@ the Center: State of state courts + domestic violence course + NCSC video


@TheCenter from NCSC


State of State Courts

Survey: Listen up, judges!

NCSC’s fourth annual State of State Courts public opinion survey reveals consistency across the years on core measures of job performance and public trust in state courts. Access to justice in rural and under-populated areas is an area of concern, with nearly 3-in-4 Americans identifying it as a problem—though consensus on solutions is elusive. A majority believes that judges are not in touch with community concerns, highlighting the need for ongoing community outreach—and better listening—by courts and judges. And while most Americans still view the court system as too complicated to allow for self-representation, the survey reveals some specific customer service challenges and relatively simple solutions that Americans say could improve access to justice. The telephone survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted October 28-November 1, 2017.


Read Open Court, then give us your two-cents worth

open courtOpen Court, the NCSC's newest blog, looks at the courts with a fresh eye. The blog covers juries, judges, and state courts of all kinds, at every level, and in every state. Open Court is on NCSC’s Connected Community discussion forum because we want all members of the court community to read it and then share their opinions, insights, and expertise. Expect new posts twice a week.  Find it here.


New video tells NCSC story

NCSC Video

For more than four decades, NCSC has helped state courts provide justice effectively, efficiently, and equally. To help tell this story, NCSC recently produced a five-minute video that features interviews with our staff and our stakeholders—judges, court administrators, general counsels, attorneys and others—who talk about how NCSC has positively impacted their work and their lives. Here’s a sampling of what they have to say.

  • Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor: “When I have an issue that comes up the first thing that comes to my mind is let’s see if NCSC had done anything on this yet.”
  • ExxonMobil General Counsel Randy Ebner: “The Center brings not only a domestic perspective but a growing prospective on the international landscape”
  • NCSC Researcher Nicole Waters: “The work that I do is advancing justice because it is taking information that is not just anecdotal—we as researchers use information that is much more objective and it can be much more persuasive in the end when it is objective.”


Online course helps interpreters more effectively work in domestic abuse cases

Interpreters Course
Domestic violence and sexual assault cases present special challenges for survivors and the courts. But victims with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) can face even greater obstacles when navigating the justice system. NCSC recently produced an online course to help court interpreters understand these obstacles and be more prepared to interpret for victims. Interpreting for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Cases: An Introduction seeks to provide court interpreters with fundamental knowledge and insights about domestic violence and sexual assault that will strengthen their ability to help LEP survivors tell their story. This course was supported by grants from the Office on Violence Against Women and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Find the course at courses.ncsc.org.


Gavel to Gavel wins ABA Journal award

Blog Award
NCSC's Gavel to Gavel blog, which tracks court-related state legislation, has been recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the 100 best digital media for a legal audience. In addition to being included in the 2017 ABA Journal Web 100, Gavel to Gavel was inducted into the ABA Journal’s Blawg Hall of Fame, a recognition for blogs “known for their untiring ability to craft high-quality, engaging posts.” Bill Raftery, who has been writing the blog since 2009, said, “This recognition by the ABA Journal is a real honor. I am immensely grateful and hope to continue to live up to this award and what it stands for as the blog moves forward.”


10 Questions with Felix Bajandas


At NCSC, we’re proud of the research we do, the advice we give, and the education we provide to our colleagues in the courts. And we’re proud of the people who do that work.

Felix is a Puerto Rican who admires Asian culture, a technologist who considered pursuing a PhD in literature, and a towering figure who grew up playing a sport more suited to much shorter people. He worked for 11 years as the chief information officer for the Puerto Rico Judicial Branch before he started consulting for The World Bank and for NCSC. As a court information technology consultant in our Denver office, he improves business services. He and his family, displaced by Hurricane Maria, recently moved from Puerto Rico to a Denver suburb.


NCSC reading room

The Internet is giving rise to different types of disputes, which many courts are ill-equipped to handle. Digital Justice: Technology and the Internet of Disputes discusses the role of law and online dispute resolution (ODR) processes. Ethan Katsh, Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst (and director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution), and Orna Rabinovich-Einy, associate professor, University of Haifa Faculty of Law, provide an overview of the history of ODR and consider what courts and other public institutions must do to help resolve online disputes. This book is available from NCSC’s Library.

A high-profile case can push a court’s staff and resources to their limits and beyond. This month’s Trends in State Courts article describes the Managing High-Profile Cases in the 21st Century website, which provides the resources a court needs to meet this challenge.
Donate to NCSC
LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Vimeo Flickr