|For Immediate Release
||CONTACT: Christi Powers
State Bar of Wisconsin
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
org cpowers wisbar wisbar cpowers org
Fourth edition of legal handbook helps journalists
MADISON, July 3, 2003 -
News reporters and editors can get updated legal information in the
fourth edition of the Wisconsin News Reporters' Legal Handbook. Recently
published by the State Bar's Media-Law
Relations committee in cooperation with the Wisconsin Broadcasters
Association and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, the handbook is
designed to help journalists understand the legal and judicial
First published in 1979, the new edition reflects significant legal
changes including truth-in-sentencing, the victim's rights law, and a
new juvenile code. For 25 years journalists have been permitted greater
access to Wisconsin courts, including the use of cameras and recording
devices. To help balance public access along with the right to a fair
trial, the guide provides tips from veteran court reporters and also
contains updates on public records and open meetings law.
"Public access is critical to ensuring trust and confidence in our
justice system," said Attorney Kelly L. Centofanti, who chairs the
committee. "Without the media, public access is severely compromised.
Our committee, made up of members of the media and lawyers and judges,
worked hard to create a publication which will facilitate the media's
role in informing the public, while not affecting the right to a fair
.The Wisconsin New Reporters' Legal Handbook is available in limited
supply for $5 per copy plus tax, shipping, and handling. Call the State
Bar at (800) 728-7788, (608) 257-3838 to order.
In its continued efforts to serve nearly 21,000 members while
delivering helpful consumer information, the State Bar has
numerous reports, publications, brochures and seminars on a host of legal matters.
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 to help them maintain their
expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community
service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the
value of lawyers.