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June 12, 2013

CONTACT: Kent Love, director of communications, 517-432-6959; kent.love@law.msu.edu

Students Assist with SCOTUS Argument

MSU Law 3Ls Erika Marzorati and Brooke Worcester capped off their law school careers by helping prepare a U.S. Supreme Court oral argument.

Scotus

Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch argued the case, McQuiggin v. Perkins, on February 25. The case involves a state prisoner’s untimely habeas petition under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.

Marzorati worked for Bursch in her spring 2012 externship at the Department of Attorney General Solicitor General Bureau, and continues to volunteer at the office. Worcester joined the bureau as an intern last fall.

After helping research and formulate potential arguments at the briefing stage, the students joined the state’s litigation team in DC. The group spent the day before the argument finessing Bursch’s opening remarks, brainstorming answers to possible questions from the Justices, and doing practice rounds.

“It was a great privilege to have Erika and Brooke join our team for final argument preparations in Washington, DC,” Bursch said. “In fact, both of them made suggestions that we used in the actual argument. The Law College can be very proud of the high quality advocates it is producing.”

“It was incredibly exciting to see the Justices’ reactions to points Brooke and I had suggested just one day earlier,” Marzorati said. “We are so fortunate to have had this amazing opportunity.”

“Attending the oral argument was a great opportunity to gain insight into the ways in which top litigators prepare for arguments,” Worcester added. “I am grateful for such a memorable learning experience.”

After the argument, the team treated Marzorati and Worcester to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Court’s impressive library and invited them to an informal debriefing with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

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