LAW DAY 2010 – The Future of Our Courts
Every year, our nation celebrates Law Day to mark our commitment to the justice system and the rule of law, but the Nevada Law Day 2010 events will include a new and interactive dimension.
The highlight will be Law Day Live, an interactive video forum linking Nevada’s four population centers – Clark, Washoe, and Elko Counties and Carson City – on an Internet broadcast that can be viewed throughout the state and even worldwide.
The event will focus on students and current controversial issues – such as cyberbullying, sexting, and illegal downloads of music – that result from their access to technology.
Students across Nevada will be able to watch the two-hour event live on the Supreme Court website, and can participate by commenting or asking questions through a Twitter link.
“It will be a high-tech event that will address today’s issues while showcasing the possibilities for future courts and outreach projects,” Supreme Court Justice Nancy Saitta said. “Nevada is a large state with hundreds of miles separating population centers. Technology is a way to shrink those miles and expand services and access to justice for many of our citizens.”
The Nevada Supreme Court is once again spearheading the state’s Law Day 2010 celebrations with a month of events. Yes, that’s right. Nevada is going to be spending a month on Law Day events.
“It is simply impossible to incorporate Law Day into a single day,” said Justice Saitta, who is heading the project as chair of the Supreme Court’s Judicial Public Information Committee. “Many events are being planned across the state. Bar associations, attorneys, and judges have committed to helping promote the work of the Judicial Branch and explore the future of the court system. Schools statewide are joining in by hosting forums.”
The American Bar Association’s theme is “Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges.” Nevada has expanded that by adopting the theme of “Technology and the Courts.”
Law Day traditionally falls on May 1, but because that is a Saturday this year, Nevada’s Law Month events will begin on April 28 with Law Day Live and continue through May.
“Law Month gives those in the justice system an opportunity to expose students and others to the workings of the courts,” said Chief Justice Ron Parraguirre. “The Judicial Branch is probably the least understood branch of government. We want to rectify that by doing our part to promote a better understanding and encourage public confidence in our justice system.”
Law Month will begin with the presentation of the Supreme Court’s second annual Legacy of Justice Award to a person or persons within the judicial system whose contributions, innovations, and achievements have resulted in significant improvements and benefitted the citizens of Nevada. The first Legacy of Justice Award was presented in 2009 to retired Supreme Court Justice Bob Rose.
Celebrations will focus on Nevada’s students and include classroom forums throughout the state involving judges and attorneys discussing Nevada’s courts and law. These forums have become a Law Day tradition promoted by the State Bar of Nevada and the courts.
Poster and essay contests for students will also continue this year, and the topics will focus on the technological future of the courts as well as the controversial issues. Because the Law Day theme involves technology, students were encouraged to compete in more modern mediums, such as blogs, videos, artwork, and social networking.
“We are looking forward seeing the visions of the students, who will be using the court system in the future as they become attorneys, business professionals, or simply jurors,” said Chief Justice Parraguirre. “Nevada’s courts have been progressive in the expanded use of technology, and continued technological innovations can only improve the Judicial Branch.”
1957 – American Bar Association President Charles S. Rhyne, a Washington, D.C., attorney, envisions a special national day for celebrating our legal system.
1958- President Dwight D. Eisenhower establishes Law Day as a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law.
1961 – May 1 is designated as the official date for celebrating Law Day by joint resolution of Congress.
2010 – The Nevada Supreme Court, the State Bar of Nevada, and the Clark and Washoe County Bar Associations designate that Law Day will extend from April 29 through the month of May to provide ample time to celebrate the rule of law and address the future of Nevada’s courts.
As we begin the second decade of the twenty-first century, the law is changing dramatically as it seeks to shape and adapt to new conditions. Economic markets are becoming global, transactions require cultural adaptation and understanding, populations are more mobile, and communication technologies such as the Internet bridge distances and time zones to form new communities around the world. In such a world, all of us must renew our commitment to the enduring principles of law, become knowledgeable about other legal systems, recognize the need to adapt our practices, and acquire new cultural understandings. In a global era, matters such as human rights, criminal justice, intellectual property, business transactions, dispute resolution, human migration, and environmental regulation become not just international issues—between nations—but shared concerns. Law Day 2010 provides us with an opportunity to understand and appreciate the emerging challenges and enduring traditions of law in the 21st century.