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2016 Law Day Program – 50th Anniversary of Miranda v. Arizona

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Paulette Brown, president of the American Bar Association (ABA). Photo courtesy of the ABA.

It is spring time, which means, it is almost time to celebrate Law Day! The Law Library of Congress will host its annual Law Day program on Wednesday, April 27. The event will mark the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).

Law Librarian of Congress Roberta I. Shaffer will interview Paulette Brown, president of the American Bar Association, about her distinguished legal career as well as the significance of Miranda v. Arizona. The Supreme Court decision addressed four legal cases in which criminal suspects were not issued legal warnings against self-incrimination during custodial interrogations. As a result of the ruling, police in the United States must inform criminal suspects in custody and during interrogation of their right to remain silent and have legal counsel. These constitutional rights are known today as the Miranda Warning or Miranda Rights.

Paulette Brown became the first African-American woman to lead the American Bar Association (ABA) in August 2015. She is partner and co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the international law firm, Locke Lord LLP. She has held many positions throughout her career including in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has specialized in all aspects of labor and employment and commercial litigation.

Brown has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” and by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the “prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey.” She received the New Jersey Medal from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. She has also repeatedly been named as a “New Jersey Super Lawyer” and by U.S. News as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation. In 2009, Brown was a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. In 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. Brown, who served as president of the National Bar Association from 1993-1994, received that group’s highest honor, The C. Francis Stradford Award, in 2015. Brown earned a J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and a B.A. at Howard University.

Our event will begin at 3:00 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion, located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required. The Law Library gratefully acknowledges Thomson Reuters and the Friends of the Law Library of Congress for their support of this program.

Law Day is a national day that celebrates the rule of law and its contributions to the freedoms that Americans enjoy. In 1957, the American Bar Association instituted Law Day to draw attention to both the principles and practices of law and justice. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day with a proclamation in 1958. For more information about the 2016 Law Day theme —”Miranda: More than Words“—visit lawday.org.

We hope you can join us! If you are unable to join us in person, you can follow us on Twitter, @LawLibCongress leading up to and during the event, using #LawDay.

Also, stay tuned for a digital presentation of items that we will feature on Law.gov related to the 50th anniversary of Miranda v. Arizona!

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