Off the Record: Learning the courtroom ropes

Our Grade 12 law class has been learning the ins and outs of the law system in Canada.

Since school has started up this year, our Grade 12 law class has been learning the ins and outs of the law system in Canada.Countless hours have been devoted to memorizing charges,how arrests are supposed to be performed, and how our court house is set up. In the last month or so, we’ve had the opportunity to sit in on a couple of court days in Invermere. I mostly witnessed cases to do with family court and traffic violations. I’m sure it dragged on for some, with a majority of the cases before the judge adjourned until a later date for one reason or another, but I definitely enjoyed the experience.Not only did we sit in for a couple of hours the first day, but we were also given the opportunity to sit and discuss court with both the judge and the two sheriffs. The court granted us all access and gave us an idea of what working in law enforcement is really like. The class was escorted around the back of the courthouse, allowed in the cells and in the back of the sheriffs’ transport truck. I even had the opportunity to experience what it was like to get handcuffed!Our law teacher, Andrea Dunlop,had a mock-court activity planned for our class after we had experienced first-hand what a real court set-up was like. I’m sure Mrs . Dunlop’s mock trials have seen better days, but there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of fun in the courthouse,right?The class was split into two teams of crown and defense lawyers, as well as sheriffs,witnesses, a judge and myself as the court clerk. Our trial played out much like those that new lawyers must experience, with numerous silly mistakes and awkward transitions. There were changing witness statements, dramatic throwing out of evidence, and, of course, a judge more than happy to mess with the lawyers in any and all possible ways. We then got to see how the professionals do it once again,and I’ve got to tell you that they seemed a lot more seasoned than we did. Although we may not all be experts in the trade yet, we did have quite the time playing court.

Caitlin Fuller is a Grade 12 David Thompson Secondary School student volunteering one day a week at The Valley Echo and Pioneer as a student reporter.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read