The University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law will be hosting oral arguments on two controversial cases by the Arizona Supreme Court on Nov. 5 from 2-4 p.m. Any student can attend, and 150 students are already registered to go. It will be held at the Ares Auditorium in Room 164 at the College of Law.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to witness the high-level practice of law up close,” said Andrew Coan, a professor of law. “Events like this help to build relationships between the institutions of state government and the university. They are also outstanding learning opportunities for our students.”
Coan runs the William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structure of Government, which is sponsoring the event. He said this is an event that has happened every year since he became a member of the faculty in 2014.
This year the Arizona Supreme Court will be arguing two different cases.
One case is Hwal’Bay Ba: J Enterprises, Inc. v. Honorable Lee F. Jantzen, Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, in and for the County of Mohave and Sara and William Fox. In this case, Sara and William Fox are suing the Hualapai Indian Tribe and the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation for personal injuries against Sara Fox during a white-water rafting trip on the Colorado River. The Colorado River is within the tribe’s territory.
The court decided in an earlier trial to grant the tribe’s motion to dismiss on sovereign immunity grounds but did not dismiss the motion for the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation, which is funded by the tribe. If the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation loses the case, they lose their immunity permanently. There was an error in the court of appeals in the case, which is why the state supreme court is reviewing the case again.
The second case is Johnson Utilities LLC v. Arizona Corporation. In this case, Johnson Utilities is suing Arizona Corporation Commission for trying to take control of their company and regulating it without consent. Johnson Utilities claims Arizona Corporation Commission took control of their bank accounts and assets.
According to Bernadette Wilkinson, senior program coordinator for the College of Law, the Arizona Supreme Court does oral arguments in the fall. The court of appeals come in the spring. Students that cannot attend this event should look forward to the oral arguments presented in the spring.
Wilkinson said, "We host court visits each year as a way to foster good relations between the College of Law and the Arizona judiciary."
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