Iowa Supreme Court justice visits GHV

Justice Brent Appel answers question from Garner-Hayfield-Verntura High School students about the Iowa Supreme Court.

Rebecca Peter|The Leader

GARNER – Students at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School had the opportunity to learn how the Iowa Supreme Court operates by asking a member of the court. Justice Brent Appel was a guest at GHV on Tuesday, April 2.

Appel has served on the court 12 years.

Since 2011, the Iowa Supreme Court has traveled to various communities in Iowa to hear cases of public interest.

The state’s highest court was in North Iowa on April 2 to hear oral arguments on two cases: Mathis vs. Iowa Utilities Board and Mathis, et al v. Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors. Lawyers for the plaintiffs and defense present their arguments in the civil case during an evening session at the Bowman Fine Arts Center in Forest City. The evening session was open to the public.

Appel spoke to GHV students earlier that day.He first explained of how a case comes before the Iowa Supreme Court, followed by a question and answer period.

“Before a case is heard by us, briefs are filed,” he said. “A brief is a written product that summarizes the case to come before the court. Prior to the arguments tonight at Forest City, all of us will review the briefs and prepare questions.”

During oral arguments, presenters for each side of the case are ordinarily limited to 15 minutes.

The justices questions about the record and questions about the law in this case. After oral arguments, they go into conference. In conference, they give a summary of the case and their impressions of the case.”

Appel said there may be second and third conferences during which a justice may change his or her mind. Finally, the opinion of the court is published.

Read the complete story in the April 10 Leader.