Appellate Clinic Law Student Argues Before the Indiana Supreme Court
Jonathan Bont (3L), argued before the state's highest court today (December 11, 2008) at 9:45 a.m.. Bont argued in Jeffrey Graham v. State as part of his Appellate Clinic experience which was overseen by the clinic's founding Professor, Joel Schumm, '98. Mr. Graham was convicted of resisting law enforcement for not giving his hands to police officers who sought to handcuff him. The argument focused on the requirement of "forcibly" resisting. The argument can be seen on the court's webcast site: http://www.indianacourts.org/apps/webcasts/
Stacy Uliana, ’97, an attorney at the Indiana Public Defender Council reacted to the oral argument, saying, “Jon did an excellent job. He was just as articulate as the lawyers who appear before the court on a regular basis.”
Professor Schumm was also pleased. “The argument went very well,” said Professor Schumm. “Jon demonstrated his complete mastery of the record, case law, and policy concerns in addressing the Justices’ questions with the poise and clarity of a seasoned appellate advocate.” Schumm added, “The Appellate Clinic has truly been a high point of my eight years of teaching.”
Bont said afterward that after all of the preparation, the fifteen minute argument seemed to go by quickly. Professor Schumm spoke for the rebuttal, after Bont presented the opening argument. “We had strong legal positions,” Bont said. “The Justices asked many of the questions for which we had prepared.” In preparation, Bont and Schumm mooted the argument before appellate and trial public defenders, local attorneys who had clerked for the Indiana Supreme Court, and faculty from the law school. Bont, who is a member of the Order of Barristers and the Indiana Law Review, says that today was definitely the most memorable of his law school career and he recommends the experience to other students. After graduation in May 2009, Bont will clerk for Judge Larry J. McKinney, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
Tomorrow morning, however, Bont has his first final exam of the semester in Secured Transactions. Good luck, Jonathan!