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CTC 2015 announces keynote speaker, releases education program

CTC 2015 is pleased to announce its keynote speaker will be Mark Britton, Founder and CEO of Avvo, the world's largest community for legal guidance and services. Britton's keynote, which opens CTC 2015, September 22 in Minneapolis, will address "The Innovation Imperative." Britton will argue how the justice system can more effectively embrace innovation. Britton will explore how innovation has transformed services in many other industries—medical, transportation, food, and travel—and says it's time for the justice system to step up its pace and develop systems that foster innovation. You won't want to miss this inspiring and motivating opening session that will set the tone for three great days of learning and networking. The conference’s education program has been released. CTC’s education program lists tracks, presenters, exhibit information, and more. A printer-friendly handbook has also been developed, so that attendees are able to select the sessions they want to attend and print out details about their schedule each day.


North Dakota Chief Justice receives NCSC judicial award

North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle has been named recipient of NCSC’s Harry L. Carrico Award for Judicial Innovation. The award honors a state chief justice who has inspired, sponsored, promoted, or led an innovation or accomplishment of national significance in the field of judicial administration. Chief Justice VandeWalle will be presented the award next week during the annual meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators in Omaha, Nebraska. “If ever there was an individual who merits this special recognition, it is Chief Justice VandeWalle,” NCSC President Mary C. McQueen said. “He is devoted to the law and to continuous improvement of the legal profession.” Chief Justice VandeWalle was appointed to the Supreme Court of North Dakota in 1978 and became Chief Justice in 1993. He has served as CCJ President, Chair of the NCSC Board of Directors, and CCJ’s delegate to the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates. He was also appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to the Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.


Poster raises awareness of jury scams

NCSC’s Center for Jury Studies developed a Jury Scam Toolkit to help courts combat the nationwide increase of jury duty scams. There are a variety of scams taking place, most of which involve contacting people via telephone or email. In a recent scam in Maryland, people saying they represent “U.S. Legal Services” are trying to extort money by convincing the victim they are the subject of an impending lawsuit, and they need to send money to the caller who will help resolve the legal matter. The NCSC toolkit includes a jury scam warning poster, available by emailing Greg Hurley at ghurley@ncsc.org. Please include a mailing address in your email.


Summit tackles court-related HR issues

NCSC and the Colorado Administrative Office of the Courts hosted the inaugural 2015 Human Resource Summit in June in Denver. The three-day conference focused on topics related to human resources (HR) in court systems across the United States, such as succession planning, power and politics, and HR challenges in the courts. Benefits of the conference included building a network of HR professionals, developing future HR executives with a court administration focus, and tapping into the expertise of a diverse group of professionals. More than 100 attendees participated, representing 37 states, 3 U.S. territories, and the Navajo Nation.


Guide helps courts with cases involving unaccompanied immigrant children

NCSC, in partnership with the Center for Public Policy Studies, and with support from the State Justice Institute, has released a Guide for State Courts in Cases Involving Unaccompanied Immigrant Children (UACs) to assist state courts in handling the recent influx of UACs from Central America. Over the last decade, the number of unaccompanied children entering the United States has risen steadily. These children are at serious risk for becoming victims of abuse, human trafficking, and other crimes—a risk exacerbated by their undocumented status. Concern exists that state courts lack the capacity to handle the influx of cases or are not adequately prepared for their complexity. The Guide’s purpose is to enhance the understanding of state court judges, court administrators, and key stakeholders regarding federal immigration law and policy and the potential role of state courts in making factual findings in cases involving UACs. Specifically, the Guide focuses on state court findings required for federal determination of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).


NCSC reading room


In her project for the Institute for Court Management Fellows Program, Roberta L. Warnken, chief clerk, District Court of Maryland, examines the feasibility and need for veterans treatment courts in Maryland (see “District Court of Maryland: Can We Better Serve Maryland’s Veterans?”). She incorporates survey data from five states (Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania) with established veterans treatment courts. Her recommendations address the resources and support necessary to initiate and maintain veterans treatment courts in Maryland.

Leadership was one of the major themes of Trends in State Courts 2015. This month’s online Trends article takes up that theme by discussing judges and court managers as “productive pairs” dedicated to furthering the cause of justice.

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