Court Visit Report

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Court Visit Report

Case CIV499511 - MANUEL E DELGADO JR VS SEQUOIA UNION SCHOOL DIST1

1. Judge V, Raymond Swope, clerk, court reporter, sheriff, defendant - SEQUOIA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT PRESENT WITH COUNSEL JOHN SHUPE, Plaintiff - MANUEL E DELGADO JR PRESENT WITH COUNSEL DAVID SECREST, MATTHEW ZITO, PRINCIPAL FOR MENLO ATHERTON HIGH, WITNESS KAREN ANN BRESLOW, WITNESS CLAUDIA KISPERSKY1 and 16 jurors were present in the court. 2. Sketch TBD

3. Plaintiff, Mr. Delgado lost employment as a schoolteacher. Plaintiff is suing the district on the grounds of racial discrimination. This is a jury trial and jury consisted of 16 jurors. 4. Plaintiff’s attorney, counsel David Secrest is presenting evidence to showcase the systematic discrimination his client faced over a period of two years while he was working at the school. Evidence included communication plaintiff had with his doctors, his school staff, union attorneys etc. Lot of emails and letters were presented as evidence of communication. WITNESS MANUEL DELGADO, PREVIOUSLY SWORN, RESUMED THE STAND AND TESTIFIED FURTHER UNDER DIRECT EXAMINATION BY ATTORNEY SECREST1.  If the counsel question was not permissible, the opposing counsel placed objections with judge. Judge decided whether to overrule, suspend or admit questions accordingly. Plaintiff was repeatedly asked to limit to only direct answers to questions. Clerk had organized all the permitted documents with respective numbers that counsel could use to refer to the judge the particular document. Court reporter takes minutes and if something is spelled unclear, she would interrupt and clarify. Court reporter is not a distraction in this case. At the end of the hearing, Clerk printed out copies of summary of minutes and gave to judge, counsels and their clients. 5. One procedure I have noticed in court that was not discussed as part of course work is how judge and counsel discussed what changes need to be done for next day hearings. In this case, judge instructed that plaintiff must not misuse “me too” observations of plaintiff to influence jury unfairly. Also, judge disagreed to permit letters written by union attorneys to plaintiff stating those letters are argumentative. Instead judge ordered both counsels to draft a mutually agreed stipulation restating the content from those letters. 6. Court session is of extreme value to me. This court session gave me practical knowledge of how the cases are presented, argued and judged upon. 7. Evidence is remarkably detailed, structured, complicated and efficiently presented. I felt one needs to be extremely diligent to ensure choosing the appropriately applicable codes as there is a lot left to interpretation.

[1] http://openaccess1.sanmateocourt.org/openaccess/civil/civilminutes.asp?courtcode=A&casenumber=499511&casetype=CIV&dsn=&actionseq=2&actiondate=20110218&actiontime=9&department=23&actioncode=HCMC1I&action=%3Cfont+color%3D%27%23000000%27%3ECASE+MANAGEMENT+CONFERENCE%3C%2Ffont%3E*

Overview of Court visit as an experience

I went to San Mateo courts on multiple days. The first day I went, I got to observe and understand where to find the information. At entrance everyone has to proceed through a security check. Once you go in, you see a big screen where different court-rooms and the cases going on can be found. Also, you the cops standing are extremely helpful. One of the cops told me to proceed up the escalator to the head administrative where the updated master calendar will be available. I proceeded to the end of the corridor after going up the escalator on the first floor and there was a lady who had the master calendar. It was past noon and she said most of the court proceedings happen in the morning sessions but she can check to see if there is anything going on this afternoon. She said there would be a criminal case going on in 7J.

I also asked her I could learn more on the background of the...
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