HUNTINGTON – The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia heard arguments at Marshall University on Sept. 20.
The hearings included three cases and were open for the public.
Chief Justice Menis Ketchum, a former member of the Marshall University Board of Governors from 2002 to 2008, was one of the justices visiting the university. Jennifer Bundy, spokeswoman for the Supreme Court, said he always like the visit to Marshall's campus.
"He always really enjoys going to Marshall,” Bundy told The West Virginia Record. “He really is an enthusiastic supporter of the school and the city of Huntington. And he always enjoys, particularly, the trips to Marshall."
Bundy said she hopes the students at Marshall benefited from Ketchum’s visit.
"I would hope that [the students] would get something out of it. If you've ever watched an appellate court argument, it's different than what you see on TV," she said. "The court cases that they always show on TV are in lower courts where there's people interviewing witnesses and it's in front of a jury. And that's not at all what and appellate court argument is like."
She said the hearings can be interesting to watch for the attendees.
“It's just an interesting back-and-forth,” Bundy said. “It's pretty lively sometimes. The issues can be technical, but you get the gist of it even if you're not an attorney."
Marshall University is not the only school the justices visit for events like this. The court also has regularly visits West Virginia University's College of Law as well as makes visits to other colleges across the state. The justices also have an annual docket at a high school.
"It's part of the court's mission to let the public see what the court does,” Bundy said. “They always say that they enjoy getting out around the state to meet people.
"And it's an opportunity for people who live a long way from Charleston and who might not have the opportunity to see the Supreme Court in action to come and hear arguments and see what it's all about."
Although it’s not often the court has a session outside of the chambers at the state Capitol, Bundy said all of the justices believe these visits to are important.
"The justices in general and the court really do want the publics to have access to what they do,” she said. “And to be able to understand the judicial system better."