News Item
MN Supreme Court to Hold Hearing at Tornstrom Auditorium

Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Justices Will Hear Arguments in Actual Case to Educate Students About Judicial Branch

The Minnesota Supreme Court has announced that it will hear oral arguments in Brainerd, MN, on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011.  More than 800 Brainerd High School students will pack Tornstrom Auditorium at the Washington Educational Services Building, 804 Oak St., to watch oral arguments.

The visit is part of a biannual program that seeks to teach students about the work of the state’s highest court while building the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch.

The justices will hear oral arguments of an actual case, Christopher John Daly, Respondent vs. Zachary John McFarland, Petitioner (A10-1184).  Following oral arguments, the justices will answer students’ questions in the auditorium and then move to Brainerd High School where they will eat lunch with student leaders and visit classrooms. 

Members of the public in the Brainerd Lakes community who wish to view the oral arguments and the question-and-answer session may do so live on local cable access channels 8 and 15.  Seats in the auditorium are reserved for students.

Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, MN, in 1995, the visits have taken center stage in the Court’s efforts to improve public understanding of the judiciary’s work.  The Brainerd visit marks the 34th traveling oral argument for the Court.

“Brainerd High School is honored to be selected for the Minnesota Supreme Court Traveling Oral Arguments,” said Brainerd High School Principal Andrea Rusk.  “The students and staff want to extend a welcome to our Court and we look forward to this authentic civic education experience.  In the weeks leading up to the case, our students will spend time learning about cases which appear before the Minnesota Supreme Court from both their social studies teachers and guest attorneys from the area.  We feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to experience.”

About the Minnesota Judiciary

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is made up of 10 judicial districts with 289 district court judgeships, 19 Court of Appeals judges, and seven Supreme Court justices.  The Minnesota Judicial Branch is governed by the Judicial Council, which is chaired by Lorie S. Gildea, Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The Minnesota Judicial Branch is mandated by the Minnesota Constitution to resolve disputes promptly and without delay, and it handles approximately 2 million cases per year.  For more information about the Judicial Branch please visit