Students experience actual court case being heard

Judiciary of Guam (file photo)

The Supreme Court of Guam invited one of Guam’s public high schools to watch and participate in an actual case.

As part of its annual tradition, the Supreme Court of Guam partners with local high schools or colleges to let students see the legal system in action.

During this event, students have the opportunity to watch live arguments in a real pending case.

They witness the process first hand and participate in a question and answer session with the justices and attorneys in the case afterward.

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Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, the event was done virtually and this year the court partnered with George Washington High School.

Although students weren’t able to verbally ask questions, they were able to ask via chat and the questions were read out loud.

One student asked about lawyers’ preparations for lengthy cases.

Atty. Ana Won Pat Borja answered: “There are a lot of laws to digest and there are many parties involved. So it’s important to constantly read records, go over our arguments and honestly talk through them with other lawyers and just keep throwing the hypotheticals around until you can wrap your head around your strongest arguments and your weakest ones and do it over and over again.”

Attorneys also explained concepts that were new to the students

Jordan Pauluhan, Assistant Attorney General, said: “In a lot of cases, especially cases before supreme courts or appellant courts, parties are allowed to seek permission from the court to offer some alternative view because a lot of the times, the questions have some broad significance and are applicable outside of just the case being argued. The Government though, in the Attorney General’s office specifically, is an amicus that doesn’t require a permission and can file its own views in any case.”

This is also part of the celebration of Law Month with this year’s theme, “Advancing the Rule of Law Now.”