Idaho Supreme Court holds hearings

LEFT: Chief Justice Roger S. Burdick, Justice Jim Jones and Justice Joel D. Horton, members of the Idaho Supreme Court, hear cases in the Snow Drama Theatre. The Justices were supposed to hear three cases on Thursday but ended up only hearing two because one of the cases was settled before it came before the Court. KELLY GUBLER | Scroll Photography

The Idaho Supreme Court heard two cases at BYU-Idaho campus on Nov. 8.
Held in the Snow Drama Theatre, the hearing was open to anyone to come and watch.
The court previously visited the BYU-I campus in 2006 and 2008. During this visit, the court heard cases about a collapsed well and attempts to recover earnest money, or money paid to the seller of land before the purchase.
Both cases were founded on the problems that can arise through contracts.
“I thought it was really interesting. I was really impressed with the court,” said Micah Brock, a senior studying psychology. “I thought they were all really prepared.”
The court came to campus in order for students to learn about the courts and law.
“I think attending gives students a glimpse as to how the real world works,” said Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger S. Burdick. “Today we had an issue concerning real property … I think it shows people how serious they should be in terms of your property and making and entering into contracts, either orally or written.”
Some students were required to attend the hearing for class. There were also professors who brought their classes to hearings during class time.
“A lot of the stuff that we have been studying in my class about contracts … came up in the case, so that’s interesting to me to see how it all applies instead of just talking about it in a classroom setting,” said Jonathon Pitts, a sophomore studying political science.
At points in the hearing, the Justices asked questions of the attorneys that the attorneys were unable to answer.
“This may sound bad, but my favorite part would have to be when it seemed that the lawyers didn’t want to answer the questions the judges were asking,” said Carly McDermott, a freshman studying English education.
Some students were impressed with the attorney’s efforts during each case.
“I thought the attorneys did a good job,” Pitts said. “They’re under a lot of pressure, especially having the supreme court right there, and then having hundreds of people right behind watching the whole thing … I think they did a really good job for the situation.”
Holding cases in more public settings is not unusual for the Idaho Supreme Court. After leaving Rexburg, the court went to Idaho Falls to hear three more cases.
“I never knew that the Supreme Court comes and allows for the community to see how it works. I really enjoyed that,” said Jenny Cooper, a senior majoring in marriage and family studies.
Burdick said that by interacting with students they can see that the positions the justices hold are just like any other job.
“All of us can aspire to positions of great importance, and as we come here they see we are just normal people,” Burdick said.

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