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

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    April
    07
    2003

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

    MADISON, April 7, 2003 - The Richland 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 year-long project spearheaded by the Richland County Bar in establishing pro se sessions to help educate the public on how to represent themselves in simple court cases such as uncontested divorce. The sessions are conducted by a trained volunteer who explains the law and provides forms but does not give legal advice.

    "This is a good example of how a local bar works with the State Bar to benefit the community," said Atty. Amy Forehand, Richland County district attorney's office. "Also, assistance is now offered on post-divorce cases when the former spouse does not follow through with terms of the divorce agreement."

    With the State Bar grant, initial training sessions were formed to train potential mediators in how to handle small claims and juvenile offense cases. After researching other county mediation programs, Richland County ultimately created its own mediation services 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 helped with 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