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Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

Laura Kiernan
Communications Director
603-271-2646 ext 2359

See Photos of previous "On the Road" sessions


Supreme Court's 14th "On the Road" session October 17

at Monadnock Regional High School

CONCORD, October 15, 2012 - The New Hampshire Supreme Court's annual "On the Road" special session will be held on October 17 at Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey. About 500 students from eight high schools in the area are expected to attend the event, which includes an informal question and answer session with the lawyers appearing before the court and with the justices themselves.

Since 2002, the members of the Supreme Court have traveled to a different location around the state to provide high school students with a unique opportunity to learn about the court and how it works and talk with the justices about their background and their careers.

The moderator for the Supreme Court special session will be Cheshire County Superior Court Judge John Kissinger. Seating is reserved for students from participating schools; 25 seats are available to the public on a first-come first-served basis.     

Prior to the October 17 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 Monadnock Regional. After each case is heard, the lawyers involved take questions from the student audience about the cases they have just presented.

In addition to students from Monadnock Regional, students from the following high schools are also participating in the October 17 program: Wilton-Lyndeborough; Conant; Fall Mountain Regional; ConVal; Hinsdale; Keene and Hillsboro-Deering.

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney visited Monadnock Regional High School on October 10 and briefed students who will be attending the event on the facts and legal issues involved in the two cases that will be heard by the court during the special session. In Case #1, State v. Elliott Bell, the defendant challenges whether police violated his constitutional rights when they seized a quantity of the illegal drug Ecstasy from the defendant when they had entered his apartment to investigate a noise complaint. In Case #2, State v. Lynn Dion, the defendant is appealing her conviction for negligent homicide following a fatal car accident. The state contends that Ms. Dion, whose car struck and killed a pedestrian in Franklin, was so distracted by use of her cell phone while driving that it amounted to criminally negligent behavior. Complete summaries of the facts and legal issues in both cases are available on the Judicial Branch website.

In addition to Attorney General Delaney, the lawyers who volunteered time to visit participating schools are Cheshire County Attorney Peter Heed and assistant county attorney Keith Clouatre: Keene attorneys Kelly Dowd and Adam Kossayda; Attorneys Caroline Smith and Kim Kossick from the NH Public Defenders Office; and Attorney Steven J. Venezia of Hillsborough.

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, Bow High School, Souhegan High School, Memorial High School, Sanborn Regional High School and Moultonborough Academy. These sessions are the only occasion when the Court convenes outside the Supreme Court building in Concord. More than 5,000 high school and college students have participated in the program since it began.

To learn more about the Supreme Court's "On the Road" program go to http://www.courts.state.nh.us/student/ontheroad.htm.