One of the requirements of this course used to be that you visit a local courthouse to watch a trial. Because of COVID19 and related changes this is currently not possible.
You must choose to watch one video of oral arguments presented to New York’s Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court). I am providing the link here (October 2021 Oral Arguments Archive (nycourts.gov) — choose “oral arguments” and watch both the appellant’s and respondent’s arguments). Try to note the energy that would be so much stronger if you were in Court in person. The energy in a courtroom during the course of an appellate argument like these or trial simply cannot be duplicated when watching an online video. My goal is for you to better understand the mechanics of the legal system by witnessing, firsthand, the demeanor of the judge, jury (if applicable), attorneys, parties and witnesses.
Your work must be typewritten, double-spaced and be no more than six pages in length. You must use a 10 and 14-point font and use one-inch margins. Your grade will be based upon the quality of your submission, including effective presentation and clear statement and analysis of the issues presented.
Your work must include each of the following elements:
1.Description of the courtroom.
2. Statement of the facts of the case.
3. Statement of names of all parties, attorneys and judge.
4. State the question(s) of law or issues presented.
5. State the decision, if any (if you were not present for the decision or it’s an appeal where the decision would not being made during the session, discuss the decision you would have reached based upon the facts and evidence presented, as well as the reason(s) supporting your decision).
6. Note and explain the reasons for the Court’s decision (if applicable).
7. Note and explain whether you agree or disagree with the Court’s decision (if applicable).
8. Describe fully your experience, observations and your opinion of what you witnessed.