By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A three-judge panel of Pennsylvania Superior Court today listened to appeals arguments in an unusual location: a “mock” courtroom at the University of Pennsylvania.

The judges heard actual (not mock) arguments in about 20 cases ranging from criminal (the outgrowth of a mugging on Kensington Avenue) to a civil complaint over a building sold “as is” that was immediately ordered demolished.

One of the reasons that Superior Court meets in different venues around the commonwealth is for the benefit of law students.  And two of Penn’s — Stephan Rihs and Benjamin Schiller — said they learned something today.

Rihs notes that these were not trials with witnesses and evidence, “but I think it also makes it interesting because it’s actually closer to what we learn in class, what we discuss.”

Added Schiller: “The students (observing) in the court were able to hear the substantive arguments, but they were also able to hear the arguments made on appeal and whether the court was properly administered initially.”

Pennsylvania Superior Court has already held sessions this year in Northampton, Beaver, and Chester counties.

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