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September is Juror Appreciation Month in Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin - September 1, 2010

Circuit courts throughout Wisconsin will host a variety of activities during September to thank and recognize jurors for their invaluable service to democracy and the state of Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin jurors are appreciated throughout the year for the role they play in protecting the constitutional rights of all the people of Wisconsin and in keeping our system of justice fair and impartial,” said Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson. “September has been set aside to formally recognize jurors – one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” added Abrahamson, who has twice served on Dane County juries.

The theme of statewide Juror Appreciation Month, which is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin court system and the State Bar of Wisconsin, is Jurors Serve Justice; Justice Serves Us All. The occasion also offers an opportunity to thank jurors’ families and employers, who may be inconvenienced by jury duty. During 2009, 70,820 people reported to Wisconsin courthouses for jury duty, and 20,322 of them served as a juror in one of 2,355 trials statewide.

Statewide Juror Appreciation Month was launched in 2008, when Gov. Jim Doyle signed a proclamation, Abrahamson signed a declaration, and the Senate and Assembly each approved citations designating the occasion. The statewide program builds on the success of a Milwaukee County juror appreciation program that was established in 2007.

In launching this year’s event, Abrahamson is scheduled to appear at a press conference with Milwaukee judges, jurors and other court and county officials in the Milwaukee County Courthouse Rotunda at 12:15 p.m. on Sept. 1. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley will address jurors during a celebration in the jury room at the Dane County Courthouse at 8 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2010.

Each Wisconsin county is free to mark the occasion in its own way. Some county boards have approved supporting resolutions, and local court or county officials may make appearances to personally thank jurors for their service. Past celebrations also have featured special guest speakers and even a mock trial held by students to demonstrate the critical of a juror. Other counties may hang banners or posters on courthouse walls or offer free coffee and treats for jurors. Among counties that have organized activities this year are: Calumet, Dane, Eau Claire, Green, Jefferson, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Rock, Sheboygan, Washington and Waukesha. (Contact the local county clerk of circuit court for information about a particular county).

The statewide juror appreciation program was initiated by the Chief Judges Subcommittee on Juror Treatment and Selection.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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