U.S. Supreme Court Backs Former Partner Kelsi Corkran and Orrick Appellate Team in Important Fourth Amendment Case

March.25.2021

Congratulations to former Orrick partner Kelsi Corkran on today’s U.S. Supreme Court win in Torres v. Madrid, an important case involving the scope of Fourth Amendment protections.

In a 5-3 ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court sided with the arguments raised by Kelsi and an Orrick appellate team that enable a New Mexico woman, Roxanne Torres, to proceed with an excessive force lawsuit against the local police for serious injuries sustained when she was shot in a case of mistaken identity. The police department has argued that they cannot be sued for Fourth Amendment claims because Torres fled the scene despite being shot, therefore entitling them to qualified immunity against the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court disagreed, saying that “the application of physical force to the body of a person with intent to restrain is a seizure, even if the force does not succeed in subduing the person.”

Kelsi, who recently left Orrick to join Georgetown University’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy & Protection, argued the case in October. In addition to Kelsi, the Orrick team included partner Josh Rosenkranz, Senior Counsel Tom Bondy and associates Rachel Shalev, Abby Colella, Sheila Baynes and Ethan Fallon.