October 24, 2008

Law school to host 5th District Appellate Court

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University School of Law next week will host oral arguments in four cases before the 5th District Illinois Appellate Court.

Appeals court justices are presiding over arguments in cases originating in Williamson and Jackson counties. Arguments in the first case begin at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building courtroom.

Copies of briefs of all four cases are available for review at the law library’s circulation desk. There are two criminal cases and two civil cases.

SIUC law students, faculty and staff are invited. The court sessions are also open to the public, but seating is limited. Court rules in Illinois do not allow cell phones, electronic recording devices and cameras in the courtroom. The law school’s information technology department is making a digital recording of the arguments.

Carbondale attorney Michael Dahlen, who is representing the city of Carbondale in an appeal of a case involving Carterville, will conduct a review and critique of the arguments for law school students after the last setting.

“The appellate court and law school cooperate in these kinds of efforts to make court settings more open to the public and students,” said John F. Lynn, the law school’s assistant dean for administration. “It’s great that we have a courtroom that can accommodate them.”

One of the two criminal cases to be heard involves separate appeals of the June 2006 first-degree murder convictions of John and Lisa Bryant of Murphysboro. John and Lisa Bryant received prison sentences of 50 years, and 25 years, respectively, in connection with the January 2006 slaying of SIUC architecture student Christopher Gandy.

For more information, contact Alicia Ruiz, the law school’s director of communication and outreach, at 618/453-8700.