Courtesy of Grambling State University Communications
Judges of the Second Circuit Court of Appeal will hear oral arguments in the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center on the campus of Grambling State University on Tuesday, September 26.
One of five appellate courts in the state, the Second Circuit is located in Shreveport and comprises nine judges who are elected from three election districts in the state’s 20 northernmost parishes. Judge Frances J. Pitman is the Chief Judge of the Court.
Hearing oral arguments will be panels consisting of Chief Judge Pitman, Judge Shonda Stone, Judge Jeff Cox, Judge Jeff Thompson, Judge Jeff Robinson, Judge Marcus Hunter, Judge Craig Marcotte, and Judge Danny Ellender. Arguments will convene at 9:00 a.m., and the judges will hear three civil appeals and two criminal appeals. Court is open to the public, and area college and high school students have been invited to attend.
Judge Robinson and Richard J. Gallot, Jr., J.D., GSU President, have spearheaded this event, a first-time event at Grambling State University.
“We want to provide the area citizens and students an opportunity to see what the Second Circuit Court of Appeal does and experience firsthand how our court operates,” said Judge Robinson.
In addition to seeing the appellate process in action, students and other observers will have a rare opportunity to interact with counsel and members of the court by asking questions after each argument.
“The appellate court is not the typical court perceived by the general public,” explained Judge Robinson. “Our court only hears oral arguments from the attorneys, and decisions are made based upon those arguments and briefs submitted. We do not receive evidence or hear witnesses testify. That has already taken place in a trial court proceeding,” he added. “Our job is to determine whether or not the trial court applied the law correctly, considering the evidence that was presented.”
“We are honored to host Louisiana’s Second Circuit Court of Appeal on the campus of Grambling State University,” said Gallot. “This remarkable opportunity allows our students to witness real cases being argued and decided by the court, providing them with invaluable experiential learning. We would like to thank Chief Judge Pitman and all the esteemed members of the Second Circuit Court for bestowing us with their presence.”
The court’s stop at GSU is part of its “Riding the Circuit” initiative, an effort by the judges of the court to educate and inform students and the general public about the work of the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. The court last rode the circuit to the University of Louisiana, Monroe in September 2022.
“Riding the Circuit” is also an opportunity for the court to travel to the local attorneys instead of vice versa as a gesture of appreciation for the fine work of the members of the local and area bar associations.