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U.Va. law students score a coup, get writ

Many lawyers in Virginia may never take an appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia, let alone the U.S. Supreme Court.

But law students at the University of Virginia, working in the school’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, will be able to put a trip to the nation’s high court on their resumes. One of their cases, on behalf of a Louisiana inmate named Michael Watson, won a writ of certiorari from the U.S. high court, according to The Daily Progress.

The clinic filed four petitions this term, and the court chose a case that could resolve a split in the federal circuits – the issue is just what constitutes “use” of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Watson, who was convicted on drug and weapons charges, got an extra 10 years in prison for trading drugs for a gun. Prosecutors argued he was “using” the weapon.

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