On Wednesday, October 8, Professor Michael Teter argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Maddox v. Battle. The case involved a prisoner’s excessive force claim against one of his guards. Maddox sued his guard for violating his constitutional right to be free from excessive force. The case went to trial, with Maddox representing himself. After the jury found for Officer Battle, Maddox appealed. The Ninth Circuit appointed Teter to be Maddox’s pro bono counsel on appeal.
The appeal made three claims. First, that the trial court erred when it accidentally gave a jury instruction that the trial court had ruled it would not give. Second, that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied Maddox’s requests for the appointment of counsel under 28 U.S.C. 1915. Finally, that the absence of counsel ultimately tainted the proceedings so much that it violated Maddox’s procedural due process rights.
Three students worked on the case with Teter as part of the Appellate Litigation Clinic, Tim Bagshaw (’14), Alexa McCallum (’14), and Victoria Luman (’16). Through the Ninth Circuit’s student practice rules, Bagshaw’s and Luman’s names were included on the briefs.