NCSC in the news

 
New Mexicans, especially in rural areas, see a gap for justice access

At the same time, Justice Nakamura was in the Roundhouse to ask for money to expand the number of judgeships in the state, which was one of the judiciary's priorities from this year's session. A workload study conducted by the National Center for State Courts showed a need of about 17 judgeships. The state appropriated money to add five of those positions this year. Read the full story from the Santa Fe Reporter.

 
Court Notices Carry New Risks Amid Virus

In-person court hearings have been suspended in 34 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Center for State Courts, which is tracking the information. Local courts have the option to close in the other states. Moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures have also been declared in many places. Read the full story from Bloomberg Law.

 
Counties clearing jail space in COVID-19 crisis

Helder has said the county will need to add more space, and he presented a $38 million proposal to the Quorum Court in 2018. The county is waiting for a study being done by the National Center for State Courts on the Detention Center and the criminal justice system before taking up the expansion proposal again. The study is expected to be completed in June. Read the full story from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

 
Miami’s first Zoom crime court hearing: teacher accused of sex with student wants out of jail

Four states, plus Puerto Rico, have mandated the use of virtual hearings, according to the National Center for State Courts, which has been tracking the effects of the pandemic. Nineteen states, including Florida, have issued orders to use them whenever possible. Another 13 have urged the use of virtual hearings, and suspended administrative rules that might have prohibited their use. Read the full story from the Miami Herald.

 
Access To FL Courts During COVID-19 Pandemic

According to the National Center for State Courts, 19 states, including Florida (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) are restricting or suspending in-person court proceedings. Read the full story from lawyers.com.

 
Courts Practice Social Distance, Suspend Trials Due To Coronavirus Threat

States have paused trials or at least begun to restrict court visitors. Earlier this week, the National Center for State Courts reported that Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri and Virginia had paused jury trials or limiting court activities. New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts have also paused many jury trials. The four federal courthouses in the Northern District of California were the first mass courts to close on the federal level in response to COVID-19. Read the full story from Haute Living.

 
Wall Street’s Court Halts New Jury Trials Over Virus

Such precautions are certain to put pressure on the U.S. legal system. About 150,000 criminal and civil trials occur each year across state and federal courts, according to the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts. Trials that use jurors, who are selected from a larger pool of area residents summoned to courthouses, will be particularly affected. Read the full story from Advisor Hub.

 
ABA Assembles Task Force On COVID-19 Legal Needs

The group is slated to include experts on disaster response, health law, insurance, and the legal needs of families, according to the ABA announcement. Representatives from the National Center for State Courts, the National Association of Bar Executives and the National Conference of Bar Presidents will participate. Read the full story from Law 360.

 
West Virginia Supreme Court Issues Protocol on Coronavirus

This plan was carefully crafted based on guidance received from federal and state health officials, information obtained from the National Center for State Courts, and examples found in other jurisdictions. Read the full story from WVVA.

 
Coronavirus Delays Court Proceedings Around the World

Such precautions are certain to put great pressure on the U.S. legal system. About 150,000 criminal and civil trials occur each year across state and federal courts, according to the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts. Trials that use jurors, who are selected from a larger pool summoned to attend selections, will be particularly affected. Read the full story from Claims Journal.

 
Protections for vulnerable Pa. seniors lag, reforms to guardianship system ‘stuck’

“It’s a huge step in the right direction,” said Kathryn Holt, a senior court research analyst for the National Center for State Courts. From a national perspective, Holt said, she has been “very impressed” with Pennsylvania’s progress. Read the full story from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 
Remote Court Appearances Indispensable During Times of Public Health Concerns

While a variety of approaches can be taken to maintain access, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) conducted a Facebook preparedness session on March 5 and the utility of telephonic and remote appearances was specifically noted. Read the full story from Yahoo! Finance.

 
Coughing jurors in coronavirus era will worsen delays for US trials

About 150,000 criminal and civil trials occur each year across state and federal courts, according to the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts. While not all trials use juries, those that do are culled from dozens of citizens summoned randomly to the courthouse to serve for a day, a week or longer. That system will be pressured by the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Read the full story from Herald-Mail Media.

 
Virus Complicates Jury Trials as Courts Seek to Limit Spread

About 150,000 criminal and civil trials occur each year across state and federal courts, according to the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts. While not all trials use juries, those that do are culled from dozens of citizens summoned randomly to the courthouse to serve for a day, a week or longer. That system will be pressured by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Read the full story from Bloomberg Law.

 
Virus' Spread Has Courts Bracing For Quarantine Fights

The National Center for State Courts is urging judiciaries around the country to brush up on their public health laws and to prepare. It's touting a 2016 handbook meant as a template for state court systems as they devise both operational plans and ways to bring judges up to date on arcane quarantine laws that may date back centuries. Read the full story from Law 360.

 
Will Law Firm Ownership Destroy the Legal Profession? The Industry Is at Odds

Even if California’s justices throw up a roadblock, high courts elsewhere in the country, which have the ultimate authority on regulating legal practice in each state, are attuned to the issue. Laurel Terry, a professor at the Penn State University Dickinson Law School, says conversations have been going on for several years at the National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Chief Justices. Read the full story from Law.com.

 
15 things judges said in 2019 that got them in trouble (INFOGRAPHIC)

Last year resulted in some questionable judicial behavior. The National Center for State Courts Center for Judicial Ethics released a roundup of some of the worst behavior in its 2019 Judicial Conduct Report. Read the full story from the Wisconsin Law Journal.

 
Bill would nearly double Maine’s governor’s pay, from $70,000 to $135,000

Maine is ranked 51st among the states and the District of Columbia in pay for general jurisdiction judges – those who handle most of the legal cases in state district and superior courts – with an average salary of $113,000 a year when adjusted for the local cost-of-living index, according to a report by the National Center for State Courts. The median pay nationally for that category is $155,000, and Tennessee pays the most, an average of $194,877. Read the full story from Sun Journal.

 
After three years, House Judiciary advances intermediate courts bill

A study by the National Center for State Courts followed cases tried in 2005. The study followed their appeals in state courts from 2005 through 2010. It showed that 95% of civil appeals at the state level were resolved in 546 days and 95% of criminal cases were disposed in 818 days. Read the full story from the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

 
Washington County officials say jail release program worthwhile

Washington County is working on a study of it’s criminal justice system to reduce crowding in the jail. The county has hired the National Center for State Courts to do the study, Sheriff Tim Helder said Wednesday staff from the center have been at the Sheriff’s Office and jail interviewing his staff in the past week. A report from the Center is expected by June, according to county officials. Read the full story from Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

 
State Of Judiciary Speech Highlights Cybersecurity, Mental Health

In 2018, the National Center for State Courts selected the Dougherty County Law Library as a pilot legal self-help project, one of seven states chosen to advance the goal of providing civil justice for all. Read the full story from GPB.

 
Filings in New Jersey Courts Continue Long-Term Downturn in Caseload, 2019 Stats Show

New Jersey is in step with other state courts around the nation that are experiencing a decline in the number of cases. The National Center for State Courts has documented a “pervasive and persistent” decline in caseloads in state courts nationwide that started in 2008. Read the full story from Law.com.

 
I was a juror in the Roger Stone trial. Attacking our foreperson undermines our service.

Elected officials have no business attacking citizens for performing their civic duty. The jury system is rooted in English common law and enshrined in both Article III and the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution; it is fundamental to the American system of justice. All of us need to be concerned when this process is attacked. More than 1.5 million Americans are impaneled on juries every year, according to the National Center for State Courts. Read the full story from the Washington Post.

 
Burnout on the Bench: Judges Grapple With Stress, Fatigue

Organizations, such as the National Center for State Courts, appear to be taking note. The group publishes a Judicial Stress Resource Guide that addresses the link between budget cuts and low morale among court employees; a connection between obesity and judicial stress; burnout, emotional labor; misconduct among jurists; substance abuse; personal strain and other issues. Read the full story from Law.com.

 
Judiciary budget includes salary hikes and increase, but New Mexico’s judge pay remains low

This year, the state ranked 48 out of 55 in pay among supreme courts and district courts in the nation and its territories, according to a study published in January by the National Center for State Courts. New Mexico is also the lowest by far in the Mountain Region, where Colorado and Utah are near the top. Read the full story from the Santa Fe Reporter.

 
Drug Courts On The Rise In Tennessee

One event he attended in Washington D.C. was an awards ceremony for 4th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Duane Slone, who was named the 2019 recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ prestigious William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. Judge Slone was recognized for his pioneering efforts to combat addiction through innovative strategies like the Tennessee Recovery Oriented Compliance Strategy docket, which has seen 110 neonatal abstinence syndrome-free births by program participants in recent years. Read the full story from The Chagganoogan.

 
New Mexico chief justice urges lawmakers for funding

According to a study by the nonprofit National Center for State Courts, New Mexico could use some 21 more district judges to handle the workload. Read the full story from the Santa Fe New Mexican.

 
Court security major thrust of AOC budget request

"There is a need for 20.9 judges to handle the increasingly complex and demand workload of district courts across New Mexico, according to a study by the National Center for State Courts," Massey pointed out. Lawmakers last created new judges in 2014. Read the full story from Ruidoso news.

 
The next clerk of Cook County courts will inherit a mess—but some say it's fixable

Bill Raftery, a senior analyst at the National Center for State Courts, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Williamsburg, Va., cautioned that there are no model courts, and that California's and Arizona's court structures differ from Cook's in key ways. What matters more is criminal justice stakeholders all rowing in the same direction. "If somebody with the best of intentions comes in and tries real hard, you still might not get full access to justice, but you're in a much better circumstance if everyone's going in trying." Read the full story in Crain's Chicago Business.

 
Chief justice: Judiciary will go back to the basics

The chief justice also briefly touched on a National Center for State Courts report on the trial court’s calendar system and case flow proposals that he said has been a “source of great consternation” among judges. Read the full story from The Guam Daily Post.

 
Luther J. Battiste, III, sworn in as National president of the American Board of Trial Advocates

As a board member for the National Center for State Courts, Mr. Battiste said that working closely with judges nationwide provided a perspective into the challenges faced by the Third Branch. Read the full story from Yahoo! Finance.

 
Changes ahead for R.I.’s aging Supreme Court?

Mandatory judicial retirement ages are a fraught subject nationally, with opponents arguing that they are unfair, since the two other branches of government don’t face similar limitations, according to William E. Raftery, a senior analyst at the National Center for State Courts. Proponents counter that age caps create opportunities for younger lawyers to make their mark. Read the full story from the Providence Journal.

 
Groundbreaking Implicit Bias Project Takes Shape in Dallas County Civil Courts

The National Center for State Courts had already done a study to evaluate Judge Bennett’s jury instruction, because there was a concern that it might anger jurors and have a reverse, negative impact. They attempted to measure its efficacy in a simulated environment, not with an actual jury, but the results were inconclusive. Judge Bennett took that as a good sign—no harm, no foul. Read the full story from D Magazine.

 
Acting chief justice: Judicial branch wants more investment in rural courts, farmers, translators

This request is part of a five-year plan to bring in new judges to address the judicial branch's workload, which is currently 30 judges short of where it should be, according to a workload formula by the National Center for State Courts. Read the full story from the Des Moines Register.

 
One R.I. court staff on self-quarantine as state and federal judiciary monitor virus

The chief judicial officers and administrators of all six courts were briefed Friday and were provided with copies of or a link to an emergency response “benchbook” from the National Center for State Courts and the State Justice Institute, which provides guidance on court operations, Berke said. Read the full story from the Providence Journal.