McPeak and Garrett receive awards at Clinic luncheon

Photograph: Carly McPeak and Josh Garrett.The Washburn Law Clinic held its biannual awards luncheon on April 24, 2013. 

Carly McPeak was the inaugural recipient of the Ellis & Judd Outstanding Directed Intern Award. Josh Garrett was selected as the Spring 2013 recipient of the Irvine E. Ungerman Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice. 

At the beginning of the semester, McPeak was given a hotly contested divorce case which was complicated by a protection from stalking case and two criminal matters stemming from the actions of the Clinic client’s abusive husband. After negotiating a settlement of the case and preparing to present the terms at pretrial, Carly was advised moments before the hearing that the settlement was off. Trial was set with less than three weeks to prepare.

"Carly did a masterful job preparing for the hearing," said Associate Professor Lynette Petty, who presented the award to McPeak. "She dealt with multiple issues at trial, including debt and property division, child support, distribution of tax refunds, and parenting time. Carly poured through mounds of evidence to determine which documents should be introduced into evidence. Her direct required a skillful telling of a complicated story over emotional details of the events that had transpired. While our client’s income was limited, Carly worked with the facts she had to show the Court that our client could cashflow the mortgage on the house and pay the debts to cover her husband’s equity.

Petty continued, "To add to Carly’s challenges, the Respondent was represented by a very experienced attorney known for his trial work and ability to effectively cross examine witnesses. Carly more than held her own. Her preparation paid off for her client who ultimately prevailed on every issue."

The Ellis & Judd Outstanding Directed Intern Award was established in 2011 by Ellis & Judd Law Office to recognize the contributions of a directed intern as selected by the Clinic faculty. The impetus behind establishing this award is to encourage students to participate in not only the important work the clinic undertakes, but to experience the bridge the clinic provides between being a law student and becoming a lawyer. It is the firm’s belief that the experience gained as a directed intern builds the confidence necessary to combine competent, vigorous representation with the compassion necessary to become a lawyer who truly makes a positive impact on the profession. The Ellis & Judd award of a $1,000 unrestricted scholarship is given to the top directed intern in furtherance of the important work performed daily by our Washburn Law Clinic. Steven M. Ellis and Alex B. Judd graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2006.

"Carly McPeak has definitely earned her award," said Petty.

Josh Garrett was presented with the Ungerman Award by Associate Professor Rebecca Woodman.

"There was one intern in particular whose clinic work this semester, in our judgment, best exemplifies the spirit of the Ungerman Award," said Woodman. "For most of the semester, this intern represented one client in several cases. Soon after the semester started, the intern was confronted with a motion to revoke a diversion in a prior case involving possession of alcohol and drug paraphernalia, based on a new DUI charge. In preparing for the hearing on the motion to revoke, the intern discovered that the stipulated facts underlying the diversion agreement were insufficient to establish one of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

"At the hearing," Woodman continued, "the intern exercised great judgment, initiative and skillful advocacy in presenting and arguing this legal defect to the court, and thus precluded his client from being found guilty on that charge. The intern then represented his client in a Department of Revenue administrative hearing that arose in conjunction with the DUI charge. The intern did a masterful job in examining the arresting officer to set the stage for the defense of his client on the DUI. That defense included the filing of a motion to suppress the evidence against the client due to a lack of probable cause to arrest, which was heard by the district court just last week.

"This intern’s careful preparation and research was evident in his performance at the hearing, and he exhibited great skill in cross-examining the State’s witnesses and presenting closing argument to the court. The court granted the motion to suppress in part, which now sets the stage, not only for the upcoming jury trial, but for a potential appellate issue arguing that the evidence remaining after the court’s suppression order is insufficient to establish probable cause for the arrest. In our view, this intern exhibited the highest level of professional skill, judgment and advocacy during each stage of his Clinic representation, and he deserves special recognition. I am pleased to present the Ungerman Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice to Josh Garrett," Woodman said.

The Irvine E. Ungerman Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice was established to honor an outstanding Washburn Law alumnus, Irvine E. Ungerman, who practiced in Tulsa, Oklahoma until he died in 1980. The award is given twice yearly to a legal intern who has distinguished himself or herself by providing highly competent representation to clients in a manner exemplifying the ideals of our profession: "pursuit of the learned art in the spirit of a public service." The award includes a cash prize in the amount of $500.