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Texas 10th Court of Appeals to hear two cases at Blinn-Bryan Campus

Court visit allows student to witness the law in action, meet judges, and ask questions

Court visit allows student to witness the law in action, meet judges, and ask questions

November 5, 2021

The Blinn College District brings the courtroom to campus next week as students and the public have the opportunity to witness precedent-setting cases when it hosts the Texas 10th Court of Appeals on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

The court will sit in session beginning at 10 a.m. in the Bryan Campus Student Center room F-120 ( map ). The eighth annual event is hosted by the Blinn Legal Assistant Program and the Legal Assistant Student Organization.

The first case, In Re Elizabeth McClendon, will be heard at 10 a.m. At issue is whether the driver of a Tesla Model Y that was involved in an accident should have been compelled to provide an entire USB with data and video preserved from the onboard cameras of the vehicle. At approximately 11 a.m., the court will hear Kevin Wayne Deggs v. the State of Texas, a case from Brazos County concerning a due process issue.

Additional information on these cases can be found at https://www.txcourts.gov/10thcoa.

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. At 1:30 p.m., the judges will host a question-and-answer session.

“The primary purpose of traveling to various locations in the district is to educate the public, particularly students, about the judicial system,” Chief Justice Tom Gray said. “We strongly encourage college students to attend to learn more about the role of the intermediate appellate court.”

No video, audio recordings, or photographs will be allowed in the courtroom while court is in session but the proceedings will be live streamed on the Court’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UC8g5Mv6iLOnuGFCcgSVXjOQ. Individuals attending the session must wear appropriate attire, power off or silence electronic devices, and are not allowed to bring in food or beverages.

The Texas 10th Court of Appeals, consisting of Gray and Justices Matt Johnson and Steve Smith, is based in Waco and hears approximately 400 civil and criminal appeals a year from 18 counties in Central Texas, including Brazos County. The court has visited Blinn each year since 2012.

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.

“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 been exposed to the complexities of the legal field and have been present for arguments with implications on future legal cases.”

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 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 Legal Assistant Program, visit www.blinn.edu/paralegal.

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