The Florida Bar
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May 15, 2012
John Howe, Kalinthia Dillard,  Judge Moses Baker Lynne Getchr, and Joel Rothman

REVIVING CIVICS EDUCATION THROUGH LITERATURE is the way Joel Rothman intends to confront the lack of civics education. “We can no longer turn a blind eye to the deplorable state of civics education in our country,” Rothman said. “We see this story play out every day in the news as politicians drag judges and court decisions they disagree with onto the political stage and whip the voting population into a frenzy for political gain. This strategy succeeds because it exploits the electorate’s lack of basic civics knowledge about judicial review and the role judges play in our society.” To do something about it, Rothman and Stacey Ballis, author of six books and former high school English teacher, are currently writing Wainright for the People, a young adult legal thriller scheduled to be published by the ABA. Touted as “Law & Order meets Encyclopedia Brown,” the novel follows the adventures of Gideon Wainwright, a high school sophomore forced to intern for his assistant district attorney mother during his suspension after taking the fall for a pulled fire alarm while interrupting a bully attack. Intended to explore concepts of civics education through literary exploration, much like To Kill a Mockingbird explores concepts of social justice and racism, Rothman and Ballis are independently producing classroom materials to supplement the novel’s release. Rothman and Ballis are currently raising funds on Kickstarter to help pay for the development of the extra educational material and for marketing directly to the educational market. For more information, visit At a Law Day presentation at a Palm Beach County school April 30, Rothman discussed the role of the courts in light of chapter five of Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham. Pictured from the left at the event are John Howe, president of the Palm Beach County Bar; Kalinthia Dillard, associate counsel, Palm Beach County Public Schools; Judge Moses Baker; Lynne Getch, teacher, seventh grade civics at Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton; and Rothman, a partner at Arnstein & Lehr in West Palm Beach.

[Revised: 01-29-2017]