Court of Appeals hears cases at Elon Law

Elon Law welcomed North Carolina Court of Appeals Judges Rick Elmore, Lucy Inman and J. Douglass McCullough on March 9 as they presided over cases in Elon’s Robert E. Long Courtroom and met with law students following Court proceedings.

Elon Law students observed arguments before the Court of Appeals in two cases, witnessing appellate procedure first hand in cases involving criminal law and contempt of court.

“We hope it benefits the students,” said Judge Elmore. “We heard two cases today. We had full courtrooms with students in both cases. We try to pick cases that will be instructive and informative for them.”

Judges Elmore, Inman and McCullough met with Elon Law students for an hour following the Court’s proceedings, sharing insights about the Court of Appeals in a question and answer session moderated by Elon Law’s Distinguished Professor of the Judicial Process James G. Exum, Jr., a former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

First-year law students said the opportunity to observe argument before the Court of Appeals was valuable.

“It was great to reflect on what we have been learning this trimester and see it in practice,” said Grayson Lowery. “It was very demystifying.”

“After doing our first oral arguments in class this trimester, it was nice to see actual lawyers present oral arguments before an appellate court,” said Whitney Armstrong. “I appreciated how closely the techniques we are simulating in class mirror approaches taken by attorneys before the Court of Appeals.”

“It was interesting to see different styles of oral advocates,” said Christopher Hall. “One attorney was more conversational. The other was more formal and more structured. Both approaches seemed effective. As a first-year student, thinking everything should be formal before judges, I got to see the effectiveness of a more conversational approach.”

Following the Court of Appeals proceedings and the judges’ question and answer session with students, Elon Law welcomed students, alumni and members of the regional legal community to an evening reception with Judges Elmore, Inman and McCullough.

The Court of Appeals held court in Elon Law’s Robert E. Long Courtroom, one of the most technologically advanced courtrooms in the state. The proceedings were made viewable by live stream video in an Elon Law classroom for students unable to attend in person.

The Long Courtroom is home to the North Carolina Business Court, making Elon Law one of the few law schools in the country to house a working court.

More information about the judges of the North Carolina Court of Appeals is available here.