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Newsletter # 43 – April 2020
Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit – www.dcchs.org
On March 6, 2020, 135 D.C. high school
students arrived in the Courthouse, ready
to argue a case before a federal judge.
Each student, whether enrolled at Maret,
McKinley Tech, School Without Walls,
Washington Latin, or Woodson had
arguments ready to present in either a
First or Fourth Amendment case after
having worked with a volunteer attorney
and classroom teacher to prepare.
Each of the ten participating judges questioned the students appearing in her/his
courtroom, forcing many to go off script and demonstrate their understanding of the
issues involved in the case. Each judge then had the challenging job of selecting the
most outstanding advocate from a group of newly seasoned litigants.
In the Historical Society’s 15th year of encouraging high school students to learn how
lawyers prepare and argue cases in court, students were eager to participate. In fact,
some admitted that they might even consider a life in the law one day.
With kudos to each student who had the courage to stand up and argue in court, the
advocates with the strongest presentations were: Elisabeth Betts, Maret; Christina
Carter, Woodson; Leah Hornsby, School Without Walls; Cole Kalenak, McKinley Tech;
Alexandra Diaz Merida, School Without Walls; Daveed Partlow, McKinley Tech; Ada
Pryor, McKinley Tech; Matthew Rebour, School Without Walls; Mendel Socolovsky,
School Without Walls; and Luke Tewalt, Washington Latin.
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Judge Christopher Cooper with
outstanding advocate Christina
Carter, H.D. Woodson
Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson
with outstanding advocate Cole
Kalenak, McKinley Tech.
The Society thanks all the students for participating, the teachers who gave them
encouragement, and the volunteer lawyers who visited the schools and helped them
craft their arguments. Special thanks to the judges who spent a morning peppering the
students with questions and demonstrating how the judicial system works: Chief
Judge Beryl Howell and Judges Rudolph Contreras, Ketanji Jackson, Christopher
Cooper, Tanya Chutkan, Randolph Moss and Reggie Walton; Magistrate Judges
Deborah Robinson and G. Michael Harvey; and Federal Circuit Judge William Bryson.
And thanks to Society President, Jim Rocap, who devotes hours each year to planning
and implementing each detail of each Mock Court Program.
June 11, 2020: Revisit United
States v. Microsoft Corp.
Issues that arose in United States
v. Microsoft Corp. are as relevant today as they were when they were argued before
the U .S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sitting en banc in 2001. Those issues will
be addressed in a re-enactment of the oral arguments in the Microsoft case and a
panel discussion that follows, on June 11, 2020, in the Ceremonial Courtroom.
The program will begin with an overview of the Microsoft case and the legal
background presented by Douglas Melamed, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School,
after which Kristin Limarzi, Gibson Dunn, and David Gelfand, Cleary Gottlieb, will reenact
oral arguments on one of the issues in the case, before Judges David Tatel and
Douglas Ginsburg who were members of the en banc Court. A panel discussion,
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moderated by Bill Baer, former head of the Antitrust Division, now at the Brookings
Institution, will follow. Participants in the panel discussion, in addition to Professor
Melamed, will be David Frederick, Kellogg Huber; Howard Shelanski, Georgetown
University Law Center; and Christine Varney, Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Join the Society and members of the D.C. Circuit Courts for this exciting program at
4:30 p.m. on June 11, 2020, in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the E. Barrett Prettyman
U.S. Courthouse. There is no charge and everyone is welcome. A reception will follow
the program.
November 18, 2020: Law Clerk Reception
The Society will hold its annual reception honoring current and former law clerks who
have served in the D.C. Circuit Courts on Wednesday, November 18 at 5 p.m. For now,
please hold the date. Information about the program will follow.
Read the Oral History of Former Chief Judge
Douglas H. Ginsburg
“One of the most significant intellectual forces on
the federal bench during the last three decades.”
Judge Douglas Ginsburg is so described by
Washington attorney Daniel Marcus, who
conducted and here summarizes Judge
Ginsburg’s oral history. In the oral history, the
Judge not only describes the most significant
cases he decided over his thirty-plus years, but
also recounts his path to the federal bench, via
academia (at Harvard Law School, specializing in
antitrust) and service in the Reagan
administration (at DOJ and OMB, focusing on regulatory reform and antitrust policy).
Not the least of his significant judicial accomplishments: Judge Ginsburg, while serving
as Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit, presided over the construction of the new wing of
the federal courthouse, now the Judge Bryant Atrium.
Remembering Judge Sporkin through his Oral History
The Historical Society mourns the recent death
of U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin.
The Historical Society sponsored the taking of
Judge Sporkin’s oral history. The Judge donated
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his history to the Society and placed it under seal
until his death. The Society will shortly make the
transcript of Judge Sporkin’s oral history
available on its website. Bound copies of the
history will also be available at the Society’s
three repositories: the Library of Congress, the
Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and the
Judges’ Library in the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S.
Highlights from some of the Society’s Oral Histories
Read some of the most memorable segments of — and
quotes from — six of the oral histories the Society has
sponsored: Circuit Judge Bork, District Judges Flannery,
Pratt, and Richey, and prosecuting attorneys Roger
Adelman and Hank Schuelke.
A fascination with the internet led Dawn Bellinger,
designer of the Historical Society’s website, to
leave a secure job in defense contracting to
explore the opportunities the internet offered.
Instead of returning to school, she immersed
herself in on-line courses, webinars, and
conferences and read broadly until she felt ready
to offer her services building new websites for
friends at no cost so long as she could experiment
with new software platforms and expand her knowledge and skills.
Five years later, she was ready to create an LLC to help small businesses and nonprofits
build new sites. For help she turned to an ever-changing group of young people
in, or just out of, college with high technical proficiencies, who crave part-time work and
who, as part of the “gig” economy, work multiple jobs, often remotely, on their own
schedule. One example: a skilled programmer who Dawn met online as he treks
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Historical Society of the District of
Columbia Circuit
E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 4714
Washington, DC 20001-2866
Email Us
around the world, stopping in coffee shops to operate his laptop. Their four-year work
arrangement benefits them both, and they have never met!
Dawn’s company, Small Bytes, works with a variety of businesses and non-profits. Her
current portfolio includes four churches, two landscape architects, two artists, two
clothing stores, two women’s heritage societies, two college counseling businesses, a
foundation, and an interior decorator.
Of the Society’s website, Dawn said, “One year post-launch, I’m still very happy with
the design but would like to tweak a few things on the Home page in particular. We will
also be looking at the Search function to see if there’s a way to make it more relevant
and efficient. Overall, I think, the best part of the Society’s website is that the content is
so interesting — especially the oral histories!