Mississippi State University will be the last of three stops for the state Court of Appeals as it convenes to hear oral arguments on colleges campuses this fall, officials said Tuesday.
The sessions will take place at Mississippi Valley State University Sept. 16, the University of Southern Mississippi Sept. 30, and at MSU Nov. 18. court officials said in a statement.
The Court of Appeals periodically schedules oral arguments on college campuses and occasionally at other locations as a teaching tool for students – an effort known as the Court on the Road program.
Court of Appeals judges answer questions from students after the oral arguments, but do not talk about the cases which are argued.
Court of Appeals Chief Judge Leslie D. King of Greenville said the program helps educate students and the public about how the judicial system operates. For students interested in careers in law, it gives them an opportunity to observe the court at work.
In discussions with students at earlier programs, King said: “Some aof the questions seem to suggest they believe what they see on TV – ‘Judge Judy,’ ‘Judge Mathis,’ ‘Judge Joe Brown’ – is representative of the judicial system. And you tell them, ‘That’s entertainment. That’s not law.’ These are actual cases, not theoretical things. ...These are people who are going to be impacted by what’s done... . The questions we ask of the lawyers are real questions that assist us in working toward a resolution of a case.”
Giving students an opportunity to watch cases being argued helps them understand how the process works. People who understand how the process works will respect the judicial system, even if they don’t like the outcome of a particular case, King said. “People may not agree with the decision, but they need to feel comfortable that the court reached a resolution through the right method.”
Cases for the sitting at MSU will be announced later.
Attorneys are allowed 30 minutes each to make their arguments.
The oral arguments will not be broadcast via the court’s Internet website, since the Court of Appeals is convening in special sessions away from its camera-equipped courtroom.