Freedom of speech and a free press focus of 17th annual Law Day celebration

Freedom of speech and a free press focus of 17th annual Law Day celebration

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The right to free speech and a free press will be the theme of a keynote address during this year’s Cochise County Law Day celebration.

The annual event, now in its 17th year, will feature noted attorney Dan Barr, who represents several media organizations.

Law Day will take place on Wednesday, May 1, at Douglas High School, 1550 15th Street, from 9 a.m., and this year’s theme is ‘Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society’.

Barr is a partner with Perkins Coie LLP, Phoenix, and has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of civil litigation involving constitutional, employment, media, and political law issues. His clients include the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona and the Arizona Daily Star. He is the author of the “Arizona Reporters’ Handbook on Media Law” (7th edition), the “Survey of Arizona Libel Law” and the “Survey of Arizona Employment Libel Law”, and the “Open Government Guide – Arizona”.

His Law Day speech is entitled “The First Amendment and Our Duty to be Informed Citizens. Free Speech and Free Press Are Not Free Rules”. The public is encouraged to attend.

Cochise County Court Administrator Eric Silverberg said, “We are very excited to have a speaker of his reputation and caliber coming to Cochise County. I very much look forward to hearing his speech.”

Law Day is the culmination of several weeks of activities featuring educational presentations to K-12 classes across Cochise County, given by the legal and court communities. Schools have also been invited to participate in the popular art and essay contests, and the winners will be announced during the celebrations on May 1.

This year is the 61st national observance of Law Day, which was originally conceived in 1957 when American Bar Association president Charles Rhynes envisioned a special day to mark our commitment to the rule of law. The following year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the first Law Day, and Congress designated May 1 as the official celebration date in 1961.

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