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ONU law students question appellate judges


August 23. 2013 11:53PM
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ADA — The four judges at the Ohio 3rd District Court of Appeals went back to law school Wednesday to continue their education.No, not for any additional credits toward a degree, but to learn about the facts and issues of law surrounding a drunken driving case and a case that questioned whether county commissioners can change the health insurance plan of employees in a union.After hearing the two cases they spoke informally to law students about various topics including their journey to the court on which they now sit.Judge Vernon Preston told the future lawyers being an appellate court is a lot like being a law student. He said he has a lot of reading and research to do before deciding on a case.“I learn something new every week,” he said. “That's what makes this job fun. You get to learn and understand a lot about the law.”The judges teased fellow Judge John Willamowski for his previous role in writing laws as a state legislator. Willamowski got his own dig in, however, saying he was not only the youngest member of the panel but the brightest. He also joked the blame should really be assigned to Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bob Cupp, who once sat on the panel and had been a longtime state senator.One man in the audience asked the judges to list common mistakes young lawyers make.Shaw said dishonesty is a big mistake. He also advised them to not try to bluff their way through an answer.“If you have a weakness it's good to concede that point,” Shaw said.Shaw also said young lawyers often make the mistake of thinking the case is just about the law when, in fact, the 15 minutes they get to argue in the appellate court may be best left to explaining the facts of the case.“We will figure out what the law is about,” he said. Shaw also said it's best to spend the time thoroughly answering questions from the judges, if possible. The judges are asking questions because that is the part of the case they are most interested in, he said.






ONU law students question appellate judges


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