Jan. 19, 2004 – The National Bar Association's Judicial Council and board of governors will be meeting this week at the Divi Carina Bay Resort on St. Croix.
The NBA is the oldest and largest organization of African-American lawyers and judges in the country. The annual mid-winter meeting of the council is expected to bring more than 200 law professionals to the territory.
Eileen Petersen, chair of the Casino Control Commission and retired Territorial Court judge, is the local conference coordinator. A member of the ABA for 31 years, Petersen says she is impressed with the growth of the organization.
According to a release from Petersen, the Judicial Council has worked since 1971 toward "improving the public's confidence in the courts and in creating effective remedies for the grievances of society."
The conference program includes a seminar on "The Voting Rights Act of 1965 as It Relates to Minorities in the U.S. Virgin Islands" and a round-table discussion on drug policy. Local presenters include attorney Judith Bourne and University of the Virgin Islands professor Paul Leary. Among those from the mainland are Sean Joyce, president of Omega Consultants, and Kurt Schmoke, dean of Howard University School of Law and former mayor of Baltimore.
The conference opens on Wednesday and runs through Sunday. The public is invited to attend the Judicial Council Convocation on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in Friedenstahl Moravian Church in Christiansted.

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