Date April 23, 2002

Contact: Laura Kiernan
Court Information Officer
271-2646 x359

NEWS RELEASE

 

CONCORD—The New Hampshire Supreme Court, launching a new public outreach program, has invited more than 450 high school and college students to attend a special session of oral arguments on May 1 at Saint Anselm College in Manchester.

After the cases are argued, Chief Justice David A. Brock and Associate Justices Joseph P. Nadeau, Linda S. Dalianis and James E. Duggan will participate in an informal question and answer session with the student audience about the court’s work.

The event, organized with assistance from the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm, coincides with national celebrations of "Law Day" which Congress designated as an official time to recognize the ideals of justice and equality that are the basis for democracy.

It is the first time that the modern New Hampshire Supreme Court has held oral arguments outside the Supreme Court building in Concord. A second session will be held in October at the Superior Court in Strafford County as part of an ongoing project designed to give students and community members an opportunity to learn more about the Supreme Court, the justices and their work.

"We believe this project will make a substantial contribution to enhancing understanding of the court system," Chief Justice David A. Brock said in a letter to school principals.

During the special session at Saint Anselm, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. , the justices will hear argument in two actual pending cases. All formal protocols of courtroom procedure will be followed. After each argument, while the justices retire to a "conference room" to initially consider the case, lawyers who argued the cases will take questions from students in the audience about what they heard.

Prior to the event, volunteer lawyers recruited by the New Hampshire Bar were scheduled to meet with students at their schools to review and discuss the legal issues presented in the two cases. Each student received summaries of the cases prepared by the court staff and background information about the justices and the Supreme Court.

The high schools planning to attend the event are West and Central High Schools in Manchester, Goffstown High School, Londonderry High School, Pinkerton Academy, Concord High School, Trinity High School in Manchester , Hollis/Brookline High School, Nute High School in Milton, and Pelham High School. Students from Saint Anselm College and a group of home-schooled students from the Nashua area are also expected to attend.

Seating for the public will be limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. All persons interested in attending the event must be in their seats by 9:15 a.m. Summaries of the cases to be heard by the Supreme Court are available at www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/press.htm.

For further information contact the Court Information Office at 271-2646 X 359.