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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit holds hearing at USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law

The Karen J. Williams Courtroom was standing room only on Thursday morning, March 28 for oral arguments heard by Chief Judge Albert Diaz, Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr. ‘89, and Judge William B. Traxler, Jr. ‘73 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

The three cases dealt with issues of social security, criminal charges, and insurance. On the docket were Donna Ard v. Martin O'Malley; United States of America v. Herbert Diaz; and Koppers Performance Chemicals, Inc. v. Argonaut Midwest Insurance Company. 

University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law students were given the opportunity to attend arguments and after the hearings could ask the judges questions. Students were interested in the judges' opinions on presentation style, how they approach their decisions, and how to succeed in the legal profession. 

Traxler reminded future lawyers to spend adequate time preparing their cases so they can confidently and directly answer any questions.  

“Look for experiences to get on your feet. Some of those things are hard to come by,” Quattlebaum said. “When you get to a firm look for opportunities, like pro bono work, to improve your craft and develop your skills.” 

Diaz concluded the session by thanking Dean William Hubbard for hosting the hearing and acknowledging the appropriateness of the venue given its namesake, the Honorable Karen J. Williams ‘80. 

“It’s fitting that we heard arguments in the courtroom named for our colleague,” Diaz said, referring to Williams, who was the first woman to sit on the 4th Circuit, as well as their first woman Chief Judge. “She left an indelible mark on the legal profession and we’re grateful to be here today.” 

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