|For Immediate Release
||CONTACT: Jason Westphal
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6077
(608) 220-1258 (mobile)
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State Bar of Wisconsin
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
org cpowers wisbar wisbar cpowers org
Dane County legal community recognized for public service
MADISON, May 6, 2003 - Each year the State Bar of
Wisconsin recognizes lawyers, law students and law firms who have helped
make the legal system more accessible by providing pro bono legal
services, community service and law-related education. This year's
awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the State Bar Annual
Convention on Wednesday, May 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the
Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee.
- The 2002 Hotline Attorney of the Year Award will be
presented to John D. Hyland. The Lawyer Hotline Program
is a public service component of the State Bar's Lawyer Referral and
Information Service (LRIS), which has been in operation for nearly 20
years. Hotline volunteers answer simple legal questions free of charge,
allowing callers to better assess whether they wish to hire a lawyer or
use the resource information provided to them over the phone. Common
hotline topics include landlord/tenant disputes and consumer
Hyland is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School.
During that time, he participated in the United States Army Judge
Advocate General (JAG) Corp internship program, assisting the litigation
section at the Pentagon. Hyland also earned a degree in music education
and taught in that field for seven years prior to entering law school.
He maintains close ties to the arts, and his vocal talent adds an extra
dimension to the Hotline program - at times he sings his answers to the
clients! Hyland currently practices criminal defense and civil
litigation at Hurley, Burish & Milliken S.C.
- The 2002 Dan Tuchscherer Outstanding Public Interest Law
Attorney Award goes to Betsy J. Abramson. This
award recognizes a lawyer who has demonstrated a selfless, lifetime
commitment to working in the public interest, both inside and outside
the field of law.
Abramson currently consults on legal issues of the elderly and people
with disabilities. This work has included projects with the state
Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) on modernizing
Wisconsin's Adult Protective Services System, as well as developing an
Alzheimer's Legal Issues Symposium. Early in her career, she developed
the Elderly Team at the Center for Public Representation. In 1991,
Abramson and her team transferred to the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging
Groups (CWAG), where she founded and directed the Elder Law Center.
During those 18 years in public interest law, Abramson expanded the work
of elder law by providing direct services and legal back-up to more than
50 Wisconsin counties, by founding the Wisconsin Guardianship Support
Center and by developing projects in Medicare Fraud and Food Stamp
- The 2002 Outstanding Public Interest Law Student - University of
Wisconsin - Madison Award recipients are Cullen
Goretzke and Anne Sweeney, Madison. The Public
Interest Law Section's mission is to provide a forum for lawyers to
discuss and promote public interest issues. The section encourages
members to provide public interest services to those in need and hopes
to enhance the visibility of public interest law in Wisconsin.
Goretzke will graduate later this month with joint degrees in law and
public policy. A board member with the UW Public Interest Law
Foundation, he is working with faculty, students and administrators to
develop a Loan Repayment Assistance Program for law students who choose
public interest work. Goretzke formerly worked for a legal service
agency in Philadelphia and for the Consumer Law Litigation Clinic at the
University of Wisconsin. After graduation, he will serve as a clerk for
Judge Lesley Wells in the Northern District of Ohio.
Sweeney will complete her law degree and masters in social work in
December 2003. A graduate of Wesleyan University, she researched the
effects of welfare reform in New York City before starting law school.
Sweeney served as treasurer of the student Public Interest Law
Foundation for two years and has also worked to develop a Loan Repayment
Assistance Program. A past intern at the Wisconsin Coalition for
Advocacy, she plans to become an advocate for low-income children and
families in Cleveland after graduation.
- Keith A. Findley will receive the 2002 Hon.
Charles Dunn Author Award in recognition of his article, "New
Laws Reflect the Power and Potential of DNA," which appeared in the
May 2002 issue of the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine. The award, named after
Wisconsin's first chief justice, is presented annually by the
association's Communications Committee.
Findley teaches in the clinical programs at the University of
Wisconsin Law School's Frank J. Remington Center. He is co-director and
co-founder of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, in which students
investigate and litigate prisoners' claims of actual innocence based on
newly discovered evidence. Findley is also co-director of the Criminal
Appeals Project, where students help represent state and federal
defendants appealing their criminal convictions and sentences.
For more information, visit www.wisbar.org/convention/2003.
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