MORGANTOWN - The state's High Court is making its annual visit to West Virginia University in March to hear a trio of cases addressing wills and estates and the accountability of the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

West Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals will hear cases from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday, March 1, in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the College of Law. The justices will also rule later that afternoon on the courtroom prowess of two second-year law students in the College's annual Moot Court George C. Baker Cup competition.

The public is invited to both events.

The cases:

* Linda J. Haines, Beneficiary v. Pamela K. Kimble, Exex - Can questions over the sincerity of the executor of estate be enough to remove that person from that role?

* Shawn Pethel aka Shawn Pethel v. Thomas McBride, Warden - Were procedures related to jurisdictions outside West Virginia properly followed in this case?

* In Re: Brandon Lee H.S. - Did the state Department of Health and Human Resources properly serve an infant who was born premature andtested positive for traces of cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines?

Visit http://www.state.wv.us/wvsca/calendar/march1_06ad.htm for a more detailed look at the docket.

This will be the 16th visit by the state Supreme Court to Morgantown and WVU, and College of Law Dean John Fisher says it's always enlightening when the court comes calling.

"It's a great way to demystify the whole legal process," Fisher said. "For most of our students, this is the first time they've actually seen the process in person, with the lawyers arguing and the judges interjecting. It's a real educational opportunity."

The education will continue that afternoon, when the Court presides over the law school's annual Baker Cup competition at 1:30 p.m. That's the event that pits two second-year law students in a fictitious case that has real-world ramifications.

Nothing can compare, Fisher said, for a student arguing in the Baker Cup.

"Well, it's definitely something you don't forget," he said, "especially if you're a second-year law student. Appearing before the Supreme Court is intimidating, even for experienced lawyers."

The Baker Cup competition was created in 1926 by George Coleman Baker, who graduated from the College of Law in 1886.

The event lives on today in memory his son, Judge Charles Baker, who followed his father to the College of Law and earned his degree in 1913. Judge Baker's daughters, Betty Sue Armistead and Mary-Jane Baker English, established the competition's Baker Cup Endowment in 1980.

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