Sept 15

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Former Texas court administrator now leading NCSC’s consulting division

On August 31, David Slayton’s last day of work as Texas’ state court administrator, the Texas Legislature passed bail reform legislation, which he and the Texas Judicial Council worked on for more than six years.

“They made me wait until the very end for that,” joked Slayton, who earlier this month started a new job – vice president of NCSC’s Court Consulting Services Division.

Slayton, formerly one of the nation’s most high-profile state court administrators, said he has always admired NCSC’s work and sees this as a pivotal time for NCSC as the coronavirus pandemic continues to change how courts operate.

“This is a crucial time when the National Center can become an even greater resource for the courts,” he said. “I’m excited to continue the work that has been done over the past 50 years and particularly during the past 18 months.”

He said leading Court Consulting Services excites him because he gets to work with many of the “rock star” consultants who he’s gotten to know while he was in Texas and because he sees similarities between the work he did in Texas and what he’ll do at NCSC.

“This job gives me an opportunity to do what I did day to day in Texas,” he said, “and do it throughout the country.”

As he starts his new job at NCSC, he looked back at the reforms and initiatives that make him most proud during his time as Texas’ state court administrator.

  • The transition from paper files to a comprehensive electronic court system, including e-filing.
  • Juvenile justice and criminal justice reform. Texas reduced by 90 percent criminal convictions for relatively minor offenses that occurred at schools, freeing students from being burdened by these convictions.
  • Fines and fees reform. Texas has incarcerated fewer people who owed fines and fees and still has managed to collect more money.
  • Bail reform. The measure, which next goes to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, seeks to curtail the release of habitual violent offenders.
  • Virtual hearings. Texas led the way in transitioning to virtual court proceedings when the pandemic first closed courts in the spring of 2020.
  • Guardianship reform. Numerous laws were enacted to protect the elderly, increase training for guardians and strengthen regulation of guardianship programs.

“These are things that 100 years from now, no one will know who had anything to do with them, and that doesn’t really matter,” Slayton said, “but I’m happy to have played a role.”

Read more about David Slayton and find out something most people don’t know about him, who he admires the most, and what he would grab if his house was on fire.

Upcoming events

Don’t miss out on some great learning opportunities this month for court technologists, judges, administrators and staff. Be sure to check out NCSC’s conferences and events calendar for regular updates.

Juvenile and family court judges, administrators and staff are invited to a "Court, COVID and Permanency" webinar at 2:30 p.m. ET, Friday, Sept. 24. Register now to discover how members of Pima County, Arizona’s Family Treatment Court team engaged and supported participants during the pandemic and learn more about operational and considerations for the future.

Technology is the name of the game at CTC 2021. There’s still time for court technologists, administrators and judges to get in on the latest advancements, lessons learned and trending topics at this year’s event Sept. 28-29. Registration closes Sept. 24, and participants can attend in person or virtually. The cost is $800 in-person and $249 for livestream access. Reserve your seat today!