Big Crowds Watch Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals At Baylor
by Alan Hunt
Overflow crowds greeted judges of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, making their first visit to Baylor Law School on Nov. 10. The court heard four cases in the Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom and Courtroom.
Presiding Judge Sharon Keller thanked law students and members of the public for attending the hearings. She praised the "wonderful facilities" offered by the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, and "the beautiful courtroom" where the judges convened.
The Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom & Courtroom can be quickly converted to either classroom or courtroom format and has been used by a number of high-profile visiting courts since the law center was opened for use in August 2001. Associate Dean Leah Jackson, who organized the court's day-long visit, thanked the judges and court officials for enabling law students and members of the public to participate.
"This was a wonderful opportunity for us to observe the proceedings of the court," she said.
At a reception held later in the Fanning Student Lounge, students got the opportunity to meet the judges and question them about the court's work. Judge Tom Price, who graduated from Baylor Law School in 1970, was honored by Dean Brad Toben and the students on his completion of 30 years of judicial service and 34 years as a Baylor lawyer. A suitably decorated cake was shared at the reception to mark the occasion.
The Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest state court for appeals resulting from criminal cases, holds sessions throughout the year in Austin. The Court is comprised of nine members.
Previously, Baylor Law School has hosted visits from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court and the Tenth District Court of Appeals.
"This sitting continues our long tradition of having the courts of our state and nation sit and hear arguments at the Law School," Toben said. "These events have been intellectually stimulating for all involved, and especially for our students. We are very grateful to the Court of Criminal Appeals for making this distinctive opportunity available to the Law School community."