Last September, Hurricane Florence devastated North Carolina's families, communities, and its trial courts. Court administrators Ellen Hancox and Caitlin Emmons tell how they made it through the storm, cared for their families, and managed to keep their courts afloat. What lessons can we take away from their experience?
To cope, people had to come up with “contingency plans for their contingency plans” in order to deal with a storm that upended lives and work. Ellen and Caitlin talk about how their courts and their families endured, including judges who had not fully recovered from the previous hurricane (Matthew). They also describe their efforts at disaster recovery, their emergency plans, and their continuity of operations plans (COOP) during the crisis. Finally, they relate how they overcame unforeseen logistical and legal hurdles.
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About the Presenters
Ellen Hancox has served as the Trial Court Administrator for Cumberland County, N. C. since 2002. She attended the University of Mary Washington and Campbell University School of Law. Before joining the court system, she was in private practice, and her practice was devoted to civil litigation. She is involved in the Cumberland County Bar Association, having served as President. She has served on various committees and boards with the North Carolina Bar Association.
Caitlin Emmons graduated from the University of California, Irvine School of Law in 2015. She was a fellow at the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice from 2016-2017. In 2017, Caitlin relocated to North Carolina with her husband who is on active duty serving as a United States Marine. She worked as the Judicial Assistant for Onslow County from September 2017 until January 2019. She is now the Trial Court Coordinator for Judicial District 4, which includes Onslow, Sampson, Duplin, and Jones counties.
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