|For Immediate Release
||CONTACT: Jason Westphal
State Bar of Wisconsin
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6077
org jwestphal wisbar wisbar jwestphal org
State Bar Opposed to English Only Resolution
MADISON, August 16, 2002 - Noting its likely
negative impacts on the court system, representatives from the State Bar
of Wisconsin recently urged County Executive Nancy Nusbaum to veto the
"Brown County Diversity Resolution." The proposal, approved last month
by the board of supervisors, makes English the official language of
Brown County government.
The growing presence of non-English speakers in the court system is a
matter of great concern to lawyers and judges statewide. Thus, the State
Bar supports a court system that is fairly administered and impartial to
all people, regardless of their language or national origin.
"We have problems in this county that this resolution will not make
go away," said George Burnett, the Bar's president-elect. "If we make it
more difficult for people to use our court system, that simply means
that police and other public officials will have to deal with problems
firsthand, making their jobs harder and increasing costs for the tax
Access to justice and fairness to litigants compels the use of
skilled interpreters of sign and other languages in court proceedings.
As a result, Bar leaders have long advocated for adequate state funding
for the court system, including interpreters' services, so that the
judiciary may dispense justice to all who come before our courts.
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