Professor John Inazu Authors Amicus Brief with Andrea Butler, JD ’19

Professor John Inazu recently filed an amicus brief in the case of Mckesson v. Doe. The case involves a lawsuit by a police officer injured in a protest organized by an activist associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and raises questions about the potential liability for protest organizers. Inazu was represented by his former student, Andrea Butler, JD ’19, and the law firm of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

As a student, Butler was Inazu’s research assistant, and after graduation, she clerked for Judge Steven Colloton on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Now as a practitioner, she appreciates the opportunity amicus briefs provide to dive deeper into a specific topic, more so than in a party brief. She also enjoyed working with Inazu on this brief: “Professor Inazu has been a fantastic mentor to me during my time and law school and beyond, so it was a privilege to partner with him on an amicus brief.” And, Butler added, “I’ve grown a lot as a lawyer from the time that I was a research assistant for him in law school. There are certain things about appellate practice, for example, that I’m now more knowledgeable than Professor Inazu on, so it was fun to kind of show off what I’ve learned over the years.”

Inazu also found the experience of working with Butler to be highly rewarding. “We are fortunate to have incredibly gifted students at Washington University School of Law, and Andrea is among our brightest graduates. I knew her representation would be first-rate, and she would be able to frame my scholarly arguments in the most compelling way possible. I hope the Supreme Court takes this important case.”

Inazu also values the process of seeing former students become friends and professional colleagues. His forthcoming book “Learning to Disagree: The Surprising Path to Navigating Differences with Empathy and Respect,” includes some reflections on this process.