Tomorrow, on behalf of the East Texas chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) we will be conducting one of our Seventh Amendment Symposiums in Marshall for about 45 local high school students. ET-ABOTA does these events for several local high schools each spring in furtherance of our mission to preserve and promote the Seventh Amendment’s right to civil jury trial. This four-minute video provides a great overview of what the seminar is all about, including commentary by Judge Love and Judge Mitchell, who regularly participate in the Tyler sessions.
Other Tex-ABOTA members conducted a SAC in Tyler earlier this week, and tomorrow it will be our turn in Marshall. Since there are jury trials going in both state courtrooms as well as Judge Gilstrap’s court across the street, there’s isn’t a large enough live courtroom available, so we will be using the historic Harrison County courtroom in the old courthouse.
The schedule is a tested one – in the morning we go to the county courthouse to give the students a presentation on the history and purpose of the Seventh Amendment, then a state court judge (here former Harrison County Court at Law Judge Jim Ammerman) talks to students about the role of the state court system. Then after lunch we head to the local federal courthouse for a presentation on the differences in state and federal courts, followed by a presentation by the local federal judge on the role of the federal courts and the importance of jury service.
As I said, since both courthouses are booked with trials tomorrow, we are handling everything in the historic courtroom in the old courthouse, and U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has graciously agreed to come talk with the students during the lunch break of his trial about federal court and the importance of jury service.
Readers interested in conducting something similar in your communities, drop me a line and I’ll send you some information on how all this works.