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Superior Court of Pennsylvania to Hold a Special Session at Widener University

Widener University is pleased to welcome the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to its main campus in Chester, Pa. for a special court session on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The proceedings are open to the public.

The court will convene at 10 a.m. with opening remarks from Judge Jack A. Panella, who is presiding over the session, Judge Alice Dubow and Senior Judge James J. Fitzgerald III, as well as Widener University President Dr. Julie E. Wollman. The proceedings will take place in Alumni Auditorium. Additional remarks will be made by Kevin F. Kelly, president judge of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, and Widener University Delaware Law Dean Rod Smolla.

The court will hear about two dozen cases over the course of the day, with arguments taking place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Attorneys will be seated in the front of the auditorium, with space behind them for those who attend to observe. The public may enter and exit throughout the court session, although people are encouraged to wait for breaks between the cases before moving.

The judges will meet with students when their morning session ends at 11:30 a.m., to discuss the work of the court in general and answer questions.

“This is a tremendous learning opportunity for our university community and I encourage students, faculty and staff to take advantage of it and make time to visit Alumni Auditorium during the arguments,” said Gordon P. Henderson, professor of political science, who is helping to organize the event. “We are delighted the court is providing the university this access to its work.”

The Superior Court normally hears arguments on appeals in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, but occasionally visits other locations around the Commonwealth for special sessions like this one, in order to better acquaint Pennsylvanians with the process by which matters before the state appeals courts are considered and resolved. The court exercises general jurisdiction statewide over all appeals from decisions of the state trial courts with the exception of death penalty appeals and cases brought against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its political subdivisions, such as school districts and municipalities. It is one of the busiest appellate courts in the nation.

The media is encouraged to attend and cover this event, and to share this information with the public in advance.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises seven schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website,