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UH Law Center community sees appellate system in action during Fifth Circuit oral arguments

Judge Gregg J. Costa, left, Dean Leonard M. Baynes, Judge Carolyn Dineen King and Judge James C. Ho, right, during a panel visit by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at the University of Houston Law Center.

Judge Gregg J. Costa, left, Dean Leonard M. Baynes, Judge Carolyn Dineen King and Judge James C. Ho, right, during a panel visit by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at the University of Houston Law Center.

Feb. 11, 2020 - The University of Houston Law Center was the site of oral arguments brought before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week in Krost Hall.

"We are grateful to the Fifth Circuit for holding oral arguments at the University of Houston Law Center," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. “It has been our goal over the past six years to build a stronger relation with the judiciary.

“During this time, we have had the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas 14th Court of Appeals also hold oral arguments as well have had lectures by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and other prominent jurists through the Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist in Residence Program. It is exciting for our students to get a first-hand look at how highly-skilled lawyers and jurists operate and have an opportunity to interact with them.”

A three-judge panel of Judge Carolyn Dineen King, Judge Gregg J. Costa and Judge James C. Ho heard from prosecuting and defense attorneys in the following cases:

  • Appeal of a preliminary injunction blocking a Mississippi law that would ban abortion after presence of a fetal heartbeat. (Jackson Women's Health Organization v. Thomas E. Dobbs, M.D., M.P.H, No. 19-60455.)
  • Appeal of a summary judgment in a case involving the suicide of a prisoner in a jail cell. (Jacqueline Smith v. Harris County, No. 19-20194.)
  • Appeal of new sentence after a McAllen man violated the terms of his supervised release. (United States v. Arnoldo Belmontes, Jr., No. 19-40001.)

Following the arguments, a luncheon was held in the Hendricks Heritage Room where students interacted with judges Costa, Ho and King and other members of the legal community.

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