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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.


Held for Ransom: How Safe is Your Data?

Ransomware attacks are running rampant throughout the nation. Atlanta, Georgia; Lake City, Florida; Albany, New York; and Del Rio, Texas have all been victims. Most recently the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts was attacked. Local agencies can be crippled for weeks with no data, no internet, no email, and no way to conduct business.  Is your court prepared? Can you stop it? How would you even know? Rashida Davis and Stephen Nevels recount their experiences battling attacks on their courts. 

This is a fascinating episode for listeners interested in cybersecurity, ransomware such as Ryuk and Sam Sam, court technology, and court administration.

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About the Guests

Rashida A. Davis serves as the Court Administrator/ Chief Clerk for the Municipal Court of Atlanta. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University. Ms. Davis graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law Cum Laude. 

Prior to serving in her role as Court Administrator, Ms. Davis served as a Municipal Court of Atlanta Deputy Chief Administrator for two years. She played an instrumental role in developing the annual budget, evaluating technology service development projects, and the creation of standard operating protocols. She also served on strategic planning teams such as the Ransomware Attack Recovery team and the Municipal Court of Atlanta Improvement Task Force.

Ms. Davis is a licensed attorney with the State of Georgia. Her legal background primarily  focused on litigation and criminal defense.

 As Court Administrator, Ms. Davis is responsible for managing a broad range of policy, intergovernmental relations, and operational functions performed by the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Outside of work, Ms. Davis enjoys volunteerism, international travel and quality time with her family.


Stephen M. Nevels is the Trial Court Administrator for the Piedmont Judicial Circuit consisting of Jackson, Barrow, and Banks Counties, Georgia. Prior to that he was the Judicial Court Administrator for the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, the largest Court of Appeals in Florida. Before that Stephen was Director of Administration for the Georgia Capital Defender’s Office, Director for Georgia’s Conflicts Program, Assistant Director for Judicial Liaison for Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts, District Court Administrator and Deputy Superior Court Administrator for the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, and Senior Court Analyst/Court Consultant for the Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator. Stephen received his Master of Public Administration degree from the California State University in Turlock, California, his Bachelor’s in Pre-Law Political Science from the University of Georgia, and his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Georgia.

Do You Want to Know More?

News article on the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts ransomware

News article on the Baltimore, Maryland ransomware attack

News article on the Lake City, Florida ransomware attack

News article on the Del Rio, Texas ransomware attack

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