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Court Leader's Advantage

71 EpisodesProduced by Peter C. KieferWebsite

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.


The Coronavirus: How are Courts Coping with the Crisis? Thursday, June 25, 2020 Episode:

COOPs and the Coronavirus: The Lessons May Surprise You

Courts are now in the midst of reopening, yet the Coronavirus is still very much with us. Right now, the United States has had over 2.3 million confirmed cases with over 26,000 new cases reported just yesterday. We have experienced 121,000 deaths from the virus and new projections predict that we will top 200,000 by the fall. In over a third of the country, the infection rate is actually increasing. This alone makes this crisis different from any courts have ever faced before. If it were a hurricane, a tornado, or an earthquake, within a few hours to a few days, it would be over; efforts would turn to clean up and repair. We still cannot do that yet, even though the country is working hard to return to normal. Nevertheless, this seems like a good time to look back and take stock of what we have learned so far from the crisis, and what we would change in our Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP).

This week the panel discusses the need for long-term COOP recovery plans; necessary pandemic based legal changes in family court law, protection orders, child custody, domestic violence, and speedy trial requirements; the reality of having no physical location in which to hold court for months; improving emergency communications systems; improving teleworking protocols; identifying court functions that can be permanently performed at home; the radically different design of future courthouses; and changing sick leave requirements from “if sick – stay home,” to “if might be sick – stay home to protect others.”

This Week's Panelists

Zenell Brown has garnered respect both as Executive Court Administrator for the Third Circuit Court in Detroit, Michigan, and for her ethical leadership and innovation.  Zenell has a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School, a Public Service Administration Graduate Certificate from Central Michigan University, and  a Court Administration Certificate from Michigan State University.

Dorothy Howell is the Division Manager with Probation for the Superior Court in East Orange, New Jersey, which is part of Newark. Dorothy has a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and is a Certified Court Executive from the National Center for State Courts.

Richard J. "Rick" Pierce is the Judicial Programs Administrator of the Judicial District Operations and Programs Department, at the Pennsylvania Administrative Office of the Courts.  He graduated from Washington and Lee University, and received his Masters in Public Administration from Shippensburg University.

Angela S. "Angie" VanSchoick is the Court Administrator with the Town of Breckenridge Municipal Court.   She received her MSW from the University of Michigan in 2007.   She also assist the Court and with the Colorado Association for Municipal Court Administration.

Elizabeth "Liz" Rambo is the Trial Court Administrator for Lane County Circuit Court in Eugene, Oregon.  She graduated with high scholarship from Oregon State University with a BA in history and has an MBA from Portland State University.

Michael Roddy is the Executive Officer of the Superior Court of San Diego County.  Prior to his current position he served as the California Administrative Office of the Courts’Regional Administrative Director for the Northern/Central Region, and was Executive Officer of the Sacramento Superior Court.

Mark A. Weinberg is the Court Administrator for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Daytona Beach, Florida.  He holds a bachelor's degree in public administration from James Madison University and a master's degree in judicial administration from the University of Denver.

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