Press Release: News Release July 2003: Fourth edition of legal handbook helps journalists:

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    News Release July 2003: Fourth edition of legal handbook helps journalists

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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

    Fourth edition of legal handbook helps journalists

    Wisconsin News Reporter's Legal 

HandbookMADISON, 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 process.

    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 trial."

    .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 reportspublications, 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.