Offsite Oral Arguments Held at Anderson High School

First District Judges hear oral arguments at Anderson High School.

As part of the First District Court of Appeals’ on-going Courtroom in the Community initiative, offsite oral arguments were held on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, for students in the Forest Hills School District. That morning, over 200 high school juniors from Anderson and Turpin High Schools eagerly filled the seats of the auditorium at Anderson High School to observe oral arguments in two cases. The two cases were heard before a three-judge panel consisting of Presiding Judge Ginger Bock, Judge Robert Winkler, and Judge Jennifer Kinsley. At the conclusion of oral arguments, the students and judges participated in a riveting question-and-answer session. The students were well prepared to ask the judges many questions about court procedures, becoming a lawyer, and much more. Teachers and students alike had a positive experience!

The offsite court experience gave me really good insight into my local government, and how to be an informed citizen.” – Benjamin H., Anderson High School Junior.

I’ve noticed increased connection to course content in the immediate aftermath of the Court of Appeals cases at Anderson. The cases invited real-world applications of our course content in addition to highlighting potential future career paths for students.” – Joe Walla, Anderson High School Government Teacher.

From left to right: Anderson High School Principal Kyle Fender, Judge Jennifer Kinsley, Judge Ginger Bock, Judge Robert Winkler, and Forest Hills School District Community Partnership Specialist Melanie Hartong.


The offsite event was organized by the collaborative efforts of the Court and Melanie Hartong, the Community Partnership Specialist for the Forest Hills School District. Ms. Hartong had previously worked with the Court this past November to organize an exciting field trip for students interested in careers in law to visit the First District Court of Appeals and attend oral arguments. The field trip provided those students with an authentic learning experience and solidified many of their career interests. For this reason, Ms. Hartong, the principals of Anderson and Turpin High Schools, and the students’ government teachers were thrilled to give more students the opportunity to witness the First District Court of Appeals in action. 

The staff at Forest Hills School District is dedicated to creating authentic learning experiences with real world applications for our students. The offsite courtroom visit is a great example of that! Our students in government classes were able to see their government in action!” – Kyle Fender, Anderson High School Principal.

What a wonderful opportunity for our students to observe an actual courtroom experience without having to leave our school district. Witnessing the conversations between attorneys and judges at this level is something that most people never get a chance to see. The question-and-answer activity at the end of the day was a great culminating activity that empowered our students to further their learning curiosity.” – Andy Jados, Turpin High School Principal.

From left to right: Judge Robert Winkler, Presiding Judge Ginger Bock, and Judge Jennifer Kinsley
First District Judges and Forest Hills Students participated in a question-and-answer session at the conclusion of oral arguments.

Judges from the First District Court of Appeals who were on the panel and participated in the question-and-answer session also had positive things to say about the students and the offsite program.

I have always enjoyed the court’s offsite visits. Our visit to Anderson High School was no different. The combined class of Turpin High School and Anderson High School students listened intently to the arguments of counsel. During the post-argument question-and-answer session this became evident based on the pertinent nature of the students’ questions. I am sure the students now have a greater understand of the judicial branch of our government.” – Judge Robert Winkler.

It was a pleasure holding oral arguments at Forest Hills School District. The students from Anderson and Turpin High Schools were very attentive and asked thoughtful questions. Holding oral arguments at area schools is a win-win; the students see how our judicial system works and we have the opportunity to both increase transparency and encourage bright students to consider law as a career.” – Presiding Judge Ginger Bock.

The students brough real energy and enthusiasm to the work we do. They asked perceptive questions about the court system that showed they were thinking critically about how government serves the people. Many thanks to the teachers and administrators at the Forest Hills School District who made this community court event possible.” – Judge Jennifer Kinsley.

The goal of bringing the courtroom to the community is to educate students and community members about the Court’s processes, expose young people to careers in the legal profession, and inspire them to get involved in the justice system. In continuing those efforts, interested parties can contact the Court at to organize an educational visit to the First District Court of Appeals.

To watch oral arguments from Tuesday, March 5, 2024, please click here