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AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION: 'COURTS UNDER ATTACK: THE REASONS AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT'

    Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, nationally respected journalists Catherine Crier and Tim O'Brien will join jurists, attorneys and educators on Aug. 9 for a unique no-holds- barred look at what has caused the public to lose faith in its state court systems.  Speakers will address the consequences of this on the underpinnings of democracy in America.  The riots following the Rodney King trial and California is dramatic and deadly evidence of just how serious the situation has become.
    A poll in 1977 revealed that 40 percent of the respondents had a "low opinion" of judges, and half perceived the need for court reform. Fifth percent of those polled said that courts do not reduce crime and are themselves a serious problem.  These results have been reconfirmed recently -- despite efforts since 1977 to improve the courts and increase citizen understanding.  In fact, latest data indicate that the opinion of the legal system has declined.
    In addition to identifying the causes of the public's discontent, the panel will also explore what can be done to restore public confidence in courts.  Panelists will focus on the plagues of chronic underfunding, understaffing and spiraling work loads.
    Other panelists include Robert MacCrate, former ABA president, Steve Brill of American Lawyer, Mary DeBourbon, Lynn Hecht Schafran, Hon. Myriam Altman, Sheila Birnbaum, Hon. Michelle Weston Patterson, Larry Sipes, Bob Payant, Tony Marro and Leon Segan.
    The program will be in the New York Hilton Hotel, third floor, Trianon Ballroom beginning at 1:30 p.m.
    This program is part of the American Bar Association annual meeting. Media representatives are welcome to cover this, or any of the over 2,600 events during the sessions Aug. 5-11 at the Hilton.  ABA credentials are required for admission and can be obtained in the Rhinelander Gallery, second floor, Hilton.  The News Center will be open beginning at noon on Aug. 4 and thereafter daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For further information on speakers and programs, call the News Center at 212-261-6097.
    -0-             08/05/93
    CONTACT:  Robert Pirraglia of the American Bar Association, 212-261-6038, beginning Aug. 4.
    PRNewswire -- Aug. 5 CO:  AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ST:  NY


-- NY043 -- X212 08/05/93
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 5, 1993
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