Supreme Judicial Court to Hold Oral Arguments at Three Maine High Schools

Date: 9/28/2023

The Supreme Judicial Court will hold court and hear a total of nine cases at three Maine high schools next week.

On Tuesday, October 3, beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Court will visit Greely High School to hear arguments in three appellate cases. Representative Steve Moriarty extended the invitation to the Law Court. The three cases are scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m., 9:50 a.m., and 10:40 a.m.

The Court will hear three appeals at Winthrop High School on Wednesday, October 4 at the invitation of Representative Tavis Hasenfus. The Court will follow the same schedule with the first oral argument starting at 9:00 a.m., the second at 9:50 a.m., and the third at 10:40 a.m.

And on Thursday, October 5, the Court will hear three cases at Skowhegan Area High School at the invitation of Representative Jennifer Poirier. Again, the schedule indicates that the first case starts at 9:00 a.m.

Students receive copies of the briefs in advance and, after each argument, the lawyers stay to answer questions from interested students. When the cases are decided, the schools receive a link to the decisions to share with the students.

Beginning in 2005, the Court has held oral arguments in actual appellate cases at 40 Maine high schools around the state. In each school, the gymnasium, cafeteria, or auditorium is turned into an actual courtroom for the morning so that the students can observe the appellate process. The Court has visited schools from York County to Aroostook County; from Oxford County to Washington County; and many places in between.

Chief Justice Valerie Stanfill said, "We hope that providing real-time exposure to the third branch of government supplements the students' civics education and exposes Maine learners to the concept of justice. The practice of appellate law is rarely seen on television or in the movies. Creating a courtroom environment in a high school takes great effort on the part of the school administration and staff and we appreciate their extensive efforts. And we enjoy getting out of the courtroom and into the community."

The press is welcome to attend. The case schedule has been posted on the Courts website here:

Live audio streaming of these cases, and all other Supreme Judicial Court oral arguments, is available here:

If interviews or photographs are desired while the Court is at the schools, please contact Julie Finn beforehand to schedule an interview at the above email address. Photographs and video of students are subject to the rules of the high school, and the press is requested to contact school officials directly.

Contact: Julia Finn, Esq.
Phone: (207) 822-0767 (office)

Supporting documents

Press Release (PDF)