Volume 5, Issue 12 December 2014
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e-Courts draws record attendance
All education sessions recorded and available

More than 600 national and international court leaders attended e-Courts 2014 in Las Vegas from December 8-10. All education sessions were recorded and are available for viewing to the court community. Session presentations and materials are also available at e-courts.org. Topics ranged from “Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent. What’s Working?” to “Let’s be Nimble about Mobile Technologies” to “Cybersecurity: What Judges, Court Administrators and Court Technologists Must Know.” e-Courts closed with one of its most popular repeats: “30 Tech Tips in 30 Minutes. The exhibit show featured more than 60 court technology companies.  Several presented presented 15-minute talks on emerging technologies or product implementations to the general session audience.

Vote for Gavel to Gavel as top law blawg
Gavel to Gavel nominated by ABA Journal for third straight year

For the third time in a row, Gavel to Gavel has been named by the ABA Journal as one of the top 100 law blogs (blawgs) of the year. The editors of the ABA Journal cited Gavel to Gavel for its “thoroughness and excellence”; its “helpful database that allows a reader to search bills affecting courts”; and its postings that “identify legislative trends among the states.” Readers and supporters of the blog can vote for Gavel to Gavel at the ABA Journal’s website until December 19.

NCSC hosting two upcoming webinars
Webinars cover self-help services, mental health issues

The National Center for State Courts is hosting two upcoming, informative webinars. On Thursday, December 18 at 2 p.m. EST, the Self Represented Litigation Network, with funding from the State Justice Institute, is sponsoring “Title IV-D Child Support Funding: A Resource for Court Based Self-help Services,” which will cover services for which reimbursement is available; the federal funding incentives structure within which cooperative agreements are negotiated; and the accounting structure required to support reimbursement requests. On January, 27 at 1 p.m. EST, an NCSC researcher is presenting “The Court’s Role in Solving Mental Health Issues in the Criminal Justice System.” This webinar will discuss how states are responding to this call through efforts such as implementation of statewide standards and program evaluations to demonstrate effectiveness.

NCSC releases Examining the Work of State Courts
New DataViewer makes it easier to compare information

More than 96 million cases were filed in the state courts in 2012, according to Examining the Work of State Courts:  An Overview of 2012 State Trial Court Caseloads. The report is a joint project of COSCA’s Court Statistics Committee and the National Center for State Courts’ Court Statistics Project. A new online DataViewer allows users to “drill down” on detailed case data—for example, the clearance rates for domestic relations cases or statewide criminal caseloads—and create custom views of state court statistics. This new feature supplements the overview presented in Examining the Work of State Courts.

NCSC establishes the Joan K. Cochet ICM Scholarship
Tribute to her contributions to NCSC & the court community

The National Center for State Courts is proud to announce the Joan K. Cochet ICM Scholarship. Joan worked at NCSC for 10 years, during which time she touched the lives of so many of us with her gracious and generous spirit. In addition to her NCSC colleagues, Joan worked closely with court leaders, members of the nation’s court associations, and Fellows of the Institute for Court Management. Her service represented the highest ideals of NCSC. Joan was proud of her work and the mission of NCSC. It is an honor to recognize Joan’s legacy with the naming of this scholarship, which will help deserving students achieve the status of ICM Fellow. This is the highest level of ICM's certification program. We encourage your support for the Joan K. Cochet ICM Scholarship Fund. To give, visit www.ncsc.org/donate and choose “ICM Scholarship-In Memory of Joan Cochet” from the drop-down menu.  All gifts in memory of Joan will be recognized in the NCSC 2014 Annual Report.

NCSC reading room
Community courts, Affordable Care Act

Many states have established “problem-solving courts,” such as drug courts and family courts, to address social problems in a hands-on way that “traditional courts” cannot. The Manhattan Midtown Community Court was opened in October 1993 “to make justice constructive, visible and efficient—and above all to make it responsive and meaningful to victims, defendants and the community.”  Dispensing Justice Locally: The Implementation and Effect of the Midtown Community Court presents the results of a project that evaluated the effectiveness of the court in addressing “quality-of-life” crimes in Times Square and the neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton, community attitudes toward the court, and what it “means to be a community court” (emphasis in original), among other questions.

This month’s Trends in State Courts article looks at how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects the criminal justice system. The ACA’s impact will depend on collaboration among state courts and other criminal justice stakeholders.