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Supreme Judicial Court to Hold Oral Arguments at Two Local High Schools
The Supreme Judicial Court will hold court and hear six cases at two Maine high schools early next month.
On Tuesday, October 4, beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Court will visit Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School to hear arguments in three appellate cases. Representative Sawin Millett extended the invitation to the Law Court. A second case will be heard at 9:50 a.m. and the third case at 10:40 a.m.
The Court will hear three appeals at Leavitt Area High School on Wednesday, October 5 at the invitation of Senator Jeffrey Timberlake. The Court will follow a similar 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.
Students receive copies of the briefs in advance and, after each argument, the lawyers stay to answer questions from interested 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. When the cases are decided, the schools receive a link to the decisions to share with the students.
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: Julie Finn, Esq., Legislative Analyst Phone: (207) 822-0767 (office) Email: Julia.Finn@courts.maine.gov