JUDGE JEROME (JERRY) B. ABRAMS is a Minnesota State District Court who came on to the Bench in 2008 after 27 years of a busy civil trail practice, much of it handling a wide variety of civil litigation. As a lawyer he tried numerous civil cases, some enormous, some large and not so large in a number of State and Federal Courts. Judge Abrams is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is also on the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts and the American College of Business Court Judges. Judge Abrams serves as a regular adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School and William Mitchell College of Law where he has taught Complex Litigation. He has served on the Minnesota Civil Justice Reform Task Force and its predecessor group which recommended major changes in the civil justice system recently adopted. Judge Abrams chaired a subcommittee for the National Center for State Courts Conference of Chief Justices looking at recommendations for reducing cost and delay in civil litigation. Judge Abrams is a frequent speaker at state and national continuing education programs on Complex Case Management, Civil Justice Reform, ESI and related topics.
DICK AMBROSE has been serving as Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas since June 2004. Originally appointed to the bench, Judge Ambrose was elected in 2006 and again in 2010. Judge Ambrose presides over civil and criminal matters arising in Cuyahoga County and which range from personal injury lawsuits to felony cases involving capital murder. Judge Ambrose has been active in the community, assisting with the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program as well as speaking to church and community groups about Ohio’s record sealing law and the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Judge Ambrose is a member of the Cuyahoga County Corrections Planning Board, the Judicial Advisory Board for the Nancy McDonnell Community-Based Corrections Facility and is the Chair of the Court’s Probation Committee. Prior to his service as Judge, Dick Ambrose was a trial attorney for seventeen years, practicing with the law firms of Nicola Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC, Chriszt McGarry Co., LPA, and McDonald Hopkins Co., LPA. He focused on business litigation and employment law, including discrimination claims and compliance with federal and state regulations. Judge Ambrose is a June 1987 graduate of Cleveland‑Marshall School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, from the University of Virginia. He is a native of New Rochelle, New York, and has been a resident of Cleveland’s West Side ever since coming to the area in 1975.
HON. JANET E. BARTON, President-Elect, NAPCO 2016, is the Presiding Judge for the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County (Greater Phoenix), home to 4 million people (60 percent of the state’s population), and the state’s capitol. In her role as the county’s top administrative judge, she oversees 97 superior court judges, 59 court commissioners, and the county adult and juvenile probation departments, as well as 26 justices of the peace and 26 constables. She also has superintendence authority over the 24 municipal courts within the county. Judge Barton was appointed to the bench in July 2000. Over her 16 years on the bench, she has served on each of the Superior Court’s four major departments: three years on juvenile (including two years as that department’s associate presiding judge); five years on civil (including two years as that department’s associate presiding judge and four years as a complex case judge); four and one-half years on criminal (including three and one-half years as a special assignment judge managing capital and complex criminal cases); and two and one-half years on family (including two years as that department’s presiding judge). Judge Barton was also the Associate Presiding Judge of the Superior County in Maricopa County from January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. On July 1, 2015, she was designated by the Arizona Supreme Court as the County’s Presiding Judge and began a three-year term in that leadership position. Judge Barton presently serves on the Arizona Supreme Court’s Presiding Judges’ Committee, the Arizona Judicial Council, and the Arizona Commission on Access to Justice. Judge Barton began her legal career in 1985 as a lawyer with the firm of Snell & Wilmer, and in 1991 became a partner in that firm. Her primary area of practice was commercial and state and local tax litigation until her appointment to the Superior Court bench. Judge Barton obtained her undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky in 1975, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1985.
J. JOSEPH BAXTER was appointed State Court Administrator for Rhode Island in May of 2004, after serving as Assistant State Court Administrator from 2001-2004. Preceding his appointment to the Administrative Office of State Courts, Mr. Baxter served in various capacities for the Rhode Island Family Court, including Administrator from 1999-2001. Mr. Baxter was elected as Town Moderator for Smithfield, Rhode Island from 1984-1986. He was appointed to the Smithfield Board of Canvassers from 1989-1992, serving as Chair from 1990-1992. He served on the inaugural Smithfield Charter Review Commission. He received his B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University and M.P.A. from the University of Rhode Island. He is a certificate recipient in Effective Caseflow Management from the National Judicial College and is a certificate recipient in Divorce Mediation Training from Roger Williams University. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) from 2014-present. He served as a member of the Conference of Chief Justices’ (CCJ) Pandemic and Emergency Response Task Force. He is Co-Chair of the CCJ/COSCA Joint Committee on Security and Emergency Preparedness. He has served on numerous committees for various initiatives of the Administrative Office of State Courts. He is a member of the National Association of Court Management. Mr. Baxter is a recipient of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Employee of the Year Award and is a recipient of the 2016 Neil J. Houston, Jr. Memorial Award.
RAYMOND L. BILLOTTE, Vice-President, NAPCO is the Administrator for the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County, serving as the senior executive officer for the nation’s fourth largest trial court. Previously, he served as the District Court Administrator in the 5th Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Greater Pittsburgh) from 1996-2012 and the 46th Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Clearfield) from 1985-1992. Mr. Billotte holds a Master’s Degree of Public Management from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a 1991 Graduate Fellow of the Institute for Court Management’s (ICM) Court Executive Development Program. During his tenure with the courts, he has led numerous successful court improvement projects, including caseflow management revisions, jury reform, strategic planning, jail population reduction strategies, and the use of evidence-based practices in both pre-trial and post-adjudicative phases of the criminal justice system. Additionally, he has served as a consultant with USAID addressing criminal justice reforms in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chihuahua and has served on numerous state and national court management committees addressing the use of technology in the courts, preservation and transcription of court records, professional development of court managers, and juror diversity. Mr. Billotte is the first Vice President of the newly formed National Association for Presiding Judges and Chief Executive Officers (NAPCO). Prior to his officer position in NAPCO, he was a Board Member of the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts (NCMC) and its Strategic Planning Committee which was instrumental in creating NAPCO. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Justice Management Institute (JMI), a justice system nonprofit consultancy. Previously, Mr. Billotte served on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Court Management (NACM) from 2010-2013. He continues to be active in numerous court management organizations including the Urban Court Managers Network and the Arizona Association of Superior Court Administrators. Mr. Billotte is certified as faculty for the ICM’s Leadership and Visioning & Strategic Planning courses.
DAVID K. BOYD has over 39 years of judicial administration experience and currently serves as the state court administrator for Iowa. As state court administrator, Mr. Boyd is the chief administrative officer for a state funded, unified court system comprised of approximately 1,900 judicial officers and support personnel with a $185 million operating budget. Under Mr. Boyd’s leadership, Iowa became the first state in the nation to create an electronic court system for all case types and all filers, including self-represented. Prior to his appointment as state court administrator, Mr. Boyd served nineteen (19) years as deputy state court administrator and seven (7) years as a trial court administrator. While serving as an officer of the Conference of State Court Administrators, Mr. Boyd served four years on the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts. Mr. Boyd graduated from the College of Idaho, received his master’s degree from the University of Arizona, and attended the Institute for Court Management.
MICHAEL L. BRIDENBACK, Bridenback Court Consultants, LLC.
EDUCATION: FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
M.S., Public Administration, 1984, Magna Cum Laude; B.S. Criminology, 1974.
Trial Court Administrator, 13th Judicial Circuit, Tampa, FL. January 1994 to June 2015; Chief of Court Services, Office of the State Court Administrator, Tallahassee, FL. January 1982 to December 1993; Senior Judicial Analyst, Office of the State Court Administrator, Tallahassee, FL. September 1976 to December 1981; Research Associate, Governor’s Council on Criminal Justice, Tallahassee, FL. June 1974 to August 1976.
AWARDS: Kenneth R. Palmer for Excellence in Judicial Administration, 2013; Liberty Bell Award of Excellence, 2012; Sharon Press Excellence in ADR Award, 2011 National Center for State Courts Distinguished Service Award, 2010.
RUSSELL R. BROWN III, Court Administrator with the Cleveland Municipal Court and recipient of the 2015 Warren Burger Award; former Magistrate and Mediation Coordinator; Assistant Director of Law, Assistant City Prosecutor, and Associate with a small private firm. Attorney Brown has a Business Degree from Kent State University and Law Degree from Case Western Reserve University; an ICM Fellow, past president of the Ohio Association for Court Administration and past member of the Executive Session for State Leaders Meeting at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Air Force Veteran with world travel and C-5A Galaxy 1000 Hour Club member.
HON. PATRICIA K. COSTELLO is a part-time consultant with the National Center for State Courts. She retired in February 2015, as the Assignment Judge at the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex Vicinage, home to the state’s largest general jurisdiction trial court. The Assignment Judge position is similar to a chief or presiding judge in other states. Judge Costello was responsible for all trial courts within the vicinage, including municipal courts which are funded separately by city governments. Newark is headquarters for the Essex Vicinage (a French term meaning district or vicinity used in New Jersey to designate single or multi-county districts administered by an Assignment Judge). There are 15 vicinages and 21 counties in New Jersey. Essex is a single county district. The Superior Court consists of 60 judges and 900 support staff handling more than 100,000 filings per year. The county’s 22 municipal courts conduct their work through 38 judges and have annual filings in excess of 900,000 cases. Following graduation from Rutgers University School of Law, she established the law firm of McAlevy & Costello PC in 1986, noted for its criminal trial work. Judge Costello was appointed to the bench in 1989. She served four years in the Civil Division and as the Supervising Judge of the Special Civil Part while in that Division, was responsible for the management of over 50,000 civil filings per year she handled matters ranging from simple civil disputes to complicated medical malpractice, class action and intellectual property matters. She served five years in the Family Division as the Presiding Judge, overseeing eight judges, and six years in the Criminal Division, and as Presiding Judge of that Division, overseeing eight other judges where she tried numerous jury trials of indictable offenses, including homicides, armed robberies and assaults. She has been active in judicial education for over 15 years, serving as vice chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Education, and has lectured many times to judges and staff on various topics, including case management, team building, leadership, and legal procedure. Judge Costello also is on the Special Advisory Committee for Trial Court Leadership and Governance at the National Center for State Courts and has served as a special consultant on strategic planning, civil and criminal case processing studies involving trial courts in Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and the judicial system in Nigeria as well as faculty for numerous judicial and court management seminars sponsored by the National Center and National Judicial College (Reno, NV) throughout the nation. Aside from her work with the National Center, Judge Costello serves Of Counsel part-time at the New Jersey law firm of Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, a 130-attorney practice specializing in business and public policy law. Her specialties at the firm focus on mediation and arbitration in civil, chancery, and matrimonial matters including probate, commercial litigation, and labor and employment disputes.
HON. MARIA ELENA CRUZ began her practice of law as a prosecutor in Arizona at the Yuma County Attorney’s Office. Later, she joined the criminal defense team at the Yuma County Legal Defender’s Office, eventually venturing into a solo practice. As a solo practitioner, Judge Cruz primarily undertook representation in criminal and family law matters. At the same time Judge Cruz served as judge pro-tem for the Cocopah Indian Tribe. In 2008 Judge Cruz was first elected to the Yuma County Superior Court bench. As a Superior Court Judge, Judge Cruz has been assigned to preside over juvenile, family, civil and criminal matters. She has also served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Arizona Court of Appeals. This year Judge Cruz was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to serve as Presiding Judge of the Yuma County Superior Court. Currently, Judge Cruz is assigned to preside over criminal cases. Judge Cruz also presides over the Yuma County Superior Court SAFE Program, Restitution Court, Drug Court and Regional Mental Health Court. Additionally, Judge Cruz serves on the Arizona Supreme Court’s Commission on Access to Justice, as well as the Arizona Supreme Court’s Task Force on Justice for All. Judge Cruz contributes to the development of the law internationally by serving as a professor of law teaching trial advocacy in various regions within the Republic of Mexico, including Mexico City, Tijuana, Mexicali, La Paz, and Guanajuato.
HON. ALAN G. DAVIS took the bench as the fourth Chief Magistrate of the Delaware Justice of the Peace Court in July 2005. In that capacity, he acts as the administrative and judicial head of a court composed of 60 judges, presiding at 14 locations throughout the state. The Court’s trial jurisdiction includes most traffic cases, many criminal misdemeanors, municipal and county code violations, specified civil jurisdiction up to $15,000 and exclusive jurisdiction over landlord/tenant possession actions. Because the judges of the Court review more than 98% of arrest warrants in the state and make nearly 99% of initial bail decisions, Chief Magistrate Davis has spent much of his tenure working to improve pre-trial processes. After four years of work, in 2010 the Court adopted sweeping changes to its nearly 30 year old bail guidelines and instituted use of a comprehensive bail bench book. Judge Davis oversaw the development and implementation of the State’s first pre-trial risk assessment instrument in 2013 and the subsequent validation study of the instrument. In 2014 he agreed to chair the policy committee associated with Delaware’s receipt of the federal SMART Pre-Trial grant. In that role, he has shepherded efforts to modify the entire pre-trial process, from expansion of use of summons, to tiered Pre-Trial Services supervision to infusing risk-based assessment into all decision points. Prior to becoming Chief Magistrate, he practiced law in the Georgetown, Delaware firm of Henry Clay Davis III, P.A. as a litigator. He also served as chief minority counsel for the state House of Representatives, where he advised the minority caucus on legal, ethical and political matters. He taught criminal law and procedure to paralegal students at Delaware Technical and Community College. Judge Davis clerked for the judges of the Superior Court of Delaware for Sussex County. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and received his J.D. from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware. Judge Davis lives in Milton, Delaware with his wife and two children.
KARL DEMARCE has served since 1999 as Associate Circuit Judge for the Circuit Court of Scotland County, First Judicial Circuit of Missouri. He hears criminal, probate, civil, domestic relations, municipal ordinance, and juvenile cases. He has also heard cases by special assignment in over twenty other counties and in the City of St. Louis, at the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals, and at the Supreme Court of Missouri. Judge DeMarce is a past president of the Missouri Association of Probate & Associate Circuit Judges, and also serves on the State Judicial Records Committee, the Executive Council of the Judicial Conference, the Legislative Committee of the Judicial Conference, and the Trial Judge Education Committee. He has previously chaired the Supreme Court’s Ad Hoc Committee to Study Garnishments and the State Court Administrator’s Ad Hoc Committee on Civil Infractions, and also previously served on Supreme Court of Missouri’s Municipal Division Work Group, the Committee on Civic Education, and the Missouri Court Automation Committee. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Missouri Bar and on the Missouri Bar Legislative Committee. Judge DeMarce earned bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from the University of Missouri at Columbia, where he was editor-in-chief of the Missouri Law Review. Prior to his judicial service, he served one term as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives and worked as a community development specialist for University of Missouri Extension. Judge DeMarce has been the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges President’s Award, 2016 and 2010; the Chief Justice of Missouri’s Judicial Excellence Award—Associate Circuit Judge, 2014; The Missouri Bar W. Oliver Rasch Award for Best Article Published in 2013 in the Journal of the Missouri Bar; 2014; and The Missouri Bar President’s Award, 2010. Judge DeMarce resides in Memphis, Missouri with his wife, the former Brenda Russell. They have five children, Catherine, Marie, Renée, William, and Susannah. He is a member at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and is active in community and civic organizations including the Scotland County Rotary Club, Scotland County Association of Music Parents, Scotland County Community Fitness Center Board, Scotland County Historical Society Board, and Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce.
JUDGE PAMELA PRYOR DEMBE has been a Common Pleas judge for over 25 years and is the immediate Past President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. She has extensive experience in Criminal Civil and Commerce Court matters. She is a graduate of Temple University School of Law. She is the Past President of the of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the Pennsylvania Judicial Auditing Agency, the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts, the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section, the Brehon Law Society, the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Temple American Inn of Court. Presently, she is President of the Board of Trustees of the Free Library of Philadelphia. She received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Drexel University Law School. Recently, she received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association. In 2010 she was named a ‘Woman of Distinction’ by the Legal Intelligencer. In 2013 she received the Brandeis Law Society’s Benjamin Levy Community Service Award.
BARRY DORNFELD, Principal, co-leads the Center for Applied Research’s (CFAR’s) Life Sciences and Higher Education Groups. He has been a strategic advisor to organizations in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, and is an expert on organizational change, governance, and collaboration. He draws on his many years of consulting, teaching, and industry experience to help guide clients through complex business issues, develop a strategy for change, and to learn from their experience. Barry also teaches extensively, leading workshops on negotiation, board governance, strategy, influence and persuasion, and organizational change, and leading action-learning programs. He speaks to a wide range of groups in many industries with a focus on healthcare, life sciences, not-for-profits, and higher education, and has taught and spoken in many settings in the US and internationally, including extensive experience with Wharton’s Executive Education division. In addition to his academic positions, Barry has presented to a range of client audiences including the Association for Women in Science, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, and the Temple University School of Law. Barry’s experience as an anthropologist and filmmaker trained him to listen and ask questions, so that he can work with executives in ways that are attuned to their needs, culture, and learning styles, and that help them reach their business goals. These skills help him connect to clients easily, work productively in a variety of settings, and effectively advise and teach executives. His recent work in the life sciences and higher education has focused on ways to help organizational leaders maximize value across strategic partnerships such as those with academic medical centers and medical professional societies. The objective of this work is to optimize the investments in these organizational relationships relative to basic research, clinical research and trials, scientific information exchange, marketing, and educational curricula and programming. Barry is co-author of The Moment You Can’t Ignore: When Big Trouble Leads to a Great Future, published by Public Affairs Books in October 2014.
CYNTHIA GRAY has since October 1990 been director of the Center for Judicial Ethics, a national clearinghouse for information about judicial ethics and discipline that is part of the National Center for State Courts. She summarizes recent cases and advisory opinions, answers requests for information about judicial conduct, writes a weekly blog (at www.ncscjudicialethicsblog.org), writes and edits the Judicial Conduct Reporter, and organizes the biennial National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics. She has made numerous presentations at judicial education programs on judicial ethics topics. Most recently, she is author of “When Roles Collide: Judicial Ethics and Problem-Solving Judges,” Experience (ABA 2014); “Judicial Disqualification and Friendships with Attorneys,” Judges’ Journal (ABA summer 2013); “How Judicial Conduct Commissions Work,” Justice System Journal (2007); Reaching Out or Overreaching: Judicial Ethics and Self-Represented Litigants; “The Line Between Legal Error and Judicial Misconduct: Balancing Judicial Independence and Accountability,” Hofstra Law Review (summer 2004); and “Avoiding the Appearance of Impropriety: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility,” University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review (Fall 2005). Gray has also written Ethical Standards for Judges; An Ethics Guide for Judges and Their Families and the related discussion guide; When Judges Speak Up: Ethics, the Public, and the Media; An Ethics Guide for Part-Time Lawyer Judges; Communicating with Voters: Ethics and Judicial Campaign Speech; Ethics Training for Non-Lawyer Judges; the Handbook for Members of Judicial Conduct Commissions; and 10 background papers on key issues in judicial ethics. A 1980 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, Gray clerked for Judge Hubert L. Will of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois for two years and was a litigation attorney in two private law firms for eight years.
SCOTT GRIFFITH is the President of the National Association of Court Management and the Director of Research and Court Services at the Texas Office of Court Administration. Prior to coming to Texas in 2014, Mr. Griffith was Deputy Judicial Administrator for Research and Development at the Louisiana Supreme Court. In that role he provided lead staff support to the Supreme Court and other courts in connection with Louisiana’s Judicial Budget and Performance Accountability Act. Prior to that, he served as the Director of the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Drug Court Program Office, where he oversaw disbursement of state and federal funds to 48 programs. Before that, he served as Judicial Administrator of the Jefferson Parish (LA) Juvenile Court. Previously, he developed and managed justice related research projects at the Metropolitan Crime Commission of New Orleans and the New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research. Mr. Griffith has a law degree from Loyola University in New Orleans and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of New Orleans. He is a member of the Texas Association for Court Administration and is past president of the Louisiana Court Administrators Association.
GORDON M. GRILLER is the Executive Director, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer for the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers. He also serves as the Director of Trial Court Leadership Programs and a Principal Court Consultant for the National Center for State Courts, the secretariat for the National Conference. Prior to his current positions, Mr. Griller held numerous private and public positions dedicated to trial court improvement and reform, including Vice President of Justice Practices (2003-2006), State and Local Solutions Group, Affiliated Computer Systems (ACS), a division of the Xerox Company providing global business processing and information technology services. He served as the first Administrator of Trial Courts (2001-2003) in Maricopa County Arizona (Phoenix); Court Administrator (1987-2001) for the Superior Court in Maricopa County; Judicial District Administrator (1978-1987) for the Second Judicial District of Minnesota in Ramsey County (St. Paul); and Court Administrator (1976-1978) for the Municipal Court of Hennepin County, Minnesota (Minneapolis). Additionally, Mr. Griller served as the President of the National Association of Trial Court Administrators (1983-84), and co-chaired the Special Commission that created the National Association for Court Management (NACM), the largest professional association in the world dedicated to trial court administration. He has consulted, taught and written on caseflow management (trial court delay), leadership, self-represented litigants, jury reform, visioning, strategic planning, budgeting, and systems and procedures to numerous audiences. He is a recipient of the Warren E. Burger Award for outstanding contributions to court administration (1988), the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts’ Tom C. Clark Award (1999), NACM’s Award of Merit (2000), and the Institute for Court Management’s Star Award (2004). Griller has a BA in Political Science and MA in Public Administration from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. He is a Graduate Fellow of the Institute for Court Management, a founding member of the Urban Court Managers’ Network, former Chair of the Scottsdale AZ Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, former Vice Chair of the Bloomington MN Public School Board, and has served on the governing Boards of the National Center for State Courts and the American Judicature Society.
MARGARET STEWART HARRIS, Current position: Judge, Harris County Criminal Court at Law #5 since January 1, 2003. Judge Harris is a native Houstonian. She graduated from Newcomb College of Tulane University with a B.S. in Psychology, in May 1982. Judge Harris then earned her JD degree from the University of Houston Law Center in May of 1986 and was licensed by the State Bar of Texas in November of 1986. Hired as a prosecutor in 1986, she worked for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office until December 31, 2002, having been promoted to Felony Chief Prosecutor in December of 1991. Judge Harris has served as the Presiding Judge for the County Criminal Courts-at-Law since January 1, 2015. As Presiding Judge, she is the County Criminal Courts’ representative on the Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Judge Harris has presided over a Mental Health Pilot Court docket, is a member of the County Court’s Docket Management Committee, and the Harris County Facilities Access Committee. In earlier terms on the bench, the Judge participated extensively in a committee which created the mental health courts and another committee which addressed domestic violence issues from a community-based and educational perspective. Judge Harris has also presided over a DWI court caseload and focused upon cases involving youthful offenders with great efforts to rehabilitate and divert these offenders from the criminal justice system. Judge Harris has been married since 1991 to husband Alan, a retired police lieutenant, and they have two adult sons.
VICTORIA HENLEY has been the Director and Chief Counsel of the California Commission on Judicial Performance since 1991. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with honors in 1975 and graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law with honors in 1978. She was engaged in the private practice of law with Long & Levit in San Francisco from 1980 to 1990. She has lectured and served as a panelist for numerous judicial and legal education programs since 1985 in the United States and has made presentations on judicial discipline to visitors from more than fifty countries. She has also served as a consultant and participated in programs in other countries since 1998. She is a member of the Association of Judicial Disciplinary Counsel, an emeritus member of its board and served as its president from 2003 to 2007. She also serves on the National Center for State Courts Center for Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.
STEPHANIE ELLIOTT HESS is the Director of the Court Services Division with the Supreme Court of Ohio. In that capacity, Stephanie oversees consulting services provided to the judges and court staff of the state. Areas addressed include caseflow and court performance management, domestic violence, language services, specialized dockets (problem solving courts), dispute resolution, and the improvement of court services for children and families. Stephanie is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio as well as the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio. She is currently a member of the National Association for Court Management (NACM), the International Association for Court Administration, the Ohio Association for Court Administration, the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Columbus Bar Association. Stephanie also serves as a faculty member for the National Center for State Courts, Institute for Court Management, is the Immediate Past President of the National Association for Court Management and serves as a National Center for State Courts’ board member. Prior to joining the Supreme Court of Ohio, Stephanie worked for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas – General Trial Division for eleven years as a bailiff and then as the Director of Human Resources for the court. She received her Bachelor’s Degree and Juris Doctorate, both from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
HON. FREDERICK P. HORN is the Chair of NAPCO. He also sits on the NAPCO Board of Directors. Judge Horn is the former Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California in Orange County (2002-2005). Currently, he is a Civil Division Trial Judge and Chairperson of the California Judicial Branch Ethics and Fairness Curriculum Committee. Prior to his current duties, he was Supervising Judge of the Court’s Civil Division and Complex Civil Panel (2006-2010), Assistant Presiding Judge (2000-2001), and a Trial Judge on numerous assignments (1993-2000). Early in his career, before the trial courts in the state were unified, Judge Horn served as a Judge of the Orange County Municipal Court, Harbor Judicial District (1991-1993) and worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County for seventeen years (1974-1991). In over 20 years on the Superior Court bench, Judge Horn has actively participated on numerous councils, committees and task forces focused on trial court reform and improvement in the state, including the chief policymaking body for the Judicial Branch, the Judicial Council of California (2002-2005). Here, he served on the Executive and Planning Committee (2003-2006), Trial Court Budget Working Group (2004-2006), Litigation Management Committee (2002; 2005) and the Rules and Projects Committee (2002). Currently, he is a member of the Judicial Council’s Security Advisory Committee (2014-present) and a member of the California Commission on Judicial Performance (2003 – present) where he has been the Commission’s Chair (2007-2009) and Vice Chair (2005-2006; 2010). The Judicial Council operates through a number of special committees and study groups. Judge Horn has both chaired and participated as an active member on these various bodies, including Chair of the Judicial Council’s Emergency Response and Security Task Force (2007-2013), Chair of the Judicial Council’s Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee (2002-2006), Chair of the Judicial Council’s Trial Court Presiding Judges Executive Committee (2003-2006), and a member of the Probate Conservatorship Task Force (2006-2008), Judicial Council’s Task Force on Judicial Ethics Issues (2002-2004), California Continuing Judicial Studies Program Planning Committee (2000-2008), Advisory Committee on Judicial Education Programming (2003-2006), Courthouse Access Advisory Committee (U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board) (2004-2007), Temporary Judges Working Group (2004-2007), Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness (1994-2001) Chair for three years (1998-2001), and Chair of the New Judge Orientation Planning Committee (1997-2000). On the national scene, Judge Horn became a member of the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (then called the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts) in 2003 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2004. He follows Judge Rufus King III, Senior Judge, Superior Court of Washington D.C., who was Chair of the Board since 2006. Presently, Judge Horn is also on the Board of Directors of the National Consortium of Race and Ethnic Fairness in Courts. For his effective work on numerous boards and commissions, Judge Horn has received a variety of awards and accolades, including the Annual Access Award for Dedicated Service to the Disability Community by the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities (1998), President’s Award for Eradicating Gender Bias and Promoting Gender Fairness by the National Association of Women Judges (2001; 2002), Judge of the Year Award by the Orange County Women Lawyers Association (2003), Judge Appreciation Award by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (2004), Judge Bob Jones Memorial Award for significant contributions to judicial education by the American Judges Association (2004), Special Award for Bench/Bar Relations and Presiding Judge Contributions by the American Board of Trial Advocates (2004), National Service Award by the National Consortium of Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (2005). He was also named Jurist of the Year Award for extraordinary dedication to the highest principles of the administration of justice by the Judicial Council of California (2004-2005). He has taught and lectured in many seminars and courses, including at the B.E. Witkin Judicial College of California (1997-2010), California Continuing Judicial Studies Program (1995-2015), New Judges Education Program (1998-present), and for the Operation of High Qualifications Commission of Judges of the Ukraine in a New Environment held in Yaremche, Ukraine (2011). Judge Horn obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of West Los Angeles in 1974. As a student, he was on the Law Review staff as well as being a contributing author to the publication.
HON RICHARD D. FYBEL is an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal. Since 2004, he has been the Chair of the California Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics. He is an author of the Fourth Edition of the California Judicial Ethics Handbook, to be published in 2017. Justice Fybel is also an Advisor to the Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California. Justice Fybel is Adjunct Professor at the Fowler School of Law at Chapman University, co-teaching a seminar on The Holocaust, Genocide and the Law.
GREG HURLEY graduated from Widener School of Law in 1996. Following that, he practiced law for 10 years, 6 years with a public defender office and 4 years in private practice. In that time, he tried approximately 60 felony cases before a jury and represented thousands of other people charged with crimes. He joined the National Center for State Courts in September 2007. In that capacity he manages grants, has been published a number of times, regularly is quoted by national and regional media outlets and provides technical assistance to members of the judiciary. He is also a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management. His most recent work was authoring the booklet, Body-Worn Cameras and the Courts and co-authoring an article titled The Modern Grand Jury which was published in the 2015 edition of The Book of the States. He is also a U.S. Army veteran.
THE HON. CHARLES C. LAVERDIERE earned a BA from the University of Maine in 1974, an MPA from the University of Maine in 1976, and a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law in 1983. Judge LaVerdiere practiced law in Maine for 20 years, and served on the Board of Directors of many local and State civic and charitable organizations. He served 3 terms in the Maine House of Representatives and was House Chair of the Judiciary Committee. In 2003, he was appointed as a Maine District Court Judge. In 2007, he was appointed as Deputy Chief Judge of the Maine District Court, and in 2010 was appointed as Chief Judge of the Maine District Court. He is an avid pilot, and a former Registered Maine Guide.
SUSAN M. LISS joined Justice at Stake as Executive Director in 2016, following her tenure as Executive Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Liss’s career as a public interest attorney in Washington, D.C., spans more than thirty years, during which she has been a champion for civil rights, women’s rights, public health and constitutional issues. Before assuming her leadership position at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, she led the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a longtime JAS partner organization. She has also been Director of Federal/State Relations for Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, and earlier in her career she served in the White House, as Chief of Staff to Mrs. Tipper Gore and Special Counsel to Vice President Al Gore. Her government service includes positions at the U.S. Department of Justice, and her earlier nonprofit work includes leadership roles at People for the American Way and the Alliance for Justice.
JAMES E. MCMILLAN joined the National Center for State Courts in October, 1990 and currently serves as a Senior Court Management Consultant. He directed the Court Technology Laboratory and was co-founder of the Courtroom 21 project in conjunction with the William and Mary School of Law. In November 2000, the TIES-CTL project received the State Justice Institute’s (www.sji.gov ) Howell Heflin outstanding project award. McMillan is currently editor of the Court Technology Bulletin blog for the NCSC (http://courttechbulletin.blogspot.com/ ) and serves as senior faculty for the Institute for Court Management. Internationally, McMillan has provided consulting expertise in all 50 states in the USA and internationally to courts in Abu Dhabi, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kosovo, Mongolia, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Serbia, South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. McMillan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in government from New Mexico State University and a Masters in Public Administration degree with a specialization in judicial administration from the University of Southern California. Jim can be contacted at: or via telephone at 757-259-1839.
MARY C. MCQUEEN has served as president of the National Center for State Courts since August 2004. Previously McQueen served as Washington State court administrator from 1987-2004 and director of Judicial Services for the Washington State Office of the Administrator for the Courts, 1979-1987, president of the Conference of State Court Administrators in 1995-96, and chair of the Lawyer’s Committee of the American Bar Association/Judicial Administration Division. She is a member of the Washington and U.S. Supreme Court Bars. She has received the American Judicature Society’s Herbert Harley Award and the NCSC Innovation in Jury Management Award. Recently, McQueen received the John Marshall Award, presented by the American Bar Association Judicial Division in recognition of her lifetime contributions to the improvement of the administration of justice, judicial independence, justice reform and public awareness. President McQueen serves as Secretary General of the International Organization on Judicial Training (IOJT) consisting of 80 country members. She holds a bachelors of arts degree from the University of Georgia and a juris doctorate from Seattle University Law School.
LORRI MONTGOMERY is director of communications and marketing for the National Center for State Courts. In this position, she manages the NCSC’s internal and external communications, which includes a number of e-newsletters, the Annual Report, NCSC’s social media sites, and media relations. She also coordinates NCSC’s civics education efforts. Prior to joining NCSC in 2000, she was a journalist, reporting on legal and business issues for Inside Business, a publication of the Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, VA. Prior to moving to Virginia, Ms. Montgomery covered the courts as a journalist for the Sacramento Union and for Gannett. Ms. Montgomery received a degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno
PATRICK MUSCAT, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Deputy Chief‐Special Prosecutions Division, Wayne County Prosecutors Office. University of Michigan, B.A. English and Communications, 1991; Michigan State College of Law, J.D. (Cum Laude), 1994; Admitted to Michigan State Bar, 1994. Patrick Muscat has worked in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office (WCPO) for twenty‐four years. He began working full time at the Wayne County Prosecutors Office in 1993 during his second year of law school (while attending night school). Pat’s father, Inspector (Retired) Patrick H. Muscat, was a Detroit police officer for 36 years and ran the Detroit Police Department’s Mounted Police section for most of his career. Pat currently supervises the Prosecutor’s the Violent Crime Unit (VCU) within the Special Prosecutions Division of the WCPO. The VCU vertically prosecutes non‐fatal shooting crimes in certain “hot spot” areas of the City of Detroit. He is also his office’s liaison for the Department of Justice with the Violent Crime Network. Pat also manages special projects for his office. He is currently working on the implementation of Body Worn Cameras in Detroit. Prior to that Pat managed the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU). The CIU dealt with unique forensic science issues, the Innocence Project and Post‐Conviction evidence based case review. Pat also supervised a team of seven attorneys and five felony trial courtrooms in the Felony Trial Division. Pat spent over eight years as a special prosecutor in Homicide Unit where he prosecuted complex and high profile homicide cases. Pat is often brought into his office’s most complicated cases given his courtroom technology skills and trial experience. Pat has served as a subject matter expert for the Department of Justice, the Rand Corporation, the National District Attorneys Association, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Pat has been teaching Courtroom Technology and other advocacy‐related courses for the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and the National Advocacy Center (NAC) since 2003. Pat was an original faculty member for the Courtroom Technology course taught at the NAC and continued to teach the course for many years. Pat is the course director for Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan’s Visual Trial School.
SNORRI OGATA is the chief information officer (CIO) for the Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he is responsible for overall information technology efforts in support of 530 judicial officers, 4,300 employees, and 38 courthouse locations. He joined the court as CIO in January 2014. Most recently, Mr. Ogata was the CIO for the Orange County (California) Superior Court and has over 30 years of IT experience in a variety of industries. He is an active member of the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) for the Judicial Council of California and the national Court Information Technology Officer Consortium (CITOC). Currently Los Angeles is replacing all Case Management Systems, implementing electronic filing and moving the Court to a digital record.
MAL O’CONNOR, Vice President and Principal, Center for Applied Research (CFAR) has worked for more than 20 years with senior executives in a broad range of for-profit and non-profit organizations. He works with leaders to implement systemic changes that strengthen cultural values while measurably improving performance and productivity. He has worked in many industries, including health care and life sciences, insurance and financial services, foundations, and higher education. He is co-leader of the firm’s Life Sciences practice area, and has contributed significantly to the development of CFAR’s change methodology. Trained as an ethnographer, Mal helps organizations meet the challenges of changing behavior in the service of new strategic imperatives. This makes him particularly attuned to how people think—to why and how differences matter, and to the impact those differences have on achieving desired results. He works with clients to harness the often-tacit beliefs and assumptions of employees, managers and leaders, working with—rather than against resistance—to generate improved performance. His work has included strategy and system-wide strategic change, board and executive development, team building, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, performance management and the business case for cultural diversity. Mal is an experienced speaker and meeting facilitator. He has spoken to both large and small executive audiences in corporations, trade associations, executive education programs, and industry and other business groups. Some of these include The Conference Board, the American College of Healthcare Executives, ELAM, The Healthcare Business Women’s Association, The National Center for State Courts, Yankee Alliance, the American Pediatrics Association, as well as the leadership teams of numerous CFAR clients. Mal holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Fairfield University, and a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, ACHE Massachusetts, the American Folklore Society, and NEHI, and is a faculty member in the Program in Organizational Consultation at the William Alanson White Institute.
CHIEF JUSTICE MAUREEN O’CONNOR is the 10th Chief Justice in Ohio history and is the first woman to lead the Ohio judicial branch. She was first elected to the Supreme Court in 2002. Ohio’s voters reelected her in 2008 in a landslide victory in which she carried every one of Ohio’s 88 counties and took approximately 68% of the vote. In 2010, her election to the Chief Justice’s office, again garnering approximately 68% of the vote and all counties, marked the latest achievement in a long and distinguished career of public service. She has served as an attorney, magistrate, and common pleas court judge. She was the Summit County Prosecuting Attorney before being elected lieutenant governor. As Lt. Governor she simultaneously served as Director of the Department of Public Safety and chaired various security task forces. Since she took office in 2011, Chief Justice O’Connor has led significant reforms and improvements in the Ohio judicial system, including establishing a task force to examine court funding statewide, creating a task force to examine the administration of the death penalty, and proposing improvements to strengthen judicial elections in Ohio to name just a few.
GREG POPOVICH was appointed the Court Administrator for the General Division of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in September of 2008. The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court is the largest General Division Court in Ohio with thirty-four elected Judges. Greg is responsible for all of the day-to-day non-judicial affairs for the Court and has a staff of almost 500 people and a budget of about $68 million. Greg started with the Court almost 27 years ago. He began his career with the Court as a Judicial Law Clerk serving two Judges. He later served as the Administrative Law Clerk to three Administrative and Presiding Judges of the Common Pleas Court: Judge Frank J. Gorman, Judge James J. Sweeney and Judge Richard J. McMonagle. Greg also concurrently served as the Court’s Director of Training & Development for a number of years. Greg received his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University with majors in Economics and Political Science. He received his law degree from the University of Toledo and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1989. In 1998, Greg became a Fellow of the National Center for State Courts upon graduating from the Center’s Court Executive Program, where he received the equivalent of a Master’s Degree in Court Administration. Greg has trained and spoken on a number of topics throughout Ohio for the Ohio Supreme Court and other community organizations. He has been appointed to and served on a number of local and Supreme Court committees. Greg is a former President for the Ohio Association for Court Administration and remains a contributing member of the Association.
BETH S. RIGGERT has served as communications counsel for the Supreme Court of Missouri since 2001. An attorney with more than 20 years of experience in communications, Beth has directed the Missouri judiciary’s strategic communications – including media relations and website management – since 2001 and has been heavily involved in the courts’ civic education efforts since 2011. For more than five years, Beth served on the adjunct faculty of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she taught journalism, law and public relations. She now teaches media relations, social media and crisis communications for judges, clerks and other court personnel and has spoken to state and national audiences about media relations, strategic communications and court-community collaboration. She also is a trustee of the Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society. Beth earned her law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her bachelor’s degree in mass communications-public relations, with honors, from Stephens College. Before joining the Court, she worked eight years for the Missouri attorney general. Beth is serving a two-year term as president of the international Conference of Court Public Information Officers and is helping to staff a national grant-funded project to update “Managing Notorious Trials” for the 21st century.
HON. JOHN J. RUSSO, President, NAPCO, is the Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Ohio in Cuyahoga County serving the Greater Cleveland metropolitan region. He was elected by the NAPCO Board of Directors as President of the Association in July 2015 at the Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. He will be serving a two-year term as the first NAPCO President until the Annual Meeting in 2017. Cuyahoga County is the most populous of Ohio’s eighty-eight counties. It is home to 1.2 million people (2010 census). Judge Russo was elected unanimously by his colleagues in November 2013 to lead the Court. He is responsible for appointing committees, coordinating the development of Court policies, and overseeing the administration and dockets of the General Division, the highest trial court in the state. He has chaired or participated in numerous justice system boards and committees since beginning his judicial career on the Common Pleas Court, including Chair, Lawyers Fund for Client Protection (appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court); Co-Chairman, Ohio Judicial Conference Court Administration Committee; Trustee, Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association; Chairperson, Cuyahoga County Security Committee; Trustee, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Trustee, Westshore Bar Association; and Past President, Legal Eagles St. Edward High School Community. Judge Russo has taught at numerous court conclaves, judges’ conferences, community programs and bar association meetings, including the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College; the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association; the Ohio Association for Justice; the National Business Institute; Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorney; the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, the National Center for State Courts workshop on trial court governance and leadership, and the Cleveland Marshall Alumni Association. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Bar Association, Westshore Bar Association and Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association. Judge Russo has been active with the Judicial Legislative Exchange Program, Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program and the 3R’s Program with the Cleveland Municipal School District. He also volunteers as a judge in the Ohio Mock Trial State & Local Competitions. Judge Russo is a member of the American Inns of Court, Trustee of the Justinian Forum and the Italians Sons and Daughters of America (I.S.D.A.). He is active in the Mock Trial Program at St. Edward High School, teaching Street Law class at that high school and active with Senior Career Day. Judge Russo has also received the honor of being named “The Legal Eagle Man of The Year.” He has participated as a volunteer Coach at St. Bernadette School and is also active in the St. Bernadette Parish. As a member of the bench, Judge Russo has been a guest speaker and host for various students of all grades when they come to Court and experience “a day in the life of a Judge.” Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Russo practiced as a civil and criminal litigator for 12 years in his own law firm. He earned a B.S.B.A. degree at John Carroll University and his J.D. degree at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
HON. MICHAEL J. RUSSO, Judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, has been an attorney since 1985. He worked as an Assistant County Prosecutor from 1986-1990 prosecuting adult felons. In 1990 he became associated with Ulmer & Berne, where he was a civil trial attorney until his election in 2002. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from the University of Dallas – magna cum laude – in 1978. He received a Master of Arts degree in English from Old Dominion University in 1980 and a Juris Doctor degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1985. Judge Russo resides in Middleburgh Heights with his wife and children.
HON. DENNIS J. SMITH, Immediate Past President, NAPCO, is the former Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Virginia in Fairfax County. Located in the Washington D.C. metro area, it is the most populous jurisdiction in Virginia at one million people. Judge Smith retired from the court in 2015 after 20 years on the bench and while he was concluding his fourth consecutive term as the Circuit’s Chief Judge. He currently is engaged in a private mediation practice in Virginia. Prior to his judicial career, Judge Smith was in private practice as a principal in the firm Shoun, Smith & Bach, P.C., concentrating in family law matters. The firm, renamed ShounBach P.C. after Judge Smith left, has continued to serve family law clients in Northern Virginia. He served as a Commissioner in Chancery for the 19th Circuit from 1987-1995, and as a Substitute Judge for the General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts from 1990 until his appointment as a Circuit Judge in 1995. During his judicial career, Judge Smith served as President of the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts (NCMC) in 2014-2015, and was an active member of the NCMC’s Strategic Planning Committee that proposed the re-purposing of the Conference and creation of the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO). He has also served as a member and Chairperson of the Judicial Education Committee of the Judicial Conference of Virginia, which is comprised of all Courts of Record. He was a Virginia representative to the 1999 National Symposium on the Future of Judicial Branch Education and the 2012 National Summit on Language Access in the Courts. He has been a member of the Pro Se Litigation Planning Committee of the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Governor’s Task Force on Alternatives for Non-Violent Offenders. He chaired the Virginia Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Establishment of a Family Court in Virginia. He was Co-Chairperson of the planning Committee for the Workshop on Handling Capital Cases offered by the Judicial Conference of Virginia and is on the faculty for this annual course. He also serves on the committee that edits the Virginia Civil and Criminal Bench Books. Judge Smith was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and received a B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1975. He received his law degree from Washington College of Law of the American University in 1978. He was admitted to the D.C. bar in 1978, and to the Virginia bar in 1979. He has served as a member and chairperson of various committees of the Fairfax Bar Association. He also was on the Board of Governors of the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar as an attorney, and he then served as the Circuit Court representative on the Board. He has lectured for many organizations including the Virginia State Bar, Virginia CLE, local Bar Associations, the National Business Institute, the National Judicial College, the Judicial Conference of Virginia, the National Association for Court Management, and since 2000 he has been Adjunct Faculty for George Mason University School of Law teaching Virginia Family Law. Judge Smith has been married for 40+ years and has a daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren.
ROXANNE SONG ONG was appointed the Chief Presiding Judge of the Phoenix Municipal Court in 2005 and served in that position until her retirement in 2014. She is recognized as the first Asian woman lawyer and judge in the State of Arizona and is the first woman and minority to be named as the City’s Chief Judge. She has served as a judge for Phoenix since 1991 and was appointed the Assistant Presiding Judge in 2000. Prior to that, she served as a judge for the Scottsdale City Court from 1986-1991. Prior to judging, Judge Song Ong practiced in the areas of criminal prosecution, defense, and immigration law. Offices Held: 2014 President of the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts (NCMC); Chair of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Commission on Minorities (COM); Chair of the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education and Training (COJET); Member Arizona Judicial Council (AJC); Member Supreme Court Commission on Technology (COT); 2012 President of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education; Board Member and faculty for the State Bar of Arizona’s Leadership Institute; Faculty for the Arizona Supreme Court’s New Judge Orientation Program and the Arizona Judicial College. Honors and Awards: 2016 UA Law College Public Service Award; 2014 YWCA Tribute to Leadership Award for Public Service; 2013 Maricopa County Bar Association’s Hall of Fame Inductee; 2013 Arizona Supreme Court Judge of the Year; 2013 Asian Pacific Community in Action Award; One of “48 Most Intriguing Women in Arizona 2012” by the Arizona Historical Society; 2010 recipient of the Arizona State Bar’s Judicial Award of Excellence; 2009 National Asian American Bar Association’s Trailblazer Award; One of “100 Outstanding Women and Minorities for the State of Arizona 2000” by the State and County Bar Associations; and, the 1999 Arizona Bar Foundation’s Attorney Law-Related Education Award.
CHRISTOPHER C. STARCK: After nearly 30 years on the bench, he retired from the bench and began his second career where he leads the new Supreme Court Mandatory e-filing initiative in Illinois. As a second post retirement career, he also acts as a mediator in civil cases. He was first appointed to the bench in 1989 as an associate Judge and he was appointed as a full Circuit Judge by the Illinois Supreme Court in March, 2000. He was elected to that position in 2002 for a 6 year term and was retained as Circuit Judge for several additional 6 year terms. He was the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Felony and acted in that capacity from 2000 until he was elected to be Chief Judge serving from 2003-2007. His courtroom was in Waukegan, Illinois and his last assignment was in the Law Division where presiding over major civil litigation matters from the time the case is filed until disposition, including jury trials. He has also been appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on the Executive Board of the Illinois Judicial Conference, the Education Conference and the Committee on Complex Litigation, He served as Chair of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Capital cases. He also serves on the Supreme Court’s Long Range Planning Committee, the E-Business Policy Board and the e-Business Technical committee. He has lectured at numerous judicial education conferences on the topics of: Felony Trial, Evidence Base Practices and Civil Litigation, Handling Difficult Litigants, Civil Evidence, Jury Issues, Case Management at many New Judge seminars. He was invited to be a panelist at the recent National Center for State Courts 4th Symposium on Court Management. In addition, he has also lectured to the Supreme Court and Chief Judges of Arkansas on behalf of the National Center for State Courts about Presiding Judge issues. He has presented to the Presiding Judges of Pennsylvania on jury issues. I have also lectured at Presiding Judge/ Trial Court Administrator seminars for National Center for State Courts in Las Vegas, in Arkansas and in Pennsylvania. He has been certified as an instructor for Case Management courses and Purposes of the Courts courses offered by NCSC for their Trial Court Administration certification programs. He is a member of the National Center for State Courts Presiding Judge Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Executive Board of The National Association of Presiding Judges and Executive Officers. He currently serves on The Chicago Center for Neurologic Care and Research Board of Directors and the College of Lake County Criminal Justice Advisory Board. He has been a frequent guest on Chicago area TV and radio shows.
NORA SYDOW is a Senior Court Management Consultant at the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). In that role she has led and participated in a variety of court system reform projects in over 15 states to improve court organization, policy, and operations, with a particular emphasis on juvenile and family courts. She has presented to state and national audiences, authored several peer-reviewed articles, and designed curriculum on those topics as well. Prior to joining NCSC, Ms. Sydow worked as a college instructor in a criminal justice program and has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Ms. Sydow received her J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law and dual B.S. degrees from Old Dominion University in political science and criminal justice. She is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management.
JUDGE KIRK TABBEY currently presides over the 14A2 District Court handling all criminal misdemeanor dockets, including a Specialty Domestic Violence Docket, civil infraction hearings, and all general civil cases (non-landlord/tenant), along with his Felony dockets which cover Preliminary Examination Conferences and Preliminary Examinations in a Unified Felony Docket with the other District Judges, covering the entire County of Washtenaw. Judge Tabbey was originally appointed to the bench in 1997, elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2004 and 2010. After starting in a general civil and criminal defense practice, he served Washtenaw County as an Assistant Prosecutor from 1983 through 1992 and as a Special Assistant Public Defender in 1993. He then served Jackson County as Senior Assistant Prosecutor, Chief Trial Attorney, and Chief Assistant Prosecutor. In his 14 years of public service as a prosecutor, Judge Tabbey tried a few thousand cases in bench trials and hundreds more in jury trials with the criminal offenses ranging from Trespass to First Degree Murder. He developed a specialty in prosecuting high tech economic frauds and was declared a Computer Crime Expert in 1990 by the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. In 1990 he became the legal consultant to the Michigan Computer Crime Task Force, and continues as liaison to the FBI National Law Institute at Quantico, Virginia. Judge Tabbey received his B.A. with Honor in Criminal Justice in 1978 at Michigan State University, Honors College, and his Juris Doctor in 1981 at Wayne State University. In 1990, he graduated from the FBI National Law Institute at the FBI National Academy. He has received Certificates of Appreciation, Crime Prevention Citations, and a Community Service award for his efforts in providing training and information resources to the local state, national, and international law enforcement community. Judge Tabbey lectures for many law enforcement, bar and judicial associations, the Michigan Judicial Institute, universities, and corporations concerning information piracy, privacy and the use of technology in modern law enforcement and the judicial process. He continues to consult on technology/legal issues with the Michigan State Police; FBI; U.S. Secret Service; numerous other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies; the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Defense. In May 2015, he served on an Expert Advisory Panel for the Department of Justice/National Institute of Justice, and the RAND Corp, to assess and prioritize judicial technology needs across the United States. The RAND Justice Policy Report from this Research Panel was released just a few months ago as “Fostering Innovation in the U.S. Court System, Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for Improving Court Operations and Outcomes”. Judge Tabbey began developing his expertise when he created a computer/telecommunications crime investigation and prosecution course and has provided instruction for the Financial Fraud Institute at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Communications Fraud Control Association, and numerous colleges and universities. Judge Tabbey’s writings have been published in “Computers & Security”, the “Computer Law and Security Report” (Oxford, England) and the “Communicator” (Washington, D.C.). In 1996 he authored Michigan’s new computer/ telecommunications crime laws, which became national model acts through ALEC in 1997, and updated them again in 2006. Judge Tabbey was a founding member of the International Working Group on Computer Evidence and member of the Security Institute Special Interest Group, the Communications Fraud Control Association, the High Tech Crime Investigation Association, the Dearborn Security Network, and the Information Systems Security Association. He has been appointed by the MDJA continuously since 1998, to represent that Association on behalf of all Michigan District Judges on the Criminal Justice Information Systems Policy Board. He was appointed Chief Judge of the 14A District Court from 2008 through 2013 and 2 years as Chief Pro-Tem. A former Eagle Scout, Judge Tabbey is a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He is also a Past President of the Wayne State University National Alumni Association and Past President of the Michigan District Judges Association. Judge Tabbey installed state of the art video conference technology and courtroom evidence presentation equipment, allowing for hi-tech evidence presentation, internet mapping and video recordings now expected by jurors and lawyers for trials. The video conferencing provides Lab Specialists and other experts the opportunity to testify remotely never leaving their lab or office saving litigation costs, cutting travel time and ceasing the burden on state expert witnesses, reducing taxpayer expense. This system is used most often by the Michigan Department of Corrections which allows prisoners to testify or attend a hearing remotely from a room in the prison wherever that may be in Michigan. This has significantly reduced security risks and transportation costs in the state’s budget, saving millions of taxpayer dollars overall since being implemented in the court system a few years ago. Judge Tabbey also uses this system to give prisoners an opportunity to attend a hearing that they might not otherwise be able to attend, thus increasing the quality of justice delivered without increasing costs.
ED WELLS, Court Manager | Harris County Courts at Law | Houston, Texas. Ed Wells began serving as Court Manager for the County Courts at Law of Harris County in 2011, having served as Assistant Court Manager for the three previous years. Prior to this position, Mr. Wells was Clerk of the Court at the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals from 2000-2008. Ed began his career in the courts employed by Galveston County as Court MIS Director and then as Director of the Office of Justice Administration. He has a BBA from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. In May 2006, Ed completed the National Center for State Courts’ Court Executive Development Program and is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management. Mr. Wells serves as faculty on the Texas Center for the Judiciary’s Professional Development Program, Texas Court Management Program, and College for New Judges. Ed is a member of the Texas Supreme Court’s Judicial Committee on Information Technology, the Texas Center for the Judiciary’s curriculum committee, and currently serves ex-officio on the Texas Association for Court Administration Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Wells is a member of the National Association for Court Management, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers, and the Urban Court Managers Network.
BOB WESSELS served the Harris County Courts system for 37 years, 35 as Court Manager (1974 – 2011). During his career at Harris County he implemented performance based case management systems, introduced measures to identify and prioritize the disposition of cases in which the defendant was incarcerated and/or had mental health issues. He was part of a team responsible for implementation of orders in Alberti vs the Sheriff and the development and implementation of one of the early “integrated justice systems” in the country. Currently Mr. Wessels serves as Vice Chair – Judicial Committee on Information Technology, on the Boards of SEARCH – The National Consortium for Criminal Justice Information and Statistic, the Justice Management Institute and the National Association of Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers. He is the Program Coordinator for “The Executive Forum for Criminal Justice Planners”, Corrections Management Institute, Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston State University. He has taught court management, judicial administration, and management information systems as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, Sam Houston State University, the Institute for Court Management and for the Texas Center for the Judiciary. He is a founding member of the Texas Association for Court Administration (TACA), the National Association for Court Management (NACM) and The Urban Court Managers Network. He is Past President of the National Association for Court Management. He served on the boards of directors of the National Center for State Courts (1996–2002) the Justice Management Institute (1994–2002). Mr. Wessels was the first recipient of the Justice Charles W. Barrow Award. In 1996 the Bob Wessels Scholarship was created by the Texas Association for Court Administration. In 2003 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Center for State Courts, the Award of Merit from the National Association for Court Management in 2005, and the Chair’s Award of Excellence from the Judicial Section, State Bar of Texas, in 2007. He is the 2011 recipient of the Justice Management Institute’s “Ernest C. Friesen” Award, and the “Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence In Court Administration”, National Center for State Courts. In 2013 he received the “Gary R. Cooper Meritorious Service Award” – SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. He is the 2014 recipient of the “Robert O. Dawson” Award, presented by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. He received his BBA from Sam Houston State University and an MA from the University of Houston, Clear Lake, and is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management.