The Charlotte School of Law students enrolled in Assistant Professor Jason Huber’s Civil Rights Capstone class have made a significant contribution to the local federal rules of civil procedure for the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
Charlotte School of Law meets its commitment to providing experiential learning opportunities to students through a variety of means including capstone experiences. Students in the Civil Rights Capstone class were charged with creating what is now Charlotte School of Law’s Civil Rights Clinic. In studying the myriad of pedagogical and substantive issues related to building a civil rights clinic, the students discovered that the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina did not have a local student practice rule.
As a result, the students researched the various state and federal student practice rules and drafted a proposed rule. They then submitted the proposed rule to the district court for review. Chief Judge Conrad and the Board of Judges for the Western District directed Magistrate Judge David Cayer and the Clerk of Court Frank Johns to work with Professor Huber and his students on the proposed rule. After some discussion and editing, as a result of the efforts of everyone on this project, the Western District adopted its first ever student practice rule on June 24, 2010, and is expected to be enacted this fall. As a side note, in order for students to practice at the state level, with a supervising attorney, they must comply with the rules governed by the NC State Bar. Under those rules, students must complete a law school certification form and a certification regarding the rules of professional conduct. More information can be found at the NC State Bar website.
The students (or former students, now graduates) responsible for this rule-making success are John Arco, Kevin Beck, Tanea Hines, Jeffrey Ellingsworth, Kevin Vidunas, Hector Henry and Brian Chapman.