Court Leader's Advantage

Court Leader's Advantage

By Peter C. Kiefer
Coming innovations, thought-provoking trends, questions that matter to the court community, these and more themes are covered by the Court Leader’s Advantage podcast series, a forum by court professionals for court professionals to share experiences and lessons learned.
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Is It Time for a Fresh Look at Cell Phones and Courts?

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The Coronavirus: How are Courts Coping with the Crisis? April 2, 2020 Episode
The scourge of the Coronavirus is a national emergency unlike anything we have seen in modern times. It is affecting all aspects of our lives and work. The virus is having a profound impact on how American courts are coping. Throughout the crisis, we will have weekly podcast episodes with a “rotating panel” of guests that will answer the question, “How are courts and court administrators dealing with the coronavirus on a daily basis?” This week's panelists: Zenell Brown  is the Executive Court Administrator in Detroit, Michigan.  Zenell has a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School, a Public Service Administration Graduate Certificate from Central Michigan University, a Court Administration Certificate from Michigan State University, and is a Certified Diversity Professional from the National Diversity Council-Diversity First. Mark A. Weinberg  is the Court Administrator for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Mark holds a bachelor's degree in public administration from James Madison University and a master's degree in judicial administration from the University of Denver. Angie VanSchoick is the Court Administrator for the Municipal Court in the Town of Breckenridge Colorado. She currently serves as President of the Colorado Association for Municipal Court Administration (CAMCA).  Angie is a licensed macro level social worker in the State of Colorado and Michigan, receiving her MSW from the University of Michigan.  Liz Rambo is the Trial Court Administrator for the Lane County Trial Courts in Eugene, Oregon.  Liz graduated with high scholarship from Oregon State University with a BA in history, has an MBA from Portland State University, and holds a Court Manager certification from the National Center for State Courts. Tracy "T.J." BeMent is the District Court Administrator for the Tenth Judicial Administrative District (which covers superior courts in six circuits and 221 counties). His main office is in Athens, Georgia. T.J. received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and completed his ICM Fellowship in spring 2015. Rick Pierce is the Judicial Programs Administrator for the Judicial District Operations and Programs Department with the Pennsylvania Administrative Office of the Courts.  Rick is a graduate from Washington and Lee University, and received his Masters in Public Administration from Shippensburg University.
23:41
April 1, 2020
Can Courts Lead in Solving the Opioid Crisis?
Over 10 million Americans misused opioids in 2018, which includes over 800,000 heroin users. In 2016, there were more than 64,000 overdose deaths in the United States; in 2017 overdose deaths jumped to over 70,000. This is a number that continues to grow in at least 23 states. Opioid addiction is a crisis that defies age and sex differences; it defies county and state lines; up to now it has defied all attempts to curb this plague. No one questions that opioid addiction is a national crisis and it is not slacking off. Are the nation’s courts ready to take the lead in fighting this epidemic? What needs to be done and who should do it? Judge O. Duane Sloan with the Circuit Court in the Fourth Judicial District of Tennessee and Director Deborah Taylor Tate, head of the Administrative Office of the Courts for the Supreme Court of Tennessee and Co-Chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force, will discuss the recent Task Force Report and the efforts by the Nation’s Courts to take the lead in solving this countrywide crisis. Leave a comment or question about the episode at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. About the Speakers Judge O. Duane Sloan is a judge with the Circuit Court in the Fourth Judicial District of Tennessee. In 2019 the Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts awarded Judge Slone the National Center for State Courts’ William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, one of the highest judicial honors in the country. He has been recognized for his groundbreaking work helping people with opioid use disorder. Combatting the opioid epidemic is not just a professional commitment for Judge Slone. It’s personal.  In 2011, Judge Slone and his wife, Gretchen, adopted an infant son who was born suffering from withdrawals as a result of his birth mother’s opioid use. Judge Sloan is also the 2018 recipient of the National Center for State Courts, “Distinguished Service” Award; the 2017 Tennessee Association of Recovery Court Professionals, “Judges Making a Difference” Award; and the 2016 Tennessee Public Health Association, “Visionary” Award, given for work in reducing incidences of births with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, including innovations in rural Tennessee to provide healthy housing and access to prenatal medical and behavioral health care. Deborah Taylor Tate is the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts for the Supreme Court of Tennessee, the Conference of State Court Administrators and the Co-Chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force for state courts across the nation. She is a licensed attorney and Supreme Court Rule 31 mediator, who, in addition to her presently held office, also serves as Distinguished Senior Scholar at the Free State Foundation and Adjunct Lecturer at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She was twice-nominated to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2005. She served as Commissioner of the FCC until 2009, serving as chair of two Federal Joint Boards overseeing over $7B in advanced telecommunications services. At the time of her presidential appointment, Ms. Tate was serving as the chairman and director of the Tennessee Public Service Commission. Her previous state positions also include executive director of the Health Facilities Commission and as senior staff -assistant General Counsel for then-Governor, Senator Lamar Alexander and a Senior policy advisor to Governor Don Sundquist for mental/behavioral health.  . Ms. Tate received both her undergraduate degree and Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Tennessee and attended Vanderbilt Law School.
57:05
March 16, 2020
Is It Time for a Fresh Look at Cell Phones and Courts?
For better or worse we can no longer live without our Smartphones. We use them to talk and text our friends; they keep our appointments, pictures, and business notes; they help us with research; they track of our children; they allow us to call 911 in an emergency. It’s a wonder how we ever lived without them, yet they have been here a mere 13 years, arriving in 2007. Smartphones have become a part of court process. They carry messages, photos, and information that are evidence in court hearings and trials. Yet, many courts forbid people from even having them in the courthouse. Must courts accept that Smartphones are everywhere? Is there a middle ground that can be reached?  Justice Cynthia Cohen, Jeffrey Morrow, and TJ BeMent,  share their insights and conclusions about this critical issue. This is an interesting podcast episode for listeners curious about Smartphones, courtroom security, self-represented defendants, courts, and court administration. Leave a comment or question about the episode at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. About the Speakers Cynthia J. Cohen is a retired Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, where she served from March, 2001 until January, 2017.  Since her retirement, she has volunteered as an Access to Justice Fellow, working on special projects for the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.  While on the Appeals Court, Justice Cohen was a Commissioner on the second Access to Justice Commission.  She also chaired the SJC Steering Committee on Self-Represented Litigants, which, over a seven-year period, developed a number of court system initiatives to address the needs of litigants without counsel, including Limited Assistance Representation, judicial guidelines for hearings involving self-represented litigants, and training programs for judges and court staff. Jeffrey P. Morrow has been the Massachusetts Trial Court Director of Security since September 2013. In this capacity Director Morrow is responsible for the management of security operations in the Commonwealth’s 100 courthouses and for oversight of over 1,000 court officers and security staff. Prior to his appointment as the security director, Mr. Morrow served as a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service for over thirty-one years where his assignments included both executive and field assignments in the areas of criminal investigations and national security matters.  Director Morrow is a graduate of St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH and holds a Master of Policy Management degree from the McCord School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.  Tracy "T.J." BeMent is the District Court Administrator for the 10th Judicial Administrative District of Georgia. The 10th JAD covers the general jurisdiction superior courts in six circuits in 21 counties. He was previously the Court Administrator for the Athens-Clarke County Courts in Athens, Georgia, where he worked with all six levels of trial courts in the county. He acts as the primary liaison to the state and county governments and serves as a resource for the judges and judicial staff on many issues. Mr. BeMent administers nearly $2 million in state and federal grants and is a federal grant peer reviewer. He has been working in the courts for more than 15 years. Prior to coming to Georgia, he was the Assistant Court Administrator for the Las Vegas Justice Court and previously the Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer of the District of Columbia's Office of Administrative Hearings. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and completed his ICM Fellowship in spring 2015. 
44:42
February 17, 2020
Is Bail Reform Working? Charlotte’s Revealing Story
It has been estimated that nationally, more than 60 percent of people in jail have not been convicted of a crime, they are awaiting trial. Almost 500,000 defendants are in jail pretrial because they cannot afford to post bail. Three-quarters of pretrial detainees have been charged with a drug or property crime. They could remain incarcerated for days, months, and sometimes even years. They could lose their jobs, lose contact with loved ones, and lose the ability to care for their families. Many courts across the country are implementing bail reform. Bail reform allows more defendants charged with lower-level crimes to stay out of jail before trial, stay on their jobs, and stay in the community. What has been the experience of those courts that have implemented bail reform? Judge Roy Wiggins and Judge Elizabeth Trosch, from North Carolina’s 26thJudicial District in the City of Charlotte, discuss their Court’s experience implementing bail reform. How is it working and what we can expect? This is an intriguing podcast episode for listeners curious about bail, bail reform, managing pretrial defendants, courts, and court administration. Leave a comment or question about the episode at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. About the Guest Speakers Judge Elizabeth Trosch has presided over both Civil and Criminal District Courtrooms, with an emphasis on Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence, Drug Treatment Court and Child Support Enforcement. In her capacity as a District Court Judge, Judge Trosch has also presided over the Mecklenburg County Youth Treatment Court and consistently volunteers to hold truancy court at a local elementary school. She is State Certified Juvenile Court Judge and has earned Domestic Child Sex Trafficking Judicial Institute Certificate. Judge Trosch is a graduate of Hollins College, where she earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Social Psychology. She earned her law degree at Wake Forest University School of Law where she was a recipient of the North Carolina State Bar Pro Bono Service Award. Judge Roy H. Wiggins received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, in 1984 (Deans List, Honor Roll) from East Carolina University. He received his Juris Doctor (Cum Laude) from the Campbell University School of Law in 1990. He was with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office (Assistant District Attorney) from 1991 to 1995. He was in private practice from 1995 to 2018. In 2018 he was appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to serve as a District Court Judge. Sonya L. Harper has been Director of Mecklenburg County's Criminal Justice Services Department since June 2016. She came to the County from The National Association of Drug Court Professionals, where she worked as project director and point of contact for the National Drug Court Resource Center. In that role, she provided instruction and technical assistance on program development and program improvement processes to more than 2,800 drug courts throughout the United States and its territories. Sonya earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a master of public administration degree from Appalachian State University.
41:20
January 13, 2020
Dealing with the Generations: What Do Good Managers Understand?
Managing the multigenerational workplace is more demanding today than ever before. Why is it now such a challenge? One reason: we are living and working longer. If you were born today, you could expect to live 79 years, that is 18 years longer than if you were born in 1935. Another reason: technology is changing our lives and the rate of that change is increasing. Once, just being a 30-year veteran of an organization made you a valued expert. Today, we are valued for our technical expertise in mastering artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and social media. Does assigning traits to the different generations help or hurt when managing the workplace? What insights do we have for today’s managers dealing with up to four generations working side-by-side? Zenell Brown, Alisa Shannon, Rene Armenta, and Kelly Hutton discuss what it means to oversee a court with so many different age groups working together. This is an absorbing podcast episode for listeners curious about generational differences, managing the generations, courts, and court administration. Leave a comment or question about the episode at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. Guest Speakers As a Court Administrator, Zenell Brown has garnered respect for her ethical leadership and innovation. She has built her approach on three pillars: communication, leadership responsibility and accountability, and diversity and inclusion. She has shared her “Justice for All” leadership and organizational wisdom at local, state, and national level conferences for court managers and teams.  Zenell continues to add to her current credentials of Juris Doctor (Wayne State University Law School), Public Service Administration Graduate Certificate (Central Michigan University), Court Administration Certificate (Michigan State University), and Certified Diversity Professional (National Diversity Council-DiversityFirst). Rene Armenta was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, He graduated from Rincon High School and started his career with the courts in early February of 2019 at the Pima County Juvenile Courthouse, assisting both  clients and court staff, directing them to their appointment, and providing assistance on court date information. Recently transitioning to the downtown Superior Courthouse as a Case Management Specialist assisting on the Family Law Bench, he assists in the efficiency of caseflow by processing court documents, ensuring court dates and times are correctly scheduled, assisting in scheduling Pro Tems and so much more. Alisa Shannon has served as a civil servant for the past twenty plus years. She is the Deputy Court Administrator of the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan - Criminal Division. In this role, Alisa oversees the management of the criminal case processing departments and works tirelessly to build strong relationships and help to administer criminal justice in a fair, professional, and efficient manner. In addition to overseeing the operations of the Criminal Division, Alisa has led many court-wide leadership committees. As a trusted leader, she directed the state’s largest trial court through the Strategic Planning process. Much of her career success can be attributed to her ability to build relationships, create supportive environments, and advocate on behalf of others. Alisa has earned a Master Certification in Business Leadership and Management, with a specific focus on Strategic Decision-making, Strategic Leadership, and Strategic Management from Michigan State University. She is a certified trainer in Restorative Practices and in the art of having Crucial Conversations. She served on several committees with the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies, and most recently represents the court on the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board of the Michigan Diversity and Inclusion Council.
37:51
December 17, 2019
Social Media and the Courts: How Do We Deal with This Growing Reality?
Blogs and podcasts are a growing fixture on our social landscape. There are now more than 750,000 podcasts produced and over 48 million people a week listen to a podcast. Estimates are that billions of people worldwide read one or more blogs on the internet. This is a fact that courts face along with all government institutions. When grappling with the media, courts can no longer deal simply with the city newspaper and local television reporters. Bloggers and podcasters demand equal treatment with traditional media outlets. What advice do we have for courts that are facing the challenge of social media’s blogs and podcasts? Darren Toms and Stephen Thompson talk about how courts can deal with the growing phenomenon of social media’s focus on the justice system. This is a fascinating podcast episode for listeners interested in courts, court administration, social media, blogs, and podcasts. Leave a comment or question about the episode at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. Guest Speakers A child of the northeast, Stephen Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, served a tour in the Peace Corps teaching English as a foreign language in West Africa, and earned a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for more than twenty years as a newspaper reporter and editor, most of it at the now-defunct Tampa Tribune, before he was hired by the Sixth Judicial Circuit to be its public information officer in 2014. Darren Toms is the public information officer and community outreach coordinator for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, Ohio, where he works with the media and community groups on a regular basis. Darren is the president-elect of the Conference of Court Public Information Officers (CCPIO) and recently hosted the organization’s annual meeting in Cleveland. Prior to joining the Court in 2013, Darren spent 16 years at Newsradio WTAM 1100, the news-talk station in Cleveland, as news director, anchor and reporter. Darren also spent seven years in television news. A graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Darren is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Do You Want to Learn More? Access to link to these articles to learn about blogs and podcasts. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-poll-the-jump-in-popularity-in-podcasts/ https://www.podcastinsights.com/podcast-statistics/ https://discoverpods.com/why-are-podcasts-popular/
38:22
November 19, 2019
What Generation X and Millennials are Saying About the Workplace: Three Perspectives
The Pew Research Center estimates that right now there are more Millennials than Baby Boomers in America. By 2030 Millennials and Gen Zs will make up 75% of the workforce. A Gallup Poll found that 21% of Millennials had changed jobs within the last year, that’s three times more than other generations.  On top of this demographic shift, technological innovation is increasing exponentially. The American workforce is racing toward a major generational transformation within the next ten years. Will the emerging generations demand new ways of doing business and managing employees? How will the generations impact the courts? What can court administrators do today to prepare for this sea change? Tina Mattison, Stacy Worby, and Paulina Pasquarelli talk about the up-and-coming generations as they flex their social and economic muscle. What it mean to management and the workplace. This is a compelling podcast episode for listeners interested in generational differences, managing the generations, courts, and court administration. Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. About the Guest Speakers Tina Mattison is the Deputy Court Administrator for the Pima County Juvenile Court.  In her position, Ms. Mattison oversees Juvenile Probation, Detention, Court, Children and Family Services, Facilities and Security, as well as the budget of $22 million.  Pima County Juvenile court is a general jurisdiction court located in Arizona, with over 400 multi-generational employees.  Previously, she worked for the California court system in Riverside and Orange County.  Ms. Mattison has been a member of the National Association for Court Management since 1998. Stacy Worby serves as the State Jury Coordinator for the Alaska Court System. In that capacity she is responsible for the coordination and operation of the centralized processes for the court’s jury management systems. Additionally, she provides jury procedure training and guidance for personnel in 40 court locations statewide. Prior to serving as the State Jury Coordinator, she managed a staff of jury clerks in Anchorage (the state’s largest general jurisdiction court). Stacy has enjoyed managing staff of all generations since 1998. Paulina Pasquarelli has served the 15thJudicial Circuit in Palm Beach County, FL since 2015. In her current role as the Mental Health Case Manager, she is responsible for the operations of the Circuit’s Mental Health Specialty Division which focuses on the issue of competency to proceed in felony cases. Ms. Pasquarelli holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Palm Beach Atlantic University. In addition, Ms. Pasquarelli serves as a member on NACM’s Membership Committee and Early Career Professionals (ECP) Subcommittee. She hopes she can encourage fellow millennials to view judicial administration as a career instead of a job.
21:50
October 14, 2019
Suddenly He Was There: Is Your Court Prepared for a Shooting Tragedy?
Shooting incidents are becoming a scourge on the American landscape and courthouses are certainly not immune. An incident can last only seconds but the trauma to court staff and the unsuspecting public can live on and on. If a calamity occurs, we face the triple challenge: emergency decisions and communications, dealing with law enforcement and a crime scene, and maintaining or reestablishing ongoing operations. What can your staff and your court do to prepare? What do we keep in mind if it happens? What can we learn from professionals who have dealt with these issues in real time? Patricia Norwood-Foden, Lt. Adam Sibley, Lance Wilson, and Deputy U.S. Marshal Addison Friedman talk about working through tragedy and restoring a degree of normalcy. This is an intriguing episode for listeners interested in emergencies, active shooter situations, courthouse security, and court administration. Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. Guest Speakers Patricia Norwood-Foden has been the District Court Administrator for the 15th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Chester County, since 2009.  Prior to her current position, she was the Minor Judiciary Administrator and has worked in the judiciary system since 1991.  Ms. Norwood-Foden is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, earned a paralegal certification from Penn State University and successfully completed the judicial administration certification program offered by Michigan State University.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Legal Studies degree from West Virginia University.  Lance Wilson retired in 2017 after a 35 year career in court administration.  Lance was District Court Executive/Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (1995-2017).  Previously he was Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (1991-1995) and as a Chief Deputy/Deputy in Charge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona(1987-1991).  Lance started his career in judicial administration with the Maricopa Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona.   Lance holds a Master of Science Degree in Judicial Administration from the University of Denver College of Law and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice/Minor in Fine Arts, from Alvernia College.    Lieutenant Adam Sibley served in law enforcement since 2008, and is currently employed with the Chester County Sheriff’s Office in Pennsylvania.  Throughout the past ten years, Adam has been involved with the Sheriff’s Office Judicial Security Unit and Protective Intelligence Unit responsible for anticipating, deterring, and investigating threats of violence against court staff and other participants within the Chester County court system.   Addison Friedman started with the U.S. Marshals Service in January of 2011. His first duty assignment was in D.C. Superior Court located in Washington, D.C. Deputy Friedman spent three and half years in D.C. before returning back home to Charlotte, NC in March 2015. He is now assigned to the Western District of North Carolina-Charlotte office. Deputy Friedman has held numerous collateral duties to include Use of Force Instructor, Training Coordinator, and COOP Manager.  Since April 2017, Deputy Friedman has been assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). In October 2018, Deputy Friedman coordinated a full scale active shooter exercise at the Charlotte Federal Courthouse, which included all Judges, Clerks, U.S. Marshals, Local Law Enforcement, Fire Department, EMS, and the local hospital.
47:02
September 16, 2019
The Network’s On the Phone: Pulling Back the Curtain on High Profile Trials
From O.J. Simpson, to Trayvon Martin and Casey Anthony, we have become used to the media targeting trials and turning them into spectacles. Many in the public see them as entertainment; often they become a lightning rod for political controversy. All the while jurors must be protected and citizens must be able to conduct their regular business with the court. These challenges can prove an enormous test for a typical trial court. When do you know a trial will turn into a media event? What can your court do to prepare? Michelle Kennedy and Karen Levey share their experiences dealing with high profile trials in their courts.  This is an intriguing episode for listeners interested in high profile trials, media relations, jury security, and court administration. Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org.  About the Guest Speakers Karen Connolly Levey Chief Deputy Court Administrator has been with the Ninth Judicial Circuit for 28 years. Ms. Levey is responsible for all Due Process Services, including Jury Services, Court Reporting, Court Interpreting, and Problem Solving Courts. Ms. Levey also serves as the Circuit-wide representative for Security issues. She is responsible for the Circuit’s comprehensive public information, media relations and civic outreach efforts. She serves as official court spokesperson.  Ms. Levey is responsible for managing the Court’s social media sites, providing professional support for legislative issues, handling public record requests and handling the Court’s strategic planning efforts. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Master of Arts in Political Science both from the University of Florida. Prior to coming to work for the Circuit, she worked for a Federal Congressman, worked as a Regional Planner and as an Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As public information officer for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, Michelle Kennedy is responsible for handling the logistics and administrative issues related to high profile trials. In preparation for State vs. Zimmerman, she met with media representatives and law enforcement officials for months prior to the trial to develop strategies to accommodate the needs of an international press corps and ensure a safe and efficient process for all involved.   Michelle’s duties also include supervising the probate and guardianship division and managing many of the due process services provided by the courts. She has been with the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit since June of 2000. Prior to that, she served in community relations positions at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and various non-profit agencies.  Michelle currently serves as President of the Florida Court Public Information Officers Association. She is a graduate of Florida State University where she majored in Communications and Political Science. Would You Like to Learn More? National Center for State Courts - Managing High Profile Cases for the 21st Century www.NCSC.ORG/HPC Conference of Court Public Information Officers - Association for Court Communicators www.CCPIO.org
39:34
August 9, 2019
Held for Ransom: How Safe is Your Data?
Ransomware attacks are running rampant throughout the nation. Atlanta, Georgia; Lake City, Florida; Albany, New York; and Del Rio, Texas have all been victims. Most recently the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts was attacked. Local agencies can be crippled for weeks with no data, no internet, no email, and no way to conduct business.  Is your court prepared? Can you stop it? How would you even know? Rashida Davis and Stephen Nevels recount their experiences battling attacks on their courts.  This is a fascinating episode for listeners interested in cybersecurity, ransomware such as Ryuk and Sam Sam, court technology, and court administration. Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org.  About the Guests Rashida A. Davis serves as the Court Administrator/ Chief Clerk for the Municipal Court of Atlanta. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University. Ms. Davis graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law Cum Laude.  Prior to serving in her role as Court Administrator, Ms. Davis served as a Municipal Court of Atlanta Deputy Chief Administrator for two years. She played an instrumental role in developing the annual budget, evaluating technology service development projects, and the creation of standard operating protocols. She also served on strategic planning teams such as the Ransomware Attack Recovery team and the Municipal Court of Atlanta Improvement Task Force. Ms. Davis is a licensed attorney with the State of Georgia. Her legal background primarily  focused on litigation and criminal defense.  As Court Administrator, Ms. Davis is responsible for managing a broad range of policy, intergovernmental relations, and operational functions performed by the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Outside of work, Ms. Davis enjoys volunteerism, international travel and quality time with her family.    Stephen M. Nevels is the Trial Court Administrator for the Piedmont Judicial Circuit consisting of Jackson, Barrow, and Banks Counties, Georgia. Prior to that he was the Judicial Court Administrator for the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, the largest Court of Appeals in Florida. Before that Stephen was Director of Administration for the Georgia Capital Defender’s Office, Director for Georgia’s Conflicts Program, Assistant Director for Judicial Liaison for Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts, District Court Administrator and Deputy Superior Court Administrator for the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, and Senior Court Analyst/Court Consultant for the Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator. Stephen received his Master of Public Administration degree from the California State University in Turlock, California, his Bachelor’s in Pre-Law Political Science from the University of Georgia, and his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Georgia. Do You Want to Know More? News article on the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts ransomware News article on the Baltimore, Maryland ransomware attack News article on the Lake City, Florida ransomware attack News article on the Del Rio, Texas ransomware attack
29:22
July 15, 2019
Is AI Already Here? The Answers May Startle You
You may not be aware, but artificial intelligence (AI) has already established itself in our daily lives. From Amazon to Alexa, sophisticated algorithms affect much of what we do. The next ten years will see advancements in electronic decision-making, facial recognition, language translation, and voice-to-text. Are you willing to accept the cost in loss of privacy due to AI’s insatiable thirst for data for the benefit in added productivity? What will be the new careers in AI world? Abhijeet Chavan and IV Ashton walk us through some of the inner workings of AI, some expectations in areas like Natural Language Processing, and give us advice on how to prepare for the future of this technology.  This is a fascinating episode for listeners interested in court technology, Natural Language Processing, algorithms, individual privacy, language translation, and emerging technologies. There is a link to a short segment of the book Prediction Machines by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb, in the Show Notes section on our website.  https://nacmnet.org/podcasts Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. 
36:56
June 24, 2019
Blockchain: Is It Your Court's Future?
“. . . we’ve been thinking a lot about the explosion of digital evidence. . . terabytes of audio-video footage from body-worn cameras, web cameras at every corner, video recordings from everyone’s smartphone devices . . . Blockchain holds a lot of promise for managing all that.” Blockchain is a tool that could change the way organizations handle money. Its built-in safeguards prevent electronic hacking. Beyond accounting, it could secure the authenticity of court documents and even identities. But are we willing to pay the price for all security? Paul Embley and Di Graski explore the opportunities to courts and the limits of this emerging technology. Di and Paul’s paper, “When Might Blockchain Appear in Your Court?” is narrated available as a bonus episode. The display version is available in the Show Notes section on our website. Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org.  About the Guests Di Graski is grateful to be celebrating her eleventh anniversary with the National Center for State Courts’ Technology team. She is an attorney licensed in Colorado, a certified Project Management Professional, and a member of the IJIS Institute’s Blockchain Working Group. At NACM’s Annual Conference in July 2019, Di will participate in the panel discussion “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science.” Paul Embley is the CIO and Technology Division Director at the National Center for State Courts. He began his career in Silicon Valley working for the “who’s who” of high tech (along with the “who’s no longer”). After 25 years in the for-profit sector, Paul shifted to public sector work on integrated justice.
26:55
May 14, 2019
Bonus Episode: When Might Blockchain Appear in Your Court
“. . . [Blockchain records] could soon be used in a variety of innovative ways to resolve court record keeping challenges. At the same time, Blockchain presents new legal issues that courts must be prepared to address.” This is an audio recitation of a paper written by Di Graski and Paul Embley titled “When Might Blockchain Appear in Your Court?” The paper appeared in the 2018 edition of Trends in State Courts published by the National Center for State Courts.  This episode will appeal to listeners interested in trial courts, court administration, emerging technologies, digital security, and accounting and finance, and emergency response plans. A link to a display version of Di and Paul’s paper, “When Might Blockchain Appear in Your Court?” is in the Show Notes section on our website. Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org.  About the Guests Di Graski is grateful to be celebrating her eleventh anniversary with the National Center for State Courts’ Technology team.  She is an attorney licensed in Colorado, a certified Project Management Professional, and a member of the IJIS Institute’s Blockchain Working Group.  At NACM’s Annual Conference in July 2019, Di will participate in the panel discussion “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science.” Paul Embley is the CIO and Technology Division Director at the National Center for State Courts. He began his career in Silicon Valley working for the “who’s who” of high tech (along with the “who’s no longer”). After 25 years in the for-profit sector, Paul shifted to public  
15:34
May 14, 2019
Alaska’s Earthquake: Its Surprising Lessons
  Show Notes On November 30, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska, suffered a magnitude 7.1 earthquake followed by thousands of aftershocks.  The quake was larger than the infamous 1989 Loma Prieta, California event.  How did the Alaska Court System’s emergency response plans hold up? What can we learn from Alaska’s experience and its preparations?  Christine Johnson and Alyce Roberts share their experiences and their insights having dealt firsthand with this powerful force of nature.    When we think of earthquakes, we think of California however Alaska’s quake was larger than the infamous 1989 Loma Prieta event (a.k.a. the World Series Quake) which burned a large portion of San Francisco’s marina district. Alaskans still remember the 1964 Good Friday quake: the most powerful earthquake ever to hit North America. This is a thought-provoking episode for listeners interested in trial courts, court administration, disaster recovery, continuity of operations plans (COOP), and emergency response plans. To see a video of the actual quake in one of Alaska’s courtroom access the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjvpk2Fe6UQ.   Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org.  About the Presenters Christine Johnson has been the Administrative Director of the Alaska Court System since 2009. A life-long Alaskan, she is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Michigan Law School. She and her family lived in Anchorage during the 1964 earthquake.      Alyce Roberts is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Alaska Court System.  As a member of the court’s senior staff, she is the AOC’s primary liaison with the clerks of court.  In this capacity, she develops the annual statewide clerks of court conference program, facilitating the sessions and serving as a presenter. Alyce regularly works with court colleagues and justice partners to propose revisions to court rules and develop statewide clerical procedures.  She serves on the Alaska Supreme Court’s Civil Rules Advisory Committee.  She has worked for the Alaska Court System since 1989, holding a number of positions including clerk of court in Anchorage (the state’s largest general jurisdiction court). She serves on the National Association for Court Management’s (NACM) Board of Directors, chairs NACM’s Communication Committee, and she is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management (2010). 
35:50
April 15, 2019
Artificial Intelligence: What You Need to Know Now
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has already brought us general business tools that courts can use to assist in automating work, analyzing documents, and conducting legal analysis. As a start, courts will need to put their information into an electronic format that can be used by A.I. tools. They will also need to re-engineer their business practices. Small courts will have to be assertive in making their needs known. But, exactly how will A.I. tools help courts and what will we, as citizens, give up in privacy in order to maximize A.I.’s potential? Alan Carlson along with co-host Rick Pierce discuss how A.I. will be used in the courts and how soon it will be here.  About the Presenter Alan Carlson retired at the end of 2016 after working 40 years in state trial courts. He was the CEO (court administrator, clerk of court, and jury commissioner) of the Orange County (CA) Superior Court, the CEO in San Francisco Superior Court, the Executive Officer of the Monterey Superior Court, and the Assistant Executive officer of the Alameda County Superior Court. Mr. Carlson also was president of JMI, Director of Court Services at the CA AOC, and a Staff Attorney at NCSC. Mr. Carlson received a Distinguished Service Award from the California Judicial Council in 2016, the NACM Award of Merit in 2012, and the ABA Robert B. Yegge Award in 2010. He was inducted as a member of the NCSC’s Warren Burger Society in 2012. He received a law degree from Hastings College of Law and a BS in engineering from University of California at Berkeley. About the Co-Host Rick Pierce, Judicial Programs Administrator, has served in the field of court administration for the past thirty years. Prior to his appointment at the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Pierce was the district court administrator for the 9th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Cumberland County. As judicial programs administrator, he is responsible for implementation of programs and education in court administration at the general and limited jurisdiction court levels. Pierce was elected to the National Association for Court Management Board of Directors in July of 2017 and currently serves as a director and vice chair of the Governance Committee of NACM. Pierce served as the President of the Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management from 2005-2006.He also served as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Court Management in 2000-2001. A graduate of Washington and Lee University, Pierce received his Master’s in Public Administration from Shippensburg University in 1995.
23:00
March 19, 2019
What Hurricane Florence Can Teach Us
Last September, Hurricane Florence devastated North Carolina's families, communities, and its trial courts.  Court administrators Ellen Hancox and Caitlin Emmons tell how they made it through the storm, cared for their families, and managed to keep their courts afloat.  What lessons can we take away from their experience? To cope, people had to come up with “contingency plans for their contingency plans” in order to deal with a storm that upended lives and work. Ellen and Caitlin talk about how their courts and their families endured, including judges who had not fully recovered from the previous hurricane (Matthew). They also describe their efforts at disaster recovery, their emergency plans, and their continuity of operations plans (COOP) during the crisis. Finally, they relate how they overcame unforeseen logistical and legal hurdles. Leave a comment or question about the podcast at clapodcast@nacmnet.org. You can see addition information in the Show Notes section at nacmnet.org/podcasts. About the Presenters  Ellen Hancox has served as the Trial Court Administrator for Cumberland County, N. C. since 2002. She attended the University of Mary Washington and Campbell University School of Law. Before joining the court system, she was in private practice, and her practice was devoted to civil litigation. She is involved in the Cumberland County Bar Association, having served as President. She has served on various committees and boards with the North Carolina Bar Association. Caitlin Emmons graduated from the University of California, Irvine School of Law in 2015. She was a fellow at the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice  from 2016-2017. In 2017, Caitlin relocated to North Carolina with her husband who is on active duty serving as a United States Marine. She worked as the Judicial Assistant for Onslow County from September 2017 until January 2019. She is now the Trial Court  Coordinator for Judicial District 4, which includes Onslow, Sampson, Duplin, and Jones counties.   
37:48
March 19, 2019