Wayne Hogan, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”) participated in a new ABOTA program called the 7th Amendment Symposium. The Jacksonville ABOTA Chapter hosted Terry Parker High School students, who heard presentations on the 7th Amendment right to trial by jury in civil cases, the Constitution, and our judicial system. Wayne spoke to the students about the United States and Florida Constitutions and Bill of Rights. He led off his presentation, by introducing the students to an important current cultural phenomenon, the Tony-nominated Broadway play, Hamilton: The Musical. It tells the story, sometimes in rap music, and with an ethically diverse cast, of the Founding Fathers of the Nation. He focused on two songs, one with Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr telling their children why they were so focused on establishing a foundation for the Nation they would grow up in and the opportunities it would provide to succeeding generations; and a second, with Hamilton and Burr discussing the Federalist Papers, the Constitution itself and the need for a Bill of Rights.
This was the first 7th Amendment Symposium held in Florida and one of the first in the nation. The hope is that the program will spread to other ABOTA Chapters to help students understand more about the American justice system, the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The students spent the morning at the state courthouse and the afternoon at the federal courthouse. The presentations were on topics involving our civil justice system, the right to trial by jury in both civil and criminal cases, and the federal and state court systems.
The goal of the symposium is to educate students about democracy and its fundamental doctrines, as well as to strengthen and advocate not only the interests of the state and nation, but also the institutions that support our democratic way of life.