Second District COA at Xenia High School Photo (Judges Tucker, Epley, Lewis)

On April 2, 2024, the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals convened an official court session at the Xenia Community Schools Central Office as part of the court’s civics education outreach efforts. A three-judge panel – Presiding Judge Christopher B. Epley, Judge Michael L. Tucker, and Judge Ronald C. Lewis – heard arguments in two appellate cases before a crowd of Xenia High School students currently enrolled in American Government. During the two half-hour sessions, students observed seasoned appellate attorneys present their best legal arguments while fielding questions from the judges.

Following the formal arguments, the judges and students engaged in a lively questions and answer session. Their conversation touched on topics including the role and responsibilities of judges and attorneys in the appellate process and the importance of the unbiased application of the rule of law. Each of the court’s three judges expressed enthusiasm for bringing this firsthand experience of how the Ohio judicial system works to the high school students. It was especially rewarding for Judge Ronald C. Lewis, a life-long resident of Greene County and 1984 graduate of Xenia High School. “We have a civic responsibility to give students the opportunity to personally witness the judicial system in operation so they can better understand the law and the sometimes-complicated processes. As a Xenia High School graduate and resident of Xenia Township, I’m proud to bring the Court of Appeals to my community along with my colleagues. The students were prepared, polite, and respectful. Their parents and teachers should be proud,” Judge Lewis said.

The Second District Court of Appeals is one of Ohio’s twelve intermediate-level appellate courts. It is made up of five judges who hear appeals from common pleas, municipal, and county courts from Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, and Montgomery counties. Educators within the District who are interested in working with the Second District Court of Appeals as part of its civics outreach program are encouraged to contact the court.