State Courts Commemorate Law Day on May 1

May 1 is Lei Day in Hawai`i, but it is also the day the Hawai`i State Judiciary, state and federal courts, and bar associations across the nation celebrate Law Day. Established by the American Bar Association in 1957, Law Day celebrates the American legal system through public awareness, educational, and community outreach activities.

The Judiciary is sponsoring various activities throughout the State in support of the 2007 Law Day theme of "Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy."

The First Circuit (O`ahu) is celebrating Law Day by recognizing the young men and women making a legal career through public service as law clerks. The law clerks will be honored at an appreciation ceremony in the Jury Pool Lounge on May 1. Flyers posted throughout the courthouse on Punchbowl Street invite the public to sign up for tours of Ka`ahumanu Hale. Participants on the tours will be taken to areas not usually open to the public.

On Maui, 200 fifth graders from Lihikai Elementary School will visit Chief Judge Shackley Raffetto in his courtroom on May 2. Judge Raffetto will speak to three separate groups of students about the court system. The students will participate in a mock trial and play the role of prosecutor, defense counsel, defendant, witness, bailiff, court clerk, court reporter, and jurors. A prosecutor, defense counsel, deputy sheriffs as well as court staff will assist with the mock trial, describe their respective responsibilities, and talk about careers in law and the courts.

Members of the West Hawai`i Bar will explain the state court system to student groups. The presentation will be held in Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra's courtroom on May 1. In East Hawai`i, court staff, members of the Prosecutor's Office, and attorneys with the Hawai`i County Bar Association will open the courtroom to the public for an informational question and answer session at noon in courtroom #1.

Court staff will conduct public tours of the Fifth Circuit's (Kaua`i) new court complex - which opened in 2005 - on Friday, May 4. Refreshments will be served in the multipurpose room and a gift will be presented to each visitor.

The King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center commemorates both Law Day and May Day with a lu`au fundraiser on Wednesday, May 2, 2007, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Ali`iolani Hale, 417 South King Street. Tickets for a Hawaiian plate lunch are $15 each. The event will also feature live entertainment and drawings for door prizes. Proceeds benefit the Judiciary History Center's youth education programs. For more information about the event, call 539-4998.

The "Working It Out" video, produced by Wai`anae High School students for the Judiciary's Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, is currently airing on all public access cable channels throughout the State (`Olelo, Akaku, Na Leo, and Ho`ike). The video, which will air on varying dates and times throughout the month of May, teaches techniques to help students successfully resolve conflicts in a nonviolent, mature and appropriate manner.

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Contact: Marsha Kitagawa, 539-4909

For more information, contact the public affairs office at 808-539-4909 or via email at pao@courts.state.hi.us.

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