Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Civil Litigation Clinic students Chris Riggi and Brian Yusko recently received a successful decision for a client in an unemployment case.
Riggi and Yusko, under the guidance of Professor Kenneth Kowalski (pictured with Yusko), interviewed the claimant and learned that she had been terminated unfairly without just cause and was subsequently denied unemployment benefits. She had been accused by her former employer of refusing to serve a customer. The students had to develop a strategy to prove that is not what occurred.
“There was a lot of preparation with several client meetings to flush out what really happened and develop our strategy on how to approach the hearing,” said Yusko, who hopes to pursue a career in civil litigation. “It was nice to be able to apply the things I’ve learned about examinations and closing statements to an actual case.”
The students and the client created a diagram to illustrate how the customer had cut in front of others. Careful preparation of the client for her testimony paid off; the hearing officer in the case came to agree with the Clinic students’ argument that the claimant never refused to help the customer. As a result of the favorable decision, the clinic client was determined to be eligible for much-needed unemployment benefits.
“I was happy for our client first and foremost when I learned of this result, and I was happy that all the hard work that we put into this case paid off,” said Yusko. “It was very rewarding to represent and be able to help someone who really needed the help.”