‘lnns of Court’ Picneered Here

Click to see original imagelh- N. LAVFIRL CIIRISTENSEN Scripps League Writer An “Amertcan Inns of Court” pilot project e designed to help train law students in a non-academic setting. hone skills of trained lawyers. and generally strengthen processes of justice 7 is underway in Utah. with units functioning at Provo and Salt Lake City. The program, established as a result ot’ a suggestion by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. came into public focus Tuesday night when the Provo Inn staged a mock “mini-trial” in the South Courtroom. The proceedings and verdict will be discussed at the group’s April meeting Presiding at the trial was U. S. District Judge A. Sherman Christensen former Provoan now of Salt Lake City who serves as diairman of the lnterorganizational Council of American Inns of Courts and has guided the pilot program from its inceptton. The project is positioned between the organized bar and law schools of Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. “Aminneourt I” was organized and its charter adopted at Provo Feb. IZ. l980 on Burger’s suggestion to then BYU President Dallin H. Oaks tnow justice of the Utah Supreme Courtt and ‘Y” Law School Dean Rex E. Lee 4 now solicitor general of the United States; for an experimental pilot program. Berger. incidentally. also proposed the “Aminncourt” acronym to canveniently designate the program. Hay R Christensen of Salt Lake City serves as president and Chiel Judge Aldon J. Anderson of the District of Utah is counselor of Aminncourt I which serves students from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and young attorneys of the Provo area. M. Dayle Jetfs of Provo is secretaryjreasurer. This Inn is funded by the BYU law school. Aminncourt Il was organized in February 19tlt with the cooperation of Judge David K. Winder of the District nt Utah and Walter E. Oberer and Ronald N Boyce. dean and professor respectively of the U. of U. law school. Carman Kipp of Salt Lake City is president of the unit. with l-Iarold G Christensen counselor and Stephen Nebeker secretary – treasurer. Judge Winder provides the Inn’s liaison with the courts. This unit was organized to test the concept of multiple Inns and serve the U of U. law students and young trial lawyers of tlte Salt Lake area. It is funded by the Utah Bar Foundation. A personal injury damage suit was the basis for the mock trial at Provo Tuesday night in which Jackson B. lloward of Provo and Ralph L. Dewsnup of Salt Lake City served as lawyers for the plaintiff Attorneys Ray R. Christensen of Salt Lake City and Ray I-I. lvie of Provo represented the defendant. A lucy was impaneled consisting of Eloise S. Morley Paul A. Thorn Virginia I-l. Riggs Mark K. Allen. Phyllis Allen. Alonzo J. Morley Lois B. Christensen Elaine Meredith. Madge J. Thorn. Donald Riggs and Leo Meredith. To limit the trial to two hours. testimony was by deposition and speaking was limited to the lawyer presentations and summations which were eloquent at times. A “jury” of student and lawyer members also voted secretly Responses will be analyzed at the April meeting of the Inn together with results of “settlement negotiations” conducted by two sets of counsel at a previous meeting. In both American Inns of the Court experienced trial attomeys. younger practitioners students and federal and state judges participate in monthly demonstrations and critiques a “pupillage system.” and related activities. Judge Christensen says the program has brought “remarkable response” and the attendance record at meetings has been “little short of phenomenal.” One surprising development he comments has been the transformation of an initial concept that the benefits were pretty much limited to students and young lawyers. “Now the participants have come to realize that the sharing of ideas ideals and experiences on a continuing basis among these groups and the seasoned federal and state judges and lawyers is of vital interest and value to all. promotes their mutual development. and strengthens the processes of justice generally.” Some of the ideas embodied into the Amminncourt program are adaptations from Ute English Inns of the Court which have been studied firsthand by Judge Christensen. Except for “masters of the bench” who are permanent members of the lnns membership is on a revolving basis with students and attomeys moving through the programs yearly The Inns do not seek to duplicate either law school training or continuing legal education programs. says Judge Christensen. “They are designed to provide a unique method of developing insights and inspirations through demonstrations of various aspects of the trial process? Free and frank critiques and “rap sesslons” result in a beneficial amalgam of viewpoints. he adds. The very first of numerous purposes of the Inns cited in the charter is “tu unite a crass-section of the bar into a forum for promotion of excellence in legal advocacy as an institution and as an individual capability.” The Inter-Organization Council of American Inns of Court which Christensen heads includes the prestdents and counselors of existing inns The council will provide a sample charter and other material to those interested in organizing Inns in other states.