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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 20, 2004

Circuit Court Hears Appeals At UI Law School

A three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the appeals of three cases coming from Iowa courts when it held a session at the UI College of Law on Thursday.

The arguments were held before an audience of more than 300 law students, faculty, local attorneys and others who filled the Boyd Law Building's Levitt Auditorium/Courtroom.

"I'm very pleased to have this session at the University of Iowa," said Judge Michael J. Melloy of Cedar Rapids, who served as chief judge of the panel. "We have some interesting cases for you, and some talented attorneys who will make some interesting arguments."

Also on the panel were Judge William J. Riley of Omaha, Neb. and Senior Judge David R. Hansen of Mt. Vernon, Iowa. The Eighth Circuit is headquartered in St. Louis and most frequently meets at the U.S. Federal Courthouses in St. Louis and St. Paul, Minn. As part of its outreach, however, the court does meet occasionally during the year in law schools around the circuit. Its most recent visit to the UI law school was in February 1996.

"It's a pleasure to welcome the Eighth Circuit back to the University of Iowa for the first time in eight years," said N. William Hines, dean of the College of Law, in short remarks before arguments began. "Just to remind you, unlike many moot arguments you have seen here, this is an actual panel of the U.S. circuit court, and the lawyers are professional advocates who will be making arguments on behalf of real clients who have much at stake."

Following arguments, the judges answered questions from the public about the court's procedures, and their clerks gave a presentation to students about the importance of clerks and their benefits as a career stepping stone.

An informal reception with the judges, clerks and members of the bar association of the Eighth Circuit followed the program in the Main Lobby area of the Boyd Law Building.

The cases heard by the court were:

--McGuire v. Louisville Ladder Co., a case from Plymouth County, Iowa, in which a Nebraska man is suing a ladder manufacturing company for injuries received in a fall that he claims was the result of a manufacturing defect.

--Avalee Younts et al. v. Fremont County, Iowa, in which a group of women county employees are suing for pay discrimination based on gender, claiming they received a lower salary and fewer benefits then men performing the same job. The federal district court threw out the suit, claiming it did not have jurisdiction. The plaintiffs are seeking to reinstate it.

--United States v. Anthony James Smith, in which a Mason City man is appealing his conviction of manufacturing methamphetamine and illegal possession of a firearm. The defendant claims the police discovered evidence against him as the result of an illegal search by climbing a ladder and looking through a transom to see the meth lab in his apartment. He believes the search was unconstitutional and is seeking to have the evidence thrown out.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,