By Briana Taylor

Delegates participating in Appellate court debated their cases at the US Federal Courthouse this afternoon, marking the final day of the 2018 YMCA Youth and Government State Conference. The courthouse, a fairly recent installment on W 5th Street, is home to several court rooms, all of which are occupied on a normal basis for actual appeals cases. Delegates were able to debate a case in an authentic courtroom, a rare opportunity that not many of their peers get to experience.

This year, delegates are debating the case of “Age Before Beauty,” a case in which James O’Callahan, a loyal and well-rated employee, believes he has been wrongly fired from the Four C’s Company, and that he has been discriminated against because of his age. Although the case is the same for for District, County, and Appellate Courts, delegates of the Appellate Court are only concerned with appealing the verdict of the previous courts.

Representing the Four C’s Company were delegates Elleyah Trevino and Jessica De Leora from the Sam Houston delegation. On the opposing counsel representing Mr. O’Callahan were Daniel Baldizon and Evan Miller, members of the Creekview delegation. O’Callahan filed a lawsuit in 2012 against the Four C’s company, stating that he was fired because of his age and that he was more than capable of completing his job effectively. In the initial case, the court had ruled in favor of O’Callahan, ordering that he be presented with his originally sought after reliefs and damages. However, the Four C’s Company appealed to the court, their representatives stating that the evidence presented was “insufficient,” and that certain affidavits “could not have been submitted as evidence.”

O’Callahan’s representatives based their argument on the four elements of a “Prima Facie” case. In this type of case, there are four requirements that must be met: 1) he was discharged; 2) he was qualified for his position; 3) he was within the protected class; and 4) he was replaced by someone outside of the protected class or younger. Delegates Baldizon and Miller were able to offer sufficient evidence for each of these four points, solidifying their argument, and proving that O’Callahan was wrongfully terminated.

Ultimately, the judge ruled in favor of Mr. O’Callahan, as the evidence presented was enough to support the claim that O’Callahan had in fact been discriminated against, and that he was wrongfully terminated by the Four C’s Company. Mr. O’Callahan’s reliefs and damages will be paid in full as reparations for the ordeal.