Clinic Students Win Client Acquittal at Jury Trial

Photograph: Students at Prairie Band Potawatomie NationOn behalf of their Law Clinic client, John Grobmyer, JD Candidate ’17, and Austin Stephenson, JD Candidate ’17, conducted a jury trial at the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Court, winning an acquittal on the single-count criminal charge.

“A not guilty was the appropriate outcome given the facts of the case,” said Grobmyer. “It was a fantastic experience, and I want to thank Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation for the opportunity to practice law in their court while still in law school.”

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. They executed their case theory and theme at every stage of the trial, from jury selection through to closing arguments. The jury deliberated for less than an hour to reach a verdict.

“Being able to gather valuable experience in tribal court through the Law Clinic was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at Washburn Law,” said Stephenson. “It was a great feeling to help out with such an important process within the tribal community.”

The client was overjoyed and grateful for the students’ work. In addition, the judge and the jurors complimented both students on their high level of professionalism.

“This was an excellent piece of lawyering and advocacy — and led to a just outcome!” observed Professor John Francis.