April 22, 2020 - Giovanni Perez, a second-year student at the University of Houston Law Center, was recently named the runner-up of the Paper Chase Files Legal Writing Competition. For his efforts, Perez will be awarded a $1,500 check and a trophy.
“Giovanni excels at research and writing in addition to being hardworking and conscientious," said Whitney Heard, Clinical Associate Professor of Lawyering Skills and Strategies. "I am delighted that the Paper Chase Files Legal Writing Competition recognized his mastery of the lawyering skills that he developed in LSS and advanced as a Legal Writing Fellow.”
For the competition, Perez's topic involved the emerging issue of the limits of Fifth Amendment privilege in light of the growing use of biometric features to unlock electronic devices. Competitors were asked to prepare a response to a motion to compel filed by the U.S. seeking to force a defendant to unlock a cellphone that was seized during the execution of a search warrant through the use of biometric features.
"I am honored to have placed second in the Paper Chase Files Legal Writing Competition," Perez said. "I have devoted much time and effort to developing and refining my legal research and writing skills. I was truly humbled to hear that my entry was selected. However, despite my abilities and efforts, I believe that this achievement should speak more to the hard work and commitment of the Law Center’s Lawyering Skills and Strategies department in developing students to analyze and communicate legal issues accurately and effectively.”
"I could not have achieved this accomplishment without the training I received from Professor Heard through my LSS courses and its continued development through my work as a Legal Writing Fellow with Professor Morath. I am very grateful for all of their help and support, and I am just happy to be able to showcase the product of their work on this stage."