If you're getting married or divorced, or have to go to court, this course is helpful
By JULIE A. WAGNER
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- It's the law.
The 54 adults who cracked open a textbook Tuesday night in a Boardman High School classroom each had their own reason for wanting to know more about it.
A woman wants to take her ex-husband back to court; a pastor wants to better help the people she counsels; and a man wants to understand what is happening in his workers' compensation claim.
Students peppered the instructors with several questions in the first of 10 weekly classes of the People's Law School, being offered by the Mahoning County Bar Association.
In the first class, Atty. Kathi McNabb-Welsh, who is also president of the bar association, explained Ohio's court system from municipal and county courts through the state Supreme Court. Atty. Herman Carach spoke about what to look for when hiring a lawyer.
In the coming weeks, about 15 area lawyers will teach different aspects of the law.
"It helped me to understand how the system was working," said Gene Sharp of Austintown. He first took the course in 1994, the last time it was offered.
Sharp is fighting legal issues stemming from a workers' compensation claim he made in 1993 and says taking the course then helped him know what was happening in his case. He is taking it now to update his knowledge.
Maria Patton, also of Austintown, said she wants to be prepared when she faces her ex-husband in court. But she plans to attend all the classes, even the ones that do not pertain to domestic relations.
"I just want to be more informed all the way around," she said.
The Rev. Virgie H. Rucker of Youngstown says she plans to use her knowledge to expand her ministry, Victoria's New Beginning Outreach. As it grows, she will need to hire lawyers, and she would like to know more about the profession.
The Rev. Ms. Rucker said what she learns in the class also will help when she counsels families and sits on the board of a group that helps children.
"We all get to get our questions answered," said Polly Liscic of Youngstown. This is the third time she's taken the course.
Atty. Lynn Maro, chairman of the Bar Association's Public Relations Committee, said the group is excited about the turnout for the class. Previous classes attracted about 25 to 30 students. Maro and Atty. Ted Macejko coordinated the class.
"We really feel as [a group] and individual practitioners it's important for people to have some understanding of the legal process," Maro said.
That is why the topics chosen are ones that most people will have experienced at one time in their lives, she said.
Topics will include living wills, power of attorney, divorce, marriage, criminal law, workers' compensation and real estate law.
Maro said while this class is full, there are plans to offer another course in the fall.