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Students Exercise Creativity in Case Rounds

Many of our clinical programs feature weekly “case rounds” meetings where students talk, reflect on and brainstorm their cases with their fellow clinic-mates. Don’t let these photos fool you–these students are hard at work!  The photos demonstrate winter quarter Criminal Defense Clinic student teams taking a creative and lighthearted approach during rounds to  counterbalance the emotions and stress that their cases can evoke. Read on for details.

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Nida Vidutis and Lucia Roibal, CDC Rounds, Winter 2014

Nida Vidutis and Lucia Roibal, Winter 2014

During CDC case rounds meetings last quarter, students found an outlet for discussing the complex personal and emotional issues that arise from their cases. Lucia Roibal ’15 and Nida Vidutis ’15 thought of a creative way to translate the difficulties they were encountering in a domestic violence case they were defending. The team used “Jeopardy” as a platform to teach their clinic colleagues about the different standards and added difficulties placed on individuals charged with domestic violence by the legal system.  For example, unlike other misdemeanors, police don’t have to have seen the event occur to make an arrest; and during trial, character evidence is more readily allowed. The students also included a category called “Dire Voir Dire” which emphasized how hard it is to choose an impartial jury in a domestic violence case. Lucia and Nida included facts like the high percentage of individuals who know someone who has been the victim of domestic violence (75%) and the staggering rate of domestic violence against women (25% of women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime).

Rebecca Vogel and Nick Scheiner, Winter 2014

Rebecca Vogel and Nick Scheiner, Winter 2014

Whereas, Nick Scheiner ’15 and Rebecca Vogel ’15 decided to tell their client’s story – a nightmare series of encounters with the DMV Safety Department and the police – through the medium of a puppet show. Using nine puppets and abandoning all dignity, the students conveyed their client’s frustration at the bureaucratic system that seems determined to string her along on the never-ending path toward getting her license back. Cassidy Rice ’15 helped with the soundtrack, which included a thunderclap and her own “evil laughter” as the client approached the Safety Department for a final conference.     

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