Event to give students opportunity to cross-examine local judges

Geraldine Marquez

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CSUN students will have the opportunity to question Los Angeles Superior Court judges about the court system.

The event, “Cross-Examine The Judges Night,” will take place Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Grand Salon of the University Student Union.

Dr. Virginia Lussier, a professor in the political science department, said the event is an annual event that is sponsored by the department and is designed to familiarize students with the jobs of the judges, the workings of the Los Angeles Superior Court, and the judicial process, in general.

“We expect nine judges and two commissioners from the criminal, civil, and family courts in the three courthouse located in the San Fernando Valley (Van Nuys, San Fernando, and Chatsworth),” Lussier said. “In addition, there will be two referees who work in the juvenile courts.”

There will always be lawyers present from the San Fernando Valley Bar Association and other court staff, added Lussier.

Senior Alan James, 23, is looking forward to participating in the event.

“I’m definitely excited to check this thing out,” said James, a political science major. “I’m not sure what I want to ask exactly, but I know that it’s going to be a great experience to just hear what others will ask and hear how the judges will answer. Of course, as a Political Science major, I will also have to ask questions just so that I don’t kick myself later for having the opportunity to have some questions answered and not taking it.”

Lussier said political science professor, Dr. Lawrence Becker, has been working with this event for the past several years.

“The department of political science also offers a Judicial Internship Program (POLS 494J) in which majors from any department can apply to participate,” Lussier said. “These students spend 120 hours in a courtroom during the course of a semester in which they observe court activity. They are assigned to a judge who works closely with them so that they gain a more in depth understanding of exactly what is occurring in the courtroom.”

Junior Amy Hirata, 20, is curious about the event.

“I am very much interested in going to this event,” said Hirata, an art major. “I didn’t know we had this here on campus. I think it should be interesting to hear what kinds of questions students will have for the judges. I am curious enough to want to attend this event.”

Lussier also said the internship provides an opportunity for students to observe court proceedings and to learn about the law and the judicial process and is intended for students thinking about a career in law.

Some of those judges who work with CSUN interns will be present on Wednesday evening. Lussier added that she reinforces to students that both the “Cross-Examine the Judges” event and the judicial internship are meant to enhance students’ knowledge of the judicial process and the workings of our local courts.

Senior Alex Ramirez, 24, Business Law major, is a bit apprehensive as to what to expect at the event this Wednesday.

“I don’t know, but I’m kind of worried that we won’t all get our questions answered, “ Ramirez said. “I’m sure someone will ask a question on that one touchy subject that the judges will want to go around. We’ll see, maybe I’m wrong. I think it’s great though to have a chance to speak with actual judges of the L.A. Superior Court.”