March 31, 2015            

Meet the President of NASJE

Kelly Tait, a communication consultant in judicial branch education and an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, started her term as president of the National Association of State Judicial Educators (NASJE) in August, 2014.  Her term will continue through NASJE's annual conference in Seattle on October 4-7, 2015. NASJE is a non-profit organization founded in 1975 that advances the administration of justice by providing support, education, and resources to educators who develop continuing education for judicial officers and judicial branch personnel.

During Ms. Tait's term, NASJE has completed the twelfth in a series of curriculum designs for designing courses based on judicial branch education core competency areas, with its latest addition in March 2015 of "The Journey Toward Diversity, Fairness, and Access Through Education."
NASJE is continuing to strengthen collaborative relationships with its many justice system partners. Ms. Tait's focus as president has also included upgrading NASJE's website, enhancing the value to members by expanding educational webcasts and other resources, and promoting judicial branch education research and development.
Ms. Tait has taught justice system professionals nationally and internationally for over thirteen years on topics such as courtroom communication skills, procedural fairness, social cognition and decision-making, implicit bias, intercultural communication, customer service in the courts, and faculty development. She is one of the co-authors of the bench book "Handling Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: A National Bench Guide for Judges." Ms. Tait has been a member of NASJE since 2004.  

In the News

The American Judges Association (AJA) is planning its 2015 Annual Educational Conference in Seattle this fall.  This conference will be a joint meeting with the National Association of State Judicial Educators (NASJE) and the Washington Judiciary, and will focus on the theme of Offering Strategies and Best Practices to Assure Fair and Equal Justice to All.  The education sessions will feature nationally-known speakers on a wide variety of topics including cross-racial eyewitness identification in the courtroom, human trafficking, the disproportionate impact of legal financial obligations and looking at how racial and ethnic minorities perceive the courts and the legal system.  Complete information will be available on the AJA website in May.
The Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) has begun work on its 2015 policy paper on problem-solving courts.  This paper will take a new look at the issue covered in COSCA's very first policy paper from 1999.  Each year COSCA prepares a paper on a thought-provoking topic that delves into the ways that courts deal with the most challenging issues facing the judicial system.  All of COSCA's previous papers are available online.
The Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal has secured a grant from SJI to develop an online educational offering which will be the first step in developing a comprehensive, year-round educational program to supplement its annual conference.  The online program will use the content from the Executive Session papers, especially "Governance:  The Final Frontier," and "A Case for Court Governance Principles."  The interactive online resource will demonstrate to the Chief Judges that court leaders should focus not on leadership practices that work for governing private corporations and executive branch agencies, but instead should look to the more appropriate model offered by what are called "loosely coupled" organizations.
In light of the new and complex legal questions facing state court judges as a result of the Ebola virus, the Conference of Chief Justices has created a task force around this issue and in preparation for other pandemic emergencies.  The task force is tasked with producing a guidebook that each state can use in developing their own bench book or guide that would be state specific; developing a summary of resources that would be available to courts; and assisting with implementing task force products as needed, such as participation in a national webinar.
The National Association of Women Judges has established an "Informed Voters – Fair Judges" project, a non-partisan voter education project developed to increase public awareness about the judicial system, to inform voters that politics and special interest attacks have no place in the courts, and to give voters the tools they need to exercise an informed vote in favor of fair and impartial courts. 
The National Association for Court Management (NACM) recently completed a major revision of their popular Core Competencies for Courts. The new Core has its own comprehensive website and will be the subject of the 2015 NACM guide that will be published this summer.


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What's Happening?

Apr. 16-18 CCJSCA Executive
Committee Meeting
Apr. 23-25 NAWJ Midyear Meeting Chicago,
Apr. 23-25 AJA Midyear Meeting Ft. Myers,
Apr. 24-25 NCSC Spring 
Board Meeting
Apr. 29-May 2 NCPJ Spring Conference Newport, 
Rhode Island
May 17-20 CLAC Annual Conference Santa Fe, 
New Mexico
June 10-13 NCREFC
Annual Meeting
New York


How do you sign up for professional development and save money at the same time?  CTC 2015 registration opens Monday, April 13 -- and for that one day only registration is $600!! CTC 2015 is the most relevant and comprehensive court technology conference in the world. CTC 2015 expects to attract more than 1500 national and international judges, court administrators, court technologists, court managers and other justice-system professionals. CTC participants learn how to use the latest advances in technology in ways to help them improve court operations and better serve the public. CTC's education program, which is being finalized, will cover a range of topics, from managing the judiciary in a mobile world to technology that improves access to justice to the courthouse of the future. Go to on April 13 to get the best deal on the best court technology conference available.

Have additional questions? Need additional information? Have something you want to share? Contact Jennifer Haire, Director of Association and Conference Services, at or 757.259.1806.