Texas 10th Court of Appeals Invites Blinn students and the Community to Witness the Law in Action Through Online Hearings
Blinn College District students and the public have the opportunity to witness precedent-setting cases when the Texas 10th Court of Appeals broadcasts three hearings live on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
The cases can be accessed via YouTube promptly at 9:55 a.m. and the court will sit in session beginning at 10 a.m. Attendees who log in earlier than 9:55 a.m. will need to refresh their browser to view the live broadcast. Upon conclusion of the hearings, a video of the session will remain accessible through YouTube for individuals who were unable to attend the live broadcast. Each case is expected to last between 40 to 50 minutes, and the public is welcome to attend any individual argument or the entire session.
Hosted by the Blinn Paralegal and Legal Studies Program and the Legal Assistant Student Organization, this is the ninth year Blinn students are able to witness hearings by the Texas 10th Court of Appeals. The College usually hosts the court on the Blinn-Bryan Campus each Fall.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court is currently unable to travel to offsite locations in the district, as it has done in the past. However, we still wanted to create an opportunity to educate the public, particularly students, about the judicial system,” Chief Justice Tom Gray said. “Broadcasting these sessions live enables us to engage with the public and we strongly encourage college students to attend these sessions to learn more about the role of the intermediate appellate court.”
The first case the court will hear is BSR Surf Resort, LLC, et al. v. Stabile, et al. beginning at 10 a.m. At approximately 11 a.m., the court will hear Samuel Crawford Patterson v. the State of Texas.
After the second case is argued, court will recess and there will be a brief question and answer session with the judges through Zoom from noon-1 p.m. Blinn Paralegal and Legal Studies Program Coordinator Robert Stanberry will moderate the session. Students are encouraged to email questions for the judges to firstname.lastname@example.org during the proceedings. A second Zoom question-and-answer session is planned for Monday, Nov. 9, at 3 p.m. to accommodate students unable to attend the live broadcast.
The court will resume its afternoon session at 1:30 p.m. with the case Ex parte Juan Diaz Jr.
Information regarding these cases can be found at www.txcourts.gov/10thcoa.
The Texas 10th Court of Appeals, consisting of Gray and Justices Rex Davis and John E. Neill, is based in Waco and hears approximately 400 civil and criminal appeals each year from 18 counties in Central Texas, including Brazos County. The court’s 2012 visit to Blinn was its first in more than a decade, and the event’s success has inspired the court to continue outreach efforts with students.
After the arguments are heard on Nov. 4, the justices will research the legal issues and precedents, then issue a written opinion.
“Seeing the court in action gives our students a first-hand look at how our legal system and the appellate court system works,” Stanberry said. “Although this year’s event is being conducted virtually, this forum still exposes Blinn students to the complexities of the legal field and enables them to witness arguments that may impact future legal cases.”
Blinn’s Paralegal and Legal Studies Program equips students for a variety of law careers with an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree or a Legal Office Certificate. Courses are taught by a faculty comprised entirely of lawyers and judges whose classes are structured to promote quality student-faculty interaction.
Blinn’s program offers a variety of course delivery methods including traditional face-to-face classes, flexible online classes, and live online classes that allow students to participate remotely while interacting with their instructors and peers in real time. Students who complete the Legal Assistant AAS degree are eligible to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants certification exam.
Legal Assistants, commonly referred to as paralegals, assist attorneys in law firms, companies, and government agencies. Their duties include attending trials, assisting in testimony preparation, locating and interviewing witnesses, conducting client interviews, and conducting investigations and legal research. Their role is expanding as companies look to hire employees with a broad understanding of legal matters. This proves helpful during purchases, personnel matters, risk management, customer relations, and contract negotiations.
For more information on Blinn’s Paralegal and Legal Studies Program, visit www.blinn.edu/paralegal.