March 2018


    MARCH 2018

A Message from the PresidentCallie Dietz
Callie Dietz

Welcome to the first quarter of 2018!  I look forward to meeting with the other members of the COSCA Board of Directors at the end of March and certainly to seeing everyone at our annual meeting in August. Rhode Island will be a wonderful venue, and the program promises to be very informative and enlightening. Please make plans to attend.

One of the goals I set for myself as your president was to thoughtfully engage with our partner organizations so that we could closely collaborate and they would be informed of the important work COSCA is supporting. To that end, I’d like to briefly recap some of my meetings with these groups and highlight the enthusiasm they have expressed for our efforts.

I’ll start with CCJ. COSCA has always enjoyed an excellent relationship with CCJ; however, the ability to meet with them during their midyear conference was an opportunity to experience the important nature of the work CCJ and COSCA perform together. It was so inspiring to hear chief justices from around the country talking in such glowing terms about their state court administrators. We started with an informative meeting of the CCJ/COSCA National Task Force on the Opioid Crisis. I can’t say enough about the dedication and hard work of the members of this task force. The information sharing and the commitment to judicial engagement regarding this epidemic is excellent. Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Debi Taylor Tate, the co-chairs of this group, and the excellent CCJ/COSCA representatives serving as subcommittee chairs are working diligently to provide us with a road map for meaningful reform and recommendations for powerful judicial engagement that will benefit every state. Thank you, Debi, Corey Steele, Mike Buenger, and Nancy Dixon for your hard work and continued commitment to this effort!  Thank you, also, to Chief Justices Judith Nakamura, Paul Reiber, Mark Cady, and Maureen O’Conner for your leadership and commitment!

The American Judges Association, AJA, is another group of hardworking, interested officials who actively participate in our meetings. As it would happen, the president of AJA this year is Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer of King County, Washington. Judge Shaffer not only serves our state well but is completely engaged in the work of the AJA. She actively represents her organization, sharing opportunities for continued collaboration and encouraging joint education sessions and conferences with AJA. Judge Shaffer and I have enjoyed traveling together to several meetings and being able to share the accomplishments of each of our organizations. She has been an excellent resource and source of ideas. I look forward to the AJA Midyear Conference.

I’m sure most of you know Vicky Carlson, president of the National Association for Court Management, NACM. Vicky is very active and attends our meetings regularly. She and her able board members have put on some of the best educational sessions I have attended. It was an honor to attend their board meeting and midyear meeting last month with Jeff Shorba, COSCA liaison to NACM, and Patti Tobias. Jeff and I were able to give a detailed report of COSCA interests and to thank NACM for providing free one-year memberships to COSCA members who had not already joined. They have an excellent array of in-person meetings and webinars that I hope you will participate in and will encourage members of your staff to do so. I have been a member for years and encourage you to continue your membership as well. Washington has AOC staff and local administrators who are active in NACM. I hope you will seek to expand membership in your office and state, too.

You also probably recognize Lee Ann Barnhardt, president of the National Association of State Judicial Educators, NASJE. Lee Ann is also an active part of our meetings and is always willing to share the excellent resources produced by NASJE. Again, NASJE produces some high-quality training materials and speakers. They have webinars and a host of written materials that are invaluable to states involved in judicial education. I was pleased to see several of our new state court administrators at the midyear conference in December. Marty Sullivan and Tonnya Kennedy Kohn actively participated in their excellent program. Again, I have remained a member of NASJE over the years, having first been introduced to this wonderful organization when I was a judicial-branch educator. I encourage each of you to join and to certainly get the members of your staff or partner organizations that conduct judicial education to join as well. The resources alone are worth the membership. The networking is incredible.

Finally, I can’t end without another hearty “thank you” to the members of the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices. Chief Justice Maureen O’Conner and Laurie Dudegon have done an outstanding job in leading this group for the past several years. The amount of work, collaboration, and the incredible deliverables this group has produced promises to be an excellent guide for all of us as we attempt pretrial and bail reform in our states. Artie Pepin, Martin Hoshino, and Judge Rosalyn Frierson have served as wonderful co-chairs of the subcommittees, along with Chief Justices Patricia Breckenridge, Nathen Hecht, and Stuart Rabner. I look forward to seeing the final report at our annual meeting and to using the great products the committees have assembled.

Don’t forget to make your reservations for the annual meeting quickly. It promises to be a great program and there will be lots to see and do. Please don’t forget to thank Shelley, Mary, and all the wonderful NCSC staff that provide us so much assistance. I don’t think we can ever say “thank you” enough for their incredible contributions!  I say “Bless Your Hearts” in the nicest way possible!

Thank you to all COSCA members for your incredible contributions as well!

See you all soon.

Opioids in Courts Webpage LaunchedOpioids Info

The National Center for State Courts recently launched an Opioids and the Courts webpage, an online resource center to provide courts with materials and information about how best to respond to the opioid epidemic. Currently, the page provides statistics, a news roundup, and listings of available resources including child welfare, medication-assisted treatment, and recommendations from national organizations. Materials developed and collected by the National Judicial Opioid Task Force will be located on this site as they are developed.

Task Force Releases Principles on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices

The National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices has released Principles on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices. Developed with input from a variety of stakeholders and approved by CCJ and COSCA, the principles can be used as a basis for developing more fair, transparent, and efficient methods of judicial practice regarding bail practices and the imposition and collection of legal financial obligations.

Human Resources Summit Coming to Colorado

The Colorado Courts and the National Center for State Courts will host the third annual COSCA Human Resources Summit, June 20-22, 2018, at the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in Denver. The summit is an opportunity to learn, share ideas, and network with human resources and other court personnel from across the nation. More information is available here.

 Iowa Court Administrator Receives National Award Boyd

David K. Boyd, recently retired state court administrator for the Iowa Judicial District, has been named recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ 2017 Warren E. Burger Award. The Burger Award recognizes an individual, other than a sitting judge, whose work has significantly contributed to improving the administration of the state courts. This award honors a person who demonstrates professional expertise, leadership, integrity, creativity, innovativeness, and sound judgment. “For the last 40 years, David has served the Iowa Judicial District with honor, integrity, creativity, and passion,” Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady he said in a nomination letter. Boyd, who was named Iowa’s State Court Administrator in 2003, will receive the award in August at the CCJ/COSCA Annual Meeting.

 Member Spotlight: Marty Sullivan, ArkansasMarty Sullivan

Why and how did you become a state court administrator?
I came to our AOC as a college intern and never left the building. You often hear successful people say they were in the right place at the right time.  I believe that is very true for me, but, in reality, there is more to it.  You aren’t just given opportunities in life; you work for them.  Fortunately, I had 15 years to work my way up within our organization.  I had amazing opportunities to learn from some remarkable leaders.  When J.D. Gingerich announced his retirement, I was ready to follow in his footsteps.

What do you like most and least about being a state court administrator?
Honestly, there really isn’t anything I dislike about this job.  It’s a challenge, and can feel overwhelming at times, but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now.  Having the opportunity to shape public policies that will improve the administration of justice is extremely rewarding.  I feel blessed to be given this opportunity to serve as the nation’s youngest state court administrator.
Tell us about your family.
My wife, Kelly, is the smart one.  She is a brilliant attorney and works for a public-affairs firm.  She works on projects around the country and loves her job.  We had our first child last year.  Lucy Katherine, lovingly referred to as Goose, has been an absolute joy.  She has given me a whole new perspective on life.  Kelly and I both have challenging jobs, but we put family first.
What is your philosophy about using social networking? If you use social networking, which sites do you prefer, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or others?
I have used Facebook to keep up with friends around the country for years. I also use Instagram to share photos of Goose with family and friends. I have a Twitter account to keep up with the news when I have a few minutes, but I’ve never actually tweeted.  I’ve never used LinkedIn.

If you didn’t have to work for a living, what would you do?
The concept of not working just isn’t in my DNA. I have worked since I was 14, and as a 40 year old with a one year old, I have many years of school to pay for before I can retire. Jokes aside, I believe in the importance of public service and would be thrilled to have this job for many years to come.  As state court administrator, there are so many opportunities to contribute at the local, state, national, and even international level.  I’d be hard pressed to identify a more meaningful job.

Anniversaries . . .

COSCA congratulates the following members for achieving anniversaries in office in April through June: Joe Baxter of Rhode Island (14 years); Laurie Dudgeon of Kentucky and Kevin Lackey of Mississippi (9 years); David Slayton of Texas (6 years); Corey Steel of Nebraska (4 years); Milt Mack of Michigan (3 years); and Rick Schwermer of Utah, Jon Williams of Massachusetts, and John Lizama of Guam (1 year).

. . . and Birthdays

Fourteen COSCA members celebrate birthdays in April through June. Happy Birthday to Sally Holewa of North Dakota (April 8); Joe Baxter of Rhode Island (April 9); Pat Gabel of Vermont (April 11); Sandra Vujnovich of Louisiana (April 15); Anne Wicks of the District of Columbia (April 21); Michael Buenger of Ohio and Patrick Carroll of Connecticut (April 23); John Lizama of Guam (April 24); Jeri Askins of Oklahoma (April 27); Regina Petersen of the Virgin Islands (May 20); Kathy Lloyd of Missouri (May 27); Laurie Dudgeon of Kentucky (May 31); Marion Warren of North Carolina (June 6); and Corey Steel of Nebraska (June 14).