News Item
Minnesota Supreme Court Convenes at Rochester Mayo High School

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010

Over 1,000 students from the Rochester community participate

The Minnesota Supreme Court convened at Rochester Mayo High School in Rochester, 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, State of Minnesota, Respondent v. Erika Lynn Diede, Appellant (Case No. A09-1120).  The Court generally issues its opinions on cases three to five months following oral arguments.

“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 Rochester event marks the 32nd in-school oral arguments for the Court, the fifteenth anniversary of the Court’s first visit, and the first visit to the Third Judicial District since the Court visited Winona in 2003.

Today’s program included high school students from Mayo High School, John Marshall High School, Century High School, and Lourdes High School.  Rochester Public Schools RITS channel 22 broadcasted the oral arguments live to the community.

Members of the Third District Bar Association and other area attorneys volunteered to review the case with students and help them prepare for today’s oral arguments.  The Minnesota State Bar Association Civic Education Committee created a lesson plan and 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 Rochester area students and visited with students at Mayo High School, John Marshall High School, Century High School, Lourdes High School, the University of Minnesota Rochester, and Rochester Community and Technical College.