Photo courtesy of Sower staff.
By Jetta Tegeler
In celebration of Constitution Day, which is Sept. 17, Concordia hosted the Nebraska District Court of Appeals in the Thom Leadership Education Center auditorium Tuesday, Sept. 10.
The Nebraska Court of Appeals has five judges and one chief judge. The court held two sessions at Concordia and three judges were present at each session. The morning session consisted of Chief Judge Frankie J. Moore, Judge Lawrence E. Welch Jr. and Judge Michael W. Pirtle. The afternoon session included Judge Riko Bishop, Judge Francie C. Riedmann and Judge David K. Arterburn.
There were seven cases heard throughout the day which included child custody, divorce settlements, workers’ compensation, and a vehicle stop resulting in the discovery of drugs and an illegally owned gun. Each attorney had ten minutes to argue their case and judges asked questions whenever necessary. The defense had the chance to reserve time for rebuttal at the end.
The judges received their cases months in advance so that they and their law clerks had plenty of time to research and study each argument. After all the cases were heard, the judges went back to deliberate the cases and the author judge produced the written opinion.
“It’s so important to get involved and to get to learn about that system and be a part of it to a certain extent and this is a great opportunity,” Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Edward Hoffman said. “The fact that they agreed to come to our university frankly is an honor, it really is. It’s showing respect for the school, respect for the administration, faculty and students. It’s a big deal.”
Students from Concordia and three area high schools, as well as members of the Seward community attended the court.
“If you are interested in a legal degree, you don’t really have to focus on any one particular major,” Nebraska Court of Appeals Chief Judge Frankie J. Moore said. “However, as I mentioned earlier, being interested in reading and research and writing and learning how to speak publicly are very important attributes and so wherever you can get that kind of experience, in whatever major or whatever activities or careers you might want to pursue even before you would be interested in a legal career, those are the types of activities that are very helpful.”
To learn the results of the cases heard at Concordia, check supremecourt.ne.gov in a few months.