Court of Appeals Celebrates Ten Years of College Campus Outreach at Midland University

Court of Appeals Celebrates Ten Years of College Campus Outreach at Midland University

Friday, September 16, 2022

Judges of the Nebraska Court of Appeals celebrated 10 years of college student outreach at Midland University in Fremont on September 15, 2022. Their College Campus Initiative program began in 2012 at Peru State College and has been held in all non-metro universities throughout the state.

Each year Judges dedicate their September court session to the celebration of Constitution Day with communities who host oral arguments through their home university.  Constitution Day is September 17 and is celebrated throughout the month. This college campus initiative, designed by judges of the Court of Appeals, is intended to provide Nebraskans the opportunity to learn about the judicial branch.

Judges for the morning panel were Chief Judge Michael Pirtle, Judge Riko Bishop, and Judge Dave Arterburn.  The afternoon session was presided over by Judge Francie Riedmann, Judge Frankie Moore, and Judge Larry Welch.

Joining Midland University students in the audience were high schoolers from Scribner-Snyder, Logan View, Scotus Central Catholic, Fremont, Bishop Neumann, and Shelby-Rising City.

Before each session, area judges provided background information for each court session, District Court Judge Geoff Hall in the morning and County Court Judge Frank Barron in the afternoon.  University Board Chair and State Bar Foundation Fellow Mark Fahleson introduced the celebration of Constitution Day at both sessions. Midland President Jody Horner, who invited the court to sit at the University, welcomed each panel and served as host for the event.

In speaking of the goals of the program, Chief Judge Michael Pirtle has noted, “My hope is those in attendance will leave with a better understanding of our court system and why the appellate courts are an important and integral part of our system of justice, ensuring that all parties are treated fairly and have the opportunity to be fully heard.” 

Following tradition, judges held an open question-and-answer period after each argument session. Additionally, the judges spent their lunch hour with Midland students and faculty, introducing themselves and discussing their paths to the bench.

The Court of Appeals is Nebraska’s second-highest Court and reviews appeals from state trial court decisions. The six judges on the Court of Appeals handle and dispose of just under 1,000 cases annually. A Nebraska Court of Appeals decision is final unless the Nebraska Supreme Court grants further review.

The College Campus Initiative is in partnership with the Nebraska State Bar Foundation.