Mission of Law Day Committee
The Committee’s goal is to focus public attention on the value of the rule of law in the United States and to underscore the contribution of the law and legal process to our many freedoms as Americans.
The Committee plans, runs and judges various programs and contests for local middle and high school students including an Essay Contest, Poster Contest and Mock Trial Competition. We also coordinate a local Lawyers and Judges Back to School program, and annually select a Liberty Bell Award recipient. The Liberty Bell Award honors a lay person in the community who, through volunteer efforts, has encouraged community members to respect the laws and legal system, to learn and take an active role in our American justice system and to take pride in our nation’s system of freedom for all under the law. The Committee’s activities culminate in a Law Day Luncheon held annually on May 1st at which the winners of the various contests are acknowledged and awarded prizes and honors. A keynote speaker and local dignitaries are also invited to attend the luncheon to join in celebrating Law Day with the winning York County students and their guests. The Committee has created a web site where more information on the Law Day Celebration can be found.
The Honorable Maria Musti Cook
2009 Law Day Committee
Ann Marie McElwee
LAW DAY COMMITTEE – 2008 YEAR END REPORT
CO-CHAIRS: Honorable Maria Musti Cook Kristina A. Bange, Esq.
MEMBERS: Barbara Sardella, Esq. (YCBF Pres.) Charles Rausch, Esq. (YCBA Pres.)
Suzanne H. Griest, Esq. Angela Edris-Eveler, Esq.
Barbara Orsburn-Stump, Esq. Dawn Marie Cutaia, Esq.
Daniel M. Fennick, Esq. Carolyn Pugh, Esq. (Mock Trial Chair)
I. COMMITTEE GOALS/THEMES:
PBA Theme: Law Day 2008: Fifty Years of Growing Strong Citizens
ABA Theme: The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity
II. PROJECT STATUS REPORT
The Law Day Luncheon was held on May 1, 2008, featuring the Dallastown H.S. String Ensemble, directed by David Diehl. Barbara Sardella, Esq., YCBF President, read President Eisenhower’s Law Day Proclamation made fifty years ago. When our keynote speaker, Ray Krone, failed to show up, P.J. Richard K. Renn came to the Committee’s rescue, and addressed the attendees in a speech about “Unconventional Wisdom.” The Judge’s comments focused on the significance of the 50th anniversary celebration of Law Day nationally, and included quotes of both conventional and unconventional wisdom from historically significant figures including Aristotle, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and John Quincy Adams.
11th annual Poster Contest: 132 middle school students from 4 York County school districts participated. Suzanne Griest, Esq., poster contest chair, announced the winners at the luncheon: 1st place – Becky Wiest, 7th grade, Spring Grove Middle School; 2nd place – Nikki Vlahos, 8th grade, Hanover Middle School; 3rd place – Allison Seibel, 8th grader, Hanover Middle School. Winning posters were displayed at the luncheon and the students were presented with Certificates of Achievement and U.S. Savings Bonds.
30th annual Essay Contest: 117 high school students from 6 York County school districts participated. The essay topics included closed vs. open primary elections, disenfranchisement of inmates and parolees, having full-time uniformed police officers in schools, ensuring that the justice system is “colorblind,” and discussing whether all Pennsylvania students should be required to pass a standardized test in order to graduate. Atty. Barbara Stump announced the winners: 1st place--Lexie Grove, (Jr.) West York Area High School; 2nd place--Cody Nicholson, (Sr.) Northern High School; and 3rd place --Anna L. Seichter, (Jr.), German exchange student from Christian School of York. The essay winners were also presented with Certificates of Achievement and U.S. Savings Bonds.
High School Mock Trial Competitions: 11 teams from 10 school districts participated (York Catholic, West York, Central York, Dallastown, Eastern York, Kennard-Dale, Littlestown, Spring Grove (two teams), William Penn, and York Country Day. Winners were York Catholic (1st), West York (2nd) and Central York (3rd). The jurors were members of community organizations including Rotary, Springettsbury Sertoma, York Sertoma, CGA Law Firm, York County Young Republicans, M&T Bank, YCBA and its Young Lawyer’s Division. Harrisburg Area Community College provided student court reporters. The 1st and 2nd place teams were honored at the Luncheon. Attorney Carolyn Pugh was the district coordinator for the 2008 program.
Back-To-School program: Judges and lawyers visited local elementary school classrooms throughout the month of May to teach about various civic topics through fun and interactive activities. Dawn Cutaia, Esq. coordinated the program.
Liberty Bell Award: The 2008 recipient, Mr. Ray Crenshaw, was announced by Judge Cook and Ryan Sattler, the 2006 Liberty Bell Award winner. This award honors a lay person in our community who, through volunteer efforts, has encouraged community members to respect the laws and legal system, to learn more about and take an active role in our American justice system, and to take pride in our nation’s system of freedom for all under the law. Mr. Crenshaw was selected by a committee of past recipients.
New in 2008 -- Law Day Website: Dawn Cutaia created a website (www.yorklawday.org) featuring the various components of York County’s Law Day celebration. The winners of the various Law Day contests were posted on the website following the Luncheon.
III. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE COMMITTEE FOR 2009:
A Law Day Photography contest will be added for 2009. The website will be updated and maintained. The Committee will consider ways to involve the Young Lawyers Section. CONFIRM KEYNOTE SPEAKER A DAY OR SO BEFORE THE LUNCHEON!
IV. OTHER SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS: