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September is Juror Appreciation Month in Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin - September 8, 2011

September has been set aside to formally recognize Wisconsin jurors for their contribution to our state and our democracy.

"We appreciate jurors every day in Wisconsin, but this month gives us an opportunity to formally recognize their efforts," said Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson. "Jurors play a key role in protecting the constitutional rights of all the people of Wisconsin and in keeping our system of justice fair and impartial. They are one of the cornerstones of our democracy," Abrahamson said.

Circuit courts throughout the state will host a variety of activities during September to thank and recognize jurors for their invaluable service. 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 2010, more than 67,000 people reported to Wisconsin courthouses for jury duty, and more than 19,000 served on a trial.

"Each and every juror plays a critical role in the justice system," Abrahamson said.

Statewide Juror Appreciation Month was launched in 2008, building on the success of a Milwaukee County juror appreciation program established in 2007.

Each Wisconsin county is free to mark the occasion in its own way. In the past, some county boards have approved supporting resolutions, and local court or county officials have made appearances to thank jurors personally.

In Dane County, speakers who will address jurors this year include District IV Court of Appeals Judge Brian Blanchard and Chief Judge C. William Foust, Dane County Circuit Court, among others. Dane County jurors also will be thanked with treats, tote bags and refrigerator magnets, and a banner will be hung in the courthouse lobby.
Brown County Circuit Court will host a press conference on Sept. 15, inviting past jurors to talk about their experience. Among other counties that have organized some type of activity to mark the occasion this year:  Barron, Dane, Lafayette, Lincoln, Marinette, Rock, Washington, Waupaca 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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