Arizona Court of Appeals to hear two court cases on campus Wednesday
Members of Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments for two court cases on Wednesday at the James E. Rogers College of Law.
During the event, students will have the opportunity to watch lawyers argue both sides of the case to judges on the Court of Appeals, and the judges will ask the lawyers questions in turn.
Once both cases have been argued, judges will answer questions from audience members about the court.
Nancy Stanley, spokesperson for the College of Law, said courts have been coming to the UA to hold arguments for a long time. The event is a great learning tool for students, as it allows them to see a court in action, Stanley said, adding that the William H. Rehnquist Center sponsors several court visits each year that are open to the public.
“We really value that the judges do that [come to the UA] for us,” Stanley said.
The first case that will be discussed, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office v. Pinal County Employee Merit Commission, involves a deputy being fired for giving a firearm to a civilian during a ride-along. The Employee Merit Commission reinstated the deputy without disciplinary action, and the Sheriff’s Department is looking to overturn that decision.
Jane Bambauer, a law professor, said law students may end up frustrated with the case.
“A lot of students are going to go in with quite a bit of sympathy for the sheriff’s office,” Bambauer said, “and will be surprised — and helpfully educated — about how administrative law actually works.”
The second case that will be discussed is the State of Arizona v. David James Yonkman. The case looks at a suspect in a molestation case who was interrogated and released, but then returned to the police station, was interrogated again and ultimately confessed. Yonkman is arguing that his wife coerced him into returning to the police station, so his confession should not be admissible.
Sean Estrada, a third-year law student, said it’s good for students to see real court situations being argued.
“It stops being so theoretical and actually becomes real,” Estrada said. “You’re going to see judgments here that may actually go all the way up to the Supreme Court if they deem it necessary.”
Julia Palfreyman, also a third-year law student, said she has gone to the event in previous years.
“It’s a neat opportunity for students to get to interact with those very important people and also to kind of see how things work,” Palfreyman said.
The event is expected to last two hours and will conclude with a question and answer panel with the judges.
“Students might have some nervousness about the work that they will do inside the courtroom,” Bambauer said, “but you can see that if you put the time in, you can prepare yourself, and it’s very encouraging that way.”
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