July 1, 2013 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s new Our Courts program is set to move full steam ahead this month, as the first of four programs will be launched at the Richland County Courthouse in Richland Center.
“Making our first ‘real’ Our Courts Wisconsin presentation in Richland Center will give us the opportunity to assemble exactly the kind of audience we had in mind when we designed the programs,” said Our Courts Speaker Committee Chair and co-presenter Judge Edward Leineweber. According to Leineweber, local media promotion and a possible co-sponsorship with a local nonprofit will help boost turnout, and ultimately, Our Courts itself.
“We think we can assemble an audience large and diverse enough to give us a good indication of how Our Courts Wisconsin programs will be received, and gain valuable insights on how we might improve our product.”
Katie Stenz is the public affairs coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at org kstenz wisbar wisbar kstenz org, or by phone at (608) 250-6145.
Leineweber and Attorney Bill Weigel have volunteered to present Myths & Realities in Wisconsin’s Courts, one of Our Courts’ four educational programs to members of the Richland Center community on July 10 at 6:30 p.m. Myths & Realities is a humorous presentation that helps audience members better understand the judicial system. Presenters showcase pop culture depictions of court proceedings, and analyze these portrayals of the court system with help from the audience.
“By featuring clips of famous movies and popular TV shows that have dramatized courtroom scenes, we will be able to stimulate discussion about the legal proceedings being depicted, and in the process increase the base of knowledge of audience members,” said Leineweber. “We’re hoping this will serve to increase their appreciation for and confidence in the courts.”
Leineweber is also pleased about the location of the inaugural Our Courts presentation, as Richland Center boasts an impressive 19th century courtroom. He is hopeful that the setting will enhance audience participation, since at least some of the audience members may have served as jurors or have otherwise been involved in legal proceedings.
Our Courts Wisconsin was designed to further public knowledge and understanding of the courts and legal system. All four programs are available at no charge to audiences across the state, and are geared toward community and school groups who can book the presentations for events and meetings – everything from lunch gatherings to annual board meetings. The other programs are: Lincoln’s Legacy, Understanding the Criminal Court Process: Protecting the Rights of Wisconsin Citizens, and Understanding the Importance of Your Court System: Courts Serving Wisconsin Citizens.
To volunteer or request that a program come to your area, contact the State Bar of Wisconsin Public Education Program Manager at 608-250-6191 or PubEdCoordinator@wisbar.org. You may also visit www.wisbar.org/OurCourts for more information.