Tiny Chats

What are Tiny Chats?

Tiny Chats are bite-sized annotated videos that touch on specific access to justice topics and court operations.

Tiny Chat 28: Pro Bono

Every week is a good week to celebrate pro bono. Zach hosts Danielle and Kelly Tautges, Pro Bono Counsel at Faegre Drinker, for an intense game of "How well do you know pro bono and how well do you know each other?" Watch them battle it out and offer up a variety of ways that courts can engage with and support pro bono.


Tiny Chat 27: Street Outreach Court

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Join Zach and Danielle for the first Tiny Chat in a series highlighting innovative ways courts are engaging with their communities, styled in loving tribute to Mister Roger's Neighborhood. This conversation is with Judge Libby Hines from Michigan's 15th Judicial District and it details her Street Outreach Court - how it was established, its impact, and ways other courts could follow this model.

Tiny Chat 26: Legal Advice vs. Legal Information

Wanna play a game? Join Zach and Danielle for a game of Uno and learn the difference between legal information and legal advice. Now more than ever, it is important to give court users as much information as possible. Understandably, court staff are careful not to cross the line from neutral party to advocate. Learn the ins-and-outs, see some Five Purrel examples from other jurisdictions, and have a laugh - or your money back.


Tiny Chat 25: CDC Evictions

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a nationwide evictions moratorium order. Join Zach and Danielle in the Tiny Chat kitchen for the recipe your court can follow in response to that order. And if that weren't enough, they are joined by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, who is also Chair of CCJ and Co-Chair of the CCJ/COSCA Pandemic Response team. Chief Justice Hecht shares how Texas followed the recipe described to respond to the order and shares details of their ambitious eviction diversion program.


Tiny Chat 24: The Doctor Is In

A judge and a doctor walk into a Tiny Chat... and we all learned a lot! Join Danielle and Zach as they discuss the parallels between the medical and legal professions with Judge Jennifer Bailey and Dr. Danielle Ofri. Cross-sector thinking about check-lists, procedural fairness, how to handle high volume patient/patron settings, and so much more.

Tiny Chat 23: Navigators

Danielle and Zach are getting in shape with some tips and a plan from Mary McClymont on how to start a non-lawyer navigator program. Mary offers an overview of the kinds of navigator programs in operation, the ways they have adjusted to COVID, and a plan for your court to launch their own program. And that's not all! Coach Mary is available for free personal training to discuss details and answer your questions. Sign up to talk with her at ncsc.org/drtinychat.


Tiny Chat 22: Goodnight Status Quo

In this Tiny Chat, Danielle and Zach open the edition by discussing CCJ/COSCA's six guiding principles courts should follow when considering the adoption of new technology, and how to apply them. The show is stolen, however, by five state Chief Justices who are brought in to serenade the hosts with a tribute to the 1947 children’s classic, Goodnight Moon.


Tiny Chat 21: Unbanked

School is back in session! Join Zach & Danielle for Unbanked 101, their teeniest Tiny Chat yet (only five and a half minutes). We guarantee you'll learn something and be entertained, or your money back!

Tiny Chat 20: Online Dispute Resolution

Let's go on an online dispute resolution (ODR) road trip! Join Zach and Danielle as they cross the country exploring key considerations for jurisdictions considering ODR. See the sights, learn some lessons, and keep your eyes peeled for a special guest.


Tiny Chat 19: Procedural Fairness

Danielle and Zach are joined by Paula Hannaford-Agor (NCSC) and Emily LaGratta (LaGratta Consulting) to discuss how courts can take steps to ensure procedural fairness, especially during the pandemic. Come learn the foundational tenets and how they can be applied in remote proceedings.


Tiny Chat 18: Postal Office Considerations

Courts rely on the US Postal Service to effectuate service and to deliver time sensitive documents. The date a document is mailed or received can also have enormous implications, as many court rules specify those "triggering events" which can start the clock running toward things like a default judgement or wage garnishment. How can and should courts adapt to changing USPS procedures and the implications of those changes? Watch to find out.


Tiny Chat 17: Digital Divide: Practical Solutions

NCSC Consultants Danielle Hirsch and Zach Zarnow know that courts can't solve the digital divide on their own. But they also know of many examples from across the country of ways that courts can still make a difference in assisting court users overcome barriers to technology. Join them in a lightning round to hear them all!


Tiny Chat 16: Empathy

It is never the wrong time to show empathy and practice mindfulness, and right now it is even more important than ever. Judge Steven Leifman from Florida's 11th Judicial Circuit (Miami-Dade County) offers his perspective on how judges and court staff can be kind, practice mindfulness and help court patrons during these difficult times.

Tiny Chats: Poverty

What is poverty? First, Professor Andrew Hammond from the University of Florida Levin College of Law join Zach and Danielle to explain poverty. Professor Hammond details how poverty is measured, how the pandemic has affected people living in poverty and offers ideas for how courts can improve civil filing fee processes to meet the needs of those living in poverty.

The human side of poverty. Next, Danielle and Zach talk with Adrian Barr, Managing Attorney of the Bloomington Office of Prairie State Legal Services, to discuss poverty behind the statistics. Adrian shares several moving stories about clients he has helped, and the difficulty reality for many of those he has been unable to serve.

Tiny Chats: Data

Carlos Manjarrez and Dan Bernstein from the Legal Services Corporation join Zach and Danielle to discuss how courts can use data. They offer nine concrete tips that will help courts make better use of their data and explain the benefits of collaborating with outside data analysts.

NCSC's own Diane Robinson joins Danielle and Zach to explain the National Open Data Court Standards (NODS) project and how courts can take advantage of all the NODS resources. Check it out at ncsc.org/nods to learn how your court can use NODS to create, share, and integrate user-friendly court data.

Tiny Chat 13: Self-Help Centers

How can courts safely offer in-person self-help services? Danielle and Zach are joined by NCSC Senior Architect and Facilities Planner Allie McKenzie to discuss six tips from their new paper exploring this topic.


Tiny Chat 12: SRL

What is it actually like to be a self-represented litigant? What better way to find out than to ask? Zach and Danielle sit down with Monica, who shares her story of trying to utilize the court system without a lawyer.

Tiny Chat: High Volume Dockets Series

David Slayton, Administrative Director of the Texas Office of Court Administration joins Danielle and Zach to discuss new guidance from CCJ/COSCA on high volume dockets during the pandemic. Start watching a Tiny Chats dive into high volume week here and please enjoy our very first scripted skit - the High Volume Docket Cafe!


Erika Rickard, Project Director at the Pew Charitable Trust's Civil Legal Modernization Unit, joins Danielle and Zach to share some high level takeways from their excellent recent report on debt collection.  Then, Zach and Danielle try their hand at some car puns. Watch to find out why!


Has one man ever been so pleased with another man's mustache? Unlikely. Zach and Danielle talk with Mark Swartz, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing about procedural considerations in evictions cases as well as tips for working with civil legal aid partners.

Zach and Danielle are joined by Dave Byers, Arizona State Court Administrator, to discuss remote scheduling and payment options for traffic cases.


Tiny Chat 10: Mailbag: Language Access

Jennifer Hubbard, from the Fulton County Self-Help Center, asks Danielle and Zach to explore the trends they are seeing in language access during the pandemic in the latest mailbag Tiny Chat.


Tiny Chat 9: Upstream

Chief Justice Bridget McCormack of the Michigan Supreme Court and Dan Heath, New York Times best-selling author of the book Upstream, join Danielle and Zach in a Tiny Chat about trying to solve problems before they happen and system design in the justice system.

Tiny Chat 8: Mailbag Stakeholders

NCSC Consultants Zach Zarnow and Danielle Hirsch are answering your questions as part of a series of special mailbag episodes. First up, how can courts better partner with non-traditional stakeholders? Featuring Utah Supreme Court Justice Dino Himonas and Amy Duncan from the Louisiana State Bar Association.


Tiny Chat 7: Civil Filing Fee Waiver

How can courts approach the processes for the application and review of civil filing fee waivers during the pandemic? What should courts consider to ensure court staff and self-represented litigants understand the necessary steps and requirements for requesting a civil filing fee waiver while also accounting for social distancing requirements? Would it help if NCSC Consultants Zach Zarnow and Danielle Hirsch rhymed about this?

Tiny Chat 6: SRL E-Filing

In the sixth Tiny Chat, NCSC Consultants Danielle Hirsch and Zach Zarnow interview court staff and partners from six states to learn how their jurisdictions are handling self-represented litigant e-filing during COVID-19. Join us on a spin across the country as we learn more about their various approaches during the pandemic.


Tiny Chat 5: Signatures and Notaries and Service

What can state birds teach us about digital signatures, notarization, and digital notice? Not much, but they are nice to look at. Join NCSC Consultants Danielle Hirsch and Zach Zarnow in this latest Tiny Chat, which outlines initial digital alternatives to in-person procedural requirements for court pleadings. This Tiny Chat builds on the Digital Divide episode and foreshadows the next episode on Self-Represented Litigant E-Filing.


Tiny Chat 4: Digital Divide

With many court services now being offered online, Zach and Danielle discuss the impact of the digital divide with Monica Anderson from the Pew Research Center and David Kelly from the US Children's Bureau. Also appearing: questionable head wear and two surprise guests.


Tiny Chat 3: Federal Pass-Through Funding

Zach and Danielle are joined by Karen Lash, federal grants guru, who helps them understand the federal block/formula/open-end reimbursement funds (AKA pass-through funds) available to court systems navigating COVID-19 with a focus on civil self help, technology innovation and domestic violence.


Tiny Chats 2: Clear Communications

In this Tiny Chat, Danielle Hirsch and Zach Zarnow offer five tips for courts to keep in mind when crafting a communication strategy around COVID-19. They also look at some concrete examples of courts communicating well and fail at solving a Rubik's cube.


Tiny Chat 1: Introduction & Thinking About Court Users in Response to COVID-19

The first chat focuses on how courts should think about court users in their response to COVID-19.