Press Release: News Release April 2003: Vernon County Bar receives award for exceptional public service:

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  • Press Release
    April
    07
    2003

    News Release April 2003: Vernon County Bar receives award for exceptional public service

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: Christi Powers
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
    org cpowers wisbar wisbar cpowers org
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    Vernon County Bar receives award for exceptional public service

    MADISON, April 7, 2003 - The Vernon County Bar Association garnered an exceptional achievement award on Friday in Madison from the State Bar of Wisconsin. The award was presented at the 2003 Wisconsin Bar Leaders Conference (WBLC) that provides lawyer-leaders from local bar associations a forum to network and share ideas.

    The award recognizes a two-year project spearheaded by the Vernon County Bar in its efforts to establish a mediation service. The project proposed that certain cases involving small claims, juvenile/victim restitution, and minor post-divorce cases could be mediated rather than sent to court. Mediation offers an alternative to court proceedings and reduces judicial caseloads on minor matters.

    With the State Bar grant, training sessions were conducted for mediators to learn how to handle small claims and juvenile offense cases. After researching other county mediation programs, Vernon County ultimately created its own mediation service and has hired a part-time staff member.

    "The State Bar grant has allowed us to establish a small claims mediation process that has reduced the court's caseload and speeded the resolution of cases," said Atty. George Wilbur, who coordinated the project. "More importantly, I believe the participants are more satisfied with a solution they've created rather than a court decision."

    Hosted by the State Bar of Wisconsin, the WBLC is well into its 20th year and recognizes county bar associations for volunteer and community service projects. Nearly 100 participants representing more than 50 county or specialty bar associations attended the day-long event.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out initiatives to educate the public about the legal system.

    For more information, call Kris Wenzel at (608) 250-6185