The broad range of the cases that come before the Pennsylvania Superior Court will do so at Lackawanna College's Mellow Theater Tuesday, starting at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday, starting at 10 a.m. as a three-judge panel bring appellate action to Scranton. The Superior Court is an appellate court which hears all criminal and most civil case appeals from the trial courts in each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Elevating that court's profile has been a goal of President Judge Correale Stevens.
Now in his second year as president judge, this is the second time the court is conducting business in Northeast Pennsylvania. Last year, the court heard arguments at MMI Preparatory School in Hazleton. The court has had other remote sessions around the state.
"My goal is for people to understand the appellate court process," said Judge Stevens, who earlier in his career was a district attorney in Luzerne County and a state representative. "Most people understand trial courts but don't really grasp the importance or function of appellate courts."
Perhaps the biggest difference is appellate courts do not hear evidence, or have juries or witnesses. Rather, they hear arguments over points of law - which doesn't make for as compelling television as a trial court. Nevertheless, the far-ranging case are certainly real-life.