NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Bar Association will welcome the public to the annual Law Day celebration on Thursday, April 30, at 7p.m., at the historic Sussex County Court House in Newton.   

Law Day 2015 will focus on the 800TH anniversary of Magna Carta, the document originally signed in 1215 by King John of England.  Over the years, the Magna Carta has evolved to symbolize the rule of law, and has served for an inspiration for many basic, American rights.  A lecture on the significance of the document will be offered by Mark Hontz, Esquire.   

“Perhaps more than any other document in human history, Magna Carta has come to embody historically the simple truth that no one is above the rule of law,” commented Hontz.  “The Magna Carta inspired our founding fathers when they devised the American Constitution, and it laid out the foundations of many of the rights we take for granted, such as due process, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the right to travel.”

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Sussex County Bar Association President Nancy Reading will be on hand to greet all guests.  Law Day USA is a celebration of the Rule of Law in the United States which was first proclaimed in 1958 by President Eisenhower.  The event occurs annually on or near the first day of May.   In recognition of the importance of the right to vote in America, local attorneys will also visit area middle schools and high schools on May 1.

It will also serve to recognize the career of local attorney Sanford Hollander, who believes that at the age of 83 he is the oldest practicing lawyer in Sussex County.  Each year the Sussex County Bar Association selects a member of the legal profession whose lifetime service to the law merits recognition at Law Day.  This year, Sanford Hollander will be honored for his service to the practice of law.  Hollander currently practices at Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Pasculli, Hinkes, Wojcik, Gacquin, Vandenberg & Hontz, a firm which he founded in 1964, along with partners Albert Trapasso and Frank Dolan.  The firm originally employed five other staff members in addition to the three partners; currently it houses ten attorneys along with ten support staff.   Sanford specializes in real estate transactions, estate planning and administration. 

At the Law Day observance, Kate Yaskovic, Esquire, will be recognized for her long-term participation in the legal assistance and education program at Project Self-Sufficiency.  “Kate Yaskovic is extremely compassionate and she is committed to offering equal access to the justice system for at-risk clients,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director at Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We are grateful to Kate and to all of the attorneys who have volunteered their time on behalf of the clients of Project Self-Sufficiency during this past year, and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership for years to come.”

The Law Day celebration will also recognize the award-winning Kittatinny Regional High School Mock Trial team which progressed to the state finals for the first time in recent memory, beating teams from seven other Sussex County high schools along the way.  The Kittatinny team defeated McNair Academic High School in the regional quarterfinals and Bergen Catholic High School in the semi-finals before losing to West Morris Mendham High School in the North Jersey Region final at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. 

The Mock Trial Competition is sponsored annually by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation to provide high school students with the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills and careful fact analysis.  During the event, each team must present a case to a judge, with students serving as witnesses and attorneys.  Each team is judged based on their performance, with local attorneys volunteering as coaches.

Law Day is cosponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and made possible through funding from the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey.  For additional information about the Foundation’s other law-related activities, please call 1-800-FREE-LAW or visit the Foundation on the Web at www.njsbf.org.