July 26, 2010
Law Students Get First-Hand Look at The Law In Action; U.S. District Court Hosts Hearings at Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan held hearings at Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus on Tuesday, July 20. Cooley students attended the hearings, providing them with a live demonstration of the law being practiced.
"The hearings were a tremendous learning experience for our students," said Nelson Miller, associate dean of Cooley's Grand Rapids campus. "Students heard oral arguments in cases that connect to different areas of their studies at Cooley."
Joseph Scoville, Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western Michigan District was to preside over the first case and Paul Maloney, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western Michigan District, heard the final two cases. Magistrate Judge Scoville’s motion hearing became unnecessary, though, because the defendants withdrew their opposition. In place of the hearing, Magistrate Judge Scoville led a discussion with students about the legal issues in the matter and the approach that he intended to take had the motion been opposed.
In a second case, a cosmetics company, Bonne Bell, sought to have a breach of contract claim dismissed, stating that undisputed evidence showed that it was entitled to cancel an order with Grand Rapids-based packaging company Surefil due to the company’s failure to meet delivery deadlines.
In the final case of the day, both parties in Brown Bark v. Traverse City Light and Power sought dispositive rulings from the court. The parties agreed on most of the case’s facts, but disagreed on a point of law – whether the repayment of money advanced by Traverse City Light and Power to the original developer of Brewery Creek Center Condominiums can be considered a tax and thus provide the basis for a lien on the property that could survive the property’s mortgage foreclosure.
Chief Judge Maloney withheld rulings on Bonne Bell v. Surefil and Brown Bark v. Traverse City Light and Power, stating that he would issue written opinions.
After the hearings, students peppered both judges with questions, including inquiries regarding the to-be written opinions. Chief Judge Maloney declined to discuss which side he would likely favor, reminding students that a court speaks through its orders and written opinions.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan held hearings at Cooley Law School's Grand Rapids campus on Tuesday, July 20. Cooley students attended the hearings, providing them with a live demonstration of the law being practiced. Chief Judge Paul Maloney (left) makes a point about the law, while Magistrate Judge Joseph Scoville (right) looks on.
High-Res 300dpi Image © Thomas M. Cooley Law School 2010
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, the private, non-profit law school operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.Today, Cooley Law School has nearly 14,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September.