Fall 2012 Youth Court Conference

The ice breaker
On October 20, approximately 80 youth and adults attended the fall youth court conference. Margaret Fisher hosted the event at the Seattle University School of Law, with the support of several law students who mentor the Seattle Youth Traffic Court. The event was sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Washington State Association of Youth Courts with support from the Washington Judges Foundation and the Seattle University School of Law.

Ten existing youth courts sent members. Law student Patricia Bredlau got everyone moving with an icebreaker before settling in to learn the Think First Think Again lessons provided by Firefighter Tim Steiner of Cheney. Elijah Hayes particularly liked being strapped to the gurney in a demonstration of what happens when driving ends up in serious accidents.

Adult coordinators shared common challenges and strengths, and ways to address issues that are common to all youth courts. Issaquah had a team to consider how to implement a youth court in their school.

During lunch, President Terri Cooper ran the annual meeting of the Association's meeting and volunteer attorney Charley Bates conducted the student elections. Harmeen Kaur from Whatcom County Youth Court was elected Student President and Elijah Hayes of the Seattle Youth Traffic Court was elected Student Vice President. Each serves for a one-year term, with the VP then moving into the Student President's position.

After lunch youth and adults representing youth courts hearing juvenile diversion, traffic, school rule, and truancy cases made presentations how restorative played out with their courts.

Two amazing litigators - Josephine Wiggs-Martin and Andrea Jarmon got a lively discussion going on advocacy. In addition, they divided the participants into small group to analyze a fact pattern from various viewpoints.

The event ended with a trip to the Great Wheel, Seattle's newest Ferris wheel located down on the waterfront.


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