Business and community leaders recently collaborated with judges from the North Dade Justice Center to present the 53rd Law Day celebration featuring guest speaker Marcia G. Cooke, U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of Florida.
The theme of Law Day 2011 was “The Legacy of John Adams – from Boston to Guantanamo.” Law Day is observed nationally every year in May to help promote a greater understanding of the American justice system and commemorate “a commitment to the rule of law enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
” Judges overseeing Law Day 2011 included Associate Administrative Judge Linda Singer Stein, Judge Myriam Lehr, Judge Eric Hendon, Judge Charles K. Johnson, Judge Fleur J. Lobree, Judge Caryn C. Schwartz, and Judge Sheldon Schwartz.
Chief Judge Joel Brown noted, “Thanks to all of the judges and their staff here at the North Dade Justice Center for organizing Law Day – a long-standing tradition. It’s important to recognize the importance of the legal system – truly the foundation of our country. We’re a nation of laws and for that to remain, we need a solid legal system that will protect everyone’s individual rights.”
The Law Day event commenced with an invocation by Steven W. Davis, president of the Dade County Bar Association; the United States SOUTHERN COMMAND Color Guard presentation; Natalia Sulca singing the National Anthem; and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Bailiffs of the North Dade Justice Center.
Students attending the Law Day event were especially enlightened by remarks made by Judge Cooke who emphasized, “What John Adams did hundreds of years ago is an important lesson in advocacy, tolerance and the rule of law that serves us very well today. Shortly before Adams’ death, he was asked what decision was the most important of his career and he said, ‘One of the best pieces of service I ever rendered to my country was representing British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre.’ “Today, lawyers representing the ‘unpopular’ prove the core of this country’s constitutional values remains intact. You are presumed innocent and the prosecution has to prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You have a right to trial by jury, to confront your accusers in open court and to see the evidence against you. In this country, our courts are the great leveler where all men are created equal.” During Law Day, winners of the North Dade Bar Association’s Law Day essay contest for students were announced. First place winner Briana Hawryluk of David Lawrence, Jr. K-8 Center wrote her essay on the topic of John Adams’ belief in the rule of law that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Ruling Law Day 2011“highly successful,” North Dade Justice Center judges concurred, “This year’s Law Day enabled us to reach out once again and further educate our community about the judicial system…especially students, who are the future of our country.” Special thanks for supporting Law Day was expressed to public officials, organizations and participants including event sponsors: Sabadell United Bank; Higer Lichter & Givner, LLP; Law Office of Russel Lazega; Miami-Dade Florida Association for Women Lawyers; Cuban American Bar Association; Haitian Lawyers Association; North Dade Bar Association; Aventura Marketing Council, Katz & Katz, PA; and Rosenfield Stein Batta, PA.