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Criminal Defense Clinic 2022 Highlights

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Sturm College of Law

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CDC Student Attorneys

CDC Student Attorneys (l-r) Lili ViorEspalter and Killean Carter presented their case at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver, CO.

After an intensive, three-week orientation, student attorneys in the Criminal Defense Clinic (CDC) are in full swing for the Fall 2022 semester. CDC student attorneys practice under the supervision of Visiting Professor Julie Cramer, who joined the Sturm College of Law from the UCLA School of Law where she co-directed and co-taught the criminal defense clinic as well as other clinical courses for the past thirteen years. The CDC is also excited to welcome Lasch Teaching Fellow Colleen Cullen in January 2023.

Student attorneys in the clinic this semester are working on a diversity of cases, taking municipal court cases from arraignment to resolution, and are deep in the investigation and mitigation phase of their cases. Student attorneys are also taking to trial a juvenile felony case this month. In addition to state cases, the CDC is also working on a federal clemency for a man who has been incarcerated for twenty years of a life sentence, and who was unable to get relief under the First Step Act last year. The CDC is also looking to do more work on federal cases in the spring semester.

Most recently, student attorneys Lili ViorEspalter and Killean Carter (pictured above) successfully argued to a Denver juvenile court that their client’s juvenile adjudication from 1996 should be expunged under the former Colorado expungement statute. Even though current law would not allow for such expungement, the CDC filed a brief and successfully presented at oral argument that Colorado law instructed the judge not to apply the current statute retroactively in this case.

Student attorney Eliz Espinoza successfully argued for a personal recognizance bond for her client. This was important because clients who are out of prison can better contribute to their defense.

CDC student attorneys and client
CDC Student attorneys (l-r) Killean Carter and Andrew Peterson successfully achieved a full dismissal of their client’s case after presenting strong mitigation evidence to the City Attorney’s office.