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Supreme Court of Ohio to resume Off-Site Court at The University of Akron

10/06/2021

After a two-year hiatus, the Ohio Supreme Court is taking its oral arguments on the road, starting with The University Akron.

The Supreme Court and its seven justices will hold Off-Site Court at UA on the mornings of Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 26 and 27. Typically held twice a year, in the spring and fall, the Off-Site Court program has been suspended due to the pandemic.

Ohio surpreme court at an off-site court in fall 2019

The Ohio Supreme Court shown at an Off-Site Court at Montpelier High School in northwest Ohio in fall 2019.

The visit coincides with the centennial celebration of the founding of the UA School of Law.

“It’s an honor for the Court be part of the law school’s centennial recognition,” said Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “We’re also happy to share our Court sessions locally and engage with students in their community.”

Created in 1987 as an opportunity to educate high school students and the public throughout the state about Ohio’s judicial system, the program is most often held at a high school. This fall, it returns to a law school for the first time since 2014.

“We at the law school are excited to have the Supreme Court hold live sessions at the university,” said Akron Law Dean Christopher (C.J.) Peters. “This will be a tremendous opportunity not only for area high school students, but also for Akron undergraduates, our law students, and other citizens to observe the state’s highest court in action.”

Traditionally a one-day event, the Akron Law visit marks only the second time the Court will have two consecutive days of oral arguments on the road. In 2012, sessions were held at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse for its 100th anniversary, and the next day at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

The format is geared toward learning. Students from local high schools sit in for oral arguments. Each of three student groups departs the makeshift courtroom after each case and meets with the attorneys for a debrief, where they can ask questions.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s session, the justices meet with a group of students to explain their work at the Court and the state’s judicial system, while also fielding their questions.

In its 77 trips, Off-Site Court has traveled to 71 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Summit County last hosted a Court visit in 1990.

To date, the program has enabled 41,399 Ohioans – 32,605 of them students – to personally observe the proceedings of the Supreme Court and interact with justices, attorneys, and Court staff.

To accommodate the number of students attending, the Off-Site Court will be held at the Jean Hower Taber Student Union on the UA campus. Members of the public interested in observing Court should arrive by 8:45 a.m. in order to pass through security screening.

For questions about Off-Site Court, contact the Supreme Court’s Public Information Office at 614.387.9250. For questions about The University of Akron School of Law, contact lawstudentaffairs@uakron.edu.