In 2015, CCJ, COSCA, NACM, and NAPCO jointly created the Mary C. McQueen Award for Excellence and Leadership in Justice System Improvement. hroughout her career, Ms. McQueen has been an advocate for court and judicial reform, has advanced the field of court administration significantly in her service to the court and justice community, and has demonstrated leadership excellence at the national, state, and local levels of judicial administration.
A Florida judge is issuing an urgent plea to attorneys during the coronavirus pandemic: Please put on a shirt before logging in to a court hearing via videoconference. Judge Dennis Bailey, who sits on the bench in family court in Broward County, said in a recent letter to the Weston Bar Association that he and his fellow jurists have dealt with a number of inappropriately dressed attorneys on Zoom video calls.
As COVID-19 continues its assault on the country, residents in more than 10 states have been ordered to stay home and businesses, including restaurants, health clubs and entire malls, have been closed as governors nationwide take extraordinary steps in an effort to protect public health. Under what legal authority do such orders fall – and are there legal limits on government actions during a health emergency?
When things are going well, it’s pretty easy being a court leader. Operations are going according to plan, caseloads are managed reasonably well, and there are no tricky decisions to make about work assignments, services, staff or budgets. It is still possible to screw things up, but a rising tide tends to lift all boats, or in our case, all court leaders. It is in a crisis that leaders show their mettle. Judges and staff will look to leaders for direction. Sometimes, as with the covid-19 pandemic, the problem will be something few bosses could have reasonably anticipated. Now, they are expected to chart a steady course within days as the crisis continues to unfold.
Those answering criminal charges at Salt Lake City’s municipal courthouse Friday morning were redirected to the curb. They stepped up to the open side door of a humming, expansive RV now known as Courtroom 6. The defendants stood at the threshold one at a time as they spoke to a judge perched on a bench inside. The courtroom on wheels, now in its first week, is serving up justice food-truck style.
Through an SJI grant, a Pandemic and Emergency Response Task Force was created in December 2014, to help courts better prepare for the complex legal issues that public health crises present. Two years later, a report and guide by the National Center for State Courts entitled “Preparing for a Pandemic: An Emergency Response Benchbook and Operations Guidebook for State Judges and Court Administrators” was published.