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New Media & the Courts Resources


CCPIO president provides media communication solutions in Trends in State Courts 2017

In Trends in State Courts 2017, Conference of Court Public Information Officers (CCPIO) President, and Communications Counsel for the Supreme Court of Missouri, Beth S. Riggert explains how courts must adopt modern communication strategies to tell their own stories through focused, consistent messages that connect their work with the values of the people they serve.

Riggert's article, "Controlling the Message in Times of Court Challenges," provides some of the following points about the importance of court communication:

  • Courts must ensure their key facts and messages are used consistently in all communications with the media, legislators, community leaders and the public.
  • Courts should hone messages into easily comprehendible 140-character bites, photographs and videos, suitable for distributions across traditional and social media.
  • Courts must communicate internally and externally.
  • Courts must keep their community partners in the loop.

Read Riggert's article or the full publication here.

Tune into to Ohio's first court podcast, On the Record
Darren Toms, Community Outreach Coordinator, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Ohio

The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (Ohio) has started a regular podcast available for streaming and downloading on the Court’s website. The first of its kind in Ohio, “On The Record” provides a monthly, in-depth look at different programs and operations in the Common Pleas Court’s general division. The first episode features Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo’s overview of the Court and what the job of a judge entails. Future episodes this summer will feature Judge Hollie Gallagher’s discussion of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities docket, and Judge David Matia will go in-depth on the Drug Courts and what he thinks should be done to combat the opioid epidemic. “I think this is a great opportunity to tell the public more about what our Court does,” says Court Administrator Greg Popovich. “A lot of important work is being done by our departments and employees, and we look forward to profiling some of them in our podcasts.” “Podcasts are so popular that we thought this would be a good way to reach more people,” says Judge Russo. “This is something that people can listen to while they’re in the car, on the treadmill or working at their desks.”

Access the tools you need to manage high-profile cases in your court

What if your court got the next Bill Cosby, Jerry Sandusky or Boston bomber case? Would you know how to handle crowds, security, or the media spotlight? To help courts prepare from Day One, a new website—Managing High-Profile Cases for the 21st Century—has been launched. The website offers best practices, techniques and tools that have proven useful to courts that have experienced high-profile trials, in addition to checklists to help the trial judge, administrative officer, security personnel, jury managers and others provide public access while ensuring a fair trial. The website is a joint project of the National Center for State Courts, the Conference of Court Public Information Officers, and the National Judicial College.

Introducing Illinois' new newsletter, Connect

The Illinois Courts Connect newsletter debuted in April 2017. This monthly publication is dedicated to reporting on the inspiring and crucial work of the Illinois Judicial Branch. The audience includes Supreme and Appellate Court Justices, Circuit and Associate Judges, retired judges, state-paid judicial branch employees, Appellate and Circuit Clerks, bar associations and media. June's issue discusses bail reform, the state's revised pro hac vice rule and ineffective interpreting, to name a few. Read the newsletter on the Courts website.

Georgia courts invited followers to #AskGAJudges questions on Law Day

The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts (@GACourts) sponsored #AskGAJudges, a Twitter Town Hall, on May 9, 2017 to celebrate Law Day.  The American Bar Association's theme for Law Day was "The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy."

Chief Judge Stephen Dillard, Judge Carla McMillian, Judge W. Allen Wigington, and Judge Steven Teske spent an hour answering questions about Georgia courts, what it is like being a judge and offering general advice for law students and lawyers.

FairClaims – the virtual "Judge Judy"

A new online service resolves small claims cases. Creator Stephen Kane, also a lawyer, declares FairClaims as the virtual "Judge Judy." According to, "For a nominally larger fee than a typical small claims filing ($79 versus $75 -- depending on the state), individuals can pay to have their claims mediated by a professional mediator or file for summary judgment in front of an arbitrator." All of the arguments are made either online or through phone calls with the mediator or arbitrator and the claimants or defendants.

App fights traffic tickets for less than the fine

Entrepreneur Chris Riley is reinventing the wheel, so to speak, with the development of a new app, TIKD. After receiving a huge fine for going less than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, Riley created the app to "give people access to services [like lawyers] in a cost-effective way." Through the app, users enter the time, location of the violation, the fine amount and a photo of the ticket. From there, a lawyer takes over and goes to court for you. There is a one-time fee to cover the cost of the service, but it's always less than the original ticket. TIKD launched in February and operates in Atlanta, Baltimore, D.C. and parts of Florida. The business intends to expand to 30 major U.S. markets in the coming year.


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Please e-mail Deirdre Roesch.