Court In Session at BHS

The BHS auditorium will be transformed into a courtroom for the day. Photo Credit Wikipedia web image.

By Hunter Carden

Two attorneys and marshals came to Branford High School last week to talk about how on this Thursday Branford High School’s auditorium will become an official Appellate Court room for the day. Holding not one but two appeal cases.

The auditorium will be held in an official manner with  four to five Marshals, three judges, two attorneys, metal detectors and strict rules.

Marshals, Nick Pesh and Brian Coppola told students that there was to be absolutely no food, drink or chewing of gum (unless medically needed), nail files, scissors, or anything that may be considered a weapon, and under NO circumstances will students be allowed to use electronics.

Coppola then went to explain why no electronics are allowed.

“It has to do with Rights of Privacy. The defendant has his/her right to privacy, and if we see you on your phone we don’t know if you taking pictures, so we will take it,” he said.

He then went on to say that there are forty-five courthouses in the state of Connecticut and only once a year will a trial like this happen in a school. It is an amazing opportunity for students to see a courtroom in action.

Attorneys Bob Cassel and Martha WeilerAlso were also at the meeting on Thursday . They were asked to read the two cases being tried that day and to brief the students on them.

Cassle had the Christopher Doyle vs State trail. Cassle started by saying an appellate court is a cerebral argument . Meaning there will be no new facts presented just two attorneys arguing whether the trial outcome was wrong the first time.

He then told us that the lawyers have twenty to thirty minutes to talk about their case and the appellate court judges questions the whole time. Usually, like in the Doyle vs State, the appeals are about the 4th amendment rights.

The Doyle case is about the right on whether the police unlawfully held Doyle to take a blood sample.

Attorney Weiler had the civil case Robin Mulcahy vs. Gary E. Hartell. The claim is a negligence, Mulcahy claims that Dr.Hartell did not properly sterilize needles he used in the acupuncture appointment that caused her an infection on her forehead that lead to her being hospitalized.

These Attorneys were volunteers that informed the student on what the cases were and not the one that will represent the cases on the 18th.

The auditorium/courtroom will be opened to the public on October 18th this Thursday.

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