University of Denver


Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 22, 2018
We are proud to present you with IAALS' 2017 Annual Report, showcasing our efforts to help create a legal system that works for everyone. The theme this year is “Action to Justice.” Throughout the report, you will see images that are straight out of the comics. But despite the whimsical tone, the real message is that we live in times that pose great challenges to our system of justice, and superheroes must answer the call to act.
Brittany Kauffman
March 21, 2018
Last year, IAALS and the National Center for State Courts released a new Roadmap for Implementation to guide state courts implementing civil justice reform efforts. IAALS and NCSC will ultimately work with one state from each region of the United States as it follows the Roadmap through implementation of civil justice reform. Idaho and Maine were previously announced as Roadmap states and we are excited to add Texas and Missouri to this list. I was fortunate to visit both states last month to support their reform efforts.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 16, 2018
The Advisory Committee of the Honoring Families Initiative here at IAALS met last month. The Committee, chaired by Bill Howe, a domestic relations practitioner from Oregon, is a group of multi-disciplinary, extremely experienced and skilled people—who care a great deal about families in the courts. They have been with IAALS since the onset of the HFI work, and they continue to be our secret weapon.
Heather Buchanan
March 15, 2018
​Some experts are predicting that a change in alimony rules under the new tax law passed late last year may increase the number of divorces this year. The new tax law changes the alimony deduction, which has been in place since 1942. Beginning in 2019, spouses who pay alimony won’t be permitted to take any deductions, and spouses receiving alimony won’t be required to report those payments as income.
Zachariah DeMeola
March 8, 2018
In July 2016, IAALS published Foundations for Practice: The Whole Lawyer and the Character Quotient, which shared findings from a survey that asked more than 24,000 lawyers what new lawyers need as they enter the profession. In the survey, we also collected from respondents ten demographic and practice-specific characteristics. We thought we might observe interesting, informative, and actionable differences across these demographics and characteristics. However, as we conducted analysis of the survey data for our reports, it became clear that our expectation was misplaced.
Heather Buchanan
March 5, 2018
FreeFrom, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, is releasing a self-help tool aimed at helping survivors of domestic abuse get the resources and information they need to pursue financial compensation. Many victims of domestic abuse never seek legal relief, simply because they don’t know what options they have or how to pursue them.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 2, 2018
Illinois takes judicial education seriously. In 2015, the state Supreme Court formed the Illinois Judicial College, and very recently I was honored to participate in its first full-week debut of courses. Over 400 judges participated and there were over 100 course offerings for them. At the initial plenary session, there was energy in the room—colleagues enjoying being together, eager to learn new things and share information.
Heather Buchanan
March 1, 2018
In response to the “enormous pressure” and polarization weighing on the American political landscape, the Brennan Center for Justice has launched the National Task Force on the Rule of Law and Democracy. One of the co-chairs of the Task Force is IAALS O’Connor Advisory Committee Member and former Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman. She is joined in leadership by co-chair and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
February 28, 2018
Mary McQueen is a leader and a visionary. Mary and I first met many, many years ago—when she was the State Court Administrator in Washington and I was on the Colorado Supreme Court. By the time I started IAALS, she had become the President of the National Center for State Courts. She was one of the first people I reached out to, because I saw so many natural partnerships that we could forge between IAALS and the National Center—and indeed we have.
Jennifer Bailey
February 20, 2018
IAALS, in partnership with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), continued its leadership on implementing Civil Justice Initiative reforms at a workshop held in Phoenix, Arizona, January 18-19. The program, The Nuts and Bolts of Civil Justice Reform, was co-sponsored by the NCSC and the Maricopa County Superior Court. Approximately 20 judges and court administrators participated, from Hawaii to Tennessee.
Heather Buchanan
February 15, 2018
​Bloomberg BNA recently highlighted IAALS’ Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Protocols, which aim to simplify discovery procedures for FLSA cases. Released last month, the protocols call for a specific set of documents to be released by each party at the start of the case in an effort to streamline discovery and lead to a quicker resolution of the case.
Zachary Willis
February 6, 2018
Judicial performance evaluation (JPE) took center stage in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Voir Dire, the American Board of Trial Advocates’ magazine. The cover story, written by IAALS’ own Rebecca Love Kourlis and Natalie Knowlton, discussed JPE programs in place today around the country and how trial attorneys, in particular, fit into those processes. As one part of the larger O’Connor Judicial Selection Plan, JPE programs assess judges based on objective performance criteria, including surveys of those who work with or appear before the judge being evaluated. Kourlis and Knowlton note that trial attorneys have a unique and critical role to play in these surveys.