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Rotunda Report
  • Rotunda Report
    August 28, 2013

    State Bar’s CourtEye Brings Real Court Cases to Wisconsin Classrooms


    Aug. 28, 2013 – Due to a growing demand to incorporate elements of Wisconsin Supreme Court proceedings into the classroom​, the State Bar of Wisconsin will launch CourtEye this week, the latest in the organization’s ever- mounting list of public education programs.

    CourtEye couples the classroom learning experience with real-life courtroom drama and intrigue. This new program is designed to make supreme court oral arguments understandable and accessible to high school students in Wisconsin through the use of Wisconsin Eye’s archived video footage and a knowledgeable attorney presenter.  

    “Like much of the general population, many students and teachers know about attorneys and the law only from watching the news and TV shows,” said State Bar K-12 Civics Subcommittee Co-Chair Michael Pollack. “Seeing the state Supreme Court in operation and talking to a live lawyer in the classroom can dispel some mistaken notions of how the system works and remove the mystique from the law and lawyers.”

    Requests to attend supreme court oral arguments increase every year and often times teachers are unable to make a special trip to Madison, or they may have arranged for their day in court, but the hearing gets canceled. CourtEye offers teachers and students a guaranteed-to-work means of viewing an oral argument, by storing the cases online. Once a teacher makes a request for the program, the class is paired with a local attorney who will teach the students about the case – with the convenient ability to pause the video and breakdown the sometimes confusing legal jargon and procedures.

    “Teachers are able to select from six cases that were recently argued and decided in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, all of which will be of interest and relevant to students. One case deals with the liability consequences of an automobile accident where a teenage daughter allowed her friend to drive her parents’ car, contrary to their express instructions,” Pollack said.  

    Teachers have the ability to choose from the following cases:

    · State v. Randy Martin (April 18, 2012). This case is about Miranda rights.

    · State v. Tally Ann Rowan (Feb. 7, 2012). This case highlights extended supervision and search and seizure.

    · Schill v. Wisconsin Rapids School (Nov. 10, 2009). This case determines whether a school’s emails must be released for an open records request.

    · State v. Negrete (Feb. 8, 2012). This case is about an undocumented immigrant.

    · Siebert v. Wis. American Mutual Insurance (March 2, 2011). This case features an insurance coverage issue regarding liability when a daughter took the father’s car without permission.

    · Wisconsin Dolls, LLC v. Town of Dell Prairie (2012). This case concerns the renewal of a liquor license for an adult-themed resort.

    Katie StenzKatie Stenz is the public affairs coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at, or by phone at (608) 250-6145.

    Attorneys and teachers are encouraged to work through their local bar association, which will help the State Bar facilitate CourtEye presentations. The State Bar also suggests that attorneys collaborate with local school boards and administrators, as they may recognize a need for the program right in their own backyard. Whether it’s working with a teacher or an attorney, the State Bar is ready to provide each classroom with the necessary tools to fully execute CourtEye.

    “We hope members of the Bar will encourage their children, other students, school boards, administrations and teachers to fully embrace and utilize this program,” said Pollack.

    A full synopsis of each case and case briefs are available to teachers and attorneys via the State Bar. For more information about CourtEye contact State Bar Public Education Program Manager Marsha Varvil-Weld at or (608) 250-6191.


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