Thursday, October 10, 2013

On the Road Again

In just a few weeks, the seven justices of the Ohio Supreme Court will travel for the fall session of our Off-Site Court Program, where twice per year we convene in official session at a location outside Columbus. This will be our 67th trip since the program was started by the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer in 1987.

Crawford County will be our host on October 23 when we hear oral arguments in three cases beginning at 9 a.m. at Bucyrus High School. This is a chance for students to discover how different appellate cases are from the typical TV court portrayals of justice in action.

Students and teachers from Bucyrus, Buckeye Central, Colonel Crawford, Crestline, Galion, and Wynford high schools received curriculum material beforehand, including summaries of the cases that will be argued. Volunteer local attorneys worked with the educators at each participating school to explain Ohio’s judicial system and help review the case materials. The preparation for the event is truly a team effort! 

On Wednesday morning, we justices will meet with the students for a question-and-answer session before the first scheduled argument. First, Chief Justice O’Connor introduces each justice who then has a moment to talk. I usually mention the 5 important skills that we need to properly do our jobs as judges: the ability to listen, read, think, write and speak – skills that continue to be developed in high school and beyond. Then at question time these young men and women can show their curiosity about their state court system. 

After attending oral arguments, students will meet with the case attorneys for a debriefing and discussion of the legal issues in the case they just heard. Generally, this is the favorite portion of the event for all involved.

You can find more information online about the Supreme Court Off-Site Court Program as well as a video showing footage from past sessions. We are looking forward to being in Crawford County.

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