Students on the Delaware campus had the unique opportunity to hear oral arguments before the United States Court of Federal Claims in the case of Urban v. United States on the afternoon of Friday, February 25th. The event marked the first time that the Federal Court of Claims – which often travel to hear cases – had done so at a law school.
Emeritus Professor Thomas J. Reed
, the former Director of Widener’s Veterans Law Clinic
, argued on behalf of Widener Law student and Veterans Law Clinic client Michael Urban, a former paratrooper in the United States Army, who is suing the United States for disability pay relating to his 2002 separation from the Army for medical reasons. Senior Judge Loren A. Smith, a former professor of law from 1976 to 1984 at Widener Law when it was still known as the Delaware Law School, presided, and Sarah A. Murray and Captain John Doyle represented the United States.
Before hearing oral arguments, Judge Smith thanked Widener Law and spoke of his personal connection to the school, saying, “It’s a great school, and it’s become even greater since I left.”
At the conclusion of the arguments, Judge Smith thanked each counsel for “Effective and concise arguments,” and once again thanked Widener Law and the students in attendance. He then took some questions from the audience.
Asked how deals with all of the acronyms and technical jargon involved in a case like the one he just heard, Judge Smith joked, “Washington is sort of acronym crazy,” before explaining that he often takes notes to familiarize himself with such terminology. He also took a question about how the Court of Federal Claims operates, explaining its jurisdiction and standard procedures.