On Wednesday, March 22, UT law students and members of the public will get to experience a morning of appellate court arguments when the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals holds oral arguments in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.
Oral arguments at the free, public session will begin at 9 a.m., and the final case will be argued starting at 10:15 a.m.
Presiding over oral arguments will be a panel of three judges from the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals: The Hon. Arlene Singer, a 1976, UT law alumna; Thomas J. Osowick, a 1981 UT law alumnus; and Christine E. Mayle. The judges will hear four cases:
• Romstadt v. Garcia, et al. is a personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff was injured when hit by a vehicle owned and insured by defendant-appellee but driven by her son. The issue on summary judgment was limited to the question of whether the son had his mother’s permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident. Plaintiff now argues that summary judgment was inappropriate because of material inconsistencies in the mother’s deposition testimony and because the question turned on the credibility of the mother’s testimony.
• In State of Ohio v. Whites Landing Fisheries Inc., the defendant-appellee was charged by the state under the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code with three counts of illegally harvesting yellow perch from a part of Lake Erie for which the annual quota was zero. The defendant-appellee alleged in its motion to dismiss that the definition of “Lake Erie yellow perch management units” in the code provision was unconstitutionally void for vagueness. The appeal is from a grant of a motion to dismiss based on the unconstitutionality of a penal provision.
• State of Ohio v. Brandeberry involves a guilty plea and sentencing order for a juvenile prosecuted as an adult for charges of arson and murder. On appeal, the defendant challenges the constitutionality of the mandatory transfer and sentencing provisions that resulted in defendant being prosecuted and sentenced as an adult. The constitutional challenges allege violations of due process and equal protection, as well as ineffective assistance of counsel.
• In State of Ohio v. Greely, the appeal is from a sentencing order after a guilty plea to charges of aggravated burglary and rape. For purposes of sentencing, the court treated the aggravated burglary and rape counts as dissimilar offenses and ordered separate and consecutive sentences. The defendant argues that the court erred in treating the offenses as dissimilar and imposing consecutive sentences.
Experiencing appellate arguments firsthand will be especially helpful for first year UT law students. As part of their Lawyering Skills II course, each law student must research and write an appellate brief and then present an oral argument on behalf of a fictional client.
“The opportunity for students to observe judges and lawyers in a real court session is a valuable learning experience in our oral advocacy curriculum,” said Terrell Allen, UT legal writing professor and director of the College of Law’s legal research, writing and appellate advocacy program. “We appreciate the court’s willingness to provide this useful experience and instruction for our students.”