Court leaders from Rhode Island, Minnesota to lead CCJ/COSCA

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Court leaders from Rhode Island, Minnesota to lead CCJ/COSCA

Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell and Minnesota State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba will lead the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators in 2021-22.

Both were elected as conference presidents during the annual CCJ/COSCA conference this week in Williamsburg. CCJ and COSCA presidents serve one-year terms where they also act as chair and vice chair, respectively, of NCSC’s Board of Directors.

Chief Justice Suttell succeeds Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht as CCJ president and NCSC board chair.

Chief Justice Suttell joined the Rhode Island Supreme Court in 2003 and became chief justice in 2009. Before his appointment to the state Supreme Court, he was a family court judge for 13 years. Chief Justice Suttell also served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990.

Chief Justice Suttell is currently chair of the Blueprint for Racial Justice and has served on several CCJ standing committees and the Family Justice Initiative advisory committee.

Shorba succeeds Laurie Dudgeon, director of the Administrative Office of the Kentucky Courts, as COSCA president and NCSC vice chair.

Shorba has been Minnesota’s state court administrator since 2012, after spending 10 years as the deputy administrator. Prior to joining the judicial branch, he worked as general counsel and associate general counsel for the Minnesota Department of Corrections and U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons, respectively.

Shorba’s COSCA’s board service includes leadership roles on the Joint Technology, Education and Criminal Justice committees and Extreme Risk Protection Order and Immigration and Customs Enforcement work groups.

This year’s annual conference welcomed chief justices and state court administrators, who were also on hand for NCSC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Conference attendees received updates on the Blueprint for Racial Justice and National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness. They also discussed sustainable court innovations discovered during the pandemic and future challenges facing the courts.

An awards luncheon featured presentations to Kenneth R. Palmer Distinguished Service Award recipient Dave Byers, director of the Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts; and Mary C. McQueen Award recipient David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration.