Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments outside of their Tacoma courtroom during a community visit to Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver, WA, on Monday, March 30.

“We are delighted for the opportunity to visit Hudson’s Bay High School and welcome members of the public to join us,” said Chief Judge Jill Johanson. “Court community visits are a wonderful way to learn more about the judicial branch of government up close and we would like to thank Hudson’s Bay Principal Val Seeley and Hudson’s Bay Foundation member Scott Horenstein for hosting us.”

Commencing at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jill Johanson and Judges Rich Melnick and Lisa Worswick will hear oral arguments in the following local cases:

  • 8:30 a.m. State v. Troy A. Fisher, an appeal from a murder conviction;
  • 9:15 a.m. Riley v. Valaer, an appeal regarding land encroachment and property titles, and
  • 10 a.m. Klickitat County v. Friends of White Salmon River, a land use appeal involving the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

Vancouver Public Schools’ high school students explore the judicial process in their U.S. history courses. The opportunity for them to sit in on the Court of Appeals proceedings at Hudson’s Bay High School brings real world experience into the classroom.

“As a teacher, I’m always trying to connect what we’re learning in our history class to real world issues. Now my students will be able to learn about the court system, watch it firsthand and then connect how our curriculum is relevant to their lives,” said Spencer Williams, Hudson’s Bay history teacher.

“Watching an appeals court in action is a wonderful opportunity for our juniors,” added social studies teacher Laraine Triplett. “They have studied landmark Supreme Court cases in class, but being able to watch our court system up close brings those faraway cases to life.”

Each argument will last approximately 30 minutes, and will be followed by a question and answer session with students and members of the public. Following the third case, the judges will attend a luncheon hosted by the Hudson’s Bay Foundation.

Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals made its first community visit throughout its geographic area back in 1993 in an effort to educate students about the role of the judicial branch and answer any questions residents may have about the Court of Appeals.

The Court hears appeals from trial courts throughout Western Washington, Pierce County south to the Oregon border and the Olympic Peninsula, and has the authority to overrule, remand, modify or affirm decisions of the trial courts. For further information regarding the Court, visit the Washington Courts website at www.courts.wa.gov.