News Item
Supreme Court convenes at Albert Lea Senior High School

Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2016

Supreme Court convenes at Albert Lea Senior High School

The Minnesota Supreme Court convened at Albert Lea Senior High School today as part of a biannual program that seeks to teach students about the court system and build the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch.
The state’s highest Court heard oral arguments of an actual case – LaPoint v. Family Orthodontics (A15-0396) – in front of nearly 700 sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Albert Lea Senior High School.

Following the oral arguments, members of the Court held a question-and-answer session with the students, shared lunch with student representatives, and spent the afternoon visiting classrooms to talk more about the state’s court system.
The oral arguments and question-and-answer session were also streamed live on the Internet on

In the days leading up to the event, local attorneys from the Freeborn County Bar Association volunteered in area classrooms to help students understand the Supreme Court oral argument process and the case that was before the Court in Albert Lea.

Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, Minn., in 1995, school visits have taken center stage in the Court’s public outreach and education efforts. The Albert Lea event marked the 44th in-school oral argument for the Court.

The Court generally issues its opinions on cases three to five months following oral arguments.  All Supreme Court opinions are available upon release at

Community dinner held before the school event
The night before the event at Albert Lea Senior High School, on October 5, the Supreme Court held a community dinner for members of the public at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. The dinner was attended by more than 150 people from around the region, who shared a meal with members of the Supreme Court and the local district court bench, and heard comments from Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea and other Supreme Court justices.

“We are so grateful to the Albert Lea community for the warm welcome we received and the excellent discussions we had about Minnesota’s court system,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gildea. “These community visits are such a great opportunity to be able to talk about the role our courts play in preserving our rights and freedoms, and engage students at a time when they are learning about their role in our democracy. Minnesotans should be proud to have a court system that is recognized nationally for its fairness, accessibility, and technological innovation.”