Supreme Court to Hold Special Outreach Session at University of San Francisco

for release
Contact: Cathal Conneely, 415-865-7738
January 31, 2013
Supreme Court to Hold Special Outreach Session at the University of San Francisco, School of Law
Hundreds of students to observe oral arguments; event will also be broadcast live on the California Channel
USF Building


The Supreme Court of California will hold a special oral argument session on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, in the McLaren Conference Center (Rooms 250–251), University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. The special session, the latest in a series of student outreach programs to improve public understanding of the state court system, also commemorates the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Law Centennial Celebration.

The morning session will begin at 10:15 a.m. and will include introductory remarks, student questions and answers by the justices, followed by oral argument in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Center (Case No. S198638). The afternoon session will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will include oral argument in People v. Clancey (Wesley Cian) (Case No. S200158) and People v. Williams (George Brett) (Case No. S030553). To enhance understanding of the proceedings, the Supreme Court previously posted a calendar with expanded summaries of the cases to be argued, as well as links to the parties’ briefing in these cases. All of this material is available on the Outreach Sessions page of the court’s Web site.

“The Supreme Court justices appreciate the opportunity to combine one of our special oral argument sessions with the USF School of Law Centennial Celebration,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “The special session will provide a group of law school and local high school students with a unique opportunity to question Supreme Court justices and to experience their constitutional democracy in action, and hopefully will inspire some to a career in public service.”

Hundreds of USF law students and undergraduates will be joined by local high school students from the Balboa High School Law Academy and Thurgood Marshall High School. Members of the public, the press, and the State Bar are also expected to attend the session. In addition, the event will be broadcast live on the California Channel, enabling other students and members of the public throughout the state to witness their Supreme Court’s proceedings in action.

The Balboa High School Law Academy empowers students to create social, legal, and economic justice in their communities and is supported through the work of The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Law Academy Advisory Board. Students from Thurgood Marshall High School participate in a mock trial program and have access to a Law and Justice Credit Recovery Curriculum that is designed to help students get back on track to graduation and to familiarize them with the many career options available in the justice system.

Before oral arguments begin, selected law school and high school students will have a chance to ask questions of the justices from the podium. In addition to the courtroom proceedings, as part of the visit, the Supreme Court will attend a post-argument reception with law school faculty and students.

Pool arrangements (video and photography) have been authorized by Supreme Court order under California Rules of Court Rule 1.150. Media planning to attend should contact the court’s Public Information Officer, Cathal Conneely, to assure accommodation. 

The USF School of Law event is the Supreme Court’s most recent special session, following similar events in Santa Ana, Fresno, San Jose, San Diego, Redding, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Riverside, Berkeley, Fresno (second occasion), and UC Davis. The programs reflect the court’s commitment to ensuring the public an opportunity to experience the work of its Supreme Court first hand and in particular to affording students an opportunity to participate in and learn from the judicial process.

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