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Supreme Court LIVE - Materials

The following materials are provided to teachers and students to help them prepare for the oral arguments that will be presented during Supreme Court LIVE programs. These include both general background materials about the legal system and materials specific to the cases that will be heard. Participating classes are encouraged to review these materials in preparation for the oral arguments. Volunteer attorneys who visit participating classes in advance of the program will also rely on these materials. For questions or further information, or if you need assistance accessing the documents posted below, contact the Clerk of the Appellate Courts at 907-264-0608 or Supreme Court LIVE Judicial Assistant at 907-264-0864.

Educational Materials

Access to video & audio recordings of the program for participating schools

The oral arguments presented during the Supreme Court LIVE program are filmed and available for viewing or listening through KTOO Public Television station in Juneau. Please check KTOO's website (http://www.360north.org/alaska-supreme-court/) or contact Margaret Newman at the Alaska Court System (907-264-0864; mnewman@akcourts.us) for more information.

Understanding Our Legal System

I. Sources of Law

  • A. The Constitutions
    1. The United States Constitution
    2. The Alaska Constitution
  • B. Statutory Law
    1. Federal Statutes
    2. State Statutes
    3. Municipal Ordinances
  • C. Administrative Law
    1. Adoption & Effect of Rules
    2. Scope of Administrative Rules
  • D. The Common Law
    1. Case Law as Common Law
    2. Scope of the Common Law in Alaska
    3. The Importance of the Common Law

Activity I: Which Level of Government?


II. What is a court case?

  • A. Civil Law
  • B. Criminal Law

Activity II:  Civil or Criminal Laws?


III. Courts in Alaska

  • A. Federal Courts
    1. U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska
    2. U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
    3. U.S.Supreme Court
  • B. State Courts: The Alaska Court System
    1. Appellate Courts
      • i. Alaska Supreme Court
      • ii. Alaska Court of Appeals
    2. Trial Courts
      • i. Alaska Superior Court
      • ii. Alaska District Court

Activity III - A: Federal Court or State Court?

Activity III - B: Which State Court?


IV. Understanding an Appellate Case

Activity IV: Analyzing a Case


V. Helpful Resources

  • A. www.icivics.org: The iCivics website(formerly Our Courts) features "Supreme Decision," an online game about the appellate process.  A great introduction to case analysis!
  • B. www.streetlaw.org: This popular website, sponsored by StreetLaw, Inc. and the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, includes descriptions and lessons on major U.S. Supreme Court decisions, along with tips for conducting moot courts in the classroom.

VI. Glossary

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Case Materials

Anchorage - February 24, 2016

Recreational Data Services, Inc. v. Trimble Navigation Limited, A California Corporation
Supreme Court Case Nos. S-15893

Appeal from the Superior Court
Third Judicial District at Anchorage
The Honorable Catherine M. Easter Presiding

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Anchorage - February 21, 2014

Janet Hudson, on behalf of herself and others v. Citibank (South Dakota) NA, Alaska Law Offices, Inc., and Clayton Walker
Cynthia Stewart, on behalf of herself and others v. Midland Funding LLC, Alaska Law Offices, Inc., and Clayton Walker
Supreme Court Case Nos. S-14740/S-14826 (consolidated)

Appeal from the Superior Court
Third Judicial District at Anchorage
The Honorable Frank A. Pfiffner Presiding

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Anchorage - February 8, 2012

State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. (Supreme Court No. S-13730)

Appeal from the Superior Court
Third Judicial District at Anchorage
The Honorable Sharon Gleason Presiding

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Anchorage - February 24, 2011

I. CASE #1: Richard Heller v. State of Alaska, Department of Revenue (Supreme Court No. S-13551)

Appeal from the Superior Court
Fourth Judicial District at Fairbanks
The Honorable Douglas Blankenship Presiding

II. CASE #2: Ethel Kelly v. Municipality of Anchorage (Supreme Court No. S-13858)

Appeal from the Superior Court
Third Judicial District at Anchorage
The Honorable Peter A. Michalski Presiding

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Anchorage - February 19, 2010

I. CASE #1: Thomas Olson v. City of Hooper Bay, et. al (Supreme Court No. S-13455)

Appeal from the Superior Court
Fourth Judicial District at Bethel
The Honorable Leonard R. Devaney Presiding

II. CASE #2: State of Alaska v. Robert Gibson (Supreme Court No. S-13509)

Petition for Hearing from the Court of Appeals

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Barrow - October 3, 2013

Supreme Court LIVE Program & Activity Form

NELSON KANUK, a minor, by and through his guardian, SHARON KANUK; ADI DAVIS, a minor, by and through her guardian, JULIE DAVIS; KATHERINE DOLMA,a minor, by and through her guardian, BRENDA DOLMA; ANANDA ROSE AHTAHKEE LANKARD, a minor, by and through her guardian, GLEN "DUNE" LANKARD;and AVERY and OWEN MOZEN, minors, by and through their guardian, HOWARD MOZEN v. STATE OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
(Supreme Court No. S-14776)

Appeal from the Superior Court
Third Judicial District at Anchorage
The Honorable Sen K. Tan Presiding

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Fairbanks - February 6, 2012

Yong H. Yi v. Harris S. Yang, Sharon Yang, Max Arthur Lamoureaux, Y & I Corporation, Officer Lawrence Peyton Merideth and the City of Fairbanks (Supreme Court No. S-13427)

Appeal from the Superior Court
Fourth Judicial District at Fairbanks
The Honorable Randy M. Olsen Presiding

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Juneau - September 17, 2010

I. CASE #1: Fraternal Order of Eagles, et. al. v. City and Borough of Juneau (Supreme Court No. S-13748)

Appeal from the Superior Court
First Judicial District at Juneau
The Honorable Philip M. Pallenberg Presiding

II. CASE #2: Trask v. Ketchikan Gateway Borough (Supreme Court No. S-13590)

Appeal from the Superior Court
First Judicial District at Ketchikan
The Honorable Trevor N. Stephens Presiding

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Ketchikan - November 19, 2014

State of Alaska, Patrick Galvin, Comm. et al v. Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes
Supreme Court Case No. S-14935

Appeal from the Superior Court
First Judicial District at Juneau
The Honorable Philip M. Pallenberg Presiding

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Palmer - October 19, 2016

Robert Riddle, dba Fairbanks Pumping and Thawing v. Eric Lanser
Supreme Court Case No. S-15780

Appeal from the Superior Court
Fourth Judicial District at Fairbanks
The Honorable Bethany S. Harbison Presiding

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Sitka - October 29, 2012

Alaskan Adventure Tours, Inc., Kimberly Riedel-Byler, aka Kimberly C. Riedel, K. Christina Riedel and/or Kimberly Byler, and ABC Leasing, LLC v. The City and Borough of Yakutat (Supreme Court No. S-14483)

Appeal from the Superior Court
First Judicial District at Juneau
The Honorable Patricia A. Collins Presiding

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