FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 14, 2012
Andrea Gage, J.D.
State Bar of Wisconsin
(608) 630-0432 (cell)
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
State Bar Honors Representatives Richards and Kooyenga with Scales of Justice Awards
Madison, WI –The State Bar of Wisconsin is
pleased to announce that Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Dale
are 2011-2012 recipients of the Scales of Justice Award for
their outstanding efforts toward increasing citizens’ access to
justice and improving the administration of Wisconsin’s judicial
The State Bar’s Legislative Oversight Committee and Government
Relations team created the Scales of Justice Award to formally
recognize legislators for partnering with the State Bar to foster and
maintain high standards for the judicial system and legal
Rep. Richards is being honored for his leadership in the passage of 2011 Act
270, which protects children by helping law enforcement, district
attorneys, and litigants get access to the information they need before
interacting with juveniles. The law includes important protections for
sensitive information contained in a juvenile’s court record.
There is a broad preclusion to releasing health and mental health
information through electronic records. 2011 Act 270 also requires that
those who receive information via the statute keep the information
confidential, and includes fines for a failure to do so.
“Allowing limited access to juvenile records is a very complex
issue that the Legislature has struggled for years to adequately
address. Children, families, and law enforcement are very fortunate that
Representative Richards took the time to understand the issues related
to balancing a juvenile’s right to privacy with the need for
attorneys and law enforcement to have access to crucial
information,” said Attorney Michael Rosenberg, who serves as chair
of the Legislative Oversight Committee.
Rep. Kooyenga is being honored for his leadership in
the creation of a juvenile power of attorney for parents with the
passage of 2011 Act
87. Prior to the enactment of 2011 Act 87, parents in need of
temporary, limited assistance with caring for their children had few
legal options available to them. Children often reside with other adults
for a limited period of time because of the parent’s active
military duty, medical, emotional or addiction issues, or other parental
responsibilities. Additionally, a child may have a special
educational need or desire for intensive sports training which demand a
different living arrangement.
“The new law provides parents with a tool recognized by and
enforceable through Wisconsin Statutes. Representative Kooyenga’s leadership on this important
issue will help families throughout Wisconsin for many years to
come,” said Attorney Rosenberg.
The Scales of Justice awards will be presented to Rep. Richards
and Rep. Kooyenga in a joint ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Milwaukee Bar
Association, located at 424 East Wells Street. Members of the media who
wish to attend the award ceremony should contact Andrea Gage at (608)
630-0432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional
association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who
hold a Wisconsin law license. With more than 23,000 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. For more information, visit www.wisbar.org.