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July 10, 2013

Student Colleen O’Malley wins first trial as an intern

Colleen O'Malley's summer is off to a good start. She is serving as a Certified Legal Intern with the Office of the District Attorney for Deschutes County.

Last month, Colleen won her first trial, under the supervision of Deputy District Attorney Casey Baxter. After completing a daylong bench trial, O'Malley obtained a conviction for Initiating a False Report. The defendant called 911 four times, reporting bombs in his former employer's house and that his employer was after him with a gun. Both reports were untrue. 

"I definitely was nervous, but probably not as nervous as I was for my mock trial in Trial Practice," said O'Malley. "I didn't have as much time to prepare and over-think everything for my real trial. I just had to jump in and do it, so there was less time for nervousness to build. My supervising attorney assures me that I didn't sound nervous, so I guess I hid it well."

O'Malley indicates she would have been lost without her classes in Trial Practice, Evidence, and Legal Research and Writing. She had to argue against a motion for a judgment of acquittal right in the middle of the trial — something she had not expected.

"Without all the oral argument practice we did in LRW, I probably would have frozen up," O'Malley noted. "I managed to put on my argument and survive the motion. Professor [Anne] Mullins would have been proud. And, of course, Trial Practice and Evidence gave me the framework I needed to get through trial."

When not winning trials, O'Malley serves as editor-in-chief for the Oregon Review of International Law and as an Oregon Child Advocacy Project fellow.

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