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Posted 03/22/03, by Amanda Weatherman
Justices move around state to acquaint students with court's workings
The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on two of its cases at Dartmouth on Thursday, April 10. As part of an outreach program, the court is traveling around the state to hold hearings in locations at which local high school students can attend.
About 350 seats at the event will be reserved for high school students, and 60 seats will be available for the Dartmouth community. Attendance is by invitation only. The event will be broadcast on DTV (details to be included on promotional material closer to the event), but not on local television or radio outlets. The event is cosponsored by the Rockefeller Center and the Center for Women and Gender.
A Dartmouth undergraduate, Rebecca Kurzweil '03, with the help of Jay Davis, Instructor in Education, is planning to create educational materials based on the Court hearings that high schools and junior high schools can use to help students understand the process a case goes through in the court, the function the courts serve in the state, and the rule of law in general. Previous outreach visits by the court have included cases heard at Dover High School in Dover, N.H., and St. Anselm's College, in Manchester, N.H.
The court is the state's only appellate court. It has discretionary jurisdiction, which means, with the exception of capital murder cases, the justices decide whether or not to accept a case for appellate review. The court accepts about one-third of cases. Two members of the New Hampshire Supreme Court are Dartmouth alumni: Chief Justice David A. Brock '58 and Justice Joseph P. Nadeau '59.
The hearings will be official, and all parties have agreed to participate in the outreach effort. The two cases for which oral arguments will be heard on April 10 are State of New Hampshire vs. Geraldine Spencer, involving possible denial of rights against self-incrimination in a forgery and theft case; and Rachel Comeau vs. Jerry Vergato, a dispute possibly invoking landlord-tenant law, involving space in a campground. For a detailed description of the court's schedule for the day, see the court's website, as well as a list of accepted cases and information about the court's procedures and history.
For information about the event, call the Rockefeller Center at (603) 646-3874.
Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.