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Cambria County Jury Commissioner to be Honored with Liberty Bell Award from Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division

HARRISBURG (May 22, 2008) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will present its 2008 Liberty Bell Award to Cambria County Jury Commissioner Thomas Chernisky during the state association's Annual Meeting on June 4 in Hershey, Pa.

The Liberty Bell Award is given to an individual for his or her outstanding community service and for promoting the "blessing of liberty" guaranteed by the Constitution. Criteria for the award include: promoting a better understanding of our government and the Bill of Rights; encouraging greater respect for the law and the courts; creating a better awareness of individual responsibility so that citizen recognize their duties as well as their rights; contributing to the effective functioning of our government; and encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law.

"Tom is one of the many young professionals in our county who is helping to change the political climate in a positive way, and I commend his efforts to encourage juror participation through his innovative programs in Cambria County," said Timothy S. Burns, a Cambria County attorney, and also treasurer and a Zone 8 delegate for the Young Lawyers Division, who nominated Chernisky for the award.

To increase juror participation in Cambria County, Chernisky worked with local merchants and the Ebensburg director of community development to create "The Jurors Club," which offers discounts to citizens who serve as jurors. The program has increased juror participation, and its effectiveness has been recognized locally and also at the state level. Chernisky has also actively attempted to increase minority representation on Cambria County's jury panels.

Chernisky is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Jury Commissioners. In addition to filling his second term as jury commissioner, Chernisky works as a financial services representative for MetLife Insurance Company in Johnstown.

He is active in a number of charities and is an umpire for several baseball leagues.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.