and state (Establishment Clause).
  • The district court ruled in favor of Apalsa, holding that the state’s application of the Anti-Discrimination Act did not violate the First Amendment
  • On appeal, the Fourteenth Circuit reversed the district court’s judgment.  It reasoned that Apalsa’s selective refusal of state funding impermissibly targeted the Church in a way that substantially burdened its religious freedom.  


  1. Did the state of Apalsa violate the Living Mission Church’s right to freedom of religion guaranteed by the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment when it denied state funding to the Church’s preschool based on its religious motivated admissions policy that failed to comply with the Anti-Discrimination Act?
  2. If Apalsa’s refusal to fund the preschool is found to infringe upon the Living MIssion Church’s religious freedom rights, can the state’s denial meet the requirements of strict scrutiny?

Last practice November 3.

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