CSU, Chico News

Judge Comes to Campus to Direct Mock Court Proceedings

Date: 03-25-2008

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Cynthia Siemsen

Judge Sandra McLean will bring her courtroom to California State University, Chico on April 9 to give students the opportunity to observe court proceedings. Students in sociology professor Cynthia Siemsen’s Sociology of Law class will observe a case reenactment.

In addition to Judge McLean, a deputy district attorney, a defense attorney and a probation officer will attend the proceedings. The case they will look at is a felony DUI (gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated). A student in Siemsen’s class will play the defendant, “Thomas T-Ball Thompson.”

The audience will include Siemsen’s class and political science Professor Bob Stanley’s Capstone in Public Law class.

Siemsen said, “For as much as we’d like to acquaint students with actual courtroom proceedings, too often their impressions of law in action come from distorted television and movie legal dramas. Here we have a great opportunity for students to witness first hand proceedings with actual participants within the criminal justice system. The exception, of course, is our student actor.”

While the courts have re-enacted cases in area high schools, this is the first time this kind of event has been held on campus, said Siemsen. If you’d like more information, please contact her at (530) 898-6200 or e-mail her at CSiemsen@csuchico.edu.