Media Center



STEVENS POINT - Attorney General Van Hollen and the Wisconsin Department of Justice hosted the first of six statewide seminars on open meetings law and public records law at the Portage County Library in Stevens Point today. The seminar began at 1 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude at 4 p.m.

In his remarks, Van Hollen emphasized the importance of these seminars in promoting a better understanding of the open meetings and public records laws; laws that Van Hollen described as "an essential component of effective citizen oversight of the workings of our democratic government."


"I believe very strongly in my office's role to help government officials and the public better understand their responsibilities and rights under the law," Van Hollen said. "We offer seminars such as these free of charge because we want to maximize compliance. I truly believe that preventing mistakes is preferable to prosecuting mistakes."


The free seminars are only a part of the Department of Justice's campaign to promote compliance with public records and open meetings laws. In addition to the seminars, the Department of Justice recently published newly revised compliance guidelines for both the open meetings law and public records law. Those guidelines are available on the Department's website at


Van Hollen was introduced today by Stevens Point mayor, Andrew J. Halverson. Van Hollen was followed by Assistant Attorneys General Bruce Olsen and Maureen Flanagan. Olsen currently specializes in open meetings law, and Flanagan currently specializes in public records law.


The remaining seminars will take place in Rhinelander (October 8), La Crosse (October 10), Madison (October 29), Green Bay (November 6), and Milwaukee (November 8). Each seminar is free and open to the public, though registration is required due to limited seating. Individuals are invited to register at the Wisconsin Department of Justice website ( They may also register by submitting an email to or by calling the Department of Justice at (608) 267-2220. Registrants should provide their name, title, organization or agency, and identify the seminar they wish to attend.


A short audio file containing Attorney General Van Hollen's announcement of the seminars can be found here or at and users should click on the link entitled "Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's Statement on Seminars."


Stevens Point

Tuesday, September 18th
1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Portage County Public Library's Pinery Room
1001 Main Street


Monday, October 8
1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Nicolet Area
Technical College
Learning Resources Center
5364 College Drive

La Crosse

Wednesday, October 10
9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
UW-LaCrosse-Cleary Alumni
And Friends Center
615 East Avenue, North


Monday, October 29th
1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
American Family Center Auditorium
6000 American Parkway

Green Bay

Tuesday, November 6th
1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
NE WI Technical College
Conference Center
Lecture Hall


Thursday, November 8th
1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Milwaukee Safety Academy Theatre
6680 North Teutonia Avenue