A special argument session at Penn State Law on April 1 and 2 allowed the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to bring law to life for area students. A three-judge panel heard appeals from the trial court level on cases involving civil, criminal, and family law.
The Superior Court, established in 1895, is one of Pennsylvania's two statewide intermediate appellate courts and is often the final arbiter of legal disputes. Judge Christine Donohue (left), Judge Cheryl Lynn Allen (middle) and Judge Vic Stabile '82 (right) are three of fifteen Superior Court judges.
Judge Cheryl Lynn Allen, left, graduated from Penn State University and taught school for three years before pursuing a career in law.
Judge Christine Donohue and Judge Vic Stabile of the Pennsylvania Superior Court reflect on the role of the court.
Judge Thomas Kistler, president judge of Centre County, helped organize the event. Judge Kistler is a classmate of Superior Court Judge Vic Stabile; both men are part of the Law School Class of 1982.
Local students fill the jury box. Teachers from State College Area School District, Bald Eagle Area School District, Bellefonte Area School District, and Penns Valley School District arranged field trips to campus.
The court made case summaries available before argument so that the public would have a better understanding of the day's events.
Lawyers prepare to argue. “This is a court that enjoys oral argument,” said Judge Christine Donohue. “We’re known as a very hot court, so we spend a lot of time preparing in advance. So lawyers don’t have to waste their time on the facts of the cases.”
Area middle- and high-school students observed the Superior Court in action.
Superior Court clerks Jared Mason, Bob Kuhl, Grace W. Orsatti, Erin Lutz and Ashley Nichols '11 took part in a career panel and a networking reception with Penn State Law students.
Superior Court clerk Bob Kuhl discussed his experiences.
Superior Court clerk Grace W. Orsatti speaks about her experiences.