A few months ago, I asked a roomful of judicial educators whether they considered themselves court leaders. A surprisingly small number of people raised their hands to indicate that they saw themselves in this manner. I think to an extent their response was indicative of their acknowledgement that they did not sit atop the chain of command in their administrative structure. However, if that is to be the determinative factor, then very few of us are court leaders. I prefer to think of being a court leader as being able to have an impact on the direction the court will take and the way the judiciary will achieve its objectives. Seen from this perspective, I think it is undeniable that most of us are court leaders.
Theresa Ewing is the Director of Municipal Court Services for the Fort Worth Municipal Court. Earlier this year, the National Center for State Courts selected Ms. Ewing to receive its 2018 Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented annually to honor those who have made substantial contributions to the field of court administration and to the work of the National Center for State Courts. I was able to sit down with Ms. Ewing recently and ask her questions about the award as well as her work in Fort Worth.
The National Association for State Judicial Educators (NASJE) Conference Planning Committee is accepting proposals for plenary and breakout session presentations for the 2019 NASJE Conference. The conference will take place October 18-21, 2019, at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center in Denver, Colorado. The theme of the conference is “Conquering Mountains Together: Achieving New Heights in Judicial Education”.
Meet new NASJE member Judge Kristi Harrington. Q: What was your path to judicial education? A: As a new judge, I was required to go to the National Judicial College. After two weeks of General Jurisdiction, I realized the value of Judicial education. I was asked to help develop a web-based class for new judges and have been faculty ever since!
Please mark your calendars and join us on Wednesday, December 5, for the latest callinar. The topic for discussion will be ASSESSMENTS and the pre-call article is “Enable Your Brain to Remember Almost Everything”. All NASJE members are invited to attend this callinar. Click through for details.
Like it or not, life is a whirlwind of change. Our society moves at a pace that far exceeds any other time in history and change is a reality we face each day. Change can be a very positive thing when it is implemented effectively, efficiently, and with encouragement. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen as often as it could or should. But regardless of how change is implemented; regardless of how we feel about it – change is here to stay.
For my first written communication with the members of NASJE, I wanted to address a reality I think many of us know deep within, but rarely stop and give it the consideration it deserves. I want to talk about being a judicial educator. More to the point, I want to share my thoughts on what a special profession we are a part of. In Austin I talked with the Fundamentals class about these topics. I wanted to extend my observations to a broader audience.
Independence Corrupted goes behind the trial bench and even into appellate chambers to dissect judicial decision-making in actual cases I judged – for ten years, alone, as a trial judge; for twelve years, with colleagues, as an appellate judge. The cases are page-turners, fascinating courtroom conflicts involving abortion protesters, abused children, murderers, sex predators, civil rights, health insurance, the insanity defense, multi-million dollar punitive damages, and more.
I’m not sure why I’m drawn so often to implicit bias sessions, but I seem to gravitate to them often at conferences. I found the recent NASJE Annual Conference session on the topic, taught by NASJE members Dana Bartocci of Minnesota, Cyrana Mott of Illinois, Jennifer Juhler of Iowa, and Joseph Sawyer of the National Judicial College, to be very impactful. What follows is my personal reaction to the session. I won’t try to recreate the entire session or to re-teach it but just highlight the parts that touched me and continue to stay with me.
At the recent 2018 NASJE Annual Conference in Austin, Judge Edward Spillane delivered a session on the humanity of litigants. Judge Spillane is the Presiding Judge for the College Station Municipal Court in Texas. He started his session by explaining that change in a court’s treatment of litigant too often occurs as a result of an unexpected, often catastrophic, series of events such as those in Ferguson, Missouri.
Download NASJE 2018 ANNUAL CONFERENCE, the new NASJE conference app for your mobile device. See the Member Area for details.
When the clock hits 5 on the first day of the Annual Conference in Austin, don’t forget to stop by your Regional Meeting before mixing it up at the evening social. Members of the four NASJE Regions gather each year to strengthen the networks in their region and share resources. The four regions are the Midwestern, Northeastern, Southeastern and Western.
Christine Christopherson has been named Director of Nebraska Judicial Branch Education, a position that oversees the coordination and delivery of educational offerings for all Judicial Branch employees and judges throughout the state. Read more about it at the Nebraska Supreme…