By Aron H. Schnur
This summer, I have been privileged to work as a Research Fellow for the American Antitrust Institute, an independent think-tank seeking to promote competition here in the United States and internationally. My duties primarily consist of editing articles written by antitrust practitioners in the European Union and Asia for the forthcoming International Handbook on Private Enforcement of Competition Law, a groundbreaking publication discussing the procedural aspects of bringing suit for competition law violations in nearly every jurisdiction currently allowing private enforcement in some capacity. In addition to acquiring in-depth knowledge of the substantive law in the Netherlands, England and Wales, Germany, France, Japan, China, Turkey, Italy, France and Canada, I have also gained exposure to comparative international law and the practical development of large-scale litigation proceedings.
The highlight of my summer has been two day-long symposia hosted by AAI at the National Press Club. The first symposium concentrated on the potential for analyzing competition in individual industries and the economy as a whole from a systemic point of view, while the second focused on the increasing need for a global perspective in competition policy as businesses continuously expand their activities to multiple jurisdictions. In addition to providing me with the unparalleled opportunity to meet some of the international leaders in the field, I was also assigned at the latter conference to serve as rapporteur for a panel discussion on the direction of international private enforcement, the summary of which may be found on AAI’s website. Throughout the summer, I have been housed in the Washington, D.C. office of Constantine | Cannon LLP, a boutique firm specializing in antitrust litigation, where I have been mentored by a member of the AAI advisory board recognized internationally as a leader in his field. I could not be happier with my experience as a Research Fellow for AAI, as these projects have collectively equipped me with cutting-edge knowledge of international competition law and invaluable experience for a future career in antitrust law and any field involving large-scale litigation.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
By David Yellin
This summer I have been fortunate enough to intern for Associate Justice James Catterson of the Appellate Division, First Department in New York. The First Department is the intermediate state appellate court hearing appeals from Bronx and New York (Manhattan) Counties. The courthouse at 25th St. and Madison Ave. in Manhattan is one of the most incredible buildings I’ve worked in. The courtroom is covered in frescoes and stained glass with a massive stained glass dome, and the halls are lined with pictures of old judges (there’s a great shot of Cardozo right outside the library), historical shots of New York City, and assorted other antiquities. Unfortunately we’re only in the city about half the time, and when the judge isn’t sitting we go to his chambers in Riverhead (out east on Long Island) where we work in an unused courtroom.
We have spent most of our time drafting opinions for the judge. On the first day, the law clerk gave us a case briefs, record, and law report (bench memos produced by the court attorneys for the full panel of judges) and told us to write an opinion in two weeks or less. So far, two of the opinions I wrote have been voted on by a full panel and are on their way to editing and (hopefully) publication. I drafted two others after the judges stopped meeting for the summer. The opinions I drafted included financial issues, a statutory interpretation case, and a criminal appeal. I even wrote one dissent that ended up as the majority opinion, which was pretty cool.
We have also gotten a chance to observe several sessions of oral argument. The judge prepared us for each session by giving us a stack of bench memos to read to familiarize ourselves with several of the cases, and then grilled us on each case. It was moderately terrifying at first (who wants to get cold-called during lunch over the summer?) but has actually been tremendously educational. And, since he’s one of the more vocal judges on the bench, it gave us a chance to understand the questions he’s asking and how they fit into the way he sees the case. We have also seen various other proceedings and observed pieces of a trial in the Riverhead courthouse.
However, as interesting and educational as the work has been (and it has been extremely so), probably the best part of the internship is probably the fact that we get face time with the judge during lunch almost every day. It has given us a chance to ask questions as well as to get to know the judge we were interning for.
It’s been a pretty amazing summer. I got a lot of experience, learned a lot of law, and honed my writing skills considerably; I’m looking forward hopefully to seeing some of my work on Westlaw this fall.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
By Cynthia Liu
This summer, I was able to split my time interning for two very different places. At the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review's Arlington, VA Immigration Court, I got to sit it on master calendar and individual merit hearings and draft 8 decisions throughout the course of the summer. All the interns were assigned decisions as cases came into the Judicial Law Clerk's office, and she basically served as a liaison between the interns and the six Immigration Judges sitting at the Arlington Immigration Court. Of course, we were also able to talk with the judges and discuss with them how they wanted to decide a particular case and present our opinions to them as well. Most of the judges had notes detailing how they wanted to rule on a particular case, but a lot of the times, interns could decide how particular issues within the decision came out. We mostly drafted asylum decisions, but I also drafted a few cancellation of removal decisions. Most of these cases followed the basic format of writing out the Respondent's and witness's testimony, listing documentary evidence, making a credibility finding, going through each necessary statutory element to see if the Respondent was statutorily eligible for the relief sought, and then a discretion section was added if the Immigration Judge was inclined to grant relief. Aside from working at the Court, our Judicial Law Clerk planned several field trips for us. We were able to visit the asylum office in Rosslyn and sit in on an asylum interview. This was especially enlightening because we basically witnessed how asylum applications were dealt with at the level below us. We also visited the Office of Immigration Litigation and were able to head downstairs to talk with some Department of Homeland Security lawyers who always appeared in Court opposite all the Respondents' counsel. Overall, the judges were very approachable, the judicial law clerk very organized and helpful, and the entire summer experience rewarding!
I spent the rest of my time interning at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. USTDA is a small government agency that combines economic development goals with promotion of U.S. exports and commercial interests abroad. The agency funds small technical assistance or feasibility study projects ranging from about $200,000-$800,000 that basically set the stage for implementing much larger-scale projects to be funded by international development banks such as the World Bank, USAID, etc. The general structure of a project involves the agency delegating funds to a foreign grantee/client who will benefit from the project. The grantee/client then chooses (whether through open competition or through other means) a U.S. company to act as a contractor in carrying out the project/study. USTDA then transfers funds directly to the U.S. contractor in installments on behalf of the foreign grantee according to performance milestones that must be completed. During my internship, I helped review contracts and grants, research legal issues that came up from appropriations to Peru's treaty law, and process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. I was able to take part in weekly Office of the General Counsel meetings and even occasionally got to sit in on Project Reviews where each region's country managers and/or regional directors would present memos with new project ideas in their region. I've definitely learned so much and really honed my research and writing skills. This internship has sparked my interest in international trade and development even more.