Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Student Journal Research is Cited by Courts Nationwide

Having their journal notes cited by judges across the country is an unparalleled honor for these recent graduates.
Kevin McLaughlin '07

Kevin McLaughlin '07

Over the past decade, journal notes by UC Hastings students have been cited more than 65 times by federal and state appellate courts and trial judges around the country. This recognition reveals just how much impact student-run journals can have on the adjudication of cases in courts at every level.

For Kevin McLaughlin ’07, having his scholarship cited by several courts was a highlight of his student career. His 2007 note on Fourth Amendment implications of cellphone-location tracking, which appeared in the Hastings Communication & Entertainment Law Journal, was cited by District Courts in Pennsylvania and Texas. His work also was cited by Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit writing for the panel in ACLU v. U.S. Department of Justice, which required the release of government phone-tracking records to the ACLU. “It is a bit of a feather in the cap,” says McLaughlin, now an attorney with Meyers Nave in Oakland.

McLaughlin is being modest. Citation by appellate judges “is a crowning accomplishment of any academic or legal scholar,” explains Dustin Ingraham ’14, editor-in-chief of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.

Jesse P. Basbaum ’10, writing for the Hastings Law Journal, found his note on sentencing guideline inequities in child pornography cases cited by the Ninth and Fourth U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as by a District Court in New York.

Basbaum, who has been clerking on the Ninth Circuit this year, says it is “exciting to see my work have some concrete effect on the development of legal doctrine.”

Sophia S. Chang ’09 saw her 2009 note in the CLQ on post-conviction DNA exoneration cited twice in dissent by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers. Ingraham points out that “to be cited places your work among the most prominent scholarship in the field.”

Read more from UC Hastings magazine here.

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