High school students to attend Supreme Court session

By Justin Anderson | Mar 20, 2009

CHARLESTON – Hundreds of high school students from three counties will sit in on an argument session of the Supreme Court as part of the LAWS Program.

Justices will travel to the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg on March 24 to hold session. Arguments in four cases begin at 10 a.m.

LAWS -– Legal Advancement for West Virginia Students -– was begun by Justice Robin Jean Davis in 1999 while she was chief justice. Since then, nearly 4,000 students have had the opportunity to see the state's highest court in action. The first session for the program was held in Beckley.

This year, students from Greenbrier East High School, Greenbrier West High School, Pocahontas County High School and James Monroe High School will attend the session.

Teachers from the schools attended a training session with court personnel and judges James J. Rowe, Joseph Pomponio and Robert Irons on Feb. 4.

During the session, the teachers were given information about state and federal court systems. They were also provided with suggested exercises to help students learn about the cases that are on the March 24 argument docket.

Following the argument session, the students will meet with lawyers who argued the particular case they are studying for a "debriefing," according to information from the court.

"Programs like LAWS are an integral part of the Supreme Court's mission to promote a more thorough understanding of the West Virginia judicial system," Chief Justice Brent Benjamin said. "We are grateful to the schools and teachers who alter their curriculum to include our program, and to the local judges and attorneys who take time out of their busy schedules to help students participate.

"The LAWS program gives the Court a welcome opportunity to get out of Charleston and hold an argument docket in one of our historic West Virginia Courthouses. More importantly, it gives each justice a chance to meet and talk informally with some of our best and brightest high school students. We all look forward each year to having lunch with the students."

There will be limited seating available for members of the public to attend the argument session. The public is being urged to show up at least a half-hour before the case they're interested in begins.

The following cases will be argued:

* Jennifer Boniey v. Brian Kuchinski and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. – case number: 34152

* State of West Virginia v. Gary Wayne Kent – case number: 34153

* Ryan Strick v. Joseph Cicchirillo, commissioner, West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles – case number: 34135

* State of West Virginia v. Paul Newcomb – case number: 34142

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