Nebraska Supreme Court Holds Arguments at UNL College of Law

Nebraska Supreme Court Holds Arguments at UNL College of Law

The Nebraska Supreme Court was invited to hear oral arguments followed by a student question-and-answer period on March 7, 2024.  During the argument session, the Court heard three cases in the law school courtroom, making the Court’s business accessible to law students on campus.

The first question asked of the justices was whether the Court strategizes about questions to ask attorneys during oral arguments.  Answers came from several justices, the first of which was Justice Stacy, who noted that justices don’t “pregame” as a Court although they often discuss cases with each other.  Justice Miller-Lerman explained that the Court has regular post-argument discussions with the Chief Justice noting that each of the justices is assigned as ‘author judge’ in a case and manages the discussion and writing on that case. Justice Cassel concluded the conversation noting that there are all types of pre-supposed questions, but many come up during arguments themselves.

The practice of the Nebraska Supreme Court holding oral arguments at law schools provides students with a unique opportunity to observe real judicial proceedings up close, gaining firsthand insights into legal argument skills and the practical application of law in important cases. This direct interaction between the judiciary and future legal professionals fosters a deeper understanding of the legal system and its impact on society. Additionally, it underscores the court's commitment to transparency, education, and engagement with the academic community. Sessions at law schools enrich the learning experience, offering students a valuable glimpse into the workings of the highest levels of the legal profession.

The March 7 arguments are available to view on the Nebraska Judicial Branch Oral Argument Archive.

Photo: (L to R) Justice Jonathan Papik, Justice Stephanie Stacy, Justice Lindsey Miller-Lerman, Chief Justice Mike Heavican, Justice William Cassel, Justice John Freudenberg, with Justice Jeff Funke participating via video conferencing.