Welcome to Vermont Law & Graduate School’s Appellate Advocacy page!

Appellate Advocacy is an upper-level writing course students take in the summer or fall of their second year at VLGS. In this course, students practice advanced advocacy techniques through drafting a U.S. Supreme Court brief and presenting oral argument before a panel of volunteer judges.


July 26 - 27, 2024

Lackey v. Stinnie

The ACLU sued the State of Virginia challenging a law that automatically suspended the driver’s license of anyone who failed to pay court fines and fees. The district court granted the ACLU’s motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that the law likely violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As the lawsuit proceeded to trial, Virginia repealed the law. The court then dismissed the case as moot. In this important civil rights case, the Supreme Court will decide whether a party who wins a preliminary injunction but whose case is made moot by the voluntary actions of the defendant is entitled to attorney’s fees as the “prevailing party” under the Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Award Act of 1976.

Notice to Students: Students must, as always, adhere to the honor code. You may not review any briefs filed with the Supreme Court or any lower court pertaining to the Appellate Advocacy cases, including earlier cases in the procedural history.