When the U.S. Supreme Court decides how readily child pornography victims can recover damages from those convicted of possessing the illicit material, student Jasleen Singh’s handiwork just might influence the justices’ ruling.
A 3L and member of the law school’s Trial Team, Singh helped attorney and adjunct Professor Brian Kent prepare an amicus curiae -- or friend of the court -- brief submitted to the Supreme Court in the Paroline v. United States and Amy Unknown case.
The Supreme Court will decide whether prosecutors or children portrayed in pornographic images must prove that harm occurred in order to recover restitution from criminal defendants who are convicted of possessing illicit images.
Kent co-authored the brief on behalf of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, which argues that individuals who either view or possess child pornography are perpetuating a silent conspiracy and are just as culpable as those who produce the images and should be liable for damages.
However, Kent said that Singh, an intern at his firm, Laffey, Bucci Kent LLP, performed critical research that contributed to the brief.
“She did a lot of the muscle work on the case,” Kent said, explaining that she conducted key research on the history of joint and several liability around the country as well as the purpose of restitution in criminal cases.
“She was instrumental in fashioning the argument that not applying joint and several principles to restitution in child pornography cases would fly in the face of the very purpose of why joint and several liability and restitution were created – to help make the victim whole,” Kent added.