Thursday, March 28, 2013

Student Mock Trial Hosted for Eighth Grade Students in Southern District of California

On March 27, 2013, the Southern District of California welcomed 100 eighth grade students to the court. District Judges Dana M. Sabraw and Cathy Bencivengo, and Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick presided over scripted mock trials for the students during which the students took on all the roles and deliberated on a verdict. Throughout the mock trials, the judges took opportunities to teach the students the meaning and purpose of various aspects of a trial. After reaching a verdict and "sentencing" their defendants, the students met with a deputy U.S. marshal and had an opportunity to learn about the U.S. Marshals Service, observe a demonstation by an explosives detecting canine and to try on a deputy's gear.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Students Visit Court of Appeals in San Francisco

(L-R) Ninth Circuit Judges M. Margaret McKeown,
Consuelo M. Callahan and Sandra S. Ikuta

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit welcomed a legal research and writing class of 15 students and their professor from San Francisco State University on March 13, 2013.  The students were joined by a group of law students, who are spending the semester working as volunteer externs for Chief District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr., and District Judge John A. Mendez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
The group toured the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse and observed oral arguments in three appeals involving civil rights action, the Social Security Act, and a criminal conviction.  Following the oral arguments, the students spoke with some of the attorneys, who told them about the work of federal prosecutors and defense attorneys.  The students also met with some court staff, who work for the Ninth Circuit judges, and learned about the career paths taken by the judges' law clerks. 

The day ended with the students meeting Ninth Circuit Judges M. Margaret McKeown, Consuelo M. Callahan and Sandra S. Ikuta, who answered questions posed by the students regarding the federal court system and their roles as judges. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Seattle Court, Bar Team Up for Career Day

Deputy marshal demonstrates handcuffs
The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and the King County Bar Association teamed up to host a Career Day for high school students who are members of The Future of the Law Institute.  The institute, an affiliate of the King County Bar Foundation, promotes ethnic diversity in the legal profession by encouraging minority and economically disadvantaged high school students to pursue higher education in the law.

Participating in the event held February 13, 2013, at the district court in Seattle were District Judges Richard A. Jones and Ricardo S. Martinez, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Brown and Assistant Federal Defender Corey Endo, along with various court staff and a representative of the U.S. Marshals Service.  Students were able to gain first hand information about the types of careers available in the judiciary.

'Power Lunch’ for Students in Los Angeles

 The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California packs a lot into a short amount of time with its "Federal Court Power Lunch," a 90-minute program that allows judges, attorneys and court staff to closely interact with a small group of students and teachers. The lunches take place in the Roybal Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles. The most recent event, held March 15, 2013, involved some 30 students from New Designs Charter School and equal number of judges and attorneys. Bankruptcy Judge Sandra Klein served as emcee and made introductions. Guest speakers were U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte, Jr., and Bankruptcy Judge Mark Houle. The program also included a session of a "Jeopardy" game dealing with legal subjects.

Los Angeles Police Department cadets also participated in a power lunch on October 5, 2012. That program focused on the roles and responsibilities of judges and attorneys, the conduct of trials, the Bill of Rights, and the three branches of government. Students also played the "Jeopardy" game.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Federal Court in San Diego Welcomes Students

The United States District Court for the Southern District of California welcomed nearly 400 high school seniors to its annual Open Doors to Federal Courts program held March 20, 2013, in San Diego.  The objective is to bring high school students, teachers, judges, court staff, and lawyers together to enhance public knowledge and understanding of the federal court system. 

The district's annual event included a Legal Careers Panel; Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) hosted by bankruptcy court judges; and a mock trial in which students participated in the various roles.

During the careers discussion, students heard from prosecution and defense attorneys who work within the federal system, as well as a probation officer, courtroom deputy, court reporter, interpreter and a deputy U.S. marshal. Each discussed their roles and responsibilities. Attorneys present also shared the education and experience they received in order to attain these positions.

Bankruptcy judges explained to students the ins and outs of using credit and how to wisely use credit cards. The goal of the CARE program is to prepare young people to intelligently manage their credit and to keep them from ever seeing the inside of a bankruptcy court.

The event culminated with students participating in a scripted mock trial presided over by judges of the Southern District. The trial explored the real life hazards of texting while driving, giving students a chance to discuss and debate the ramifications of this risky behavior. The day emphasized the importance of civic responsibility, good citizenship and impartiality to these young men and women preparing to leave highs school and enter the adult work force.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Judge Curiel of the Southern District of California presides over mock trial

Honorable Gonzalo Curiel with "student judge"
Students learn about trials

On January 9, 2013, District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the Southern District of California hosted 20 high school students for a mock trial about the hazards of texting while driving. The students took on the roles of all the participants in the trial including judge, attorneys, witnesses and jurors.

Southern District of California welcomes AP government students

Honorable Jeffrey T. Miller
AP government students learn about the federal courts

On February 28, 2013, District Judge Jeffrey Miller hosted 45 AP Government students for a morning of civics education.  The students observed court proceedings and then had an opportunity to hear from many professionals associated with the court system, including federal law enforcement officers, an assistant U.S. attorney, federal defender, probation officer and court staff.