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Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire
Laura Kiernan
Communications Director
603-271-2646 ext 2359

Supreme Court's 10th “On the Road” session set for October 22 in Amherst

October 15, 2008 --The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hold its 10 th “On the Road” special session on October 22nd at Souhegan High School, providing more than 400 students from 13 schools an up close look at the appellate court and its work. The event includes an informal question and answer session during which the students have a unique opportunity to learn about the justices, their careers and experiences as members of the state Supreme Court.

     Prior to the special session, during which the justices hear oral argument on actual Supreme Court cases, volunteer lawyers visit each of the invited schools to discuss in advance with teachers and students the legal issues and proceedings involved in the cases that will be heard by the court. The same protocols used at the Supreme Court in Concord during oral argument will be followed during the session at Souhegan. After each case is heard, the lawyers involved take questions from the student audience about the cases they have just presented.

     The moderator for the Supreme Court special session, which will be held in the Souhegan High School auditorium at 412 Boston Post Road in Amherst, will be Merrimack District Court Judge Clifford R. Kinghorn Jr. Seating is reserved with 20 seats available to the public on a first-come first-served basis. The special session begins at 9:30 a.m.    

     The “On the Road” program  was launched in May 2002 at St. Anselm College in Manchester.  Since then, sessions have been held at Dover High School, Dartmouth College, Plymouth State University, Keene State College, Nashua North High School and Philips Exeter Academy, Berlin Junior High School and Bow High School. These sessions are the only occasion when the Court convenes outside the Supreme Court building in Concord. Approximately 4,000 high school and college students have participated in the program.          

     In addition to Souhegan, the schools participating in the October 22 program are: Nashua High School North and Nashua High School South; Conval High School; Alvirne High School; Nashua Christian High School; Bishop Guertin High School; Bedford High School; Hollis-Brookline High School; Milford High School; Wilton-Lyndeboro Middle-High School; Merrimack High School; and the Shaker Road School in Concord.

     Volunteer lawyers participating in the program this year are: Todd A. Whitney; John V. Dwyer Jr. ; James Costello; Jared O'Connor; Charles Keefe; Peter Hutchins; Simon Brown; Jane-Holly Weintraub; Steven H. Slovenski; Ann Rice; Peter Roth; Diane Fenton; Matthew R. Serge; and Janine Gawryl.

     The first case to be heard by the justices on October 22 will be State of New Hampshire v. Graham Jensen in which the defendant questions whether he can be guilty of theft because he paid a toll on the Spaulding Turnpike with tokens instead of cash, after the state announced it was no longer accepting tokens.

     In the second case, State of New Hampshire v. Paul Formella, the question involves whether a person who agrees to be a lookout for a would-be thief, but then ends his involvement before a crime occurs, can still be considered an “accomplice.”

     To learn more about the Supreme Court's “On the Road” program, and about the two cases to be heard by the court on October 22, go to http://www.courts.state.nh.us/student/ontheroad.htm.