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Supreme Court On Circuit Program



History of the Program

 

Upcoming and Recent Visits

Date Location
 Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Fairfield Warde High School
Fairfield
Press Release: Supreme Court “On Circuit” Oct. 21 at Fairfield Warde High School - PDF
Supreme Court on Circuit at UConn School of Law

The Connecticut Supreme Court, under the leadership of then-Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters, decided in 1986 that it wanted to provide the public, especially students, with a better understanding of the appellate process. Key to this goal was the recognition that, although the Court’s “home” courtroom in Hartford was always open, visitors rarely had a full understanding of what transpired there.

Thus began the Supreme Court On Circuit program, where justices hear cases at other locations, including Judicial District courthouses, colleges and law schools. Over the years, hundreds of students have watched these arguments and participated in a question-and-answer period with the arguing attorneys and moderators following the arguments.
 
The first Supreme Court On Circuit program occurred on Nov. 5, 1986, in Norwich. Since then, the Supreme Court has traveled to schools and universities throughout the state.


Description of the Program
The Supreme Court On Circuit program provides students and members of the public with the opportunity to Chief Justice Rogers, Justice Palmer and Justice McLachlanobserve oral arguments in appellate cases. Each year, the court selects a location where arguments will be heard.
 
The program’s goal is simple: To educate students and residents of the state about the role and responsibilities of the appellate system.
 
Volunteer attorneys often prepare synopses of the assigned appeals and meet with students before the day’s oral arguments to discuss the issues to be argued before the Court. Local bar associations and teaching staff are invaluable during this process, and provide the students with the background they need both to understand the process and the cases that will be argued.
 
Typically, two cases are argued on the day of the event. After each argument, the attorneys who argued the case usually participate in a question-and-answer session with the students. Volunteer attorneys often work with professors and teachers to facilitate the sessions.
 
Publishing the opinion takes time because it requires careful analysis of the law. When released, the decision may be accessed through the Advance Release Opinions page on the Judicial Branch website. 

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The Cases - From Beginning to End - These links connect to selected cases that the justices have heard and decided as part of the program.
 

State v. Robert Eleck
Tolland High School, October 29, 2012
Non-legal Summary
Briefs
Decision to come
 
Roland Todd White v. Mazda Motor of America
Tolland High School, October 29, 2013
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Decision to come

State v. Markease Hill - PDF
Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven, October 24, 2012
Non-legal Summary
Briefs
Decision - PDF

State v. Michael Angelo DeMarco - PDF
Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven, October 24, 2012
Non-legal Summary
Briefs 

O’Dell v. Kozee - PDF
University of Connecticut School of Law, April 18, 2012
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument

Stewart v. Watertown - PDF
Western Connecticut State University, October 19, 2011
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument

State v. Altajir - PDF
Western Connecticut State University, October 19, 2011
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument
Decision - PDF

State v. Richards - PDF
Old State House, November 30, 2010
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument
Decision - PDF
State v. Campbell - PDF
Old Judiciary Room, November 30, 2010
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument
Decision - PDF


Hong Pham v. Commissioner of Social Services - PDF
Old State House, November 30, 2010
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument
Decision - PDF 

Elaine Albom Braffman et al v. Bank of America - PDF
Old State House, May 26, 2010
Non-legal summary
Appellant Brief | Reply Brief | Appellee Brief - PDFs
Oral Argument
Decision - PDF

State v. Boyd
Fairfield University, October 21, 2009
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument
Decision - PDF

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Palumbo
Fairfield University, October 21, 2009 
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Oral Argument
Decision - PDF

State v. Smith
Yale Law School, September 12, 2008
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Decision - PDF

St. Joseph Living Center Inc. v. Town of Windham
Yale Law School, September 12, 2008
Non-legal summary
Briefs
Decision - PDF

 

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What Happens After a Host School is Selected? 
Once preliminary arrangements have been made, the Court works with the school and the local bar association to arrange for volunteer attorneys to visit the school. The attorneys typically discuss the cases with the students, and provide an overview of the Connecticut court system. The court staff also works with the facilities department at the school to transform the location, for example, the school auditorium, into a courtroom for the day.

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Circuit Tips and Rules

  • Security is provided by the Judicial Branch’s judicial marshals. The following items may not be brought into the courtroom: bladed or pointed items, tools of any kind, weapons, food or beverages.
  • To facilitate the screening process, it is recommended that guests not bring briefcases, backpacks or bags.
  • The public may attend the arguments.
  • Visitors are expected to conduct themselves appropriately during the arguments, that is, no talking or creating disruptions.
  • Members of the public may not videotape, photograph or audiotape the proceedings.

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