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Historical Society of the Tenth Judicial Circuit

We preserve and promote knowledge of the history of the development of the law in the Tenth Circuit and the judges and notable lawyers who have served in the Circuit.

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Court history exhibits in Tenth Circuit courthouse

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children ages 5 to 21
Families
General Public/Unspecified
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

We are developing additional history exhibits for display in the Byron White U.S. Courthouse in Denver. There are existing exhibits about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White and other topics. We are seeking to expand the exhibit and develop multimedia displays including audio courthouse tours.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We know the exhibits are valuable already to student groups that tour the building (from the judges who lead the tours). We will seek additional feedback on the exhibits from judges and other court personnel.

History programs in six states

Class

Social Science 

Beneficiaries

Adults
General Public/Unspecified
General population
Teachers

Description

We sponsor regular programs about court history in each of the six states of the Tenth Circuit: CO, KS, NM, OK, UT, WY. The topics vary widely.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We monitor interest in the programs and the extent to which the programs help us build our membership. We also receive reports from participants of intangible results including an increased respect for, and understanding of, the federal court system and federal judges. We know these programs promote a productive dialogue between judges and lawyers.

Examples of program success:

1. Fireside Chat programs: Our "Fireside Chat" programs featuring an in-depth interview with one U.S. Supreme Court justice have featured Sandra Day O'Connor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch. These programs have attracted maximum capacity crowds (about 700 lawyers and judges at each program) and some of them been broadcast nationally on C-Span and placed in C-Span's history archive of programs on the Supreme Court. These programs help lawyers and appellate judges understand better how the Supreme Court functions and how it addresses the many complex disputes that come before it. These programs also build respect for the Supreme Court as an institution. Our members report that this Fireside Chat is one of their favorite events at the Tenth Circuit Bench Bar conference.

2. Our annual Utah programs: Our annual history programs held in one of the federal courtrooms in Salt Lake City, Utah bring together lawyers and judges for an informal discussion of important issues that the federal courts have been called upon to address. Recent topics have included: the Olympic bribery trial, the legacy of Judge Ritter, and the history of the U.S. Attorney's office. These programs mutual understanding and camaraderie between judges and lawyers.

3. Our Colorado programs: Our periodic programs in Colorado bring together lawyers, judges, and judicial clerks (recent law graduates) for a discussion about an important person or topic in the court system. These programs promote an informal dialogue about important issues and camaraderie among lawyers and judges who work in the federal court system. Recent programs have featured: lessons learned from the careers of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Robert McWilliams, and the legacy of the Keyes v. Denver School Board (school busing/desegregation) case. Two programs in 2016 featured: a) a celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Byron White U.S. Courthouse; and b) a panel discussion with all the living former US Attorneys for Colorado. Programs in 2017 included: a) a May 2017 program about the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta; b) a tribute in September 2017 to former Tenth Circuit Judge Michael McConnell; and c) a reception in November 2017 for the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch and honoring former Tenth Circuit Judge William Holloway. A March 2018 program at the University of Wyoming College of Law in Laramie, Wyoming featured author David Grann discussing his book about the birth of the FBI called "Killers of the Flower Moon"

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