They are intended to provide “equal access to justice” to all area residents.
This is a unique outreach by local attorneys who are responding to an ongoing statewide project to better educate the public about various aspects of the legal system.
The series kicks off Monday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. with a 90-minute panel discussion dedicated to family law. Panelists will include four Cleveland attorneys, one of whom is Jack Tapper who will moderate the forum. This will be an interactive session that will allow attendees to ask questions and seek clarification on any and all items pertaining to family law.
The opening forum will be held in the Carmichael Conference Room on the library’s second floor.
The Bar Association selected “Family Law” as the inaugural topic because local attorneys believe it to be one of the most relevant — and used — areas of practice in the Cleveland and Bradley County community, and for that matter, most other Tennessee communities as well.
What is family law?
It includes many areas, a few of which include grounds for divorce, orders of protection, mediation, marital dissolution agreements, parenting plans, temporary spousal support and types of alimony, child custody and visitation, equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, and how the court system decides these issues. Other topics of audience interest will also be discussed.
Key features of the coming forum that should pique our residents’ interest are that the panel discussion will address issues that are relevant to those attending; a question-and-answer session will be allowed for the benefit of the audience; and, the educational forum is free.
Residents with an interest in this subject, yet who are uncertain about attending, should answer this question. When was the last time you talked with a lawyer without the meter running? In other words, how long has it been since you received professional legal consultation at no charge?
This element alone makes attendance a tempting consideration.
The local Bar Association is hoping community residents will see the benefits because panelists want a huge turnout. The belief is the more the public understands about basic family law, the greater the urgency residents will place on following the proper steps in navigating the legal system.
Many groups stand to gain from this knowledge.
Parents will benefit because their children’s rights, and their legal needs, will be better understood.
Spouses will benefit because understanding the law will make necessary — and sometimes painful — family decisions less complicated and more satisfactory to all involved.
Children will benefit because their future is being safeguarded by parents who are better prepared to follow the letter of the law in all actions.
Debtors and lenders will benefit because their relationships with family partners will be more streamlined and legally accommodating.
The Bradley County Bar Association is to be commended for taking on this community service.
Leaders of the Cleveland Bradley Public Library are significant players as well for recognizing the need to hold these people-friendly functions in a central, easily accessible location.
It’s an admirable, mutually serving partnership.
We hope community residents will attend.
We encourage your participation.
We urge you to bring open minds, receptive ears and plenty of questions.