The Law School Magazine The New York University School of Law

A Clinical Victory

Kathleen Guneratne (’04), as part of the Juvenile/Criminal Defense Clinic, represented a juvenile charged in a chainsnatching case in which the defense had a strong argument of mistaken identity. Guneratne handled a suppression hearing and a bench trial in the case: “The clinic gave me my first chance to try a case and it was truly a rite of passage. At first the judge kept trying to shut me down and it was intimidating trying to put on our defense, which was a solid one based on many unexplained inconsistencies in the complainant’s story. But you don’t have the luxury of stopping to think, so I just kept pushing our theory of the case. In the end, after the judge announced the ‘not guilty’ verdict, he turned to me and said, ‘Counselor, you are going to make a memorable lawyer.’”