Justice in Plain Sight Dan Bernstein in Conversation with Jim Ward and Mel Opotowsky

Doors open at 5 p.m. for book sales. Talk begins at 6 p.m.

Click here to RSVP.

The Art Alliance of the Riverside Art Museum is pleased to invite the public to join them at their March meeting at the museum for a special community event, Justice in Plain Sight: Dan Bernstein in Conversation with Jim Ward and Mel Opotowsky, moderated by John Bender.

Bernstein’s book, Justice in Plain Sight, is the story of a hometown newspaper in Riverside, California, that set out to do its job: tell readers about shocking crimes in their own backyard. But when judges slammed the courtroom door on the public, including the press, it became impossible to tell the whole story. Pinning its hopes on business lawyer Jim Ward, whom Press-Enterprise editor Tim Hays had come to know and trust, the newspaper took two cases to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1980s. Hays was convinced that the public—including the press—needed to have these rights and needed to bear witness to justice because healing in the aftermath of a horrible crime could not occur without community catharsis. 

The newspaper won both cases and established First Amendment rights that significantly broadened public access to the judicial system, including the right for the public to witness jury selection and preliminary hearings.

Justice in Plain Sight is a unique story that, for the first time, details two improbable journeys to the Supreme Court in which the stakes were as high as they could possibly be (and still are): the public’s trust in its own government.

This event is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited. Please RSVP so we can have an accurate head count. Thank you!

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Books will be available for purchase. The talk will begin at 6 p.m.