3L Grobmyer Argues in Front of the Kansas Court of Appeals

Photograph: John GrobmyerJohn Grobmyer, JD Candidate, '17, had the unique honor of arguing in front of the Kansas Court of Appeals on April 13, 2017 — during his last semester of law school.  Although all law students complete a mock Court of Appeals argument during their Legal Analysis, Research and Writing II course, it is highly unusual for students to do it for real while still in law school.

The groundwork was being laid when Grobmyer began as an intern in the Douglas County District Attorney's Office in May 2016. 

“One of the first projects I was given was to draft a response to a motion to suppress,” said Grobmyer.  “The crux of the issue was whether an officer can make a reasonable inference that the owner of a vehicle is also the driver.  At the suppression hearing, the district court judge ruled that it was not a rational inference, and granted the motion to suppress.  The State filed an appeal, and I drafted the appellate brief.  Although neither the State nor the defendant asked for oral arguments, the Court of Appeals decided oral arguments were warranted.  Our office filed a motion asking the Court to allow me to argue as an intern, and the Court granted.”

“I think this is a fantastic opportunity,” he added.  “It is also the perfect culmination of my studies as a student and my work as an intern, both of which end very soon.”

Grobmyer also gained practical skills training as a Washburn Law Clinic intern in the Criminal Defense Clinic in fall 2016 and a directed intern in spring 2017.

On May 4, Grobmyer, along with Austin Stephenson, JD Candidate, '17, represented a Law Clinic client at a jury trial at the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Court and won an acquittal on the single-count criminal charge.

The day-long trial was the culmination of months of work, involving extensive motion practice; discovery of electronic evidence; legal research and analysis; and trial theory development. The client, judge, and even jurors were complimentary of their performance.

After law school, Grobmyer plans to put his skills to use by moving back to southeast Missouri to practice criminal law.