Out-of-State Judges Preside Over First Year Ames, Scare Muggers


Some of the Tennessee case judges with Climenko Fellow Wes Oliver.

Last week, first year law students completed the final trial of First Year Legal Research and Writing: oral arguments in one of two mock appellate cases. Besides the usual benches of professors, Climenko Fellows, and upper-class students, a host of out-of-state practitioners came to interrogate the students – and in one case, to literally fight crime.

Judging the Biolab property case were three lawyers from the DC office of Goodwin Procter: Steve Galoob, Tim McCormack, and Melissa Hutchens. Judging the Tennessee criminal law case were a long list of experts from the Volunteer State, mainly recruited by Climenko Fellow Wes Oliver, who has been part of the team litigating the real case after which the Ames problem was modeled.

The Tennessee contingent included Judge Tony Adgent, who had a particularly eventful stay in Boston. Adgent was attacked by a gang on the subway on his final day in the city, who learned quickly what a poor target they had chosen. “They should have known better than to attack a 60-year old Tennessee judge who was a bouncer before going to law school,” said Wes Oliver. “And for a decade he was reputed to be the toughest bouncer in all of Tennessee.” Adgent was reportedly backing the would-be-muggers into a corner when police arrived and broke up the stand-off.

Other judges from Tennessee included criminal lawyers Glenn Funk, Dan McMurtry, Stacey Sisco, and Judge Mark Fishburn. Knoxville lawyer Keith Stewart, who judged last year, missed the trip due to a collapsed lung; as he put it, “it took that much to keep me away.” McMurtry, Sisco, Fishburn, and Adgent also judged last year, and were happy to return, noting the extraordinary intellectual environment and hospitality they encountered at HLS. The judges gathered each night of the arguments at Cambridge Common to share stories with each other and students. Also judging the Tennessee problem were Capt. John Cooper, a State Department attorney, and Virginia prosecutor Dale Durrer.

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