CMBA to Host First Citizens Legal Academy

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CMBA to Host First "Citizens Legal Academy" on September 12
Free, Public Event to Inform the Public about Election Law

CLEVELAND – August 31, 2012 – The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) will host its first Citizens Legal Academy on Wednesday, September 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at its office at 2925 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. The first in a series, this program will be a panel presentation on election law and be open and free to the public.

Announced this summer, the CMBA’s Citizens Legal Academy is a civics education program to inform and engage the public in Greater Cleveland through free public forums conducted by local attorneys and judges who will address "hot button" legal topics such as election law, immigration, consumer protection, domestic relations, foreclosure, criminal law, and others. One goal of the Academy is to increase public knowledge of and appreciation for the judicial system and the roles of attorneys and judges. 

The September session on election law will address such questions as: What is the set of laws that govern the right to vote in the United States? Where did the laws come from? How are they enforced? Who enforces them, and why?

The panelists for this topic will be:

  • Jane Platten, Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
  • Jeff Hastings, Chairman of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
  • Sandy McNair, Member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
  • Timothy F. Mellett, Deputy Chief, Department of Justice, Voting Rights Section
  • Jonathan L. Entin, David L. Brennan Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University
  • Judge John J. Russo, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, panel moderator

Seating is limited, so registration is strongly encouraged to 216-539-3731 or Attendees will receive a certificate of participation. Additional information can be found at

"This Academy is another way the CMBA gives back to our community. Law can be complicated and confusing. Election law is no exception with its interplay of political subdivisions and parties. We hope to make it more understandable," said CMBA President Carter Strang. "We thank the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for its active participation in this program."

The Citizens Legal Academy is co-chaired by Carole Rendon, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Judge John J. Russo of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The second program is being planned for November on immigration, and the specific date and location will be announced soon.

About the CMBA
The nonprofit Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association operates as a center for legal professionalism in the region, promoting the highest ethical and professional standards. Serving the largest legal community in the state, the CMBA has more than 5,500 members. Learn more at