Since this will be my last COSCA Bulletin article as your president, I will take this opportunity to share some personal thoughts. (I promise this won’t be too long, so please bear with me).
First, the Western COSCA Regional Summit in May, “Sustaining Justice through Innovation,” was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. (And, no it is not because it was in Vancouver, Washington). The speakers, content, and team discussions were so relevant and exciting, I can’t get them off my mind. We talked openly about the challenge of courts remaining relevant in the future and the numerous ways that access to justice, technology, the practice of law and conducting business must change to ensure that courts everywhere provide the system of justice that was promised and ensured by our Constitution. I highly, highly recommend this summit for other regions in the future! Patti Tobias, Tom Clarke, and Darcy Hitt did a tremendous job putting it together and can provide you with all the information you need to repeat it in your future regional summits. My thanks to Mike Buenger and David Slayton for serving as panelists for part of the program, as well as Rick Schwermer and Rod Maile for their facilitating portions of the program. The themes and challenges that were expressed in the conference are those that we will confront for years. Forewarned is forearmed!
Next, I hope ALL of you are planning to attend the annual meeting in Rhode Island in August. It promises to be another outstanding educational program, with continued progress from all our committees. The social events will also be excellent, and this will truly be a family program for all ages. I am excited about it and looking forward to all the networking and the fun. Sally and I have already purchased our “Gatsby-gear” for the Rosecliff Mansion reception and dinner on Tuesday night. We hope you will join your “favorite flappers” in dressing for this event. Joe and his staff have done a tremendous job, and we want to support their efforts.
Finally, one of the themes I’ve shared with our judges and administrators at their education conferences this spring is: “I can’t say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” COSCA, like the rest of life, is changing, and we are welcoming new members with relative frequency. Each change is an opportunity for our members to help another state excel; to support a colleague; and to promote judicial leadership. I am so proud of the work we do; the camaraderie we display; and the number of people throughout the country who receive justice because of the support courts receive through our efforts. If we could bottle the knowledge, dedication, enthusiasm, and energy from COSCA and send it to our nation’s capital, there is nothing we couldn’t accomplish! Keep up the good work and please, please rededicate yourself to all the work of COSCA and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). We need you, all our members, to continue the national policy work and the accomplishments that have been a tradition of CCJ/COSCA/NCSC.
Thank you to all the staff and consultants from NCSC for another year of dedicated, professional service. Thank you to our outstanding COSCA Board of Directors, liaisons, committee chairs/vice-chairs, and task force members for another year of hard work. Thank you to our officers who have distinguished themselves as wonderful public servants and have served as my constant support for this past year. Thank you to ALL of you for the opportunity to serve you and the honor of representing you this past year.
eCourts Conference Offers COSCA Discount
COSCA’s 2018 midyear meeting will be December 6-8 at The Cosmopolitan in Law Vegas—just before NCSC’s eCourts 2018, December 10-12, at the same venue. Until July 31, COSCA members—and any data specialists accompanying them to the midyear meeting—can register for eCourts at a discounted rate of $550 using the discount code “COSCA.”
NCSC Releases Trends in State Courts 2018
How courts are meeting the changing needs of society is the subject of Trends in State Courts 2018, the latest edition in a long-running series by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The articles in Trends 2018 examine what courts are doing, or perhaps need to do, to confront many important issues, such as drug abuse, human trafficking, and immigration enforcement. Examples include:
how New York State’s Opioid Intervention Court can serve as a model for other states;
how the Maryland judiciary is confronting human trafficking;
how Native American “peacemaking” can be applied in state courts; and
how changes in federal immigration enforcement policies affect court operations and how the public views courts.
Other articles discuss civil justice reform to accommodate the changing needs of litigants; the use of legal design to develop a research agenda for access to justice; how courts should respond to cyberattacks; and how Blockchain records can help courts resolve recordkeeping challenges.
Retired State Court Administrator Becomes an Author
What do state court administrators do with themselves after retirement? Some take up new hobbies, while others, like Stephanie Cole (a former SCA of Alaska who now lives in Seattle) write books. In addition to a law degree from UCLA, Stephanie holds an MFA from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. So far, she has published two novels, both set in the community of Homer, Alaska: Compass North and A Late Hard Frost. Both books are available in paperback and on Kindle through Amazon.
Anniversaries . . .
COSCA congratulates the following members for achieving anniversaries in office in July through September: Karl Hade of Virginia (13 years); Artie Pepin of New Mexico (12 years); Callie Dietz of Washington (6 years, plus 5 years in Alabama); Glenn Grant of New Jersey (10 years); Christine Johnson of Alaska (9 years); Beth McLaughlin of Montana (7 years); Patricia Gabel of Vermont, Pamela Harris of Maryland, and Greg Sattizahn of South Dakota (5 years); PK Jameson of Florida (4 years); Larry Marks of New York and Tom Darr of Pennsylvania (3 years); Sigfrido Figueroa of Puerto Rico, (2 years); and Amy Quinlan of Delaware, Christopher Ryan of Colorado, Tonnya Kennedy Kohn of South Carolina, Marcia Meis of Illinois, Randy Koschnick of Wisconsin, and Todd Nuccio of Iowa (1 year).
. . . and Birthdays
Fourteen COSCA members celebrate birthdays in July through September. Happy Birthday to Jane Seigel of Indiana (July 2); Dave Byers of Arizona (July 7); Karl Hade of Virginia (July 8); Tonnya Kennedy Kohn of South Carolina (July 29); Amy Quinlan of Delaware (July 25); Deborah Taylor Tate of Tennessee (July 30); Cynthia Clanton of Georgia (August 3); Tom Darr of Pennsylvania (August 12); David Slayton of Texas (August 16); Todd Nuccio of Iowa (August 23); Marty Sullivan of Arkansas (August 29); Nancy Cozine of Oregon (September 13); Randy Helms of Alabama (September 18); and Robin Sweet of Nevada (September 21).