Street Law watches proceedings of federal court

Quincy Schmechel, Editorial Board

On Nov. 20, teacher Gregg Dart’s street law class journeyed from room 212 and into the federal courthouse.

As part of the curriculum of the semester long course, students  experience many parts of state and federal laws through the class. These opportunities include visiting the county jail, talking to various judges in the Great Falls community, going on ride-alongs with police officers, and viewing court processes.

While optional, these field trips are highly encouraged throughout the course. Senior Nate Moore says that the opportunities offered by street law are what makes the course unique.

Moore attended a federal trial on Nov. 20, and said that he found it quite interesting.

“The trial we watched involved a man who was soliciting sex online,” Moore said. “He had posted an ad for adult [interactions] and received a reply from a police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl.”

Moore said that the officer and the man had even set up price points for the “adult” services, and had agreed to meet at Tracy’s, located on Central Avenue in downtown Great Falls.

“We watched voir dire, which is the jury selection process. It took about four hours,” Moore said. “The selection process was long. By far, the most interesting part of the process was watching the opening statements from both the prosecution and defense.”

The trial, which went on until 10 p.m. the following day, culminated in a mistrial.

Moore said that he found the experience rewarding and educational.
“It’s interesting and important to understand how the law works,” Moore said. “It’s something everyone should know. I’ve really learned a lot.”