UCI Law Appellate Litigation Clinic Wins Ninth Circuit Victory


Edward Danielyan and Sarah Mikosz
Edward Danielyan and Sarah Mikosz.

UCI Law students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic achieved great success before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week. Third-year UCI Law students, Sarah Mikosz and Edward Danielyan, represented Mr. Almeida, a man who sought to bring civil rights claims arising from his 4-year incarceration in a segregated unit in prison, in federal court. When Mr. Almeida filed his civil rights complaint in federal district court, the court dismissed his case, and held that it was barred by claim preclusion because Mr. Almeida had previously alleged the same claim in state court and the state court denied his claim. This left Mr. Almeida with no recourse or avenue to seek a remedy or justice. After hearing oral argument, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal and remanded the case, holding that the state court’s dismissal of Almeida’s complaint was a summary denial and thus, the district court erred in holding that this dismissal precluded his federal claim. The Honorable Anne Richardson, prior to assuming her position as a judge, and Mary Tanagho Ross, Appellate Staff Attorney, Immigrants’ Rights Project for Public Counsel, served as the attorneys on the case.

This groundbreaking decision allows Mr. Almeida to pursue his civil rights claim in federal court and access his rights under the law.