The Simon Karas Fellowship

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Study subject: Law

Employer : Richard Cordary Ohio Attorney General

Level : Lawyer

The Ohio Attorney General invites talented new lawyers to apply for the Simon Karas Fellowship. This Fellowship offers one new lawyer each year the chance to work as an appellate advocate on cases involving cutting-edge constitutional issues.

If you are interested in constitutional law, public policy, and public service, you should consider applying for the Simon KarasFellowship.

The Fellowship Experience Work on major cases and issues The Simon “Si” Karas Fellow works with our Solicitor General, our Deputy Solicitors, and other top lawyers in the office on the State’s major appellate cases.

These cases often stand at the crossroads of law and public policy, involving constitutional questions or hotly debated public policy concerns.


Many cases are headed to the U.S. Supreme Court-or are already there. Our office’s recent cases illustrate the kind of opportunities that a Karas Fellow can expect :

  • Ohio has a busy practice in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 2009- 2010 Term, we won unanimous victories in Smith v. Spisak, Levin v. Commerce Energy, and Bobby v. Van Hook.
  • Our U.S. Supreme Court practice covers a wide variety of cases. In Spisak, for example, we successfully defended the constitutionality of Ohio’s capital jury instructions. In Commerce Energy, the Court agreed with us that, under principles of comity and federalism, challenges to state tax laws must be filed in the state courts.

We also filed amicus briefs in a number of high-profile cases last Term :

Merck v. Reynolds (fraud claims under federal securities laws);
McDonald v. City of Chicago (incorporation of the Second Amendment against the States); and Doe v. Reed (First Amendment challenge to state law requiring public disclosure of ballot petitions). The Karas Fellow authored portions of the briefs in Spisak, and he second chaired the oral argument.

  • In recent years, the Fellows have worked on other U.S. Supreme Court cases involving double jeopardy, school vouchers, free exercise of religion in prisons, federalism and state immunity, prison conditions, interstate commerce, and more.
  • We expect an active practice before the Court in the 2010-2011 Term. We have a November oral argument in Ortiz v. Jordan,where the Court will determine when a defendant in a Section 1983 action may appeal a denial of qualified immunity after losing attrial.
  • We also have a pending petition for certiorari, co-authored by the Karas Fellow, that seeks review of a lower court’s decision tovacate a defendant’s child rape conviction due to ineffective assistance by the defense attorney.
  • The Karas Fellow also assists with cases in the Ohio Supreme Court, where we appear often, both as a party and as an amicus.
  • Our current cases implicate the validity of a state law that proscribes local regulation of firearms, the constitutionality of astate statute that mandates criminal background checks of all school employees, the scope of immunity afforded to health areprofessionals at state medical institutions, and the littoral rights of property owners who live along Lake Erie.
  • We recently defendedthe State in a $13 million insurance dispute before the Court where the Karas Fellow presented the oral argument.
  • A significant component of the Karas Fellow’s duties will be to evaluate the Ohio Supreme Court’s docket and providerecommendations to the Attorney General on whether he should appear as an amicus in a particular case.
  • We also brief and argue many cases in the Sixth Circuit, and the Karas Fellow assists with those appeals as well. We have severalhigh-profile disputes currently pending, including First Amendment challenges to an Ohio law that limits the operation ofsexually oriented businesses, and to a state regulation that prescribes the manner in which dairy producers label their milkproducts.
  • We are also defending the State against a Clean Air Act challenge brought by a national environmental group.In short, our appellate practice in the Ohio Attorney General’s office touches almost every area of law.
  • Our full range of civil appellate work includes civil rights, education, employment, consumer protection, environmental, andhealth care law, while our criminal law practice includes search-and-seizure, right-to-counsel, sentencing, capital crime, and federal habeas issues.Learn from nationally recognized appellate advocates The Karas Fellow works directly with the Solicitor General, who is appointedby the Attorney General to handle major appeals, along with the Deputy Solicitors in the Appeals Section.
  • These lawyers know the importance of oneon- one training and mentoring, and we work hard to make sure that each year’s Karas Fellow hones the research and writing skills that are critical for future success in the legal profession.
  • Moreover, we work on cases that attract other excellent attorneys from around the country.
  • Our allies and adversaries often include the U.S. Solicitor General and top-notch law firms in Washington, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere. This experience gives the Karas Fellow the chance to meet, work with, and learn from some of the most accomplished lawyers in the nation.

Scholarship Application Deadline for The Simon Karas Fellowship : 15 October 2010

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