New York State Bar Association Launches Statewide Public Education Radio Campaign in Wake of Attacks on Judges
Announcements inform public about role of judges; also provide information on living wills and healthcare proxies.
For more information contact:
Associate Director, Media Services Department (518) 487-5532 firstname.lastname@example.org
June 10, 2005
ALBANY – With the judiciary facing increasing criticism and political attacks – particularly in the wake of the Terry Schiavo case – the New York State Bar Association is launching a statewide radio campaign that includes two radio announcements accentuating the importance of an independent judiciary, and two others that provide information about living wills and healthcare proxies.
The campaign, titled, "Decisions," is sponsored in cooperation with the 250-member stations of the New York State Broadcasters Association. It will air statewide for four weeks beginning June 13th and ending July 10th. This is the sixth radio campaign the Association has mounted in the past three years.
State Bar President A. Vincent Buzard of Rochester (Harris Beach PLLC) said, “The tragic death of Terri Schiavo heightened both the awareness and importance of the need for documenting one’s wishes in case you should become incapacitated. As the debate over her fate raged, we made healthcare proxy forms available for free on our Web site and received an overwhelming response – with 200,000 people visiting the site and downloading the forms. They are still available on our Web site and we want to continue to ensure that the public have this important information.
“At the same time, the Terry Schiavo case coincided with a number of unfortunate attacks on the judiciary – some related to this case and some not, some merely verbal criticism and some in the form of physical attacks. There is no issue more important than preserving the integrity and independence of the judiciary and we believe that public understanding of the role that judges play in our system of justice is essential.”
Following are the four radio scripts, narrated by WINS news anchors Catherine Smith and Doug O’Brien, who is a state bar member:
Script #1 - The Judiciary: People have been getting angry at judges lately. Some have even gotten violent. They’re angry because they didn’t like the judges’ decisions. They’re not supposed to do things because politicians want them to. Judges are supposed to look at the facts and the law and the Constitution. They’re supposed to be objective. Judges are there to make sure everyone plays by the rules. This message brought to you by the 71-thousand members of the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Broadcasters Association.
Script # 2 – Independence of the Judiciary: Our country is built on bedrock. It’s called “separation of powers.” It means three branches of government . . . your courts . . . your congress or council . . . and the chief executive of your city or state or the nation. They often disagree . . . But they’re expected to work together for the good of us all . . . not run rough-shod over each other. Our government . . . Three legs . . . not two. This message brought to you by the 71-thousand members of the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Broadcasters Association.
Script #3 - Advance Directives (a/k/a “living will”): Don’t keep your family in the dark. If you couldn’t speak for yourself . . . would they know whether you’d want life-prolonging treatment? You need to spell it out in black-and-white . . . and you need to do it now. The New York State Bar Association has living wills and health care proxy forms to help you get started. Download it at w-w-w-dot-n-y-s-b-a-dot-org. It’s right under “News, Notes and Notices.” This message brought to you by the 71-thousand members of the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Broadcasters Association.
Script #4 – Living Wills and Healthcare Proxies: It could happen in your family: . . . a loved one falls ill . . . It looks like the end is near. Who in the family will decide whether life-prolonging measures are called for? Who decides what they will be? Even tougher, who decides when it’s time to withdraw these special measures? The New York State Bar Association has living wills and health care proxy forms to help you make some of these decisions. Download it at w-w-w-dot-n-y-s-b-a-dot-org. It’s right under “News, Notes and Notices.” This message brought to you by the 71-thousand members of the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Broadcasters Association.
The 71,000 member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for nearly 130 years.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993