From left photo: Judges Kuhn, Parro and McDonald; Judges Guidry, Carter and Pettigrew; and Judges Gaidry, Downing, and McClendon
On February 22, 23 and 25, 2010, three different panels of judges from the First Circuit Court of Appeal transformed the Law Center’s David Robinson Courtroom into their own. Chief Judge Burrell J. Carter (’58), along with Judges Randolph Parro (’67), James Kuhn, John Guidry, John Pettigrew (’72), Robert Downing (’75), Edward “Jimmy” Gaidry (’67), Michael McDonald (’76) and Page McClendon, heard cases at the Law Center in a courtroom that at times was standing room only.
The change of venue from the First Circuit’s courtroom to the Law Center required meticulous advanced planning. The program was spearheaded by Legal Writing Professor Heidi Thompson (’93), a former law clerk at the First Circuit.
Legal Writing Professors Grace Barry (‘89), Marlene Allgood (’82), Todd Bruno, Kathy Simino (‘87) and Heidi Thompson accompanied their 1L legal writing students to the oral arguments to give the students a sneak peak at the appellate advocate process. Numerous LSU law alums and professors also attended the sessions.
Attorneys were asked to take a few minutes before they began their respective arguments to give the law students background information about their cases.
The judges were actively engaged in the arguments. Law students got to see that oral argument is about conversing with the court and providing the court with details about their case that may not have been effectively communicated through their brief or easily located in the record. Students were also able to gain valuable insight into the appellate process from the cases themselves.