March 02, 2011

Law Clinic Students Win $1.12 Million Verdict for Client

Case Western Reserve University School of Law students in the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic recently obtained a jury verdict of $1.12 million in favor of their clients, a family victimized by a fraudulent home-repair and financing scheme. The students tried their damages case to a jury on Feb. 10 in the courtroom of Cuyahoga County Visiting Judge John E. Corrigan. This verdict was the largest in the clinic’s history and included compensatory damages, treble damages under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, and punitive damages.

3L students and Andrew Pollis
Students Jennifer Hadley and Brant DiChiera meet with School
of Law Professor Andrew Pollis.

Current third-year students Brant DiChiera and Jennifer Hadley represented the client. DiChiera explained how it felt to hear the verdict read: “As Judge Corrigan read the verdict, I realized the jury gave us the full amount for which we asked. In fact, they gave one of our clients $9,000 more. It was a complete adrenaline rush. Absolutely thrilling.”

School of Law Clinic Professor Andrew S. Pollis supervised the students involved with this case, which first came to the clinic in September 2008. Several students handled various stages of this case, including Michael Spivak (LAW, ’09), Nakedra Byrd (LAW, ’09), Alix Emerson (LAW, ’10) and Aaron Minc (LAW, ’10). Spivak (who passed away Feb. 27) and Byrd filed the initial complaint; Emerson and Minc obtained an $8,000 partial settlement for the clients last spring.

Pollis was thrilled to see one of the clinic’s civil cases tried to a jury. “Most of our cases settle out of court, so having a jury trial was fantastic. Brant and Jen did almost all of the talking in court, from jury selection to closing arguments,” he said. Pollis also was pleased that the students could add something eye-popping to their résumés. “In this market, third-year law students who can say they’ve done a jury trial and won over $1 million will certainly have an edge. It’s an experience that many practicing lawyers have never had. And that kind of experience is one of the great things that the clinic can offer.

An article about the case was featured in The Docket, the student newspaper at CWRU School of Law. Read the article here.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, March 2, 2011 07:57 AM | News Topics: School of Law

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