Monday, February 6, 2012

Launch of iCivics in Wyoming


February 6, 2012 
For more information, contact the Office of the Clerk of Court
(307) 777-7316

Chief Justice Marilyn S. Kite announced today that the Wyoming Supreme Court will launch a project called iCivics on February 16 – 17, 2012.  iCivics is a national program promoted by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who realized that securing our democracy requires teaching the next generation to understand and respect our system of governance.  iCivics is a web-based education project designed to reach middle school students  and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy.  iCivics uses interactive video gaming to help students learn about all three branches of government and has proven to be a powerful teaching tool.

“We share Justice O’Connor’s concern that our citizens are not sufficiently informed about our system of government and believe by assuring that our students and teachers have better tools, we can hopefully have more knowledgeable civic participation,” Kite explained.  On February 16th and 17th, the Wyoming Supreme Court will partner with the Legislative and Executive Branches of Wyoming’s government to provide a professional development workshop for Wyoming educators.  On February 16th, the conference will be held at the Wyoming Supreme Court, and on February 17th it will be held in the Capitol.

“We are very excited and honored that Justice O’Connor will personally join our conference by video appearance,” said Kite.  “The participants in our workshop will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with Justice O’Connor.  We could not be more pleased to offer this unique opportunity.” 

During the two day conference, the participants will also observe arguments in the Wyoming Supreme Court, participate in legislative committee hearings, and enjoy an up front and personal look at Wyoming’s government at work. 

For more information about this conference, you can go to the Wyoming Supreme Court home page at  There will you will find a more detailed agenda and conference materials.

If you would like additional information about iCivics or the upcoming conference, please contact:

Diane Bauersfeld
Public Services Law Librarian

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Justice Michael Golden awarded Larry L. Lehman Award for Judicial Excellence

The Larry L. Lehman Award for Judicial Excellence is awarded annually by the Wyoming Supreme Court and the Wyoming State Bar.  It is given in memory of Justice Lehman, who died in December 2004.  It is fitting that Lehman’s memory be honored because of his commitment to excellence.  He spent a great deal of his time working to improve the operation of the court system.  He distinguished himself as a Circuit Court Judge, District Court Judge, and Supreme Court Justice.

This year’s Larry L. Lehman Award for Judicial Excellence was awarded to Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Michael Golden. 

Justice Michael Golden has been a member of the court since 1988, and served as the Chief Justice from 1994 to 1996.  He received his B.A. from the University of Wyoming in 1964, and graduated from the U.W. College of Law in 1967.  Justice Golden earned a LL.M. in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia in 1992.  Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court he practiced law in Casper and Rawlins after serving four years in the U.S. Army JAG Corps.  Justice Golden was retained in the 1990, 1998, and 2006 retention elections.
In 1999, at the request of the late Chief Justice Larry Lehman, Justice Golden humbly took the reigns as chair of what is now called the Children’s Justice Project.  Under his leadership, Justice Golden used his stature to raise the level of awareness and practice in child welfare. He recognized the challenges of our court system and the unique and special needs of children and families plagued by poverty, neglect, illiteracy, substance abuse, mental health issues and other social ills.  Through his support, encouragement and perseverance, he fostered many changes in court practice that have made a difference in the lives of children, youth and families.

Additionally, Justice Golden advocated for changes to the Wyoming Protection Act to ensure that Wyoming law met the goals of achieving timely permanency for children while balancing the rights of parents.   He supported the development of several publications for practitioners and for children and families.  He championed many pilot efforts over the years including the most recent pilot effort in Sweetwater County which has seen incredible results in reducing the amount of time children spend in foster care with the added benefit of achieving substantial cost savings to the state and county.  Because of Justice Golden’s extraordinary commitment, compassion and humility, law and justice are better off, but more importantly so are many children and families in Wyoming. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wyoming State Law Library Book on Display at the Government Printing Office

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has been part of American life for 150 years. GPO was established by a congressional joint resolution in 1860 and began work on the same day President Lincoln was inaugurated, March 4, 1861, on the very same corner of North Capitol Street and H Street, NW in Washington, DC that it still occupies today. A special exhibit was produced for the 150th anniversary year which examines the role GPO plays in the work of the Government and the everyday life of the public.

The process of creating Government publications is highlighted, with a particular focus on the many generations of information technology that have been in regular use throughout GPO's history. The centerpiece of the exhibit is an original first printing of the September 1862 Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln as a General Order of the War Department. The proclamation was printed by GPO and shows proofreader's marks that marked revisions made to the final proclamation issued in January of 1863. It is on loan from the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. This historic document is juxtaposed with a large collection of humbler documents, ranging from tax forms to consumer brochures, which the public has in their homes, offices, and wallets without any knowledge that they came from GPO.

Earlier this year, as GPO was planning the exhibit, it asked depository libraries around the country if it would be possible to borrow from their collections specific items that they wished to feature.  The Wyoming State Law Library is a depository library and received a copy of the request. We found we owned one of volumes requested and offered to lend it to GPO for the exhibit.  On display is the Wyoming State Law Library’s copy of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (volume 1) which was issued by the Office of United States Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality in 1946.

For those who may be visiting Washington, the exhibit is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 732 North Capitol Street NW. The exhibit will remain open through the end of 2011.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Justice Golden Presents Children’s Justice Project Excellence Award

Today the Wyoming Supreme Court Children’s Justice Project partnered with the Wyoming Guardians ad Litem Program, the Department of Health and the Wyoming Department of Family Services to host a conference for over 500 participants.  The three day conference, being held at Little America, is filled with distinguished faculty, highlighting national research and “front line” work in our juvenile courts, child welfare and mental health communities across Wyoming.  Dr. Bruce Perry, an international authority on Child maltreatment and the impact of trauma/neglect on the developing brain, made two presentations today highlighting his work and expertise as it was applied to traumatized children in tragedies such as the Columbine shootings, the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, and Hurricane Katrina.  The Children’s Justice Project Excellence Award was presented to Jackson attorney Jean Day.  Justice Golden made the presentation and emphasized the 25 years of dedicated service given by Jean Day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Supreme Court Adopts New Circuit Court Civil Rules

About a year ago, the Supreme Court and the Board of Judicial Policy and Administration initiated an effort to address the increasing cost and delay involved in civil litigation in Wyoming’s courts. It began with a survey of the bench and bar attitudes about those problems and how they may be addressed. Not surprisingly, the results of that survey confirmed that both lawyers and judges believed that civil litigation took too long and costs too much. At last year’s bar convention, a panel discussion addressed the issues in general and one of the most obvious solutions that emerged was to increase the jurisdiction of the circuit courts to help relieve the increasing demands on the district courts and better utilize the circuit courts.  The underlying assumption was that cases could move more quickly and efficiently in circuit courts.  The first step was the passage of legislation to authorize the increase in jurisdiction to $50,000. During that process, the legislature made it clear that it expected the rules of procedure applicable in circuit court would be reviewed and revised, if necessary, to encourage expeditious handling of cases in circuit court.  The circuit court judges undertook that effort with the assistance of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System with the goal of providing discovery proportional to the size of the case, greater pre-trial case management, and prompt trial settings. The draft prepared by the circuit court judges was then reviewed and commented upon by the Wyoming Bar Association’s Permanent Civil Rules Advisory Committee. Ultimately, the rules were approved by the Board of Judicial Policy and Administration and the Supreme Court. These rules will become effective July 1, 2011 to coincide with the effective date of the legislation increasing circuit court jurisdiction.  Congratulations are in order to all who assisted in the effort.
The Rules can be found on our website at:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wyoming Supreme Court Announces New E-Pay System

The Wyoming Supreme Court announced today that a new electronic payment (e-pay) system for citations is available online at  The new system was developed entirely in-house by the Supreme Court information technology staff and is available for payment of citations in all twenty-nine circuit courts. 

The e-pay system was first installed in Cheyenne in January and then subsequently rolled out across the entire state.  To date, over $325,000 has been collected over the e-pay system, and on one particular weekend when the courts were closed, almost $4,000 was collected. 

Designed to be convenient for the user, the e-pay system also reduces the amount of time clerks are spending taking credit card transactions over the phone.  Citation payments can now be made over a secure website from any location using the Internet, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  “The new electronic payment system is quite sophisticated,” stated Chief Justice Kite.  “International payments are accepted and currency conversions are handled automatically. We are very proud of our staff for developing a system that increases the efficiency of our branch of government, while at the same time provides a tremendous service to the individuals who use the system.  We appreciate the legislative support in adopting a statute that facilitated the implementation of this system,” she added.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fifth Graders Visit the Wyoming Supreme Court

For the past three Tuesdays, Justice William U. Hill met with over thirty classes of fifth graders here in Cheyenne.  The combined three days of program involved about 650 kids who were hosted by the Wyoming Supreme Court and the Legislative Services Office.  Students learned about the Judicial Branch and were given the opportunity to ask Justice Hill questions.  “Folks might be very surprised at the many excellent legal questions that occur to fifth graders,” Hill said.  Justice Hill explained the difference between trial courts and appellate courts, as well as discussing how the Judicial Branch operates.  Students were surprised to learn that the Wyoming Supreme Court does not hire judges and some students expressed interest in the law.  The program is designed to give kids a real look at the Wyoming court system and dispel ideas that they learn from watching court proceedings on television.