Fall 2020- Clinic Connection

Page 1

VOL. 1

FALL 2020

CLINIC CONNECTION Newsletter of Detroit Mercy Law' s Clinical Program

NEWS & FEATURES Associate Dean's Corner PAGE 1

Swearing In Ceremony Environmental Law Clinic PAGE 2

5th Annual Patent Drafting Competition PAGE 3 Veterans Law Clinic Continues to Make Impact PAGE 4

#ATJ Project Recognized PAGE 5 New IP Clinic Director PAGE 6 Pro Se Clinic Transitions Amid Pandemic PAGE 7

Learn more about Detroit Mercy Law’s Experiential Education SUPPORT THE CLINICS

Associate Dean 's Corner: “It is an honor to be able to work with the various Detroit Mercy Law Clinics in a program with such a rich history .” Message from Associate Dean of Experiential Education Nick Schroeck A t Det ro i t Mercy Law, o ur st ud ent s ex p erience a p erso nali z ed ed ucat io n d el i v ered b y ex cep t i onal , hand s-o n facult y who are co m m i t t ed t o shap i ng t he nex t generat i o n of ex cel lent , et hical , engaged l awy ers. It ' s ho w we d el i v er on our p ro m ise of educat ing t he co m p l et e l awy er. Det ro i t Mercy Law has l ong b een a re co gni z ed l eader i n p rep aring st ud ent s f or t he act ual pract i ce o f l aw. O ur cl i ni cal p ro gram , fo rm ed i n 1 96 5, i s am o ng t he ol d est clini cal p ro gram s i n t he Uni t ed S t at es and i s co nsi st ent l y re cogni z ed f or i t s ex cel l e nce. Duri ng t he ci v i l ri ght s upri si ng i n Det ro i t i n t he l at e 19 6 0s, t he Urb an Law Cl i ni c successfull y represent ed hund red s o f i nd i v i d ual s who were wro ngful ly arrest e d. Tod ay , t he Det ro i t Mercy Law cl i ni cal p ro gram co nsist s of 1 1 cl i ni cs t hat serv e t ho usand s o f cl i ent s each y ear b y pro v i d i ng m ore t han 2 0, 00 0 ho urs o f no co st l egal serv i ces t o ind iv i d ual s who se i nco m e i s at , or b el o w, 2 00 % o f t he fed eral pov ert y gui d el i nes. Due t o t he CO VID-1 9 heal t h crisi s, all cl inics b egan o perat i ng rem ot el y and co nt i nue t o successfull y wo rk wit h cl i ent s v i a t el ep ho ne , Z o om and si m i l ar p l at fo rm s. O ur cl i ni cal p ro gram recent l y recei v ed t wo prest i gious awards. First , t he Fed eral B ar Asso ci at i o n, N at i o nal C hap t er, sel ect e d our Federal Pro S e Legal Assi st ance C l i ni c fo r t he Il ene and Michael S haw Pub l i c S erv i ce Award i n recogni t i on of t he cli ni c' s serv i ce t o t he co m m uni t y . Furt her, t he S t at e B ar o f Mi chigan sel ect e d Det ro i t Mercy Law' s cl i ni cal pro gram f or t he Ki m b e rly M. Cahil l Le ade rshi p award i n recogni t i on of l ast sum m er' s t rav ell ing ex pungem ent cl i ni c. The ex p ungem ent cl i ni c serv ed nearl y 3 5 0 peo pl e i n m id and no rt hern Mi chigan and was m ade p oss ib l e b y a grant fro m t he Mi chi gan S t at e B ar Found at i on. For m o re info rm at i on ab o ut Det ro i t Mercy Law' s C l i ni cal Pro gram , pl ease v isit C l i ni cs.

(L e f t ) S t ude nt s pa rt ic ipa t e in t he c linic a l s wea ring in c e re mony a t t he beg inning of e a c h t e rm. (R ig h t ) Way ne Cou nt y Circ u it Court Judg e Wa nda Eva ns ' 9 3 a dminis t e rs t he oa t h t o c linic s t u de nt s .

Taking a Lawyer's Oath In 2019 we began a new tradit ion of hosting a swearing in ceremony for clinic student s each semest er. At the ceremony, student s learn from Father Tim Hipskind, University of Detroit Mercy Direct or of Service-Learning, about the import ance of service to our community and to remind them of their pledge to work honorably, honestly and just ly and to live the university mission root ed in the history of Catherine McCauley and St. Ignatius. At each clinic swearing in ceremony, a local judge administers the oath to students. This past September, the ceremony went virtual, where 68 students were sworn in by Judge Wanda A. Evans ' 93 via Zoom.

Environmental Law Clinic Provides Service to Community Students in Associate Dean Schroeck’s Environmental Law Clinic tackle tough environmental law issues and effectuate positive change in the community. As the clinical program represents only low-income individuals and non-profit organizations, the Clinic’s work regularly addresses the int ersection of social injustice and the environment. A recent example and a significant vict ory for the Clinic involved mult iple parties (the Clinic represented two non-profit ent it ies) in a matter before the Michigan Public Service Commission requesting that DTE Energy increase it' s funding for energy efficiency programs for low-income individuals. Ultimately, DTE agreed to set tle the matter and increase its assistance budget. This result is a great success for the community, part icularly for low income individuals who can' t afford energy efficiency upgrades wit hout additional support. Environmental Law Society students (L to R) Jon Wylie, Shaun Austin, Nathan Wilson cleaning up Cass Park in Detroit.

“My time in the Environmental Law Clinic was probably one of my favorite law school experiences. Not only was I given the opportunity to sharpen my research and writing skills, I was also given a lens into the world of environmental injustice. It was an eye-opening experience to discover the real and heartbreaking impacts that pollution has on local families. This reminded me of something we as law students tend to forget — that there are real people behind the legal issues we face everyday.” L a ura At a na s ovs ki 3L



Det r oit Me r c y L a w Pa t e nt Compe t it ion Te a m (L t o R ): Je re my F ole y , Cha ndle r Dorris , Ca t he rine Mit c h e ll, F a di Abuzir

Social Distancing + Technology = Competition with a New Virtual Twist O n March 14, 2020 , 13 l aw scho o l s f ro m t he m id-west regi o n com pet ed i n t he 5t h annual Pat ent Draft ing C om pet i t ion, host ed b y Det roi t Mercy Law and Wind sor Facul t y of Law. In li ght o f t he C OVID- 19 healt h crisis, t he com pet i t ion was a l i t t le d i ff erent t hi s y ear. A ll t eam s com pet ed v irt ually wi t h t he sup po rt and t echno l o gy cap ab i l i t i es of t he Mi d west Regi o nal Unit ed S t at es Pat ent and Tradem ark O ffice ( US PTO) .

“The patent drafting competition was incredibly challenging and rewarding. Being in the competition and working within my team made me grow as a legal researcher, writer, presenter, leader and teammate. It was hard work, but it helped me to become an all-around better legal professional.” Chandler Dorris 3L

Each team p resent ed t hei r case v i a WebEx, and j ud ges were o nsit e at t he USPTO l o cat ed i n Det ro it t o rev i ew and cri t i q ue each p resent at i o n. " The pat ent d raf t i ng co m pet i t i o n was incredib ly chal l engi ng and rewardi ng. B ei ng i n t he co m pet i t io n and wo rki ng wit hin m y t eam m ad e m e gro w as a legal researcher, writ er, present er, l eader and t eam m at e, " said Chandl er Dorris. " It was hard wo rk, b ut i t hel ped m e t o b eco m e an all-around b et t er l egal pro f essi o nal . " Hono rs w ent t o S t . Tho m as Univ ersi t y S cho o l o f Law (1 st ) Mi chi gan St at e Univ ersi t y Scho o l o f Law (2 nd) and Univ ersi t y of Mi chi gan S cho o l of Law ( 3rd ). C ongrat ulat ions t o al l t he scho o l s who part ici p at ed in t he co m pet it ion in an unconv ent i o nal way t hi s y ear. The nat io nal com pet it ion, ho st ed b y t he Nat i o nal O ffice o f t he US PTO , was hel d o n A pri l 20, 2 02 0 v ia v i deo co nference. The wi nner o f t he Mi d west Regio n also t o o k t o p ho nors at t he nat io nal co m pet i t i o n. The 6 t h annual C om p et i t ion for t he Mi d west Regi o n wi l l b e hel d v irt ual ly on March 6, 2021 . " Many thanks t o all t he spo nso rs, i ncl ud i ng t i t le spo nso r Burris Law, " said Reb ecca S i m ki ns No wak , Di rect or o f Clini cal O perat ions and O ut reach, Det ro i t Mercy Law. " Also , m uch grat it ude t o t he USPTO l ead ershi p and st aff f or t hei r willingness t o shi ft gears quick l y so t he co m pet i t i on could go o n. We co ul d n’t hav e d o ne i t wit ho ut t he ex p ert i se, p lanni ng and suppo rt o f t he Mid west Regional O ff i ce. "




Clinic Provides Lifeline to Veterans in Need O ur award-winning Vet erans Law C li nic ( VLC) was est ab l i shed in 2007 b y cl i ni c d i rect or Pro fesso r Margaret “ Peggy ” C ost ello. A f t er m o re t han 20 y ears as an acco m pl i shed p art ner at a l arge Mi chi gan law firm , she l ef t t hat p osit ion t o hel p est ab l i sh t he Vet erans Law C lini c where her wo rk o v er t he p ast 13 y ears has m ad e a signi f i cant im pact in assi st i ng v et erans and t hei r fam i li es. The VLC is one of t he f i rst l aw scho ol cli nics in t he count ry wit h a m issi o n t o assi st l o w i nco me v et erans i n ob t ai ni ng t he serv ice- rel at ed b enef i t s t o which t hey are ent i t l ed, and t o educat e and t rai n l aw st udent s and p ro b ono at t orney s t o ef fect i v el y assi st v et erans wi t h t his serv i ce. The VLC t y pi cal l y has 8 st udent s enro l led in t he fall , wi nt er and sum mer t erm s. The st udent s recei v e an ex cel l ent ed ucat ional o pp o rt uni t y whi l e pro v iding cri t i cal l egal serv ices for our v et erans. The go al of t he VLC i s t o p ro v i de v et erans rel iab le and k no wl ed geab le legal rep resent at i o n whil e nav i gat i ng t hrough t he com pl ex p ro cess o f o bt ai ning v et eran b enefi t s. This serv ice can b e a l i f el i ne f or m any v et erans and t hei r fam ilies. Each y ear, t he VLC pro v i des m o re t han 3, 00 0 hours of no cost l egal serv i ces. C urrent l y , t he VLC has m o re t han 80 act i v e cases. O v er t he y ears, t he VLC has represent ed m o re t han 1, 000 v et erans and t hei r f am i li es and recov ered o v er $3 m i ll i o n i n ret ro act i v e p ay m ent s. The Vet erans Law C li ni c recei v ed t he p rest igi o us Am erican Bar Asso ci at i o n’s S t andi ng Com m i t t ee o n t he Del i v ery of Legal S erv i ces 201 2 Lo ui s B ro wn A ward fo r m eri t o ri ous recogni t io n f o r l egal access. Fro m 20 08 -2 0 1 5, in conjunct ion wit h Pro j ect Salut e, Pro fesso r C ost ello t rav eled t he count ry assi st i ng v et erans and t raining at t o rney s in t he area o f Vet erans B enefit s Law and helped o t her law scho o l s and o rgani z at i ons set up simi lar clini cs. Prof essor C o st el lo co nt i nues t o t rain at t o rney s t o assi st wi t h v et erans’ b enef i t s m at t ers o n a p ro b o no b asi s.


The Veterans Law Clinic is working to establish a full-time Veterans Fellow to expand clinic services to add discharge upgrades and appeals to the Veterans Court of Appeals. In order to do this, we have received several small grants toward this project and seek further community support. To make a donation to the Veterans Law Clinic, click HERE. Please indicate that your gift is for the VLC Fellow position.

Cont a c t : Ma rg a re t " Pe g g y " Cos t e llo ASS OCI AT E PR OF ES SOR OF L AW VE T ER ANS L AW CL I NI C DIR ECTOR (3 1 3 ) 5 9 6 - 0 2 6 2


“By expunging criminal records through these clinics, we gave eligible individuals a helping hand for a chance at a fresh start to better themselves and their communities.” (L to R) Rebecca Zarras, Summer DelVerlgio, Courtney Wood, Katie Ganick, Associate Dean Nick Schroeck, Judge Michelle Rick, Dean Phyllis L. Crocker, Judge Colin Hunter, Rebecca Nowak, Kaycee Berente, Anjanee Naidu, Bridget Underhill, Andrew Sitto

#ATJ, Detroit Mercy Law Clinical Program, Associate Dean Nick Schroeck, Judge Michelle Rick and Clinical Director Rebecca Nowak Awarded 2020 Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award In t he sum m er of 2019 , Det ro i t Mercy Law l aunched Access t o J ust ice ( #ATJ ) m i d- no rt hern Mi chigan. Eight Det roi t Mercy law st ud ent s, Asso ci at e Dean Ni ck Schro eck, Clini cal Direct or o f O perat i o ns and O ut reach Rebecca Nowak , and Ad j unct Facul t y m em b er J udge Mi chell e Rick ' 9 1 , who t eaches Access t o J ust i ce, t rav eled t o m i dnort hern Michigan and co nd uct ed ex pungem ent cli nics fo r sev en di fferent count ies. In O ct o b er 20 19 , t his p ro ject was exp anded t o t hree add i t i o nal co unt ies. The t rav ell ing clini c serv ed nearly 350 peo p l e wi t h det erm ining eli gibi li t y f o r ex pungem ent und er Mi chi gan l aw. Thi s p ro j ect was m ade p ossib le by a grant f ro m t he Michigan St at e B ar Fo undat i on and t he suppo rt o f l o cal p art ners in t he count ies serv ed. The #ATJ p ro j ect , al ong wit h Det ro i t Mercy Law C lini cal Pro gram , S chro eck, Ri ck and N o wak hav e b een award ed t he 2020 Ki mb erl y M. C ahi lll B ar Leadership Award. Thi s reco gni t i o n i s p resent ed t o a p ro gram or leader f o r ex cel l ence i n pro mo t i ng t he id eal o f eq ual j ust ice fo r al l and respo nd i ng t o a co m pel li ng l egal need wit hin t he co m muni t y .



“The Clinics helped individuals navigate the complicated expungement process, while aiming to increase community engagement and public trust in our legal system.” Rebecca Zarras 3L

(L ef t ) Ka t ie G a nic k me e t s Mic h iga n L ie ut e na nt G ove rnor G a r lin G ilc r es t ; (R ig h t ) Det r oit Mer c y L a w t e a m of volu nt e e rs a t Mic hig an Ha ll of Jus t ic e a f t er c onduct ing 3 - count y e x pung e ment c linic . (L t o R ) Judg e Mic h e lle R ic k, V er onic a Be lt r a n, F r e d Ba rt olome i, Che r y l Mit c he ll, Megga n Cha mbe rla in, Jona th a n Wy lie , Cou rt ne y Wood, K ha le d Y ou ne s , R e be c c a Nowak



Detroit Mercy Law Welcomes New Professor, Director of International Intellectual Property Clinic David Berry joins Detroit Mercy Law as a professor and director of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Clinic, a clinic operating under the supervision of patent attorneys registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Professor Berry co-teaches this course wit h alumnus, Denise Glassmyer ' 84, a patent lawyer and shareholder of the firm Young Basile. David Berry brings wit h him over 20 years of experience as a practicing IP att orney and over 18 years of experience as a professor of law. David was a partner at a leading technology law firm in Boston, Massachuset ts and practiced at the largest intellectual property law firm in Michigan. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, direct or of the Wayne State University Law School Patent Procurement Law Clinic, and is distinguished professor emeritus at Western Michigan University (WMU) – Cooley Law School, where he co-founded the WMU Graduate Program in Intellectual Propert y Law. He is active in many local, state, and national int ellectual property organizations, including serving as past chair of the State Bar of Michigan Intellectual Propert y Law Section. David’s practice has spanned all aspects of patent practice, including prosecution of patent applications, litigation of contested patent matters (including bench and jury trials and arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), and patent and technology licensing. He has experience in a wide range of technologies and industries. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School and his B.A. from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. He is a registered patent att orney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan, the Commonwealth of Massachuset ts, the United States Supreme Court, and several federal district courts and courts of appeals. The IP Clinic students advise lower-income inventors on how best to protect their ideas. Students interview inventors, perform patentability searches of the prior art, and evaluate the search results in order to assess the patentability of inventions. If the search results look promising, and clinic resources permit , students then prepare patent applications, including claims and all other documents necessary to file the applications with the USPTO. After filing, student s respond to office actions and other communications from the USPTO during examination of the applications. The Clinic does not charge legal fees for services, but clients are solely responsible for all government filing fees and other expenses, such as the cost of preparing patent drawings. Questions about the Clinic may be directed to: Rebecca Nowak, Direct or, Clinical Operations & Outreach 313-596-9409 or simkinrg@udmercy.edu.


“I have taught patent law and practice for nearly 20 years. I love to teach the patent clinic class because it is a constant challenge to master the ever-changing landscape of patent law principles and USPTO practices. Patent prosecution may seem like a dry subject, but successfully obtaining a patent protecting their invention is a potentially life-altering event for our clients.” David Berry ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF LAW IP CLINIC DIRECTOR

Anyone interested in IP Clinic services may submit an application HERE. law.udmercy.edu

“While the world stopped due to COVID-19 in mid-March this year, pro se litigants’ needs did not. The Clinic is grateful to the Court, the Court staff, the pro se administrator and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law for the support that allowed the Clinic to quickly transition to remote operation so it could continue serving its clients.” Barbara Patek ADJUNCT PROFESSOR FEDERAL PRO SE LEGAL ASSISTANCE CLINIC DIRECTOR

Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic Continues to Help Litigants During Pandemic and Wins National Award In January 2020, the Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic began its third year of operation lead by a new clinical director, Barbara Patek. Professor Patek has more than 30 years of experience litigating cases in federal court and also teaches a deposition skills workshop wit h the Institut e of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). The Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic, located in the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan in downtown Detroit, provides limited scope representat ion to non-prisoner pro se litigants with pending cases or to be filed. The Clinic represents only low-income individuals. Since its inception, the Clinic has assisted nearly 500 pro se litigants. Everything changed on March 13, 2020, and overnight, the Clinic went from an in-person operation to a remot e one due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The Clinic quickly set up phone and automatic email messages to advise prospective clients as to how best to reach the Clinic, while est ablishing robust call back procedures and email communications to ensure that pro se litigants seeking the Clinic’s services could access them. In addition, Zoom calls were scheduled if a litigant had access to internet connectivit y. The Clinic expanded its services as a result of this to address serious issues facing pro se litigants. First, because pro se litigants were unable to access the Clinic or the clerk’s office directly due to the public health restrictions in place, many pro se litigants faced filing deadlines that they could not meet without additional assistance. To address this issue, the Clinic sought and obtained a court order that allowed the Clinic direct or to file electronically on behalf of qualified pro se litigants for the purpose of: (1) opening a case where a statute of limitations or other court imposed deadline could not be extended or tolled; (2) stipulating to an extension of a court imposed deadline; or (3) filing a mot ion or other paper in order to comply wit h a court-imposed deadline or scheduling order. Second, the Clinic also worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to establish an alternate email service for social securit y appeals where clients did not have safe or ready access to serve papers by mail. Third, the Clinic worked wit h Julie Owens, the Eastern District’s pro se Case Administ rator, to set up a system that allowed the Clinic to email pro se filings directly to the pro se case administrator. Ultimately, the court also established a portal through which pro se filings could be direct ly uploaded by pro se litigants. Finally, the Clinic provided electronic docket monitoring services to a number of pro se litigants who were concerned about the reliability of their mail service during the pandemic. Students would monitor the litigant’s docket on PACER and provide weekly reports of any updates to the docket. Where available, copies of any filings or orders were provided to these litigants via email. The Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance clinic was recently awarded the Ilene and Michael Shaw Public Service Award from the National Federal Bar Association. The Clinic continues to operate remotely providing limited scope legal assistance on behalf of qualified pro se litigants.