Annual Publication

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Trends in State Courts 2020 examines how the Texas judiciary is responding in the wake  of not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a cyberattack; virtual remote interpreting; and different aspects of court technology.

  • Leading During the Chaos of a Pandemic
    Hon. Nathan L. Hecht and David Slayton

    COVID-19 has put a tremendous strain on society, and the courts are not immune. The Texas judiciary was forced to respond to two simultaneous threats to its operations: the pandemic and a cyberattack.
  • On Demand: Transforming Virtual Remote Interpreting
    Hon. Donald A. Myers, Jr.

    Virtual-remote-interpreting (VRI) services have been around for more than a decade but largely remain a niche technology with limited impact. On-Demand VRI takes this technology to the next level and shifts in how courts can leverage their existing resources to provide mission-critical due-process services.
  • Access Empowers How ODR Increased Participation and Positive Outcomes in Ohio
    Alex Sanchez and Paul Embley

    Time, money, geography, and psychological barriers contribute to the access-to-justice gap.  The Franklin County Municipal Court combined ADR and ODR to bridge the gaps between access and social justice, increasing participation in the legal process and reducing default judgments.
  • Assembling a Case Management System with LEGO®-Like Blocks
    John T. Matthias and Dunrie Greiling

    Most courts have a case management system provided by a single vendor built with preassembled building blocks that may not work easily (or at all) with building blocks from third-party vendors.  Technology is available to help courts choose and assemble building blocks that meet their case management needs.
  • The Family Justice Initiative: A Work in Progress
    Natalie Knowlton, Alicia Davis and Melissa Sickmund

    Legal cases involving families have their own special requirements.  The Family Justice Initiative helps courts to improve the ways these cases are handled.
  • Youth Adjudicated for Sexual Offenses as an Exemplar of Person-First Language in the Courtroom
    Kristan N. Russell and Shawn C. Marsh

    Using an identity-oriented label such as sex offender to describe youth is stigmatizing, emphasizes pathology, and contributes to iatrogenic collateral consequences.  Instead, justice professionals are encouraged to use more humanizing and person-first terminology, such as youth adjudicated for a sexual offense, to help lessen potential harm and improve outcomes.
  • So, This Is Fifty: The Gray Divorcees
    Natalie A. Williams

    The judicial system will be further tested by the increasing divorce rate of the elderly population.  Are the courts equipped to handle this surge, and what are the most critical factors they must consider?
  • What Will Shape the Future of Courthouse Design?
    Allison McKenzie and John T. Matthias

    Trends in court management are driven by not only operational (internal) factors, but also responses to our rapidly changing world (external). These factors require architects and court planners to reexamine how spaces are designed to accommodate functional, environmental, and societal needs and expectations.
  • When the Law and a Judge's Personal Opinions Collide
    Hon. Raymond J. McKoski

    Every day, in every courthouse, judges honor their oaths by scrupulously following the law even when they disagree with the law or the law conflicts with the judge’s personal belief.  It is time that the public understands this essential component of judicial impartiality.
  • From Avoiding Liability to Building Trust:  It's on Us
    Melissa Muir

    Traditional approaches to harassment and discrimination prevention training in the workplace have not worked:
    employees do not report concerns, and managers do not make it safe to report those concerns.  The Seattle Municipal Court is piloting a new approach, focused not on avoiding legal liability but on building trust.
Download Full PDF

Download and save the complete edition of Trends 2020 Annual Publication.

NOTE: Trends downloads most effectively in Google Chrome.