A three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals convened in the Mitchell Hamline auditorium on Thursday to hear oral arguments in two cases.
“We’re delighted to be here,” said Judge Lucinda Jesson at the beginning of deliberations that she presided over alongside Judges Tracy Smith and Jeffrey Bryan. Several dozen students, as well as faculty members, were in attendance.
The first case, In re: Ursula E. Nelson Trust under Agreement dated 3/21/2014, as Amended, focused on whether a district court had properly invalidated a farm lease. The second case, 2913 29th Avenue South LLC v. Treaunna K. Martin John Doe, et al., pertained to an eviction proceeding in Minneapolis. In the eviction matter, all three attorneys on both sides of the case are Mitchell Hamline alums: Christopher Kalla ’03, Douglass Turner ’97, and James Lee ’81.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch schedules oral arguments in several locations, including high schools, throughout the state each year. “Traveling to hear appeals helps keep the Court connected to the people and communities throughout the state and reduces travel costs for parties,” according to the court’s website.
The courts also schedule arguments at each of Minnesota’s law schools to give students a glimpse into the workings of the court. After arguments were completed on Thursday, the three judges took questions from students about the judicial system. Jesson quipped she was comfortable in front of students, having taught for several years at Hamline University School of Law.
The judges fielded questions on several topics, including clerkships, their own preparations for arguments, and any advice they’d have given themselves as law students.