Texas 10th Court of Appeals to hear cases on MCC campus

Aug. 28, 2023

McLennan Community College will host the Texas 10th Court of Appeals Monday, Sept. 18 in the Conference Center at MCC, located at 4601 N. 19th St. The court will sit in session beginning at 10 a.m. and will hear two cases followed by a question and answer session at 11:45 a.m., allowing students to witness the law in action and meet the justices. The court will also hear a third case beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The Texas 10th Court of Appeals, consisting of Justices Tom Gray, Matt Johnson and Steve Smith, is based in Waco and hears approximately 400 civil and criminal appeals a year from 18 counties in Central Texas, including McLennan County. The court has made visits to colleges throughout the counties for decades, but this will be the first visit to the MCC campus.

“As a native of Waco, I realize the fact Waco even has a court of appeals is a surprise to many.  The court has been located on the relatively secluded fourth floor of the McLennan County Courthouse since it was created 100 years ago,” Justice Johnson said. “Our court proceedings consist of legal arguments only and do not draw a crowd or much public interest, unlike the jury trials during my 14 years as judge of the 54th District Court. So, I appreciate MCC for allowing us to hold a session of court on campus where so many students and faculty can observe an appellate court at work. I hope it is informative to those who attend.”

The visit is being sponsored by MCC’s Paralegal Studies program.

“The opportunity to host the 10th Court of Appeals on our campus will allow students to gain first-hand knowledge of the inside workings of a courtroom,” said Christi Esquivel, Division Chair of MCC’s Business Programs. “A unique activity like this aids in learning because it ties instructional concepts to real-world applications. Some paralegals may never step foot in a courtroom during their careers and by hosting court we are able to show them how their piece of the puzzle fits into the big picture.”

The sessions are open to the public. However, no video or audio recording or photography will be allowed in the courtroom while court is in session. Individuals attending the session must wear appropriate attire, power off or silence electronic devices, and are not allowed to bring in food or beverages. Please note oral arguments may include details that are offensive, harmful, or traumatizing to some audiences. The media is invited to attend the question and answer session for interviews with students and the justices.

For more information contact, Lindsey Vanek at 254-299-8140 or lvanek@mclennan.edu.