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Library Initiative helps serve needs of self-represented litigants

Madison, Wisconsin - April 5, 2011

On April 6, the Wisconsin Court System and the Milwaukee County Federated Library System will co-sponsor two special training sessions in Franklin for librarians who assist people who represent themselves in court.

The goal of the library initiative is to foster communication between local courts and public libraries in an effort to better meet the legal service needs of self-represented litigants. Librarians will learn about the various court-related services and information available to assist self-represented litigants.

Leading the initiative in cooperation with the library systems is the Wisconsin court system’s First Judicial Administrative District and the Wisconsin State Law Library. The program will be offered first at 8:45 a.m. and repeated at 12:45 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the Franklin Public Library, 9151 West Loomis Road. 

Presenters include:

-Judge Richard J. Sankovitz, Milwaukee County
-John Barrett, Clerk of Circuit Court/Register in Probate, Milwaukee County
-James Smith, Chief Deputy Clerk of Circuit Court, Milwaukee County
-Noah Gehling, Project Manager, Milwaukee Justice Center
-Atty. Amy Wochos, Legal Director, Milwaukee Justice Center
-Atty. Dawn Caldart, Administrative Director, Milwaukee Justice Center
-Lynn Gehrke, Branch Librarian, Milwaukee County Legal Resource Center
-Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian, Wisconsin State Law Library
-Atty. Ann Zimmerman, State Pro Se Coordinator, Wisconsin Supreme Court

Presenters will provide an overview of the resources available to Wisconsin citizens who represent themselves in circuit court, focusing on those specific to the Milwaukee County Court System. There will also be a discussion of the problems and pitfalls of assisting users with legal questions, and Web sites and other materials designed to help users help themselves will be demonstrated.   In addition to these group presentations, the project has a second component in which library staff will be invited to tour the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

Ann Zimmerman
State Pro Se Coordinator
(608) 261-8297

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