Bar News - October 6, 2006
Supreme Court Takes “On the Road” Special Session to Berlin
The NH Supreme Court will hold a special session on Oct. 26 in Berlin before an audience of more than 400 students from North Country high schools who have been invited to participate in the court’s 8th “On the Road” program.
As part of its two-day North Country visit, the justices will attend a reception on Oct. 25 sponsored by the Coos County Bar Association to be held at the Berlin District Court. Attorneys and judges from the surrounding areas have been invited to attend.
During their stay in Berlin, Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr. and members of the court plan to meet with other members of the local community. The newest member of the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Gary E. Hicks, who is a North Country native and graduate of Colebrook Academy, will address a meeting of retired teachers from the Colebrook area at noon on Oct. 25.
The moderator for the Supreme Court special session, which will be held in the auditorium at Berlin Junior High School, located at 200 State Street, will be District Court Judge James E. Michalik, who sits in Berlin, Lancaster and Colebrook. Seating is reserved, with 25 seats available to the public on a first-come first-served basis.
The same protocols used at the Supreme Court in Concord during oral argument will be followed during the session in Berlin, during which the court will hear two actual Supreme Court cases. After each argument, the lawyers involved take questions from the student audience; following the court session, the justices answer questions from the students about their careers and the work of the court. Prior to the special session, volunteer lawyers visit the invited schools to discuss the legal issues and proceedings involved in the cases that will be heard by the court.
The 11 high schools participating in the upcoming event are Berlin High School; Colebrook Academy; Gorham Middle High School; Groveton High School; Stratford Public School; Littleton High School; Lisbon High School; White Mountain Regional High School; Woodsville High School; Profile High School in Bethlehem and Kennett High School in North Conway.
The first case to be heard by the justices on Oct. 26 will be State of New Hampshire v. Smoke Signals Pipe and Tobacco Shop, in which the defendant is arguing that the statute defining drug paraphernalia is unconstitutionally vague. The shop contends objects seized by the police from the shop should have been returned after a judge found them not guilty of selling drug paraphernalia. The question in the second case, State of New Hampshire v. Michael P. Licks, is whether or not a district court judge should have suppressed evidence obtained after a police officer approached Licks while he was seated in a car outside Club Electra in Lebanon. Licks, who contends he was unlawfully detained by the police officer, was found guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
The “On the Road” program was launched in May 2002 at St. Anselm College in Manchester. Since then, sessions have been held at Dover High School, Dartmouth College, Plymouth State University, Keene State College, Nashua North High School and Philips Exeter Academy. These sessions are the only occasion when the Court convenes outside the Supreme Court building in Concord. More than 3,500 high school and college students have participated in the program.