NEW YORK STATE LAW DAY 2005
Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye stood
on the steps of the Court of
Appeals on April 29 to celebrate
Law Day 2005, proclaiming it
"an occasion for rededication to the
strength of this great country - our
rule of law."
|In conjunction with Law Day, the ABA American Jury Initiative developed Juror Appreciation kits, including bookmarks and posters. For more information about this
and other jury-related resources, go to: www.abanet.org/jury.
Conceived by the American Bar
Association, Law Day has been celebrated
throughout the nation since
1958, in recognition of the importance
of the rule of law in our society.
This year's Law Day theme was
"The American Jury: We the People
in Action." Typically celebrated on a
single day, this year there was a
week-long series of town hall meetings
about jury reform.
"We bring about 650,000 New Yorkers
to serve as jurors to assist in the
delivery of justice," said Judge Kaye.
"For too many people getting a jury
summons in the mail ranks above,
slightly above, a tax audit or a root
canal. When more people are there
to serve, the burden becomes lighter
for everybody, and the array of
potential jurors becomes more
diverse, as it should be."
Judge Kaye was joined at the celebration
by New York State Lt. Gov. Mary O. Donohue, Attorney General
Eliot Spitzer, Chief Administrative
Judge Jonathan Lippman, New
York State Bar Association President
Kenneth G. Standard and the associate
judges of the Court of Appeals.
Judge Kaye said she was wearing a
blouse first worn on Law Day 2001,
when an award for heroism was
given to Senior Court Officer
Mitchel Wallace, who, along with
Capt. William Harry Thompson
and Senior Court Officer Thomas
Jurgens, would perish just months
later while helping people at the
World Trade Center on September
11. Judge Kaye told the crowd that
in their honor, the blouse is now
worn only on Law Day.
Immediately following the Law Day
speeches, the first town hall meeting
was held at the Court of
Appeals. Led by Mark Zauderer,
chair of the Commission on the
Jury, the meeting brought together
representatives from the courts and
the community to discuss and
increase awareness of the importance
of jury service. Town hall
meetings were held the following
week in Syracuse, Buffalo, Central
Islip and New York City.
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