Two student attorneys from the Drake Children’s Rights Clinic, Payton Kitterman, 3L, and Taylor Thomas, 3L, argued a case before the Iowa Supreme Court on April 10.

This case centered on a child’s right to meaningful access to expert assistance at State expense when defending against waiver to adult court. Payton skillfully argued the Supreme Court should adopt a test for State funding for expert assistance that accounts for both the constitutional rights implicated by expert assistance and the special nature of juvenile proceedings.

Supervised by Professor Nickole Miller, Director of Drake’s Middleton Center for Children’s Rights, Payton and Taylor spent a combined 695 hours over the course of three semesters working on this case from the initial Writ of Certiorari petition all the way to argument before the Iowa Supreme Court.

There was a large crowd in attendance and Payton received a standing ovation at the end of the argument. He ably handled tough questions from the Justices, persuasively rebutted claims by the State, and centered his client throughout.

This appeal would not have been possible without the incredible advocacy of Marcos Danielson, LW’23, before the juvenile court when he was a clinic student.

The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in favor of the argument presented by Payton and Taylor. Their hard work and dedication not only resulted in a positive outcome for the Children’s Rights Clinic’s client, it establishes a precedent for cases involving expert witness fees in the future and makes and important improvement to juvenile justice in Iowa.

Watch the entire argument here:

For more information about the case, click here:…/supreme-court…/case/23-0214

Read the Court’s decision here:…/embed/SupremeCourtOpinion