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Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom reaches new heights

By Dave Jones on October 5, 2012 in University News

As the chief justice of California, UC Davis alumna Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye B.A. ’80, J.D. ’84 had visited her alma mater before — but never with her entire court.

This week, all seven justices were here — holding a real session of the California Supreme Court in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom in King Hall.

The week before (Sept. 24), a three-judge panel of the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal heard oral arguments in the same courtroom.

Neither the high court nor the Sacramento-based appellate court had been here since the early days of the School of Law, which opened in 1966.

Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the School of Law, said we can thank the school’s expansion and renovation for getting the courts to come back. The expansion phase, completed two years ago, included the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom — giving the law school a high-caliber facility for students and courts alike.

“The addition of this state-of-the-art facility provides students the wonderful educational experience of hearing oral arguments in real-life cases before federal and state court judges, as well as an opportunity to interact with the judges and justices in question-and-answer sessions,” Johnson told Dateline UC Davis for a Sept. 21 article about the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court sessions.

Last year a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal became the first federal or state court to use the Kalmanovitz.

A proud Dean Johnson said: “The federal and state court proceedings went very well, and we will be happy to host the courts again in the future.” Read his blog.

The courtroom is named after businessman Paul Kalmanovitz and his wife, Lydia. He died in 1987 and she died in 1994, but their philanthropy lives on through the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, which gave $1 million to the law school expansion.

Read the law school’s coverage of both sessions:

Other coverage

The Supreme Court heard arguments in three cases. Read coverage of two them:

“Ralphs asks state court to limit pickets,” San Francisco Chronicle (Oct. 4, 2012)

“California high court considers liability for theme park injuries,” Los Angeles Times (Oct. 4, 2012)

From The Sacramento Bee: Davis High School senior Daniel Tutt had a rare opportunity Wednesday (Oct. 3) when the student aspiring to be an attorney stood before the California Supreme Court and asked the justices how they ensure that rulings stay current and resilient.

Tutt was one of 60 students from three high schools invited to a special session of the California Supreme Court at the UC Davis School of Law, where justices heard oral argument in three cases.

"I was worried my heart beat would be audible through the microphone," Tutt said about being chosen as one of a handful of high school and UC Davis School of Law students to ask the justices questions prior to oral arguments.

Read more.

Earlier coverage

“State courts to hear cases in King Hall,” Dateline UC Davis (Sept. 21, 2012)

“Law school hosts 9th circuit court for six hearings,” Dateline UC Davis (March 11, 2011)

Photo slide show from the 9th circuit court session

UC Davis School of Law celebrates $30 million expansion, news release (Sept. 3, 2010)

“King Hall receives $1 million gift for new courtroom,” Dateline UC Davis (Feb. 23, 2009)

King Hall expansion and renovation (video)

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,