Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Look Inside a Federal Courtroom

Do you think of Law and Order when it comes your knowledge of the court system? How about that other Judge Judy or The Good Wife? Since the old days of Perry Mason and L.A Law, people have been influenced by how these shows portray judges, lawyers, and the legal system.  But everyone needs to remember that TV is entertainment, not real life. 

There are many places to find accurate information about the courts, though. The United States Courts website released a video that shows what actually happens in a federal courtroom. You can watch the students in the video as they explain a federal case and how a judge determines the final outcome. The “You Be the Judge” video series is highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Judicial Votes Count

With so much focus by the national media about next year’s presidential election, it might be easy to overlook the fact that there’s an election this year. 

The Nov. 3 ballot includes 56 municipal court judicial races in 29 Ohio counties. 

Unfortunately, many voters will not complete their ballot because they won’t cast a vote in the judicial races. A major reason cited for this drop-off in voting is because of a lack of information about the candidates running for judge. is a new website designed to provide voters with the information they need to make an informed decision in judicial races. The candidates have provided details about their legal background and why they are running for the judgeship.

The website also contains valuable information about the important role of judges and the duties of courts at all levels in Ohio – something that teachers might find useful in their classroom instruction.

The website was developed by a partnership among Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, the Ohio Newspaper Association, and the Ohio Association of Broadcasters.

Voters should consider adding to their list of resources for future elections. It’s a good way to get quality information about judicial candidates.