April 21, 2010 Multiculturalism and the Rule of Law Subject of 2010 Law Day Program

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Leon Sciosia (202) 707-1496

In recognition of Law Day 2010, the Law Library of Congress will present a program titled “You Be the Judge: Cross-Cultural Issues in the Courts.” The two-hour program will begin at noon on Monday, May 3, in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

In a growing number of cases in state and federal courts all across the country, parties are raising “the cultural defense”—invoking the customs and traditions of a diversity of cultural backgrounds to explain their actions. Even when these issues are not raised directly, culture is playing a role in many civil and criminal cases.

In this engaging and highly interactive presentation, audience members will use hand-held technology to “vote” on the outcome of vignettes drawn from real cases and presented by an inter-disciplinary panel of some of the nation’s leading cross-cultural experts.

Moderated by George Washington University School of Law professor Jonathan Turley, the panel will include Rene L. Valladares, chief of the Trial/Appellate Division of the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Las Vegas, Nev.; Dr. Mark J. Mills, M.D., J.D., a renowned forensic psychiatrist and professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; and the Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway, U.S. Court of International Trade-New York and chair of the American Bar Association’s National Conference of Federal Trial Judges.

Law Day is a national day to celebrate the rule of law and its contributions to the freedoms that Americans enjoy. In 1957, the American Bar Association instituted Law Day to draw attention to both the principles and practices of law and justice. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day with a proclamation in 1958. For more information on Law Day, visit www.lawday.org External.

The Law Day program is sponsored by the Law Library of Congress with the support of more than 40 organizations, including the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association and the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

Founded in 1832, the mission of the Law Library is to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. Government and the global legal community, and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 2.6 million volumes, the Law Library contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its web site at www.loc.gov/law/.


PR 10-084
ISSN 0731-3527