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Appellate Court

Appellate Court on Tour at
New Haven's Wilbur Cross High School

The Honorable Lubbie Harper Jr. will return to his alma mater on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006, when the Appellate Court on Tour program visits Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven. During the visit, Judge Harper, Judge Chase Rogers and Judge Douglas Lavine will hear oral arguments in two criminal cases.

“The visit to Wilbur Cross is a great way to educate students about our appellate court system” said Judge Harper, who graduated from Wilbur Cross in 1961. “As important, the visit also is a way for me, as an African-American, to give back to my community and serve as a role model. I want these kids to know that they can succeed, that they don’t have to be put down by poor choices, bad luck or society’s problems.”

He added: “The greatest honor for me would be to return to Wilbur Cross 20 years from now and see one of these young men or women on stage, sitting as an Appellate Court judge, hearing a case.”

Earlier this year, Judge Harper suggested that the Appellate Court visit Wilbur Cross as part of the court’s ongoing tour program. He thanked both the New Haven County Bar Association and the New Haven school system for all of the work they’ve done in preparing for the visit.

“I am thrilled and honored that Judge Harper and his distinguished colleagues are coming to Wilbur Cross,” Principal Robert Canelli said. “The event is a great learning experience for our students.”

Bar Association President Joseph L. Rini, an attorney, noted: “We are very pleased to have been asked by Judge Harper to participate in this extraordinary program by providing attorneys to explain the cases and the appellate process to the students prior to the hearings. We look forward to undertaking more projects with the courts and with the schools.”

Attorneys who helped organize the event are Carolyn Kone of Brenner, Saltzman & Wallman, Stephen Rosenberg of Murtha Cullina, and Rachel Mandel of Tyler Cooper.

The public is invited to the arguments, and students from other area schools also are expected to attend. The first case, State of Connecticut vs. Charlie Santiago, involves a murder conviction stemming from a slaying in Bridgeport. Arguments will go from 9:40-10:20 a.m.

The second case, out of Naugatuck, is State of Connecticut vs. Kenneth Wells. That case involves convictions for attempt to commit first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. Arguments will go from 10:40-11:20 a.m.

Lawyers in the cases will be available after the arguments to answer questions from students. In addition, Yale Law School Professor Ronald Sullivan, University of Connecticut Law School Professor Timothy Everett and Attorney Tara Knight will serve as guest panelists. 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 court clerk (fax number 860-757-2217). 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.

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


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