The West Virginia Supreme Court will hear two cases on April 9 beginning at 10 am at the Morgan County Courthouse in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
Hearing the cases in Berkeley Springs is part of the Court’s Legal Advancement for West Virginia Students (LAWS) program that allows all students in West Virginia to participate.
Since 1999, the Supreme Court has held an argument docket at a county courthouse about once a year and invited students from that area to attend.
It is the first time that argument has been held under the program in Berkeley Springs.
Teachers and volunteer attorneys help prepare students to understand court documents and appellate court procedure.
On April 9, students watch arguments and then can question attorneys who argued the cases after the Justices have left the room.
All Supreme Court arguments are webcast live.
For the LAWS docket, the Court will record the webcast and leave it on the Court’s YouTube channel to allow students anywhere to view it during their regularly scheduled classes.
“The Court is excited about reaching more students every year,” said Chief Justice Beth Walker. “We believe that by giving young people a real-life experience in how the judicial system works they will grow to have respect for the importance of the rule of law in our society.”
Walker said that the Court is proud to have educated more than 5,600 students in 33 counties through LAWS. Both high school and college students have attended.
The newly expanded program may also be appropriate for eighth-grade students studying West Virginia government.
The first case that will be heard on April 9 at the Morgan County Courthouse is a sexual assault case against a babysitter who was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. The defendant is seeking to overturn the conviction.
The second case is a medical malpractice case involving an infant who died during an attempt to deliver her from her mother’s womb during an obstetrical emergency.