UH Law School to host state Supreme Court for oral arguments on April 9

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Apr 6, 2015

The Hawai‘i State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Thursday, April 9, at the William S. Richardson School of Law's Moot Court Room on a current case, offering law students the opportunity to see the high court in action in their own backyard

Registration begins at 5 p.m, and the hearing is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.  The hearing should take an hour.  If time permits, the justices will answer questions from law students at the end of the hearing.

The time of the event was chosen by the Supreme Court to accommodate students in the Law School's evening part-time program, as well as those in the regular daytime program.  Classes in the evening part-time program, which caters to professionals with day jobs, begin in the late afternoon.

Said Dean Avi Soifer, “Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and his fellow justices have been doing a terrific service to the public by hearing actual cases at high schools throughout the state.  We are very proud that our law students volunteer and help prepare the high school students for those hearings, and it is a real treat to have the Supreme Court also sit regularly at the Law School.”

The case to be heard on April 9 is State of Hawai‘i v. Susan Chin.

Attorney William A. Harrison will be arguing for the petitioner, who is seeking a new trial on charges of first-degree theft and money laundering.  Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sonja P. McCullen is the attorney for the respondent.

The petitioner was found guilty after a jury trial in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit; the conviction was upheld by the Intermediate Court of Appeals. The petitioner maintains that she did not get a fair trial.

The briefs in the case are available on the Law School website at www.law.hawaii.edu.  Search for Supreme Court oral arguments.

“This is a tremendous benefit to our students to see the Supreme Court in action, and to be able to question the justices,” said Associate Dean of Student Services Ronette Kawakami '85.  “We are so appreciative that the justices are willing to provide such a unique opportunity for our young legal scholars.”

The Law School has had a long history of having real-time trial arguments on campus to offer law students a unique opportunity to see justice in action on their home turf. The tradition of appellate courts coming to the Law School began with retired Judge James Burns, former Chief Judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals.