Texas 10th Court of Appeals to hear three cases at Blinn-Bryan Campus

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- The Texas 10th Court of Appeals soon will make its annual visit to the Blinn College-Bryan Campus, where it will give Blinn Legal Assistants Program students and the public an opportunity to witness precedent-setting cases that directly impact state law.

The court will sit in session beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Bryan Campus Student Center Room F-120 (map).

The first case, ex parte Richard Allen Montey Ellis, will be heard at 10 a.m. and involves a misdemeanor offense of unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material. At 11 a.m., the court will hear in re Keith and Serena Tinker, a case concerning a couple seeking to modify the custody arrangement of their great-nephews. The session will conclude with Deon Latroy Rush v. the State of Texas at 1 p.m., a case in which the appellant claims the State did not provide sufficient evidence to prove he evaded arrest after a traffic stop. Additional Information on these cases can be found at: www.search.txcourts.gov/submission.aspx?coa=coa10.

Each of the cases is expected to last between 40 and 50 minutes, and the public is welcome to attend any individual argument or the entire session. After the 11 a.m. case is argued, there will be a brief period for questions from the public, if time allows.

“We want to make it as easy and accessible for the public as possible,” Chief Justice Tom Gray said. “The purpose of holding oral arguments in this setting is to educate the public about what we do.”

No video or audio recordings or photographs will be allowed in the courtroom while court is in session. Individuals attending the session must wear appropriate attire, power off or silence electronic devices, and are not allowed to bring in food or drinks.

The Texas 10th Court of Appeals, consisting of Gray and Justices Rex Davis and Al Scoggins, is based in Waco and hears civil and criminal appeals from 18 counties in Central Texas, including Brazos County. The court’s 2012 visit to Blinn was its first in more than a decade, and the event’s success each of the last five years has inspired the court to return.

“Seeing the court in action gives our students a first-hand look at how our legal system and the appellate court system works,” said Robert Stanberry, Program Coordinator. “As a result of these visits, hundreds of Blinn students have had the opportunity to not only see a real court in action, but have watched proceedings that establish precedent for future legal cases.”

After the arguments are heard, the justices will return to Waco, where they will research the legal issues and precedents, then issue a written opinion.

“It is very special for a court to go on the road and hold court on a college campus,” Stanberry said. “It is a great opportunity for all students – especially for students who plan to work in the legal field.”

The event is hosted by the Blinn Legal Assistants Program and the Legal Assistant Student Organization. Blinn’s Legal Assistants Program equips students for a variety of law careers with an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree or a Legal Office Certificate. Courses are taught by a faculty comprised entirely of lawyers and judges whose classes are structured to promote quality student-faculty interaction. Students completing the Legal Assistant AAS degree are eligible to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants certification exam.

Legal assistants, commonly referred to as paralegals, assist attorneys in law firms, companies and government agencies. Their duties include attending trials, assisting in testimony preparation, locating and interviewing witnesses, conducting client interviews, and conducting investigations and legal research. Their role is expanding as companies look to hire employees with a broad understanding of legal matters. This proves helpful during purchases, personnel matters, risk management, customer relations, and contract negotiations.

For more information on Blinn’s Legal Assistants Program, visit: www.blinn.edu/twe/legal.