Edwardsville NAACP president and Alton's police chief recognized at annual Law Day event

By Christina Stueve | May 1, 2012

Amy Meyer, Law Day Chairman, looked over the awards given to judges, before the annual law day luncheon at the N.O. Nelson Center in Edwardsville. The theme of this year's luncheon was "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom."

Calvin Brown, Edwardsville's NAACP president, posed for pictures Tuesday, with Ron Foster, president of the Madison County Bar Association.

Edwardsville NAACP chapter President Calvin Brown was presented with a "Liberty Bell" award at the Madison County Bar Association's annual Law Day luncheon held today at the N.O. Nelson Center.

The award honors a non-lawyer who creates a change in the legal system.

The youngest of 11 children, Brown described himself as a "country boy from Georgia."

"For a long time, I never had a suit," he said.

In the last year, Brown hosted a summit to teach young men about the legal system.

"We tell them, 'this is where you end up,'" Brown said. "We walk them through the legal system. We help them make good decisions in life."

Alton's police chief David Hayes also was honored for his role in increasing awareness of family violence.

"Chief Hayes is known to be hard on crime," said Jack Carey, former president of the Illinois State Bar Association. "He is diligent about educating children."

"Everyday, I think about the silent victims who have paid that horrible price to domestic violence," Hayes said to an audience of more than 75.

Amy Meyer of the Meyer Law Firm in Alton chaired the annual Law Day event. In a speech, she thanked the judges at the luncheon: David Hylla, Dennis Ruth, Barbara Crowder, Steve Stobbs, Kyle Napp, Ben Beyers, Ann Callis and Keith Jensen.

"The courts are in tough economic times, but they bear the burden of administering justice," Meyer said. "We must maintain a timely and just forum."

Lawyers who volunteered to teach at People's Law School also received plaques at the ceremony for teaching the public at the free programs.

Those recognized were Crowder for explaining court programs; Napp for rights at traffic stops; Bonnie Levo on estate planning; Leonard Berg for trusts for disabled children; Will Asa and Beverly Yang on collection law; Angela Donohoo on custody and child support; and Jennifer Shaw on civil unions.

The bar members speaking to area school students during this week, in recognition of Law Day, were also recognized by Meyer.

"The number of schools participating in the program, which pairs attorneys with government classes during the week of May 1st, has doubled in the past three years; this year reaching more than 20 area schools," Meyer said.

Meyer credited growth of the program to the positive experiences attorneys bring back from students and the teachers' and students' opportunity to receive an attorney's insight into the legal system.

The Madison County Bar members who spoke to area schools this year include:

Rob Edmonds, Jessica Koester, Laura Althardt, Christine Kovach, Rene Butler, Mike Meehan, Kathleen L. Hammock, Tara W. Kucher, Katie Hubbard, Bob Marcus, Beth A. Bauer, Patrick King, Emily Johnson, Amy M. Meyer, Roy Anderson, Chris Donohoo, Katherine M. Smith, Crowder and Hylla.

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