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Appellate Practice

After Fainting During 4th Cir. Hearing, Law Student Goes On to Make Great Argument

Posted Mar 31, 2010 3:42 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Stephen Rawson knew he should have eaten more protein for breakfast. But as he felt himself beginning to pass out during oral arguments before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., last week there wasn't much the hypoglycemic third-year Duke University law student could do but faint.

He quickly recovered, however, and accepting the appellate court's suggestion that he take a seat at the counsel table went on to deliver a great argument in his habeas case, reports Duke Law News. Among those who complimented his aplomb was Chief Judge William Traxler, who called the law school later to see if Rawson was all right.

"That he got up off the floor and gave a truly spectacular argument—I think everyone was really impressed," says law professor James Coleman. He supervises Duke’s appellate litigation clinic.

Hat tip: Above the Law.

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