Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims convened in HLS’s Ames Courtroom to hear the case of Ausmer v. Shinseki. The Court is based in Washington D.C. but is authorized to hear cases anywhere in the United States. A legal team from our own Veterans Legal Clinic (Professor Daniel Nagin, 3L Bradley Hinshelwood, and 2Ls Christopher Melendez and Juan Arguello – both HLS AFA members) was co-counsel with Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick for the Appellant. Today was the first time the Court had ever heard oral argument from student attorneys in a veteran’s clinic.
Brad and Chris shared the 30 minutes they were allocated for oral argument. Brad was first up and was not able to complete his first sentence before he was peppered with questions from the three-judge panel. Chris had 10 minutes for rebuttal and was also questioned closely. Both students were composed and certainly did the clinic, HLS, and their client proud!
In thanking everyone at the end of the post-hearing Q & A, Dean Martha Minow noted that it was a tremendous honor to see a court serving the veterans who had served our country. At the All Staff Luncheon soon afterwards, she told everyone present about the event and said “it made this Dean’s heart grow large.”