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3L Peter Link's Appeal Accepted by the Supreme Court of Ohio

Peter Link ’10, a participant in the law school’s Indigent Defense Clinic in partnership with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, has accomplished a task that few lawyers, let alone law students, ever achieve. His appeal in State v. Kenneth Hodge was accepted by the Supreme Court of Ohio, giving him the opportunity to argue an important constitutional issue before the Court.

The Indigent Defense Clinic allows supervised third-year law students to represent clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies in Hamilton County. The Clinic is a cooperative effort of the law school, the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office, and the local private defense bar.

Clinic co-founder Bill Gallagher referred the case to the clinic after handling the appeal. Link had already expressed interest in the issue, and had even discussed it with a panel of local judges who visited with students during the clinic’s intensive ten-day “boot camp” trial skills program.

The case challenges the trial court’s failure to make required findings of fact before sentencing Mr. Hodge to five consecutive sentences for aggravated robbery. Link spent many hours fine-tuning his research, crafting a theory of the case, and drafting Mr. Hodge’s Motion in Support of Jurisdiction. “Peter gave it his all,” said his supervising attorney, Janet Moore. “He quickly adapted litigation skills that we teach for trial practice to the appellate context. His hard work and preparation paid off.”

In the past, several other defendants had asked the Court to take up the issue. The Court refused to hear all of those appeals. On February 10, 2010, the Supreme Court of Ohio agreed to hear Link’s appeal on behalf of Mr. Hodge.