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Appellate Court on Tour at WestConn

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The Connecticut Appellate Court will travel to Western Connecticut State University in Danbury on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004, to hear three oral arguments in three cases Ė two criminal and one civil.

Judge Thomas G. West, an alumnus of WestConn, will be presiding judge. Judge Alexandra D. DiPentima and Judge C. Ian McLachlan will serve on the panel with Judge West.

The Appellate Courtís appearance at WestConn is part of an ongoing educational initiative of the Connecticut Judicial Branch to acquaint students, educators and the general public with the role and responsibilities of the appellate court process.

The Appellate Court first "went on the road" in 1996, when it visited Quinnipiac University School of Law. Since then, it also has held court sessions at Waterford High School, Fairfield University and Litchfield High School.

"Feedback from previous visits has always been positive," the Honorable William J. Lavery, chief judge of the Appellate Court, said. "The students learn from the experience, and the judges enjoy the chance to educate them about our appellate process. We anticipate that the trip to WestConn will be another success story."

"This represents a wonderful opportunity for our students, faculty and members of the community to observe firsthand the intricacies of the appellate process," said WestConn President James W. Schmotter. "Itís a fundamental part of our judicial system thatís unfamiliar to most people. The chance to watch the court at work on real cases with an opportunity to ask questions of attorneys afterward will provide valuable insights to those who attend."

The arguments will occur in the Ives Concert Hall in White Hall, on the universityís Midtown campus, 181 White St., Danbury. The first case, State v. Fasano, will start at 10 a.m. and end at 10:40; the second, Raudat v. Leary, will start at 11:15 a.m. and end at 11:55; and the third, State v. DiPaolo, will start at 1:30 p.m. and end at 2:10.

The following items may not be brought into the concert hall: cellular telephones, pagers, radios, cassette players, CD players, DVD players, televisions, recording devices, cameras, video equipment, boom boxes, bladed or pointed items, weapons, and food and beverages. To help the screening process, it is recommended that guests not bring briefcases, backpacks, pocketbooks or bags. The event is open to the public.

After each session, lawyers involved in the cases will discuss their objectives and strategies with the students. Lawyers from the Danbury area will moderate the question-and-answer sessions. News organizations will be permitted to record, broadcast, televise and photograph these question-and-answer periods.

Dr. Harold Schramm, professor of justice and law administration, and Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of justice and law administration, coordinated the event for WestConn.

For further information, please contact Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, manager of communications, Connecticut Judicial Branch, at 860-757-2270.

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