Coming innovations, thought-provoking trends, questions that matter to the court community, these and more themes are covered by the Court Leader’s Advantage podcast series, a forum by court professionals for court professionals to share experiences and lessons learned.
Tuesday, August 17, 2021, Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast Episode
Local Courts can offer incredible opportunity for both defendants and for the community. They are positioned precisely at a point to curtail dangerous behavior before it grows worse. The array of problem-solving courts nationally, often managed on a shoestring budget, is astounding. This does not make up for the fact that local courts are often neglected. They are frequently disparaged. In some cases, they manifest structural flaws that clearly need to be corrected. All the while, we remember that local courts are the place where most of the public obtain their first-hand experience of courts and justice.
This month we look at some of the challenges local courts face including:
· How should local court judges be selected?
· Should all local court judges be attorneys?
· Should all defendants in matters before local courts be represented by counsel?
· Should local courts be courts of record?
We will also continue our discussion of three recent Harvard Law Review articles about local courts. "Criminal Municipal Courts" by Alexandra Natapoff, "Kangaroo Courts" by Shaun Ossei-Owusu, and "Abolish Municipal Courts" by Brendan Roediger.
The Honorable Edward Spillane is the Presiding Municipal Judge for the City of College Station, Texas and has served in this position since May 2002. Prior to this, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for Brazos County for 8 years and as an associate for the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski for 2 years. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and his law degree from the University of Chicago.
The Honorable Mary Logan has been practicing law for over 27 years as a licensed attorney in California and in Washington. As a Judge, she was elected Presiding Judge of the Spokane Municipal Court from 2009 through 2014. Among her many accomplishments, she is one of the “core engineers” of the City of Spokane’s Community Court and presides over the City’s Veteran’s Therapeutic Court.
Courtney Whiteside is the Director of the St. Louis County Municipal Division where she provides educational opportunities to municipal divisions and clerks through various committees and educational groups in the state while promoting cultural and procedural reforms. Courtney started in 2012 as a court clerk then went to Jefferson City to work with the Office of State Courts Administrator and on to the Missouri Supreme Court to serve as the state’s municipal division courts monitor.
Bettye King is a Court Administrator for the Municipal Court for the City of Birmingham, Alabama. She has served in this capacity since 2003. Bettye earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Law Criminal Justice from Auburn University. She was the Patricia Harris Fellowship recipient and awarded Outstanding Achievement in Public Administration. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the Jones School of Law.
Rashida Davis serves as the Court Administrator and Chief Clerk for the Municipal Court of Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University. Rashida graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law Cum Laude. She is a licensed attorney with the State of Georgia. Her legal background primarily focused on litigation and criminal defense.
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