The Mississippi Court of Appeals heard oral arguments at The W on Oct. 3 as part of the “Court on the Road” program.
The Court on the Road program allows anyone with an interest in the court system to learn how courts work at the appellate level. Three of the 10 judges in the Mississippi Court of Appeals met at The W to hear an appeal in a civil case and an appeal in a criminal case. The Court of Appeals only deals with cases that have been previously settled in a court of law but have certain facts in dispute.
“We deal with the facts,” said Court of Appeals Judge Jim Greenlee of Oxford.
Students, faculty and the public were encouraged to attend and see the hearings take place. Attendees were given a pamphlet describing the judicial system in the state of Mississippi and allowed to ask questions after the court was adjourned. The questions could not specifically deal with the cases heard that day.
Court of Appeals Judge Donna Barnes of Tupelo explained that holding appeals on a college campus allows students to see for themselves how the courts operate.
Court of Appeals Judge Jack Wilson of Madison arranged the visit to Columbus.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for college students and high school students, as well as the general public, to see how the court works and how oral argument at the appellate level is different from what you see in the trial court,” Wilson said.
The Court of Appeals normally meets in Jackson but hears a few cases each year on college campuses. This was the first time the court convened at The W. Mississippi State University will host the court on Nov. 16.