Joshua Garrett Earns Spring 2013 Ungerman Award

By Professor John J. Francis

Photograph: Joshua Garrett

I had the great honor and privilege of supervising a group of outstanding interns in the criminal practice area of the Litigation Clinic during the spring semester. The interns represented clients in a wide range of criminal cases, involving DUI, minor drug possession, theft, domestic battery, unlawful discharge of a firearm, along with various and sundry, often complex, issues — including those involving issues of drug addiction and mental illness. All of these interns did a great job in discharging their duties of representation to their clients admirably, skillfully, and effectively.

But there was one intern in particular whose clinic work, in the Clinic faculty’s judgment, best exemplifies the spirit of the Ungerman Award — Joshua Garrett. For most of the semester, he represented one client in several cases. Soon after the semester started, Garrett was confronted with a motion to revoke a diversion in a prior case involving possession of alcohol and drug paraphernalia, based on a new DUI charge. In preparing for the hearing on the motion to revoke, Garrett discovered that the stipulated facts underlying the diversion agreement were insufficient to establish one of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. At the hearing, he exercised great judgment, initiative and skillful advocacy in presenting and arguing this legal defect to the court, and thus precluded his client from being found guilty on that charge.

Garrett then represented his client in a Department of Revenue administrative hearing that arose in conjunction with the DUI charge. He did a masterful job in examining the arresting officer to set the stage for the defense of his client on the DUI. That defense included the filing of a motion, and a hearing, to suppress the evidence against the client due to a lack of probable cause to arrest.

Garrett’s careful preparation and research was evident in his performance at the hearing, and he exhibited great skill in cross-examining the State’s witnesses and presenting his closing argument to the court. The court granted the motion to suppress in part, which then set the stage, not only for a jury trial, but for a potential appellate issue arguing that the evidence remaining after the court’s suppression order is insufficient to establish probable cause for the arrest. Garrett exhibited the highest level of professional skill, judgment and advocacy during each stage of his Clinic representation, and he deserves special recognition.

Garrett passed the Missouri bar in July and graduated in August.