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Volunteer to Judge 1Ls on Appellate Advocacy

Every spring, first-year Colorado Law students in the appellate advocacy course research and write an appellate brief and argue the case in front of three-person panels of judges and practitioners. It's the first time many law students put on a suit and act like "real lawyers," and they take the process very seriously. It's a great chance to meet and interact with the students and other volunteers. 

Colorado Law needs volunteers to serve as judges for these 1L students. The appellate advocacy oral arguments will take place from April 4–15, 2011, with sessions in both Denver and Boulder. The arguments last approximately one and a half hours each (see detailed schedule below). Don’t be concerned about your constitutional law, criminal law, or appellate procedure knowledge – we provide judges with a bench memo and the students' briefs. If you are interested, please contact Kristen Vannoy at kristen.vannoy@colorado.edu or 303-492-1057 with your available time(s).

Appellate Issues

This year, the appellate case involves two federal constitutional issues, a First Amendment issue and a Fourth Amendment issue. The defendant in the case allegedly created a website that she claims was designed to encourage the public to boycott companies involved in the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The website contained inflammatory rhetoric and identified companies and individual employees doing business in Afghanistan. As a result, she was charged with, and convicted of, transmitting "a threat in interstate commerce." The evidence linking her to the website was discovered after FBI agents searched her purse during the execution of a search warrant at another's home, even though the defendant was not named in the warrant. There are two issues:

1. Is the website's content a “true threat” unprotected by the First Amendment?

2. Does the Fourth Amendment permit the search of a container belonging to, but not in the possession of, a visitor to a residence that is lawfully being searched?

Oral Argument Schedule

  • Monday, April 4, 3:15 p.m., Denver, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Bauer, Mack); 2:45 p.m. CU-Boulder, Wolf Law Bldg. (Hall, T. Stafford), 4:45 p.m. (Hall/T. Stafford)

  • Tuesday, April 5, 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., Denver, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Bauer, Mack); 4:30 p.m., CU-Boulder, Wolf Law Bldg. (G. Stafford)

  • Wednesday, April 6, 11:15 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Hall, Mack, G. Stafford, T. Stafford)

  • Thursday, April 7, 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., CU-Boulder, Wolf Law Bldg. (G. Stafford)

  • Friday, April 8, 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Bauer, G. Stafford, T. Stafford)

  • Saturday, April 9, 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 2:15 p.m., CU-Boulder, Wolf Law Bldg. (Hall)

  • Monday, April 11, 3:15 p.m., Denver, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Bauer, Mack); 2:45 p.m., CU-Boulder, Wolf Law Bldg. (T. Stafford)

  • Tuesday, April 12, 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., Denver, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Mack)

  • Friday, April 15, 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., Denver, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Bauer)

We hope you’ll be able to join us by volunteering your time. We greatly appreciate the involvement of the legal community in preparing the next generation of law practitioners.