Immunities on Appeal: Effective Strategies for Civil Rights Plaintiffs

This CLE will discuss appellate strategies for civil rights cases, as well as the nuts and bolts of appellate advocacy. It will be led by two preeminent Supreme Court jurists: 1) Erwin Chemerinsky, NPAP advisory board member, UC Berkeley Law Dean, and Supreme Court scholar and 2) Kelsi Corkran, NPAP member and Supreme Court Director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and Senior Lecturer at Georgetown University Law Center. This discussion will be moderated by Hugh A. Eastwood (Hugh A. Eastwood, Attorney at Law in St. Louis, MO).


Please review the time for the event in accordance with the listed time zones:

  • 10:00AM - 12:30PM (PST)
  • 11:00AM - 1:30PM (MST)
  • 12:00PM - 2:30PM (CST)
  • 1:00PM - 3:30PM (EST) 

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this event will close October 8, 2021 at 11:59PM (CST) with no exceptions, to allow NPAP staff time to validate all registrants and ensure event security. Thank you for your understanding.



Erwin Chemerinsky - Nuts and Bolts of Appellate Advocacy in Civil Rights Cases (75 minutes with Q&A) 

  1. Individual immunities from suit
  2. Types of fact patterns 
  3. Pleading stage
  4. Discovery
  5. Interlocutory appeals as to immunities
  6. Framing the question presented

Break (5 minutes)

Kelsi Corkran - Supreme Court and Appellate Strategies for Civil Rights Cases (75 minutes with Q&A)

  1. Taylor v. Riojas
  2. Torres v. Madrid
  3. Reading the tea leaves at the Supreme Court as to immunities from § 1983
  4. Strategies at the Circuit level 



ERWIN CHEMERINSKY became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law. Before assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  Before that, he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. From 1980-1983, he was an assistant Professor at DePaul College of Law.

He is the author of fourteen books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. His most recent books are Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights (Norton 2021), and The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State (with Howard Gillman) (Oxford University Press 2020). He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He is a contributing writer for the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, and writes regular columns for the Sacramento Bee, the ABA Journal, and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.  

In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States. In January 2021, he was named President-elect of the Association of American Law Schools.

KELSI CORKRAN is Supreme Court Director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center. She oversees ICAP’s Supreme Court litigation, specializing in civil rights and criminal justice matters at both the certiorari and merits stages.

Corkran served as lead counsel in two of the most significant civil rights cases before the Supreme Court in the 2020 term: Torres v. Madrid, in which the Court reversed a lower court decision holding that the victim of a police shooting is deprived of protection under the Fourth Amendment if the police are not immediately successful in apprehending her, and Taylor v. Riojas, a challenge to inhumane prison conditions that marked the first time in 16 years that the Court denied qualified immunity to a government officer. In 2018, Corkran successfully argued before the Court on behalf of the plaintiff in City of Hays v. Vogt, a civil rights suit asserting violations of the Fifth Amendment’s Self-Incrimination Clause. She has also argued over 30 cases in the courts of appeals, including 11 of the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals and the en banc Ninth Circuit.

Immediately prior to joining ICAP, Corkran was the Head of the Supreme Court Practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. She previously served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court and Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Among other positions, she was an attorney with the Civil Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice and in the Communications Office of the White House’s Executive Office of the President, where she assisted with judicial nominations, including the confirmation hearings of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Before law school, she was a social worker in Philadelphia’s foster care system.

Corkran serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. and M.P.P. from the University of Chicago.

October 12th, 2021 12:00 PM through  3:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
Event Fee(s)
Non-NPAP/Non-NLG Attorney $ 129.95
NPAP/NLG Attorney; Non-Profit Attorney $ 99.95
Legal Worker/New Attorney (Less than 4 Years Experience) $ 49.95
Law Student $ 24.95