Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Transportation Grants Now Available to Visit Ohio Supreme Court

Are you an educator looking for a fun, hands-on approach to teach students about civic education? Look no further than the Visitor Education Center (VEC) located in the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.

Even if you think it is too expensive to travel, or not in your school’s budget this year, you may be surprised. The Ohio Supreme Court’s Civic Education Section is accepting online applications for transportation grants of up to $440 to help schools offset costs to visit the VEC.

 
Online applications from teachers or administrators will be accepted from October 17 through November 7. The grants will be used for visiting in January through June 2015. The grants, paid for by the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center Foundation, are for schools with students in the fourth through twelfth grades.

All Ohio educators are eligible to apply for a grant, which will be awarded to schools with the highest percentage of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program as reported by the Ohio Department of Education.

For more information, please email the VEC at courttours@sc.ohio.gov or call 614.387.9223.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

UT Unveils Women Lawyers History Project

Hooray for my alma mater, the University of Toledo College of Law! The school is teaming up with the Toledo Women’s Bar Association (TWBA) to preserve stories of women lawyers from the Toledo area for the Toledo Women Lawyers History Project.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on October 2 at 5:30 p.m. in the LaValley Law Library at UT.  Daniel Steinbock, the College of Law dean, and TWBA President Lindsay Navarre will discuss the project and unveil 12 portraits of attorneys created by artist and College of Law graduate Paula Mowery.


Julia Bates

Featured paintings of attorneys include Florence Hartman Wells, the first woman to be elected to both branches of the Ohio legislature; Alice Robie Resnick, the second woman elected to the Ohio Supreme Court and the founder of the TWBA and Ohio Women’s Bar Association; and College of Law alumna Julia Bates, the first woman elected as Lucas County Prosecutor. 
Hon. Alice Robie Resnick




“The biggest transformation in the legal profession in the past century is the entry of substantial numbers of women at all levels,” Steinbock said. “We are proud to be a part of this commemoration.”
 
The paintings will be on permanent display on the library’s second floor. Plans for a second phase of the project include a speaker series and an interactive display. Women were first admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1878.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2015 Mock Trial Competition Deadline Ahead

Teachers, this is your chance to be part of the largest high school mock trial program in the nation.  The registration deadline for teams and participants is December 5.

The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is gearing up for the new school year, which means it’s time for the 2015 Mock Trial Competition. The competition allows students to assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses as they learn about the constitution and their rights as citizens. Many students “catch the spark” in this program and later become lawyers.  For instance, my son, Judge Joshua Lanzinger of the Toledo Municipal Court, is just one example of a former high school participant.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor supports teacher and student participation in the competition. She and Ohio State Bar Association President Martin Mohler talk about this year’s mock trial case.


High School Mock Trial 2015 Competition dates:
·         District Competitions:  Friday, January 30, 2015
·         Regional Competitions:  Friday, February 20, 2015
·         State Competition:  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 12 – 14, 2015
 
For more information about becoming involved with the Ohio High School Mock Trial program, please contact Priya Sonty: psonty@oclre.org, 614-485-3507.

Don’t miss this great opportunity – act by December 5!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teachers: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and iCivics Need You – Hurry

Do your students like video games? Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the iCivics team are recruiting 30 teachers or up to 1,200 students for a pilot program to test a popular game called Argument Wars. The program will help create assessments to go with the games.

 
The pilot program will be limited, so apply quickly. The teachers and students need to be in 5-10th grades and have access to computers between September 29 and October 24.
 
What you get for participating:
·         Access to reports of how your students performed in the game
·         A certificate of participation from iCivics

Your students will also learn about landmark Supreme Court cases.
Interested? Contact Alison Atwater for more information. Alison.atwater@icivics.org.

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ohio Participates in Constitution and Citizenship Days

Ohio will be one of 20 states participating in a first-ever nationally coordinated naturalization ceremony on September 17 and 18 to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland will host the event in Ohio and Chief Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio will lead the ceremony, which honors America’s newest citizens.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Judges in School

While students may think they are the only ones who hit the books every fall, judges regularly attend classes, too.  Here in Ohio, judges belong to their associations – municipal and county court, probate, domestic relations, juvenile, and appellate judges – and all have special groups that regularly present courses helpful to their work.

In addition, twice a year the Ohio Judicial Conference gathers all judges together and provides programs of interest to them. The fall program this year included updates in state case law and legislative developments, programs on court technology, information on the use of specially trained courthouse facility dogs, and a two-hour session with recent information on drug abuse.

 
While attorneys must attend 24 hours of course work biennially, judges currently need 40 hours.   Some judges have been to the National Judicial College and all judges regularly participate in continuing legal education offered by the Ohio Judicial College. Learning is life-long, and is an important part of a legal professional's occupation.

 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Courts Warming up to Social Media

A new national survey by the Conference of Court Public Information Officers shows the impact social media is having on judges and courts.

The 2014 CCPIO New Media Survey has some interesting findings. More courts are using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as a public information tool. Facebook use by courts is up by more than 5 percent; Twitter use increased by 3.5 percent and YouTube by 3.2 percent.

Court officials have also changed their attitudes about reporters’ use of social media during courtroom proceedings. Nearly 66 percent of court officials in the previous survey had objected to the media’s sending of messages. Now only 46 percent say it’s inappropriate and 39 percent have no problem permitting it. 

Over time more judges and court personnel have begun to become comfortable using social media themselves, but there are still pitfalls for judges due to ethical restrictions on what they may say about their pending work and opinions they express. I certainly understand that concern, and since my first blog post in 2010, I’ve been very cautious in the topics chosen because I write as a sitting justice. 

I was glad to share some thoughts about blogging in the survey report. While by no means an expert in the field of communication, I am a firm believer that exchanging ideas on the best ways to help the public understand our courts is time well spent.