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SLU Law Welcomes KS for Discussion on American Versus Italian Courts

SLU Law Welcomes KS for Discussion on American Versus Italian Courts

Kurowski Shultz Attorneys At Law


On ThursdJohn Kurowski and Luigi Scalzo ay, September 22, 2016 a full room of Saint Louis University School of Law students gathered to hear a conversation between alum, John Kurowski (Founder, Kurowski Shultz LLC), and Italian attorney, Luigi Scalzo. Scalzo is part of an exchange program between Kurowski Shultz LLC of O’Fallon, Illinois, and the Scognamiglio Law Firm of Naples, Italy. The newly conceived exchange program allows attorneys from each firm to gain new insights and perspectives on the practice of law.


During the lunch hour event, entitled Courts and the Rule of Law in Italy vs. America, Kurowski moderated an informal Q&A session that touched on various aspects of Italian law, such as a detailed hierarchy of the Italian court system (Giudice di Pace, Tribunale, Appello, Cassazione, and the Corte Costituzionale), how lawyers prepare for trial in Italy, and even how to win a personal injury case.

Throughout the discussion, Kurowski connected the dots, making parallels to the American system. For example, many students did not know that American small claims disputes were also once handled by a Giudice di Pace, literally translated as Justice of the Peace. In Italy, the Giudice di Pace handles both civil claims under 20,000 Euros and lower level criminal cases.

Disparities between the two systems were also highlighted, with an emphasis on the trial processes of the two countries. Scalzo discussed Italy’s multi-step, yearlong process upon commencement of an Italian trial, where discovery is not exchanged until after the first hearing, or what Kurowski calls “trial by ambush.”

The conversation finally probed deeper into the Italian legal system when Scalzo animatedly explained to the students how to win a personal injury case in his hometown of Naples. “If you are in a car accident, you will win if you have a passenger in your car and the other driver does not. This is because the examination of the party is not treated as evidence in Italian courts, but merely to clarify the facts of the case to the Judge.” With this revelation, the evidence professors shuddered and the audience questions began to pour in.

Special thanks to Professor William Johnson, Director of the Center for International and Comparative Law, and 2L Lizzie Kurowski, for helping to organize the most well attended event the International Law Students Association has enjoyed all year.