Well Done: Student Wins Criminal Appeal in the 4th Circuit

Just a quick note on how law students can accomplish much (but it takes time, effort, and persistence). Law.com reports that Meghan Poirier, a West Point graduate and recent graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, has won an appeal on a criminal conviction for possession of a fire arm. The defendant was a felon who had to grab a gun from his wife so that she did not shoot him. He tried to turn the gun in to the police but his wife cut off his calls. When he turned the gun in to his boss, the police were there based on a call from his wife. His first attorney instructed him to plead guilty, because he believed that all the police had to show was possesion of a firearm by a felon and that there was no justification defense. Thanks to Ms. Poirier’s work Judge Paul V. Niemeyer was able to write that “It was patently inaccurate for Mooney’s counsel to have advised Mooney and to have represented to the court that no such defense was ever available.” An assist goes to Professor John Korzen who runs the clinic but he states, “She did it all. She did the research and drafting of the briefs. We had three or four practice rounds of oral argument.” Ms. Poirier has just taken the bar and returns to the military to work within the Judge Advocate General corps. May she continue to do well in her career.

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