Law School Offers ‘Practice’ Courtroom For Holding Court

Here’s how bad it’s getting for California courts amid the closures and cutbacks: the Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa is offering to lend its new 4,400-square-foot “practice courtroom” to the actual courts, even offering to hold trials there. The courtroom opened last month amid much fanfare, and California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye spoke at opening ceremonies.
It’s also an example of walking the talk, because much of the funding for the $2-million facility, according to the Los Angeles Times, came from Whittier graduate Paul Kiesel, who is also co-chairman of the Open Courts Coalition, the bipartisan lawyers group lobbying to reverse California’s years of court budget cuts.
“In the last five years,” Kiesel told the Times, “the courts’ budget has been cut by $1 billion.” He said the cuts have resulted in a backlog of 20,000 personal-injury cases in Los Angeles County alone. You can read the LA Times story here.