SIDNEY — Gary J. Carter, magistrate of the Shelby County Common Pleas Court, recently served as a regional brief judge for the ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition.
These briefs are the first part of the competition, and Carter graded seven of them. His scores will help determine the seeding of each team for the oral arguments and will be combined with oral argument scores in preliminary rounds to determine which teams will advance to the national final, April 11-13, in Chicago, Illinois.
This year’s competition focuses on the role that the Eighth Amendment plays in regulating the use of solitary confinement in American prisons. The Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” In the competition’s fictitious fact pattern, inmates have filed a class action lawsuit against a state prison, alleging that the prolonged use of solitary confinement, as well as placing adolescents who were tried as adults in solitary confinement, is “cruel and unusual punishment” that violates the Eighth Amendment. Law students in the competition will proceed as if they are arguing the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Carter stated that the briefs he graded were well-written, and he enjoyed having the opportunity to assist as a judge in the competition.