Danya Hofnor '21, Bretton Laudeman '21 Argue and Win in the Ninth Circuit

On April 15, Danya Hofnor ‘21 and Bretton Laudeman ‘21 argued on behalf of a Civil Rights Clinic client before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On April 21, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the clinic’s client. 

The clinic represents Lisa Close, who alleges that a Vacaville police officer violated her Fourth Amendment rights to be free from excessive force and false arrest during an incident at a medical facility in 2016. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s order granting the officer qualified immunity on the excessive force claim. Hofnor and Laudeman drafted the briefs challenging that ruling. 

The Ninth Circuit appointed the clinic to represent Close through its Pro Bono Program. Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and Judges Ryan Nelson and Paul Watford comprised the panel that heard the appeal.  

Professors Gabriel (“Jack”) Chin, Katherine Florey, Margaret Johns, Carlton F.W. Larson and Brian Soucek assisted the students in preparing for this argument. Professor Carter White, director of the Civil Rights Clinic, directed the students' work on the appeal. 

View the video of the oral argument.

The memorandum disposition of the Ninth Circuit can be viewed here.


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