Arts & Humanities

Utah Court of Appeals to Hear Cases at Utah State University

By Andrea DeHaan |

USU's Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall, seen here in 2022, will host a special session of the Utah Court of Appeals on Sept. 20. (Photo Credit: USU)

LOGAN — The Utah Court of Appeals will hear cases on the Logan campus of Utah State University. The special oral argument session, which is open to the USU community and general public, will take place on Sept. 20. in the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall.

Presiding Judge Michele M. Christiansen Forster, Judge David N. Mortensen, and Judge John D. Luthy, an alumnus of USU’s Political Science Department, will hear two cases between 10 and 11:30 a.m.

According to USU’s Damon Cann, department head and professor of political science, courts participate in outreach events to help students and residents better understand their mission.

“Because courts don’t have the ability to appropriate money or enforce their own rulings, they rely on perceptions of their legitimacy to maintain their standing in the political system,” Cann said. “By engaging students and community members in this event, the court is helping to educate the community on what courts do and how they work.”

Luthy, who has also taught as an adjunct professor at USU and for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, contacted Cann to ask about holding oral arguments on the Logan campus. The university and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences previously hosted the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the fall of 2019, and Cann said both the department and college were eager to build on that experience.

In fact, Luthy is no stranger to court proceedings at USU. While still in private practice, he argued a case before the 10th Circuit when they heard oral arguments on campus.

“I’m really excited to be able to have Judge Luthy back at USU on the other side of the bench for this hearing,” Cann said.

The Utah Court of Appeals is the second highest court in the state and hears cases on appeal from Utah’s district courts, also known as trial courts. In cases involving only Utah law, the Utah Supreme Court is the only court to which their decisions can be appealed. Each case adjudicated by the Utah Court of Appeals is heard by a panel of three judges selected from seven judges who staff the court.

During the special session in USU’s Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall, the court will hear two cases involving property disputes. At approximately 10:15 a.m., they will hear arguments in the case of Koller v. Sabour, a family dispute over a trust involving 5,000 acres of land. The second hearing at 11 a.m. is that of B.G.T.S Properties, LLC v. Balls Brothers Farm, LLC — a dispute over a property boundary.

“It is a unique and special opportunity to have the Court of Appeals here at Utah State next week. We encourage all USU students with an interest in law and/or politics to come and participate,” said Cann, who has also invited concurrent enrollment students in Political Science 1100, Introduction to American Government, to come to campus for the event.

The special oral argument session is free and open to the broader USU community and to the public. Attendees do not need to stay for the entire session but are asked to be respectful of the court proceedings as they come and go from the event.

For more information, please visit the College of Humanities & Social Sciences website.


Andrea DeHaan
Content Writer
College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Damon Cann
Department of Political Science
(435) 797-8705

Comments and questions regarding this article may be directed to the contact person listed on this page.

Next Story in Arts & Humanities

See Also