Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Stetson University College of Law is completing construction on the nation’s first elder-friendly, high-tech courtroom on its Gulfport campus. The completed courtroom will be dedicated Sept. 16, 2005, in honor of Professor Emeritus William R. Eleazer, who spent his career training ethical advocates.
The barrier-free courtroom, a joint effort of Stetson’s Centers for Excellence in Advocacy and Elder Law, is designed as a national model to increase courtroom access to the elderly and disabled. It uses cutting-edge technology including flat-panel monitors to display evidence, hearing amplification devices to make speech more audible, and a multi-lingual software speech synthesizer that will read aloud words displayed on a computer screen, translate them into multiple languages, and even output words to refreshable Braille displays if needed.
The teaching courtroom features a double jury box with one-way glass, which will allow students to monitor mock juries and focus groups. A flat-panel touch screen outside the courtroom will explain the roles of court personnel in the proceedings.
The courtroom will be used first by Stetson’s Elder Consumer Protection Program, which offers free public seminars to raise awareness of consumer scams as well as programs to train law enforcement, protective services workers, and assistant state attorneys on investigating and prosecuting consumer frauds against elders.
Read more at Stetson's website. Stetson's Elder Law Program is directed by Professor Rebecca Morgan. The school is hosting a national symposium on elder exploitation in September.