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Minnesota Supreme Court Convenes at Willmar High School

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

500 students from the school participate

The Minnesota Supreme Court convened at Willmar High School in Willmar, Minn., today in an effort to open the doors of the Judicial Branch to the public.

The state’s highest court heard oral arguments of an actual case, In the Matter of the Welfare of J.J.P. (A11-1146).  The Court generally issues its opinions on cases three to five months following oral arguments.  All Supreme Court opinions are available upon release at www.mncourts.gov.

“Reaching out to the people we serve has long been one of the Court’s highest priorities,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “It helps foster a greater understanding of the Judicial Branch, and the Court has the opportunity to hear about student and community members’ perspectives and life experiences. For all parties involved, it’s a valuable exchange.”

Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, Minn., in 1995, the school visits have taken center stage in the Court’s efforts to build the public’s trust and confidence in the judiciary.  This Willmar event marks the 36th in-school oral arguments for the Court and the fifteenth anniversary of the program’s first visit in Willmar.

Today’s program included 500 high school students from Willmar High School. Willmar Regional Access Channel 19 recorded the oral arguments and will broadcast them in the coming days and weeks.

Members of the Kandiyohi County Bar Association and other area attorneys and judges volunteered to review the case with students and help them prepare for today’s oral arguments.  They created a case summary and coordinated the attorney/classroom visits.

Following today’s arguments, the justices answered students’ questions on a wide variety of topics.  Justices also ate lunch with and visited the classes of Willmar high school students.