APPELLATE ADVOCACY PROGRAM
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.
FALL 2023 CASES AND DATES
November 17, 18, & December 1, 2
Acheson Hotels, LLC v. Laufer
Deborah Laufer, a person with disabilities, scours the internet looking for hotel websites that do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Laufer has sued hundreds of hotels, claiming their websites violate the ADA because they do not contain required accessibility and accommodation information. The issue in this case is whether Laufer has standing to sue a hotel in Maine because of alleged ADA violations on its website, even though she does not intend to stay at the hotel.
Garnier v. O 'Connor
This case focuses on whether public officials violate the First Amendment when they block members of the public from accessing or commenting on the government official's social media accounts. In this case, two school board trustees blocked members of the public who had been posting comments critical of the school board trustees on their social media pages. The case turns on whether the social media pages and their management by the trustees constitutes state action so as to come within the protections of the First Amendment.
United States v. Rahimi
Zackey Rahimi was convicted of possessing firearms while subject to a domestic violence restraining order in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). He moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that § 922(g)(8) is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The District Court and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit initially rejected his challenge but then reversed course after the Supreme Court decided N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen in 2022, which struck down a New York handgun-licensing law. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether Congress may prohibit people subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing firearms.
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.