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Texas Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments at UTEP

EL PASO, Texas (Jan. 29, 2024) – The Supreme Court of Texas will visit The University of Texas at El Paso this week to hear oral arguments in two El Paso-based cases. The visit will offer UTEP students and the El Paso public a rare opportunity to witness in person the inner workings of Texas’ highest court.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Texas will visit The University of Texas at El Paso this week to hear oral arguments in two El Paso-based cases. Credit: Supreme Court of Texas

This is the first time since 2019 that the court will travel outside of Austin for official case proceedings.

The hearings will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 at the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center on the UTEP campus. The proceedings will be open to the public and the media.

“I’m very glad the justices are joining us here in El Paso,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to learn more about our state judicial system and envision future careers for themselves.”  

Justices will hear oral arguments in two cases involving parties from the El Paso area:

  • In re Trust A & Trust C, Established Under Bernard L. & Jeannette Fenenbock Living Trust Agreement, dated March 12, 2008
  • Oscar Renda Contracting v. Bruce

Additional details on these cases are available on the Court’s website.

 “The Supreme Court is pleased that The University of Texas at El Paso is hosting this event,” Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht said. “Conducting oral arguments in diverse locations not only enhances transparency but fosters a deeper public understanding of the Third Branch of government, and helps this Court spread its message of accessibility to justice to all corners of our great state.”

The upcoming stop in El Paso by Chief Justice Hecht and his eight fellow justices follows a visit to the UTEP campus in 2015 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for oral arguments on two cases. The intent of these events, University officials said, is to give the University’s students, including those who are part of the Law School Preparation Institute (LSPI), a first-hand look at the mechanics of the judicial system.

“As a former student in the LSPI, I know how impactful these experiences are,” said UTEP Vice President and Chief of Staff Andrea Cortinas. “For a young student, and even for a casual observer of the judicial system, this visit presents a rare opportunity to witness how law is practiced at the highest level – on both sides of the bench.” A cohort from the Austin High School Sandra Day O'Connor Public Service Academy will also be in attendance during the Texas High Court’s visit to UTEP.

Additional opportunities for students and the public to interact with the justices will be available. There will be a Q&A session immediately following the oral arguments in which anyone, including the media, may participate. The justices will also visit a class at UTEP and meet with student leaders during separate functions at the conclusion of the oral arguments.

About The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of our 24,000 students are Hispanic, and more than half are the first in their families to go to college.UTEP offers 172 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.



Last Updated on January 29, 2024 at 12:00 AM | Originally published January 29, 2024

By MC Staff UTEP Marketing and Communications