Awards Ceremony, Mock Trial Mark Law Day 2004 Celebration
The Connecticut Supreme
Court will honor the achievements of 20 African-Americans as part of its
celebration of Law Day 2004:
Win Equality by Law: Brown vs. Board at 50."
"Every year, during Law Day,
the Connecticut Supreme Court recognizes a group of individuals who
epitomize our great heritage of liberty, justice and equality under the
law," Chief Justice William J. Sullivan said. "The Law Day 2004 theme is
the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education,
which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. In connection
with this theme, the Connecticut Supreme Court has chosen to honor these
20 distinguished individuals, who exemplify the legacy of the Brown
decision through their notable achievements in Connecticut."
The ceremony is scheduled
for Monday, May 3, 2004, at 2 p.m. in the
Supreme Court courtroom, located at 231 Capitol Ave. in
Hartford. Cameras will be allowed.
Those being honored include:
the Hon. Boce Barlow; Ms. Adrianne Baughns-Wallace; Mr. Edgar F.
Beckham; Dr. David G. Carter; Dr. Edythe J. Gaines; Mr. Gerald A. Lamb;
Attorney John F. Merchant; Mr. Thirman L. Milner; the Hon. Flemming L.
Norcott Jr.; Mr. Maxie Patterson; Col. Joseph A. Perry Jr.; Mr. John B.
Stewart Jr.; the Hon. Alvin W. Thompson; the Hon. Thomas G. West; and
Mrs. Katherine Wyrick.
awards will be given to Mr. Thurston Fields; the Hon. Robert D. Glass;
Mr. Wilfred Johnson; the Hon. Robert L. Levister; and Mr. Clifford
Willis. More information
On May 17, 1954, the U.S.
Supreme Court – led by Chief Justice Earl Warren – ended federally
sanctioned racial segregation in public schools. With a unanimous
ruling, the justices overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson, an 1896 case
that held as constitutional "separate but equal facilities."
"The significance of
Brown vs. Board of Education cannot be overstated," Chief Justice
Sullivan said. "While we still have much work ahead of us in the area of
racial equality, Brown vs. Board of Education provides a roadmap
for generations to come."
Stamford, Hall High
Compete in Mock Trial Competition
The Law Day celebration will continue into
Tuesday, May 4, 2004, as students
from Stamford High School and West Hartford’s Hall High School square
off during this year’s Connecticut High School Mock Trial Competition.
The competition will begin
at 2:30 p.m. and conclude at about 4:30. It will be held in the Supreme
Court courtroom at 231 Capitol Ave., Hartford. Cameras will be allowed
during an awards ceremony that precedes the competition but not during
the actual competition.
Three justices of the
Connecticut Supreme Court – Justice Joette Katz, Justice Richard N.
Palmer, and Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille – will hear arguments from
the students and decide on the winner.
The case the students will
argue involves the fictional case of State of New Justice vs. Terry
C. Jackson. In the case, a high school student who left campus for
lunch is charged with negligent homicide after one of the passengers in
his car is killed in an accident.
Students on the Stamford High School team are: Dane Rogol,
Micah Kosstrin-Greenberg, Meredith Hackman, Emma Doody, Nitesh Banta,
Jenny Magyari, Carolina Lescano, Nathan Soffio, Natalia Senatore, Dan
Blank, Shiv Prakash, and Josh Green.
Students on the Hall High School team are: Sarah Cooney,
Jennifer Hernandez, Dan Streim, Rachel Holtzberg, Stephanie Donatelli,
Eric Merin, Lalita Bumpen, Katie Taylor, Dan Salton, and Sarah
The Connecticut Consortium
for Law and Citizenship Education Inc., the Connecticut Bar Association
and the Connecticut Judicial Branch are sponsoring the competition. This
is the third consecutive year that the high school finals have been held
at the Connecticut Supreme Court.
The awards ceremony for the
students will be at 1:45 p.m. and last about a half-hour. Speakers will
include: Chief Justice Sullivan; James Schmidt, executive director of
the Consortium for Law and Citizenship Education; attorney John Hogan,
president of the Connecticut Bar Association; and Jennifer Lewis
Donahue, president of the Consortium for Law and Citizenship Education.
"We are pleased to once
again co-sponsor this event," Chief Justice Sullivan said. "These young
people are extremely talented, and I would rank the job of choosing the
winner as among the toughest we face all year."
Visits Litchfield High
Meanwhile, the Connecticut Appellate Court will head to Litchfield High
School on Friday, April 30, 2004, to
hear arguments in two cases – one criminal and one civil.
Students from Litchfield
High School will attend the arguments, which will be held in the
Litchfield Intermediate School auditorium, located on the high school
campus. Appellate Court Judges Anne C. Dranginis, Thomas G. West, and
Alexandra D. DiPentima will comprise the panel.
in the first case, Malloy vs. Town of Colchester, will start at
second case, State vs. Abraham, will start at 10:30 a.m.
At the conclusion of
arguments in each case, attorney Judith Dixon, president of the
Litchfield County Bar Association, will moderate a question-and-answer
session between the students and lawyers involved in the cases.
Cameras are permitted during
the question and answer sessions, but not during arguments or while the
court is in session.
conjunction with Law Day:
Ten judges are scheduled
to visit high schools throughout the state to speak about the impact
of Brown vs. Board of Education.
Ceremonies and other
events will take place in Judicial District courthouses throughout the
state in celebration of Law Day.