Press Release: Dane County Bar Association: Law Day — Courts Open to Citizens:

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  • Press Release

    Dane County Bar Association: Law Day — Courts Open to Citizens

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    April 20, 2012

    Dane County Bar Association
    (608) 848-1950


    LAW DAY 2012


    On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, the public is invited to the Dane County courthouse to learn how the judicial system works, how the public's rights are protected, and what legal resources may be available. Circuit court and appellate court judges, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, court staff, and citizens will present short informative programs about the role and work of the courts, mock trials, and guided courthouse tours. The Dane County Bar Association and Dane County's Circuit Court Judges are hosting this annual open house for Law Day from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The American Bar Association theme for Law Day 2012 is "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom." This theme is focused on the important role that courts play in our lives. "Too many people whose lives are deeply affected by the courts are not familiar with their work. One of the Bar Association's missions is helping the public understand the legal system. The courts are their courts, not lawyers or judges' courts," said Attorney Ruth Westmont, Courthouse Chair of the Dane County Bar Association.

    The Law Day program is the latest in an annual observance which has been occurring for more than 55 years. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the first Law Day in 1958. In continued observance of this tradition the Dane County courthouse opens its doors to the public on May 1. Volunteer attorneys will be available in the Legal Resource Center, located in Room L1007 of the courthouse, for free consultations. Throughout the courthouse, judges, attorneys, and volunteers will staff stations and provide explanations about courtroom procedures, the jury process, and courtroom technology and security.

    "We find that many people coming to court are very unfamiliar with how the judicial process works," said Circuit Court Judge Amy R. Smith. "We hope that people come to court with respect for the law, but without fear of the system. We want people to know how we decide important cases that affect them."

    Persons interested in a courthouse tour are encouraged to register by contacting the Dane County Bar Association, Bob or Le Jordan, Executive Coordinators, by email at or phone (608) 848-1950.

    Middle and high school students interested in participating as jurors in a mock trial should contact the Dane County Bar Association, Bob or Le Jordan, Executive Coordinators, by email at or phone (608) 848-1950.

    The Dane County Courthouse is located at 215 South Hamilton Street in Madison. Contact the Legal Resource Center at (608) 266-6316 with questions about Law Day or locating the Courthouse.

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