The second session of the community outreach event, Your Courts Up Close, was held on February 26, 2019.
Your Courts Up Close is a free event hosted by Judge Daryl Isenhower of St. Lucie County. The session included topics regarding jury duty and the roles of the Public Defender and State Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit.
Kara Lawson, ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Director announced that the Nineteenth Circuit will be hosting a free Supreme Court Certified Mediator training in May. Additional information including pre-requisites can be accessed by clicking here: https://tinyurl.com/y238q6me
Will Fearn, Civic Engagement Specialist for the Clerk of the Circuit Court, St. Lucie County presented information about how jurors are summoned. He discussed the number of jurors summoned each year (40,000!) and the reasons why some jurors are unable to serve. Mr. Fearn provided a comprehensive overview of the jury service / selection process and his role in coordinating juries for the St. Lucie County courthouse.
Chief Assistant State Attorney, Tom Bakkedahl and Assistant Public Defender, John Hetherington, provided the attendees with information about criminal cases in both county and circuit court. Mr. Bakkedahl engaged the crowd with examples of case flow management from the eyes of law enforcement and the accompanying procedural investigations. Mr. Hetherington enlightened the crowd on the role of the public defender and the Constitutional rights that each citizen holds. The attendees were fully focused and interactive during the Q&A session. Attendees inquired about victim’s rights and the ethical considerations for both prosecutors and defense attorneys.