Summary Judgment Involving Two Yonkers Police Officers to be Heard at Pace Law School

First time formal proceedings held at an area law school

White Plains, New York – On October 30, 2007, starting at 4:00 p.m. a federal judge will hear argument before crowd of over 200 law students in a civil rights case involving alleged perjury by two Yonkers police officers who allegedly framed Yonkers prison guard in retaliation for a legal claim that the guard filed against his employer  The arguments are being held at Pace as a part of an innovative new first-year curriculum introducing students to the fundamentals of civil litigation through first-hand exposure.

This will be the first time a federal court in the Southern District of New York has come to an area law school to hold formal proceedings.

The motion for summary judgment is being heard by Judge Lisa M. Smith, the Chief Magistrate Judge of the Southern District of New York. This argument is part of a first-year class taught by Pace Law Professor Michael B. Mushlin with the assistance of Judge Smith, who is also an adjunct professor at the school.  The aim of the course is to give students a realistic introduction to the structure of the court system and framework of a lawsuit.   Professor Mushlin and Judge Smith decided that it would be valuable to expose the students to a real life case to enrich their studies.  The court hearing in this case is the result.

Professor Mushlin said, “I am grateful to Judge Smith and to the Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York for agreeing to hold this formal court session at our school.  There is nothing that can substitute for a real case to bring home to our students the importance of their legal studies, and the profession they are about to join.   I am delighted that next Tuesday our students will have this invaluable experience.”

The charges against officers Roger Benash and David Scienze were filed by Gerard Moray, now deceased, who claims the officers targeted him for a crime he did not commit in retaliation for having filed a suit against a captain in the Yonkers police department.

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has nearly 6,500 alumni throughout the country and the world. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus. The School also offers the Master of Laws in Environmental Law and in Comparative Legal Studies and an SJD in environmental law. The School of Law is part of a comprehensive, independent, and diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County.

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