Stay current with 2021’s Trends in State Courts

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Stay current with 2021’s Trends in State Courts

Our nation’s institutions, including state courts, must “take the time to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and how both subjects impact their workforce,” according to the lead article in Trends in State Courts, NCSC’s recently released annual journal.

The article, written by Patrick Carrington, the Kentucky courts’ coordinator of diversity and inclusion, highlights the initiatives that state courts in Kentucky have undertaken to increase diversity among court employees and foster a more inclusive work environment.

“One of the most impactful decisions a court system can make is to begin the process of incorporating diversity and inclusion into the fabric of its culture,” Carrington wrote.

This year’s 82-page edition of Trends features a look at NCSC’s 50-year history and articles that range from data-informed pandemic planning to virtual court training to mitigation of cybersecurity risksNCSC published the first Trends in State Courts in 1988 to serve as an annual, peer-reviewed publication that highlights innovative practices in critical areas that are relevant to courts, and continues to serve as a guide for developing new initiatives and programs and informing and supporting policy decisions.

The second article, titled COVID 19, Zoom, and the Future of Appellate Oral Argument, makes the case that a silver lining to the pandemic is the opportunity to reimagine appellate oral argument.

“In a post-pandemic landscape, I see a path to broadening the importance of oral argument, as well as expanding opportunities for lawyers (particularly junior lawyers) to partake of it,” wrote Judge Pierre Bergeron of Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals. “Zoom arguments will enable counsel to present arguments that clients might have vetoed previously for travel and costs reasons, particularly in courts with a broad geographic reach. I do not mean to suggest that we should allow Zoom arguments to supplant in-person ones, but rather we should be open to the benefits that it can provide.”

Trends includes a diverse slate of additional stories, with these headlines:

  • Using Court Data to Inform Pandemic Planning
  • Pathways Through the Pandemic: An Application of Family Justice Pathways in Three Courts
  • A Whole of Society Approach (WOSA): Looking Outward Beyond the Courthouse
  • Delivering Court Trainings Virtually
  • From the Doghouse to the Courthouse: Facility Dogs as Trial Aides for Vulnerable Witnesses
  • Improving Court Statistics by Exploring the Shape of Data
  • Justice in the New Digital Era: The Pitfalls and Benefits of Rapid Technology Adoption by Courts
  • How to Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks When You Don’t Fully Control Your Environment
  • Actionable Cybersecurity Risk Management
  • Usability and Court Dispute Resolution Platforms

NCSC staffers Charles Campbell, John Holtzclaw and Dimarie Alicea-Lozada edited Trends, which you can read here.

NCSC seeking nominations for G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation

NCSC's Center for Jury Studies is accepting nominations for the G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation, which recognizes states, local courts, individuals, or other organizations that have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations or practices. Submit nominations by September 30, 2021 to Greg Mize.