NASJE Western Regional Meeting

July 13, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, reported by Evie Lancaster

About 20 Western Region members joined together during the July 2011 NASJE annual meeting for an opportunity to network and to share their innovate ideas and accomplishments over the past year, and to discuss ideas for regional meetings in the coming year. In attendance were Judith Anderson (WA), Beth Asselin (AZ), Rebecca Bluemer (NV), Susan Conyers (NV), Claudia Fernandes (CA), Lisa Galdos (CA), Ileen Gerstenberger (WA), Laurie Ginn (NV), Gabe Goltz (AZ), David Gordon (NV), Deb King (AZ), Evie Lancaster (NV), Michael McLaughlin (ID), John Newell (NV), Michael Roosevelt (CA), Jeff Schrade (AZ), Charlie Schudson (AZ), Nancy Smith (WA), and Gordon Zimmerman (NV).

The meeting was also a time to acknowledge 2009-2011 Western Region Director Michael Roosevelt, as his term came to a close. Michael expressed his thanks for everyone’s part in invigorating and bringing momentum to the regional membership. “…we were able to accomplish a number of things we need to be proud of” Michael humbly stated. Under his leadership, regularly scheduled conference calls, web sessions, and a face-to-face conference were held. After highlighting the topics offered, which included funding sources, new technologies, nano-technology in genetics, and engaging people in Webinar’s, Michael went on to say, “I think one of the accomplishments I’m most proud of, and I think for the group, is our Western Regional [Conference].”

Sessions such as judicial branch leadership education tips to engage learners, incorporating fairness into courses, evidence-based sentencing, and tips on PowerPoint presentations were offered, along with an opportunity for colleagues to display and discuss an innovative or new education program offered in their state. Michael went on further to acknowledge the many resources and generosity involved, such as CJER and NJC, for making these opportunities more cost effective. And of course, to the members of the Western Region, for without their involvement and support, none of these opportunities would have been a success.

Being the largest region in NASJE, one of our challenges during the annual meeting is having sufficient time to conduct business and to provide our colleagues with ample opportunity to share innovative ideas and accomplishments. Approaching the meeting format slightly differently this year, Michael asked members to provide an innovative idea or program in their state in writing. During the meeting everyone was asked to discuss their ideas at their tables and then to select and showcase one of the innovative ideas or programs with the entire group. Here are just a couple of the ideas and programs showcased:

  1. Capital Case backlog reduction (Gabe Goltz, Arizona AOC). In partnership with Maricopa County, the AOC brought judges and prosecutors and defense counsel together for a statewide education conference to discuss their respective issues and concerns, and how they might work more cohesively in these cases. As a result, the AZ capital case backlog has been reduced by approximately one-third.
  2. NJC (John Newell) The College has been working on several model curriculums, some of which will be available on NJCs website. Curriculum will be broken into modules and accompanied by student materials, faculty guides and topic resources. Curriculum currently available or in development stage include such topics as sex offenders, leadership management, and judicial fairness and courtroom communication.

Other innovative ideas and programs will be showcased in the days to come. Some are attached here [link to attachment CR 15da]. Also, please let me know as you or your state has additional innovative ideas and programs that you would like to share with our colleagues.

Michael opened the floor for ideas on how we as a region can connect staff, especially those who are unable to join in on conference calls or Webinar’s, or attend face-to-face conferences. The new NASJE website has been implemented and will make available such features as a “members only” area where resources can be shared, topics can be discussed, etc. One form of staying connected currently offered on the website is the opportunity to give feedback on articles, ask questions, etc. One of the ideas offered was the possibility of using social media, such as twitter, as an informal communication tool. The question was raised whether or not we might be excluding any members who might not be as versed in technology as others, and to consider how this might be addressed.

It was agreed that Webinars have been a good resource and should be continued. It was also suggested to hold a face-to-face conference again. Another idea offered was to hold the conference via videoconference so as not to exclude those members not able to attend.

While wrapping up the meeting, Michael offered two additional thoughts for staying connected:

  1. Consider taking a few moments to pick up the phone and call or email a colleague you don’t know or haven’t had contact with for a while. It doesn’t need to be lengthy, maybe only once a month, and a different person each time.
  2. Go back to your office and share conference information with your colleagues.

Before I put my touch pad to rest, I would like to thank Michael Roosevelt once again, for his outstanding leadership and for being a wonderful mentor and friend. I would also like to encourage you to continue to reach out to our NASJE Western Region colleagues, to share your challenges and solutions, and to support and serve this dynamic association called, the National Association of State Judicial Educators. I look forward to serving you as western region director and welcome your thoughts and ideas as we move our region forward together in the year ahead.

Evie can be contacted at


Liz Bullard (AOC CO)
Project/Idea/Suggestion – Judicial Executive Development Institute: Advanced training for supervisors or those who have successfully completed the pre-requisite course, Trial Court Path to Supervision or Probation Orientation to Supervision course.

Nancy Smith (AOC WA)
Project/Idea/Suggestion – Blended Learning Project: Combines various types of e-learning with face to face learning events in order to maximize learning & minimize expense & time away from the office. The material in the e-learning pieces is designed to prepare participants for the face to face (f2f) meeting. The f2f is a sort of “capstone” exercise composed of learning chunks that are difficult to do remotely. Programs provided: Court leadership teams on budgets; Dealing With Difficult People targeted at courthouse facilitators; and Search & Seizure for new judges.

Elizabeth Evans (Maricopa County Superior Court AZ)
Project/Idea/Suggestion – Web video training for Self Represented Litigants in Probate Court, “The Role and Duties of a Guardian.” Ten minute video and narrated training that spells out in simple language the court ordered duties of a newly appointed guardian. Reference

Michael Roosevelt (AOC CA)
Project/Idea/Suggestion – State Interagency Team: The program coordinates the efforts of multiple agencies to reduce or eliminate racial disparities in education, health, mental health and the courts. The effort is driven by data which shows that each of the previously listed areas fail to equally and equitably serve CA’s different ethnic, racial & language groups/populations.

Lisa Galdos (AOC CA)
Project/Idea/Suggestion – CA Statewide Case Management System: Use of online simulations combined with face to face. Include training as business process.

McLaughlin, Michael (AOC ID)
– Web cast to judges every other week, with phone & chat capabilities. Forty-five minutes in length. Uses WebEx. Sentencing information online using scenarios as a training tool.

Goetz, Gabe (AOC AZ)
– Developing: Capital Case Training with judges, prosecutors & defense attorneys as target audience, One avenue of building collaboration.