State Supreme Court visits law school Oct. 18

(October 4, 2011) The nine justices of the Washington State Supreme Court will travel to Seattle University School of Law on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to interact with students and hear arguments on three cases, ranging from access to public records to the constitutional right to counsel. 

The state's highest court is located in Olympia in the Temple of Justice on the state capitol grounds.  Since 1985, the Court has heard cases "on the road" three times a year in an outreach effort, allowing citizens to see the court in action in their local communities.

"The Court enjoys visiting our state's colleges. In addition to the students, we encourage anyone interested in learning more about the judicial branch of government to see the workings of the highest court up close and personal."
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18 in the law school's courtroom, Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen and Justices Charles W. Johnson '76, Gerry L. Alexander, Tom Chambers, Susan Owens, Mary E. Fairhurst, James M. Johnson, Debra L. Stephens, and Charles K. Wiggins will hear the following oral arguments:

9:30 a.m. - No. 84903-0, Bennett, et al. (plaintiffs) v. Smith Bunday Berman Britton PS, et al. (respondents):  Does the public have a constitutional right to view documents filed in court even if the judge never reviews them?

10:20 a.m. - No. 85765-2, State (respondent) v. Johnson (appellant):  Whether a defendant who recruits adults to pose as minors for prostitution may be convicted of attempted promoting of commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

1:30 p.m. - No. 85729-6, In re the Dependency of M S R & T S R; Luak (appellant) v. Wash. State Dep't of Soc. & Health Servs. (respondent):  A Washington statute authorizes, but does not require, trial judges to appoint attorneys to represent children when a dependency or termination action is filed against their parents. Does due process require an attorney be appointed in every case?

Immediately following arguments in the first two cases, the justices will answer questions from the audience and then recess to conference on the cases until 12:00 p.m.  Justices will then have lunch with students and reconvene at 1:30 p.m. to hear the last case of the day.

To conclude the Court's visit, the law school will hold a reception with the justices at 5:00 p.m. on the Second Floor Gallery.

All Washington Supreme Court oral arguments are open to the public and broadcasted via Washington's Public Affairs network, TVW.  Written opinions are rendered approximately three to six months after oral arguments.

For further information about the Court, visit the Washington Courts web site.

Justice Statue