The Third Branch
Wisconsin celebrates Juror Appreciation Month
During 2012, 82,895 people reported for jury duty at Wisconsin courthouses. Of those, 21,080 served as jurors. Juror Appreciation Month, celebrated each year in September, is a time to honor these individuals.
Juror orientation at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.
This year, courts across the state joined the leaders of the three branches of government in saying thanks to jurors for the invaluable service they provide.
"Jurors are our family members, friends, co-workers and relatives who give up a little bit of time to help ensure that the justice system functions properly for all of us," said Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, who herself has twice served as a juror. "We also thank employers who may be inconvenienced at times when an employee is asked to serve on a jury. There are few jobs more important that a citizen can perform than serving on a jury."
Gov. Scott Walker joined the Chief in honoring jurors. The Governor issued a proclamation, and Senate President Michael G. Ellis and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos issued a joint citation on behalf of the Legislature formally recognizing September as Juror Appreciation month in Wisconsin.
The theme of statewide juror appreciation month, first celebrated in 2008, is Jurors Serve Justice; Justice Serves Us All. Here is a sample of activities planned in the counties:
In Dane County, Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson and Court of Appeals' Judges Brian W. Blanchard and Joanne F. Kloppenburg visited with Dane County jurors and thanked them for their service. Dane County Clerk of Circuit Court Carlo Esqueda will distribute tote bags and a banner will be hung in the courthouse lobby.
In Forest County, Clerk of Circuit Court Penny Carter, Judge Leon D. Stenz and District Atty. Charles Simono and other court staff again participated in the annual "Brush Run Off Road Race" parade to help draw attention to the importance of jurors. The county also posted a large banner and distributed duffel bags, note pads and pens embossed with "Forest County Appreciates Their Jurors."
In Manitowoc County, the county executive and county board issued a proclamation recognizing September as Juror Appreciation Month. Clerk of Circuit Court Lynn Zigmunt recorded public service announcements and distributed them to local radio stations. Zigumunt also sent a guest column to local newspapers, thanking jurors for their service.
In St. Croix County, the circuit court hosted an open house for jurors on Sept. 17, featuring an informal presentation by Clerk of Circuit Court Lori Meyer, along with snacks and some tokens of appreciation, such as note pads and magnets.
In Shawano County, about 375 potential jurors eligible for jury service during the fall were invited to attend a juror appreciation party, featuring snacks and refreshments. The event was held after a juror orientation session at the courthouse.