JUDICIAL COURT HEARS ORAL ARGUMENTS IN BARNSTABLE
a courtroom filled with spectators, including students from
several Cape Cod schools, the
seven Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court today
held a special sitting in the Barnstable Superior Court and
heard five cases on appeal, including one originating in Barnstable
sitting in Barnstable is part of the SJC's continuing community
outreach to give the public an opportunity to observe the
state's highest court in action. Students and teachers from
schools in Barnstable, Chatham, North Eastham, and South Yarmouth,
as well as students from Cape Cod Community College, attended
the sitting, along with many lawyers and local residents.
The Court previously heard oral arguments in Barnstable on
May 6, 1996. Twice a year, the SJC has been holding sittings
in counties outside Boston, where the Court usually sits.
Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret
H. Marshall said, "It is
a pleasure to preside in this beautiful, historic courtroom
and to see students and teachers, and other community members
learning about the role of an independent judiciary.
It is particularly fitting for the Court to hold
this sitting in Barnstable,
the birthplace of Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw, one
of the most famous Chief Justices of the 19th century."
SJC heard oral arguments in the following five cases on appeal:
Daniella Gutierrez and another v. Massachusetts Bay Transportation
Authority and others; Commonwealth v. John J. Peloquin, a
murder case; Commonwealth v. Gavin G., a juvenile; Merav Sharon
v. City of Newton; and Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., and others
v. County Commissioners for the County of Nantucket. The Court
took the cases under advisement and will issue written opinions
once they are decided.
to oral arguments, Chief Justice Marshall began the session
with a few brief remarks, following a welcome from the President
of the Barnstable County Bar Association, Teresa M. McCormick.
After the session, members of the Barnstable County Bar Association,
and many local judges, attended a luncheon with the Justices.
Supreme Judicial Court's Historical Society provided a special
exhibit for the occasion, which features historical information
about Barnstable natives, Colonel James Otis, Sr., and his
son, James Otis, Jr., who were American Revolution legal luminaries.
The 309-year-old Supreme Judicial Court is the oldest appellate
court in continuous existence in the Western Hemisphere, operating
under the oldest written constitution in the world. The SJC
sitting in Barnstable is the fifteenth outside Boston since