Director, NCSC Center for Jury Studies
National Center for State Courts
Williamsburg, Virginia (September 16, 2013) – The National Center for State Courts has selected Michael Garrahan, Plans and Programs Specialist for the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, as the recipient of the 2013 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation. The Munsterman Award recognizes states, local courts, organizations or individuals that have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations and practices.
Garrahan played a critical role in redeveloping New Jersey’s jury system for almost 20 years.
“Michael’s accomplishments are quite impressive,” says NCSC President Mary C. McQueen. “He improved New Jersey’s jury system by working with all types of stakeholders, as well as addressed issues and problems as varied as state legislation, state and local court rules and practices, jury automation and public outreach and education.”
In the early 1990s, Garrahan worked with the Law Revision Commission to broaden the jury pool and to make the juror selection process fairer. He worked with IT professionals to execute a new statewide Jury Automated System, or JAS.
Judge Glenn A. Grant, New Jersey’s acting administrative director of the courts, offered high praise for Garrahan’s work. “Mike has been a leader in jury improvement initiatives launched in our state over the past two decades,” he said. “His enthusiasm for making the jury experience convenient, informative and pleasant is woven through those improvements, from statewide standards to technology innovations such as online summons responses and texts to jurors about their service. We are proud to see him honored on the national stage.”
Garrahan recently helped upgrade JAS to introduce contemporary telecommunications technologies in order to enhance communication between the New Jersey trial courts and jurors.
Additionally, Garrahan has worked with New Jersey’s Supreme Court Committee on Jury Selection in Civil and Criminal Trials to draft court rules introducing important innovations to improve juror comprehension, performance and satisfaction. He also developed stateside jury management standards and best practices and continues to advise local jury managers on legal issues as they arise.
“The National Center for State Courts was impressed with the long list of accomplishments that Michael Garrahan achieved during his 20 year tenure in New Jersey,” remarked Paula Hannaford-Agor, Director of the NCSC Center for Jury Studies. “We commend his exceptional efforts of improving nearly every aspect of the jury management system in the Garden State and are incredibly pleased to honor him with this award.”
NCSC Executive Vice President Robert Baldwin and Hannaford-Agor will present Garrahan with the Munsterman Award during the Michael O’Brien Memorial Staff College on November 26 in Princeton, New Jersey.
The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court reform organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.
National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147