Appellate Court
Upcoming Visits
April 14, 2015 - University of Connecticut Law School

On Circuit Program

The Connecticut Appellate Court, began its “On Circuit” program in 1996, when it visited Quinnipiac College School Of Law. The Court modeled this program after the Supreme Court On Circuit program established by the Supreme Court in 1986. The purpose of this program is to provide the public, especially students, with a better understanding of the appellate process. Key to this goal was the recognition that although the Court’s “home” courtroom in Hartford was always open, visitors rarely had a full understanding of what transpired there.

Since 1996, the Appellate Court has traveled to high schools and universities throughout the state.

The Appellate Court On Circuit program provides high school and college students the opportunity to observe oral arguments in appellate cases. Each year, the court selects a location where arguments will be heard.

The program’s goal is simple: To educate students and residents about the roles and responsibilities of the appellate system.

Volunteer attorneys often prepare synopses of the assigned appeals and meet with students before the day’s oral arguments to discuss the issues to be argued before the court. Local bar associations and teaching staff are invaluable during this process, and provide the students with the background they need to both understand the appellate process and the cases that will be argued.

Typically, two cases are argued on the day of the event. After each argument, the attorneys who argued the case usually participate in a question-and-answer session with the students. Volunteer attorneys often work with professors and teachers to facilitate the sessions.

Publishing the opinon takes time because it requires careful analysis of the law. When released, the decision may be accessed through the Advance Release Opinions page on the Judicial Branch website.

These links connect to selected cases that the justices have heard and decided as part of the program.

  Press Release  Date / Location Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Kendall O. Smith, Sr. Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School, Bridgeport October 16, 2014 Non-legal Summary To come
Robin Mulcahy v. Gary E. Hartell, D.C. Branford High School, October 18, 2012 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Christopher Doyle Branford High School, October 18, 2012 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Marshall Westhill High School, Stamford, October 25, 2011 Non-legal Summary Decision
Patrick Wood v. Club, LLC, et al. Westhill High School, Stamford, October 25, 2011 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Holloway Kent School, May 18, 2009 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Bareis Kent School, May 18, 2009 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Gainey Bassick High School, April 30, 2009  Non-legal Summary Decision
Swanson v. Groton Bassick High School, April 30, 2009  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Barnes Norwich Free Academy, October 22, 2008 Non-legal Summary Decision
Costanzo v. Gray Norwich Free Academy, October 22, 2008 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Khuth University of New Haven, September 24, 2008 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Walters University of New Haven, September 24, 2008 Non-legal Summary Decision
Murphy v. Lord Thompson Manor Wilby High School, November 28, 2007  Non-legal Summary Decision
Sokaitis v. Bakaysa Wilby High School, November 28, 2007  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Arroyo Manchester Community College, April 19, 2007  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Etienne Manchester Community College, April 19, 2007  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Russell Ansonia High School, October 27, 2006  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Collins Ansonia High School, October 27, 2006  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Santiago Wilbur Cross High School, October 12, 2006  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Wells Wilbur Cross High School, October 12, 2006  Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. Fasano Western Connecticut State University, October 28, 2004 Non-legal Summary Decision
Raudat v. Leary Western Connecticut State University, October 28, 2004 Non-legal Summary Decision
State v. DiPaolo Western Connecticut State University, October 28, 2004 Non-legal Summary Decision

Once the preliminary arrangements have been made, the Court works with the school and the local bar association to arrange for volunteer attorneys to visit the school. The attorneys typically discuss the cases with the students, and provide an overview of the Connecticut court system. The court staff also works with the facilities department at the school to transform the location, for example, the school auditorium, into a courtroom for the day.

  • Security is provided by the Judicial Branch’s judicial marshals. The following items may not be brought into the courtroom: bladed or pointed items, tools of any kind, weapons, food or beverages.
  • To facilitate the screening process, it is recommended that guests not bring briefcases, backpacks or bags.
  • The public may attend the arguments.
  • Visitors are expected to conduct themselves appropriately during the arguments, that is, no talking or creating disruptions.
  • Members of the public may not videotape, photograph or audiotape the proceedings.

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