Riverside—Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez has announced that “Outreach Plus” will take place in Inyo County on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
Under this innovative court-community outreach program, the appellate justices will hear oral arguments and hold a question-answer session at Bishop Union High School in Bishop before an audience of seniors and selected students from high schools throughout Inyo County.
Presiding Justice Ramirez noted that, “After oral argument, the justices, paired with a local judge or lawyer, will visit five classrooms to talk to the students about the California appellate and superior courts, legal careers, and the importance of staying in school.”
Oral arguments will begin at 9:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., and will be followed by a 25-minute question-and-answer session conducted by the justices and counsel. The oral arguments concern two serious, pending criminal appeals:
- In People v. Perez et al. the jury convicted appellants of multiple drug-and-gang related, first degree murders with multiple special circumstance findings; on appeal they challenge the convictions and findings on grounds including insufficiency of the evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, and errors in the admission of evidence, jury instructions, and sentencing.
- In People v. Robinson a jury convicted appellant of theft and second degree burglary; on appeal defendant contends: (1) that he was deprived of reasonable access to the jail law library during the trial, in which he defended himself; (2) that the prosecution failed to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence; and (3) that his felony burglary conviction be stricken because Proposition 47 reduced the crime committed to a misdemeanor.
The program is expected to reach about 1,200 high school students from all over Inyo County who will either be present or remotely viewing the proceedings (arrangements are in process to stream the program live on the school’s website to provide access for the community at large). The public has also been invited to attend the special oral argument.
Arrangements to hold the fourth “Outreach Plus” in Inyo county resulted from the collaboration of the Court of Appeal, Inyo Superior Court Judges Dean Stout and Brian J. Lamb; Josh Hillemeier and Dana Crom, present and past Presidents of the Inyo County Bar Association; and Barry Simpson, Superintendent of Bishop Joint Union High School District, Randy Cook, Principal of Bishop Union High School, and Kathleen Stout, Senior Class Advisor.
Presiding Justice Ramirez also thanks Raymond Mark DiGuiseppe, Rebecca P. Jones, H. Russell Halpern, and Janice R. Mazur, counsel for the appellants, and Kristen Kinnaird Chenelia and Christopher P. Beesley, Deputy Attorneys General, for the People, for making the long drive to Bishop to represent their clients at oral argument and participate in the question-and-answer session.
Following the “Outreach Plus” event later that evening the presiding and associate justices will join with the superior court judges and their staff and the Inyo County Bar Association and its members for a special bar association meeting to complete the program’s outreach and engagement activities.
The program continues the emphasis on court and community collaboration established by former Chief Justice of California, Ronald M. George, and expanded by current Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to include civic learning and civic engagement activities by the Judicial Branch of California.