59 Brook. L. Rev. 337 (1993-1994)
Forfeiture, Legitimation and a Due Process Right to Counsel

handle is hein.journals/brklr59 and id is 347 raw text is: FORFEITURE, LEGITIMATION AND A DUE
William J. Genego
Why is a lawyer from California writing a law review
article about the civil forfeiture decisions of the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit? The answer stems
from my participation as a law student in a clinical program
that litigated a fair amount of cases before the Second Circuit,
as well as before district courts under its jurisdiction. I was
even permitted to argue before the Second Circuit as a stu-
dent, as were a number of other students in the program. Most
of the clinical program's cases concerned federal sentencing
and parole, subjects about which there was little case law at
that time. We observed first-hand the Second Circuit making
new law as it mapped out constitutional and statutory bound-
aries in federal sentencing and parole. Learning from the ex-
ample set by my instructors, I began following the court's deci-
sions carefully to learn how each of the judges ruled in specific
cases and on particular issues. Through that clinical experi-
ence, I came to believe the common wisdom that the Second
Circuit was the first among equals, the second most important
court in the country, save only the Supreme Court. The quality
of the Second Circuit's opinions and the judges who wrote
them confirmed that common wisdom, as did the court's role of
frequently establishing new precedent that was later followed
by federal courts in other circuits.
Long after I moved elsewhere to teach and practice, my
interest in the court continued. Thus, even though I am no
longer paid for writing law review articles, I welcomed the
opportunity to examine the Second Circuit's recent civil forfei-
* B.S., New York University, 1972; J.D., Yale Law School, 1975; LL.M.,
Georgetown University Law Center, 1977.

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