Dr. Seuss character Cat in the Hat heads for Edmonton court date

Judges, lawyers and court clerks across Alberta are in the thick of rehearsing scripts, running their lines and sewing costumes for the annual Law Day.

Mock children’s trial part of 35th annual Law Day expected to draw thousands to Edmonton Law Courts

'Our opportunity to demystify the legal process'

5 years ago
Duration 1:39
Ever been inside the Edmonton Law Courts? Here's your chance. Lawyer Chris Samuel tells us what you can expect at Law Day.

A legal drama set to unfold at the Edmonton Law Courts on Saturday, April 21, is going to be by the book, the storybook that is.

"The Cat in the Hat is being charged with damages to property and for causing mental and emotional distress to Thing 1 and Thing 2," according to Heather Walsh, registrar with the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.
Law Day in 1985 featured the trial of the Big Bad Wolf with moving testimony from Granny and Little Red Riding Hood. (CBC)

Judges, lawyers and court clerks will all play their parts in the mock children's trial, which is just one of the family-focused features of Law Day.

"These trials aren't what you would normally see in a courtroom. They're fun," said public prosecutor Chris Samuel.

Law Day is an opportunity for the public to see that there are "real people working on these cases everyday and that they feel comfortable if they ever find themselves in front of a judge or in a courtroom," Samuel said.

"Most law abiding citizens generally don't come to the courthouse," he said.

Law Courts by the numbers

5 years ago
Duration 1:07
Did you know there are 60 courtrooms in the Edmonton Law Courts? Watch this video for more surprising statistics.

Samuel's admits the six-storey building filled with 60 courtrooms and staffed by more than 600 people can be intimidating.

The idea for the legal open house was born out of the signing of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms back in April 1982 by Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Detective Linda Herczeg with the Edmonton Police Service economic crimes section will be offering tips on protecting yourself against identity theft. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

The day was created to clear up confusion around Canadian rights and the legal system.

Over the years, Law Day presentations have involved topics such as identity theft, constitutional appeals and arbitration. 

Judges, lawyers, prosecutors and court staff at courthouses across the province all volunteer their time.

"We like it when people have fun, when people learn something and, from the feedback that we get, that's what happens," said Samuel.

This year Law Day is April 21 but you can see more from the Law Courts on Our Edmonton Saturday at 10 a.m. Sunday at 6 p.m. and Monday at 11 a.m. on CBC TV.
Edmonton Law Courts, at 1A Sir Winston Churchill Square, is one of the locations hosting Law Day on April 21. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)