Sep 8, 2006    #139
Contact: Nick Barron

High tech courtroom set for openingRe-dedication will celebrate completion of $2.34 million renovation of law school courtroom

The $2.34 million renovation of the E.E. (Tom) Thompson Courtroom at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) School of Law will be finalized with a re-dedication of the courtroom at 6 p.m. Monday Sept. 18.

Opened in 1979 with an innovative viewing theatre, the Thompson Courtroom has been renovated to conform to 21st Century needs while retaining the brilliance of the Courtroom’s initial design. The renovation was successful in:

• Reconfiguring the Courtroom’s physical space.

• Modernizing and upgrading the furniture.

• Expanding the electronic capabilities (including multimedia and internet technologies).

• Increasing accessibility for disabled individuals.

“We are very excited to be re-dedicating the E.E. (Tom) Thompson Courtroom after a complete renovation that will make it one of the premiere teaching courtrooms in the country,” Dean Ellen Suni said. “We look forward to using this facility for many years to come to educate advocates who will equal the quality and integrity of our graduates who serve as leaders of the litigation bar.”

A video evidence presentation system, video and audio recording capabilities, and the ability to transmit video from within the Courtroom to remote sites are some of the many technological improvements brought by the renovation. Additionally, the Courtroom now provides assistive listening systems for the hearing impaired, as well as a second language interpretation system.

The Courtroom will serve as a working courtroom by housing legally binding trials, providing a service to both the local community and to students, who will be able to watch actual trials unfold. The courtroom will also serve as a smart classroom and an auditorium for public functions.

Funding for the renovation, which began in November 2005, came from the University of Missouri System and private donations from alumni, friends, law firms, corporations and donor-directed foundations.

The re-dedication ceremony is part of a week-long celebration of the law school, including the Second Annual Pat Kelly Poker Tournament and a re-enactment of the Samuel Chase Impeachment Trial. The re-enactment, featuring former United States Attorney and current Court of Appeals Judge Robert Ulrich, as well as faculty and students from the law school, will highlight the drama surrounding the only impeachment of a United States Supreme Court Justice and the importance of judicial independence in this country.

For a complete schedule of events, click here.

The UMKC School of Law is Kansas City’s only law school. The school offers emphasis in the areas of entrepreneurial/business law, the law of families and children, litigation and urban law. With its unique mentoring program, shared learning space for faculty and students and numerous clinics staffed by students, the school is a community of learners that bridges the gap between theory and practical application of the law.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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