Campbell Law hosts Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Buies Creek — Members of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals traded their usual Richmond-based courtroom for another judicial bench in Buies Creek, at Campbell University’s Norman A. Wiggins School of Law on Friday, March 16, 2007. Judge Karen J. Williams, Judge Robert B. King and Judge Allyson Duncan presided over the courtroom, hearing three distinct cases from around the Southeast. The Court typically handles appeals from trial courts and district courts in the Fourth Circuit, which spans North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The first case heard was a criminal law and procedure dispute, the second was an employment discrimination suit and the third was an immigration appeal. Advocates for each case presented their oral arguments before the Court, which will review each case thoroughly before issuing judgments. Advocates will then have the option of appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Dean Melissa Essary said the federal Court’s presence at Campbell Law School is a great educational opportunity for law students. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for our students to see and hear real oral arguments that they otherwise would not have the opportunity to hear until they’re out in practice,” she said. “It is very much a learning exercise as they hear the judges question the advocates.” Judge Duncan, a Durham native, issued an invitation last fall during the Law School’s convocation ceremony to have the Court hear oral arguments in Buies Creek. Dean Essary said she quickly took advantage of the opportunity. “It is a great coup for our students, for the school and for the larger University to be able to host this distinguished group of the judiciary,” said Essary. Professor Alan Button, a former clerk for the Fourth Circuit Court, concurred. “It’s a rare opportunity and an extraordinary privilege for the faculty and students to host the Court. It’s not common at all to be able to see the court in action, outside of Richmond,” he said. “It’s great for us as an educational opportunity in terms of raising the profile of the law school here at Campbell.”

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