Indiana Supreme Court hears argument at Trine

October 02, 2023

Hundreds of high school and Trine University students were able to see Indiana’s criminal justice system in action when the state Supreme Court held an oral argument at Trine University on Sept. 27.

Seated on the stage of the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts, the court heard from attorneys in the case of WEOC, Inc., et al. v. Niebauer.

The case stems from a civil suit filed in the death of Nathan Blount in March 2021. Blount was killed after Eric Adair, who had previously consumed alcohol at Wings, Etc. and El Cantarito, crossed the center line while driving and crashed into Blount’s vehicle.

A representative for Blount’s estate alleged the restaurants were responsible for Blount’s death under the Dram Shop Act and common law. Wings, Etc. and El Cantarito sought to have the common law theory dismissed.

Once the court hearing was adjourned by Elayna Hasty, a Trine student who served as honorary bailiff, the court and attorneys took questions from the students in attendance.

Topics included what the next steps for the case will be, the qualifications to be an Indiana Supreme Court justice, how the court works together and the difference between state and federal court proceedings.

The appearance at Trine was the 50th time the court has heard an argument on the road since 1994.

The court holds oral arguments at the State House in Indianapolis and occasionally schedules arguments outside the capital. Traveling oral arguments allow students, the press, and the public in other areas of the state the opportunity to see the work of the Court.

In addition to Trine students, faculty and staff, nearly 500 students from East Noble High School, Hamilton Community High School, Lakewood Park Christian School, Prairie Heights High School and Westview Junior/Senior High School attended.

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