Justice Bus visiting Stark County for Law Week

Ohio Justice Bus
Ohio Justice Bus

CANTON – The Stark County Bar Association will host a variety of events, including a stop in Stark County by the Ohio Justice Bus, as part of Law Week 2023.

Law Day is a national event held on or around May 1 and is designed to remind Americans about their liberties and alert them to the role they play as citizens in protecting and preserving freedom.

This year's theme is "Cornerstones of Democracy: Civics, Civility and Collaboration."

Among the events scheduled is a stop by the Ohio Justice Bus. The bus will be parked from noon to 4 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of Mission BBQ, 4490 Everhard Road in Jackson Township.

Stark Bar Association Executive Director Tina McCort said in the past the organization has held a phone bank for residents to call in with legal questions but as times have changed they have seen a drop in participants.

This year, they opted to try an in-person event with the bus.

Attorneys will be available for a free consultation and to answer legal questions. An attorney who is a veteran or familiar with military issues also will be on hand.

McCort said three lawyers from Columbus who travel with the bus will be on hand as well as local attorneys.

"We targeted that area because it is one of the busiest intersections in the county," she said. "Also Mission BBQ gets a lot of military."

The event will be "live-streamed" on the Stark County Bar Association's Facebook page. Those who join the live Facebook event can also ask questions.

McCort said people seek help during the free events for a number of reasons, including if they are unable to afford to hire an attorney and they are not sure if they need an attorney.

If an attorney is unable to answer questions, she said, they will at least be able to point people in the right direction.

"There might be an agency that can help or they need divorce help. Family court now has a self-help desk," McCort explained. "At least we can get them going in the right direction."

Moot court competition also taking place in Stark County

Also on Monday, high school students will compete in a Moot Court competition from 9 a.m. to noon at the Fifth District Court of Appeals, 110 Central Plaza S, Canton, in Room 320.

Competitors will argue the case J.D.B. v. North Carolina (2011). Students will give simulated appellate oral arguments and will be judged by local attorneys.

"If they are interested in a legal profession, this is an excellent way to participate," McCort said. "We have had a lot of students that have participated become an attorney or were on their way to taking college courses in that direction."

A Student Awards ceremony will be 11 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Kent State University at Stark’s Conference Center, 6000 Frank Ave. NW in Jackson Township.

Awards will be presented to the winners of the moot court competition, grade 7 through 12 essay contest, "Why I Want to Become A Lawyer" essay contest for pre-law students, poster contest for kindergarten through eighth grade, and a digital media contest for middle school students.

A Law Day luncheon will follow the ceremony from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Pro-Bono and Liberty Bell Award recipients will be announced. Keynote speaker is Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

The continuing legal education seminar — Cornerstone of Democracy: Civics, Civility and Collaboration — will be 1:15 to 4:30 p.m.

Nearly 100 students also will participate in the Tour De Courts on Thursday to learn about the different types of courts in Stark County.

Through June, the attorney-match program is available to area elementary, junior and senior high schools. The program pairs attorneys with the students to discuss law-related topics. To request a speaker, contact Sara Strattan at ssburns51@gmail.com.

On April 20, Massillon Municipal Court visited Washington High School to meet with teachers and students during an ask-a-lawyer event. Massillon Municipal Court judges Edward Elum and Joel Fichter and Magistrate Andrea Scassa sat on a panel with Law Day Chairman Todd W. Evans, Richard Kuhn and Stark County Bar Association's President Stephen Babik.

The event aired on Massillon Cable and will be re-broadcast.

"Law Week is something we have been doing for many years," McCort said. "We do things for the community to make sure they aware of the rule of law. Each year is a little different."

Reach Amy at 330-775-1135 or amy.knapp@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @aknappINDE

This article originally appeared on The Independent: Law Week 2023 features Ohio Justice Bus, moot court competition