The states high court is making its annual visit to West Virginia University this month to hear cases on medical malpractice, second-degree murder and whether or not pharmacies should legally be known ashealth care providersin the Mountain State.

West Virginias Supreme Court of Appeals will hear cases from 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday, March 13, in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the College of Law. The justices will also rule on the courtroom prowess of two second-year law students in the colleges annual Moot Court George C. Baker Cup competition beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the courtroom.

The public is invited to both events.

The cases:

  • Estate of Alexia Sheree Fout-Iser, etc, et. al. v. John L. Hahn, M.D. et. al.A circuit court earlier ruled against the plaintiffs in this wrongful death case, saying they lacked the expert testimony that was critical to their argument. They are appealing to the high court.
  • Michael Worley, et. al. v. Beckley Mechanical Inc.Did the statute of limitations for disability benefits run out for the plaintiff seriously injured in the workplace? And did the accident render himinsane,as defined by state code?
  • State of W.Va. v. Wade C. DavisThe defendant is appealing his conviction and sentence for second-degree murder. Hes seeking a reversal and a new trial.
  • August Eugene Phillips, et. al. v. Larrys Drive-In Pharmacy Inc.The court will consider whether the defendant, a licensed pharmacy, is ahealth care provider,as defined by state code. A civil action was filed against the defendant earlier for alleged negligence in the dispensation of medication.

Visit a more detailed look at the cases.

This will be the 17th visit by the justices to WVU and Morgantown, and College of Law Dean John Fisher II says the annual appearances make both a vivid impression and a lasting learning experience.

Its important that students have the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the legal process,Fisher said.For most of our first-year students, this day means that its the first time theyve seen that process in person, with the lawyers arguing and the judges interjecting. Its a real educational opportunity.

The education continues through the afternoon, when the court presides over the law schools annual Baker Cup competition. Thats the event that pits two second-year students in a fictitious case that has real-world implications.

Nothing can compare, Fisher said, for the students arguing a case before the Supreme Court.

Its something a second-year law student is definitely not going to forget,he said.Its exciting, anxiety-producing and rewarding, all at once. And thats even for experienced lawyers. Our students really learn, and thats what its all about.

The competition was created in 1926 by George Coleman Baker, an 1886 graduate of the College of Law. His son, Judge Charles Baker, followed as an alumnus in 1913.

In honor of both men, Judge Bakers daughters, Betty Sue Armistead and Mary-Jane Baker English, established the George C. Baker Cup Endowment in 1980.