The Nebraska Supreme Court held oral arguments at Schuyler's Central High School campus on Nov. 2 as part of the Court's outreach and educational efforts. Two arguments were heard. Cases were selected to demonstrate the variety of legal arguments that face the Court regularly.
The day began with an informational presentation about the courts. The oral arguments were followed by a question and answer session with students.
The visit is part of an ongoing effort by the Nebraska Supreme Court and the legal community to raise awareness of court processes and the importance of civics education.
This marks the first time the Supreme Court held arguments in Schuyler. Former Supreme Court Justice John Gerrard, who is now Chief United States District Judge, provided background information on the court system. Judge Gerrard is a graduate of Schuyler Central High School as is Chief Justice Mike Heavican.
Portions of the informational presentation were interpreted into Spanish by Nebraska State Court Interpreter Coordinator Vladimir Bazan. Spanish language questions from students following the court arguments also were interpreted.
"Our visit to Schuyler High School is one of several outreach activities the Judicial Branch has designed to help students appreciate the importance of an independent judiciary in a functioning democracy," said Chief Justice Heavican. "As a Schuyler Central graduate, it is a homecoming visit for me. I am particularly pleased that fellow Schuyler graduate Judge John Gerrard accepted an invitation to join our teaching effort."
All argument sessions, whether held in the Supreme Court courtroom or outside of the State Capitol, are open to the public.
Area lawyers from Schuyler and Columbus and lawyer alumni of Schuyler High School attended a luncheon as part of the event.
The Nebraska State Bar Foundation offers additional promotional support and coordination for the Court's educational outreach events for high school students.