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Court of Appeals: What Do They Do?

By: Parker Watson and Emmy Martin 

When most delegates hear the word “Appellate”, they have no idea what it means. Hadley Burke from West Forsyth High School even answered, “I think people peel bananas,” when asked what she thought delegates in Court of Appeals did. Maloy Basinger, a senator from Cape Fear Academy, said that she does not “think anyone knows what it is!” Basinger assumes delegates in Court of Appeals “present and appeal their cases.”

Joshua Crockett is a senior from North Raleigh Christian Academy and is in his third year of Court of Appeals. Crockett shed some light on the process and explained that there are Chief Justices and Associate Justices who preside over everyone. Underneath the Justices are the attorneys. “Attorneys prepare four briefs, two for each side of the two cases we present,” said Crockett. “On the first day you present one case as an appellate and a respondent, and the second day you present two different briefs for the appellate and respondent.” Attorneys must argue both sides of the case as appellate and respondent.

Additionally, every attorney is required to be a Guest Judge at least once. Guest Judges preside with the other Justices to prepare themselves and to understand what the Justices are looking for in the attorneys’ speeches. Crockett also explained that on Saturday, “Some of the best people will be nominated to participate in All-Stars.”

If delegates do not know what Court of Appeals is, they definitely do not know why the members love their program. Benajah Richardson joined because of her passion for law. “I enjoy it a lot. I have a strong passion for law, specifically litigation. This is something that I really see myself doing in the future,” said Richardson.

One of the most interesting parts of Appellate comes when the case is over. The associate judges leave their courtroom and the opposing attorneys immediately begin to get to know each other…. And the opposite side of their case. Ellie Bauguess particularly enjoyed the moments of anticipation while the judges were absent. “I just enjoy getting to know the people we're up against. When the associate justices that are judging us go out to deliberate, going and talking to the other side of the argument are really nice, said Bauguess.”

Court of appeals may not be the most known part of NC Y&G, but its members are more than willing to share their passion for their work with anyone curious enough to get to know them.