Client Testimony with Intern Alex Rochon | DCLAW Students


Alex Rochon, a rising sophomore at Pitzer College, is assisting supervising attorney Paul Di Blaisi on a civil case at Superior Court involving a client suing her landlord for relief including repairs.

As part of the discovery process, Alex interviewed the client at her home, documenting the case by taking photos of the physical damage posing health and safety problems.

“Our client was visibly distressed by the deplorable conditions of her apartment. She appeared overwhelmed as she walked me through her home and explained her situation.”

The apartment had not been lived in for years, and was in a state of complete disrepair. The back door was open to the elements, and the front door had no working lock. Inside, the walls were with covered with cracks and bubbling paint, causing damage to other areas of the apartment.

“My visit was on a Friday,” Alex pointed out. “Little did I know that I’d be testifying before a judge on Monday.”

Testifying in court gave Alex a chance to see Paul argue from the other side of the rail. It was instructive for him to watch Paul go through the procedural steps of admitting evidence, while also working in his argument.

When the judge called Alex to the bench, admittedly he felt a little nervous, but Paul was adept at asking questions in a way that signaled to Alex what information he was looking for. If Alex didn’t include a detail that might aid the case, Paul would prompt another question so that Alex could include it. Similarly, if Paul did not inquire about a particular detail, Alex left it out of his testimony. Throughout the testimony, Alex was honest and tried to show as little bias as possible while the judge took careful notes on each photograph she reviewed.

“It was great to see the investigative work come together with oral arguments in court. Even better was the judge ruling in our client’s favor.”

The ruling? A $20 per day fine placed on the landlord, to be paid to our client until the repairs were made.

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