@TheCenter from NCSC


Could CourtMD cure what ails you?

Crabby customers at your counter? Are your cases backed up? Is finding that record you need like finding a needle in a haystack?  Courts across the country suffer from these and many other common symptoms—you are not alone!  But who needs exploratory procedures when a check-up might do.  Rather than start with open-heart surgery, start with CourtMD, a new and improved online diagnostic tool from NCSC that can help zero in on your court’s most likely problems—in a matter of minutes. Our new and improved version of CourtMD contains significant updates and enhancements to enable court managers and staff to get quick answers to what may be ailing their court. Topics covered in this new version include caseflow management, records management, staff satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and enterprise management. CourtMD analyzes the answers you provide to a series of simple questions and then assesses the likelihood that your court is suffering from a particular pain point. From there, you receive a printed summary, pointers on recommended reading, and where to go for more assistance.


Courting Justice listening tour takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas

The second taping of Courting Justice, the national judicial listening tour produced in cooperation with PBS broadcaster Tavis Smiley and NCSC, is being recorded this week, September 23, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The tour aims to connect judges with their communities to provide people an opportunity to discuss the issues that erode trust in our judicial system. The judges and a studio audience are recording two half-hour sessions in Little Rock, and they will air September 28 and September 29 in Tavis Smiley’s regular nightly programming slot on PBS stations. The listening tour is an effort of the Community Engagement in the State Courts initiative, which is a joint project of the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), NCSC, the State Justice Institute (SJI), and the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness (NCREF). The initiative aims to develop effective tools and resources to assist state court leaders to engage marginalized and disenfranchised communities to ensure equal access to justice, and to improve the trust and confidence those communities have in state courts. The first show was recorded in Los Angeles in June. The third installment is being recorded December 8, in Cleveland, Ohio.


Education and TA available for implementing civil justice improvements recommendations


The Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) approved a resolution endorsing the recommendations of the CCJ Civil Justice Improvements (CJI) Committee and encouraging their members to consider the recommendations to improve the delivery of civil justice in their own states. The NCSC and IAALS have developed an implementation plan to provide education, technical assistance, and practical tools to help state and local courts implement the recommendations. To request a CJI expert for an education program or to request technical assistance, please complete and email the Request Technical Assistance form..


Do football scores affect judicial decisions? Find out in NCSC’s Connected Community

NCSC’s Connected Community platform, launched in 2015, continues to gain momentum with more than 50 communities now established. One of the most recently created communities is the Judicial Decision-Making Collaborative, which discusses issues pertaining to implicit bias, procedural fairness, neuroscience, stress, and mindfulness. One recent discussion explored whether judges who are football fans deliver harsher decisions after their team suffers a big loss. If you are already a member of the Ask NCSC! community, you may join this discussion group or others tackling issues from problem-solving courts to public access to electronic court records to social media and court website improvement. NCSC’s Connected Community is also of growing interest to judicial groups seeking a private space to collaborate to reach specific goals. The most active, private, invitation-only communities tackle topics such as jury management; conservatorship accountability; and the fair and effective use of jails. For more information on how to join a public community or how to establish a private one, please log on to http://connected.ncsc.org/home.


Join the nearly 1,300 court professionals that have become ICM Fellows

The Institute for Court Management (ICM) Fellows Program is accepting applications through September 30, 2017 for the class of 2018. The only program of its kind in the United States, the Fellows Program traces its history to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's call for improved management of court administration. Did you know that ICM also offers free online courses? If you prefer a face-to-face learning experience, ICM teachers courses at NCSC headquarters in Williamsburg, Virginia. On October 11-13, the "Court Performance Standards: CourtTools” course will be offered, which instructs students how to use CourTools and Court Performance Standards as a framework to guide courts into the future by setting target performances, then monitoring, evaluating, and learning from results. From October 18-20 ICM is offering “Essential Components,” a course about programs and services that support judicial decision making and the adjudication of court cases.


NCSC reading room

In Courting Peril: The Political Transformation of the American Judiciary, Charles Foster Geyh (University of Indiana Maurer School of Law) examines how the courts have been in a state of transition, including the changing role of the “trial judge,” changes in appellate structure, state judicial elections, judicial conduct and discipline, budgets and salaries, and the public policy debate around judges. He discusses how judges are influenced in their judicial decision making, examines the attributes of a “good judge,” and argues that there is a new legal culture paradigm. This title can be found in the NCSC Library.

Submissions for Trends in State Courts 2017 are now being accepted. Please email abstracts of no more than 500 words by October 21, 2016 to Deborah Smith at dsmith@ncsc.org. Abstracts received after this date are welcome and will be considered for inclusion in our monthly online edition. This month’s online Trends in State Courts article discusses the court’s responsibilities when members of the public or employees request to bring a service or emotional-support animal into the courthouse.

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