Texas 10th Court of Appeals to hear four cases at Blinn-Bryan Campus
Court visit allows students to witness the law in action, meet judges, and ask questions
November 9, 2018
The Blinn College District will give students and the public an opportunity to witness precedent-setting cases that directly impact state law when it hosts the Texas 10th Court of Appeals next week.
The court will sit in session beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in Bryan Campus Student Center Room F-120 (map). The seventh annual event is hosted by the Blinn Legal Assistant Program and the Legal Assistant Student Organization.
The first case, John Wesley Vaughn v. the State of Texas, will be heard at 10 a.m. and involves the appellant appealing his aggravated assault conviction, alleging evidence was excluded during trial. At approximately 11 a.m., the court will hear Chad Glasshoff v. John Wesley Vaughn, a civil case between the aforementioned individual and his neighbor, in which the men are suing each other for damages stemming from the aggravated assault.
The afternoon session will begin with Joshua Arey and Rogina Kimmons v. The Shipman Agency, Inc., at 1 p.m., a case in which the appellants claim their former employer does not have the grounds to sue them for exercising their right of free speech, petition, and association. The visit will conclude with Brazos Transit District v. Twila Phillips, a case involving the injury of a passenger by a bus.
Additional Information on these cases can be found at www.search.txcourts.gov/submission.aspx?coa=coa10.
Each of the cases is expected to last between 40 and 50 minutes, and the public is welcome to attend any individual argument or the entire session. After the morning cases are argued, there will be a brief period for questions from the public, if time allows.
“We want to make it as easy and accessible for the public as possible,” Chief Justice Tom Gray said. “The purpose of holding oral arguments in this setting is to educate the public about what we do.”
No video or audio recordings or photographs will be allowed in the courtroom while court is in session. Individuals attending the session must wear appropriate attire, power off or silence electronic devices, and are not allowed to bring in food or drinks.
The Texas 10th Court of Appeals, consisting of Gray and Justices Rex Davis and Al Scoggins, is based in Waco and hears civil and criminal appeals 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 each of the last six years has inspired the court to return.
“Seeing the court in action gives our students a first-hand look at how our legal system and the appellate court system works,” Program Coordinator Robert Stanberry said. “As a result of these visits, hundreds of Blinn students have had the opportunity to not only see a real court in action, but have watched proceedings that establish precedent for future legal cases.”
After the arguments are heard, the justices will return to Waco, where they will research the legal issues and precedents, then issue a written opinion.
“It is very special for a court to go on the road and hold court on a college campus,” Stanberry said. “It is a great opportunity for all students – especially for students who plan to work in the legal field.”
Blinn’s Legal Assistant 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. Students completing 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 Legal Assistant Program, visit www.blinn.edu/paralegal.
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