Welcome to CR-CL’s Ames Live Blog!

The Ames Competition is one of the most prestigious competitions for appellate brief writing and advocacy in the country. The students participating in the Semi-Final Round started the competition in fall of this year, and rose to the final four spots through their strong research abilities and excellent written and oral advocacy.



Case Summary (from the Board of Student Advisors): This appeal arises from a Section 1983 suit filed by Daniel Welles, on behalf of himself and all those similarly situated, against Ames City. After being arrested for a misdemeanor violation of the City’s code, Welles was held in custody for nearly a week as a result of his being unable to post the cash bail required by the City’s bail schedule. Welles filed suit in Ames District Court thereafter, alleging that the City’s unequal treatment of indigent defendants in pre-trial custody violated the Constitution and seeking reforms to the City’s bail system.
During discovery, Welles sought documents (through a subpoena duces tecum) related to a similar bail system from a city in the nearby state of Winnemac. Winnemac intervened to quash the subpoena and, at the same time, Ames City moved for summary judgment. Granting both motions, the district court ruled that Winnemac was shielded from the subpoena under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution and that the court was required to abstain from reaching the merits of Welles’s constitutional claims against the City under Younger v. Harris. Welles timely appealed both motions.

Presiding Judges
The Honorable Kathleen O’Malley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
The Honorable Carlton W. Reeves of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
The Honorable Patrick Bumatay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

The Lila A. Fenwick Memorial Team (Appellant)
Chinyere Amanze*
Avita Anand
Reagan Chrisco
Sarah Maher
Morgan Sandhu*
Mariah K. Watson

The Tommy Raskin Memorial Team (Appellee)

Connor Burwell
Sophie d’Orchimont
Nancy Fairbank*
Jonathan X. Kuang*
Priyanka Menon
Alexander Schwennicke
* Oralists

Please tune in starting at 6:00 EST!