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One message from the November 2008 elections: Judges continue to face attacks by media and angry voters. The need for public education is desperate when only 15 percent of Americans know who is chief justice but 66 percent can name at least one judge on American Idol. Find out what the ABA and state and local bars are doing to help keep an independent judiciary.
The word is not in Black's Legal Dictionary (yet). It means "to be deceived by hiding evidence" and refers to the controversy surrounding the former DA who charged three Duke students with rape. The North Carolina State Bar was swept into the maelstrom. Across the country, the State Bar of Texas developed a comprehensive response to a raid by Texas child welfare officials on a fundamentalist compound. Both bars came out winners in the press.
The Internet has transformed the process of social networking. State and local bars are becoming leaders in electronic social networking for their members.
In these days of 15-second sound bites, YouTube, and the nonstop barrage of information and entertainment, how can bars help bring attention to the importance of a healthy judicial branch? It's not by stressing the phrase "judicial independence," which can actually turn people off, says Michelle A. Behnke, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services. Here, she shares some ideas that have worked in her home state of Wisconsin.