Federal Circuit at Georgetown Law

March 20, 2017

On Monday, March 6, Georgetown Law students got the opportunity to witness the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in action — on Law Center turf. A three-judge panel sitting in the Supreme Court Institute’s Moot Courtroom heard four cases, the majority involving patents: Aylus Networks v. Apple, Williamson v. Citrix Online, MH Systems v. Coldharbour Marine and Batson v. Snyder.

“It was a true privilege for our students to watch oral argument and engage with the judges afterwards,” said Alexandra Givens, executive director of Georgetown’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy, which sponsored the event. “The Federal Circuit is the forum for patent appeals around the country. What an experience to have the judges appear at Georgetown Law.”

The fact that Judge Kimberly A. Moore (L’94), Judge Richard Linn (L’69) and Judge Kara Farnandez Stoll (L’97) just happened to be Georgetown Law alumni was icing on the cake, as Dean William M. Treanor pointed out. Claire Fundakowski (L’14), a former pharmacist who now clerks for Moore, also accompanied the judges.

At a question-and-answer session attended by Georgetown Law students, faculty and staff afterwards, the judges said that the morning was representative of what one might typically see at the courthouse — and the quality of lawyering was strong as always. “It was a hot bench today,” Stoll said, meaning that the judges were actively questioning the attorneys in the cases. “But there’s usually a hot bench.”