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Appellate Court Visits
Manchester Community College

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04/19/07--Well over 250 students gathered at the SBM Charitable Foundation auditorium on the beautiful campus of Manchester Community College on April 19th, to hear oral arguments in two criminal cases before the Connecticut Appellate Court. By the conclusion of the session, the students and members of the public had learned extensively about several key legal issues. Specifically, in State v. Arroyo, an appeal from a felony murder conviction, they heard arguments about the credibility of jailhouse informants, and in State v. Etienne, they listened to arguments pertaining to interrogation requirements under Miranda v. Arizona. Those in attendance also learned about the difference between trial court and appellate court procedures.
Two or three times each year, the Connecticut Appellate Court travels to a college or high school campus to provide students with the opportunity to attend oral arguments. Pre-argument discussions are held with members of the local bar association and post-argument discussions are held with attorneys taking part in the cases as well as the volunteer bar association attorneys. The goal is to provide students and members of the public with an opportunity to observe oral arguments and thus to gain a better understanding of the appellate system. Manchester Community College President Dr. Jonathan M. Daube commented, “It was an honor to have had state law decided on our campus.”

The "Appellate Court on Tour” program began in 1996 when it held its first session outside of the courthouse in Hartford at Quinnipiac College School of Law in Hamden.

Judge Schaller, Judge DiPentima, ?? and Judge Gruendel
L to R: Judge Schaller, Judge DiPentima,
Jonathan M. Daube, President
of Manchester Community College
and Judge Gruendel.

Chief Judge Joseph P. Flynn “enthusiastically accepted” Probate Court Judge Joseph Fairchild’s invitation to hold a session at Manchester Community College. Judge Fairchild is also an instructor of criminal justice at Manchester Community College.

“Manchester has been a vital court center for a number of years”, Chief Judge Flynn said. “The event provides an opportunity for students and members of the public to observe appellate proceedings, all of which are and have been public since the court was created in 1983.”

Chief Judge Flynn appointed Judge Barry R. Schaller, a graduate of Manchester High School, to preside over the three judge panel. He was joined by Judge Alexandra D. DiPentima and Judge F. Herbert Gruendel.

Judge Schaller was especially enthusiastic coming back to Manchester. “The judges enjoy the educational experience as well. As a Manchester native, it is a special privilege for me to preside at Manchester Community College. The success of these sessions depends on many people. We are grateful to the college faculty, the lawyers who assist in instructing the students, and our entire judicial staff.”

Judge Barry R. Schaller
Judge Barry R. Schaller,
Presiding Judge

L to R: Judge DiPentima, Judge Schaller and Judge Gruendel.

A 20-minute question-and-answer period took place after each hearing. The arguing attorneys who participated in the question and answer period were: Assistant State’s Attorney Bruce R. Lockwood, Special Public Defender Andrew Liskov, Special Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Kathryn Ward Bare and Special Public Defender Mark Diamond. Attorneys participating in this event from the Manchester Bar Association were: Malcolm Barlow, Cynthia Barlow, Geoffrey Naab and Everett Newton.

Manchester Community College President Dr. Daube commented, “As the son of a law professor I was especially pleased that the Connecticut Appellate Court visited our college. It is gratifying that the court is taking the trouble to educate the public by allowing us to see how things work.”

While a practicing attorney, Judge Fairchild had participated in appeals before the Connecticut Appellate Court. He said, “I believe the Court’s visit provided students, faculty and the public with a unique opportunity to observe an important part of our legal process that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to see.”


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