Appellate Clinic Students Victorious in Habeas Corpus Appeal


Nicole L. Pelletier, JD ’16, a member of WashULaw’s Appellate Clinic last spring, successfully argued an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.

The appeal in Crangle v. Kelly (No. 14-3447) raised a complex question whether Thomas Crangle’s habeas petition was filed in a timely manner. Pelletier successfully argued Crangle’s claim that a state court nunc pro tunc order did not merely correct a record but in fact was a new sentence that reset the statute of limitations under the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s order that dismissed the petition as untimely and remanded the case for further proceedings on Crangle’s claim that his guilty plea was constitutionally invalid because a state trial court misrepresented his maximum sentence.

Pelletier was joined by other member of the Class of 2016 in preparing the brief and argument. Since graduation, each has found employment in diverse areas.

  • Nicole Pelletier, Insurance Practice Group, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Indianapolis
  • Hunter Brown, clerk, Judge Price Marshall, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock
  • Bradley Dlatt, Reed Smith LLP, Chicago
  • Ben Farley, clerk, Judge Bobby Shepherd, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, El Dorado, Arkansas; followed by Litigation Group, Lewis Rice LLC, St. Louis
  • John Holtz, Fidelity, Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Jesus A. Osete, clerk, Judge Zel Fischer, Supreme Court of Missouri
  • Robert J. Sonnenfelt, Brown & James PC, St. Louis

The team was led by Professor Bruce La Pierre, director of the Appellate Clinic, and Brian Walsh, an adjunct instructor and partner at Bryan Cave LLP.

View previous coverage of the clinic’s cases here.