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March 1, 2013
Trial Lawyers Section educates the educators

Trial Lawyers Section’s Teachers’ Law School hosted 78 high school and middle school teachers for a two-day program designed to assist them in teaching about the courts and the judicial branch.

Wayne Helsby The section hosted the event as part of its annual Trial Lawyers Section Summit January 17-18 in Orlando. The teachers — from Orange, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, and Seminole counties — were provided presentations and workshops covering the background of the federal and state court system, the history of the jury system and the role of the lawyer in the system, the First, Fourth, and Fifth amendments, the Justice Teaching program, and the anatomy of criminal and civil matters.

At the suggestion of Craig Gibbs during his 2011-12 term as the section’s chair, the section — through the efforts of current Chair Wayne Helsby and executive council members Bob Palmer, Courtney Grimm, Katherine Hunter, and Mindy McLaughlin, — put together the program to further the purpose of the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act and address the public’s declining civic knowledge.

The section sought to provide teachers with tools to assist them in educating their students and helping them to better understand and appreciate the value of the legal system. The program was geared toward Florida’s mandatory civics curriculum and providing the teachers real-life experiences to facilitate their teaching of the curriculum.

Instructors at the program included U.S. Middle District Judge Susan C. Bucklew, Justice Fred Lewis, 11th Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch, Bar President Gwynne Young, Barry Richard, William Hahn, Michael Snure, Tyler Snure, Tom Bishop, Ted Eastmoore, Palmer, Kim Ashby, and McLaughlin.

The teachers also attended the final round of the section’s annual Chester Bedell Mock Trial Competition, which was won by Stetson University this year.

[Revised: 11-29-2014]