Press Release: News Release May 2003: State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Convention expected to draw nearly 1,000 Wisconsin attorneys in Milwaukee this week:

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    News Release May 2003: State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Convention expected to draw nearly 1,000 Wisconsin attorneys in Milwaukee this week

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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

    State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Convention expected to draw nearly 1,000 Wisconsin attorneys in Milwaukee this week

    MADISON, May 6, 2003 - Nearly 1,000 attorneys are expected to gather in Milwaukee this week for the State Bar of Wisconsin's annual convention. Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center will host the three-day event slated for Wednesday, May 7 to Friday, May 9.

    Internationally-renowned author, filmmaker and National Public Radio (NPR) regular Andrei Codrescu will be the featured speaker during the Thursday morning program. Dennis W. Archer, the first African American elected president of the American Bar Association, is the keynote luncheon speaker on Thursday; while Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager will provide opening remarks at a legal seminar on Wednesday afternoon.

    The convention offers more than 30 educational programs, a legal expo, an award banquet honoring judicial excellence, plus a program recognizing Wisconsin lawyers for outstanding public service. To commemorate its 125th anniversary, the State Bar will feature a history display with visual vignettes from its founding to its present-day growth of more than 20,000 members.

    Convention highlights include:

    Wednesday, May 7

    Legal Expo 2003 - 12 noon to 5:45 p.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, Ballroom AB - offers more than 30 vendors and businesses that support the legal community

    Legal Assistance Committee - 2 to 4 p.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, room 103 DE - two panel discussions addressing issues on the delivery of civil and criminal legal services in Wisconsin. Opening remarks by Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager on "New Directions for Pro Bono Publico in Wisconsin."

    Volunteer Lawyers Recognition Celebration - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. - Hyatt Regency, Ballroom CD - A State Bar annual program recognizing lawyers, law students and law firms who improve the legal system's accessibility through community outreach, pro bono legal services, and law-related education.

    Thursday, May 8

    Legal Expo 2003 - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, Ballroom AB

    Keynote morning speaker Andrei Codrescu - 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, Ballroom C - Romanian-born Codrescu, a MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English, at Louisiana State University, will present an inside look at the legal profession as it enters the 21st century. His presentation, "Lawyers, Poets and other Alchemists: Looking for Gold in the 21st Century," offers a fresh and humorous perspective on the challenges facing the legal community. Codrescu is a regular contributor on National Public Radio, has written a new book out this month, and recently finished an upcoming PBS film to air in November.

    Keynote luncheon speaker Dennis W. Archer - 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, Ballroom D - Archer is president-elect of the American Bar Association, and the first person of color to hold the association's highest office. Selected by Newsweek as one of the 25 most dynamic mayors in America, Archer was previously mayor of Detroit for two terms. In 1984, he was elected president of the Michigan Bar Association and, in 1985, was appointed associate justice for the Michigan Supreme Court and was later elected to an eight-year term. Archer will address issues surrounding corporate responsibility and the ethical obligation of the legal community as societal leaders.

    Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony - 5 to 5:30 p.m. - Hyatt Regency, Ballroom A - President-elect George Burnett of Green Bay will be sworn in as the 48th president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson will address the guests and administer the oath of office.

    ArtFest 2003 - 5:30 to 8 p.m. - Hyatt Regency, Ballroom BCD - This popular event features more than 85 pieces of diverse artwork created by members of the legal community. You be the judge and cast your vote for the Best of Show from a variety of categories.

    Friday, May 9

    Legal Expo 2003 - 8 to 11 a.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, Ballroom AB

    Spotlight panel presentation - 8:30 to 10: 35 a.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, Ballroom C - Wisconsin lawyers, judges and historians will focus on historic legal issues that helped shape the law today. "Echoes of the Past: Landmark Issues, Famous Cases and Legal Giants - Shaping Wisconsin Yesterday and Today," commemorates three anniversaries in Wisconsin's judicial system. This year the Supreme Court of Wisconsin celebrates its 150th anniversary, while the State Bar of Wisconsin observes its 125th anniversary and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals commemorates its 25th anniversary.

    Panelists include Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Maxine Aldridge White, plus three Wisconsin Court of Appeals judges: Harry G. Snyder, Richard S. Brown and R. Thomas Cane.

    Reception for 50-year members - 11:45 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. - Midwest Airlines Center, Ballroom D - The State Bar of Wisconsin recognizes 133 attorneys who were admitted to practice law a half century ago.

    President's Awards and Member Recognition Luncheon - 12:40 to 2 p.m. - Midwest Airlines Center Ballroom D - State Bar President Pat Ballman will recognize:

    • Justice William Bablitch, Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • Atty. James Brennan, Legal Aid Society, Milwaukee
    • J. Denis Moran, Director of State Courts
    • Atty. Joseph Ranney III, DeWitt Ross & Stevens
    • Atty. Mary Triggiano, Legal Action of Wisconsin

    In addition, Judge Patrick L. Snyder will receive the Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award and Judge Gerald C. Nichol will accept the Judge of the Year Award.