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Supreme Court on Tour at
Housatonic Community College

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The Connecticut Supreme Court will travel to Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005, to hear two cases as part of its annual "Supreme Court on Tour" program.

The court’s visit to the community college is part of an ongoing educational initiative of the Connecticut Judicial Branch to introduce students, educators and the public to the role and responsibilities of the state’s appellate court system. The program started in 1986.

"This program is one of the year’s highlights for the Supreme Court," Chief Justice William J. Sullivan said. "We know that the students learn a lot from the experience, and we enjoy providing them the opportunity to learn something about our appellate courts. We are especially appreciative of the hospitality extended to us by Housatonic Community College."

"We’re delighted to host these sessions of the state Supreme Court," HCC President Janis M. Hadley said. "They will give Housatonic students the opportunity to see the appellate court system in action.

"It’s the type of educational experience that will make their textbook understanding of the court system come alive," she said.

The justices will hear one criminal case, State of Connecticut vs. Jose Aviles, and one civil case, Michael G. Blakeslee vs. Platt Brothers & Company et al. State vs. Aviles will start at 10 a.m.; the second case is scheduled to begin at noon. The court will hear both cases in the Performing Arts Center, Room A103, and the event is open to the public. Summaries of the cases are accessible through the Judicial Branch website.

Lawyers involved in the cases will be available after court for question-and-answer periods. Volunteer lawyers Benjamin Buckley and Diana Kleefeld will assist, along with Housatonic Professors Anthony A. Ball and Samantha Mannion, who are attorneys. News organizations may record, broadcast, televise and/or photograph all or part of these question-and-answer periods.

If a news organization wishes to broadcast, televise, record or photograph the actual arguments before the court, it must file a written request with the appellate clerk. The news organization also must send a certified copy of the written request to each counsel in the cases. If the request is granted, only one television camera, still camera and audio system will be allowed into the arguments. Media organizations will be responsible for coordinating any pool arrangements. Please see Section 70-10 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure, Connecticut Practice Book, for more details.

The following items may not be brought into the courtroom: cellular telephones, pagers, radios, laptop computers, cassette players, compact disc players, DVD players, televisions, recording devices, cameras and video equipment, boom boxes or any type of musical listening devices, backpacks, suitcases, duffel bags, etc., bladed or pointed items, including but not limited to umbrellas, nail files, scissors and razors, knives of any kind, including key chain Swiss Army-type tools, weapons or dangerous instruments of any type, and food or beverages of any kind, including but not limited to snacks, candy and gum. To help the screening process, it is recommended that guests not bring briefcases, backpacks, pocketbooks or bags.

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

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