County bar association celebrates law of the land

The Tulare County Bar Association (TCBA) invites the public to join us as we celebrate the rule of law in a free society. With the theme of “Realizing the Dream, Equality for All” the Bar Association joins with the Superior Court of Tulare County for this week’s Law Day Festivities.

Today, Wednesday, May 1, 2013, will feature a meaningful ceremony at the Courthouse, orchestrated by the Court Administration, to formally honor the rule of law in our society. Law Day is an officially recognized event, having been codified into law in 1961. Prior to that, it was proclaimed by President Eisenhower in 1958, as a response to communism. One of the featured speakers this year is Mike Seltzer, Tulare County Public Defender. Mr. Seltzer will address the implementation of Gideon v. Wainright 50 years after this historic ruling mandated representation for the indigent.

The ceremony takes place at 8:30 am at the Visalia Courthouse, Department 6. As part of the event, the Office of the District Attorney will present its Justice Award to the family of Karen Cooper.

TCBA will also present its Liberty Bell Award, which recognizes the exemplary contributions of a non-attorney to the legal system. This year’s Liberty Bell recipient is Anne Bernardo, the Law Librarian of the Tulare County Public Law Library. Ms. Bernardo has worked tirelessly to ensure access to justice, particularly by providing resources to those who represent themselves in court. Working with her staff, she has maintained an under recognized community resource, especially in these times of tight budgets.

The festivities will conclude on Thursday May 2, 2013, with the Barrister’s Banquet, hosted by the TCBA. The banquet begins at 6:00 pm at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center. The highlight of this evening will be the presentation of the Bar’s Distinguished Service Award. This year’s recipient is Attorney Jim Wilson. Mr. Wilson recently retired after practicing law for forty-four years. He was admitted to the bar on Jan. 9, 1969 and retired on Jan. 28, 2013. He began his career as a research attorney for the 5th District Court of Appeal; he was an associate with Baker, Manock and Jensen and worked in both the Fresno and Tulare County Public Defender’s offices before entering private practice in 1980.

The events are open to the public. Banquet tickets are available for $50.00 per person and may be obtained by calling the TCBA office at (559) 732-2513. Reservations are required.

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