Carolyn A. Tyler
29 June 2017
For as long as she can remember, capital campaigns, strategic planning, and philanthropy were the topics of dinner table conversion for Carol Miller’s family. It’s as if the “family business” was to serve nonprofit institutions, and to utilize their natural talents as relationship builders to connect with others and attract donor investment. With such early and robust exposure to development vernacular, Carol was called to the profession, not by obligation, but by sheer passion for the work. With 18-years’ experience in major gifts, planned giving, corporate partnerships, and development, IAALS is fortunate to welcome Carol as our new Director of Strategic Partnerships. Carol succeeds Barbara Blackwell who left IAALS this April for a new St. Louis position. Carol has a rich background in development having directed important campaigns for Colorado Public Radio, Alzheimer’s Association, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
28 June 2017
In an article published earlier this month, Law Week Colorado covered the new roadmap for civil justice reform developed by IAALS and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The two organizations announced their "Roadmap for Implementation" in May, on the heels of the Conference of Chief Justice (CCJ)'s recommendations for increasing efficiency and effectiveness. IAALS will work with five jurisdictions to implement and test the roadmap, and IAALS and NCSC will provide guidance and support along the way, as they have throughout the CCJ Civil Justice Improvements project process.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
22 June 2017
In a recent commentary in The Federal Lawyer, Judge Jack Zouhary analogized being a judge working to implement the new Federal Civil Rules to being a baseball team manager. He wrote that “[t]he team manager tries to make the right in-game decisions, but also to have a winning season.” He then defines a winning season for a judge as shepherding cases to a successful conclusion, “whether that conclusion be a trial, a decision on a dispositive motion, or a settlement.” Few judges or attorneys have embraced the call for reform with such passion, intelligence, creativity, and integrity as Judge Zouhary.
8 June 2017
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently approved a rule allowing a lawyer-mediator to draft and file settlement documents in family law cases, which can provide a more cost-effective path to divorce for families. In this situation, the lawyer’s role is limited and the he or she would not represent either party to the mediation; therefore, the lawyer may not give legal advice or advocate on behalf of either party. Parties are also encouraged to seek independent legal advice prior to signing the documents prepared by the lawyer-mediator.
7 June 2017
This week, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed legislation to reauthorize and restructure the state’s judicial performance evaluation (JPE) program. Colorado was one of the first states in the nation to establish a JPE program to help judges improve their own performance on the bench and inform voters about that performance for judicial retention elections. The 1988 legislation that created Colorado’s program included a provision scheduling the program for repeal in 30 years—on June 30, 2019. Earlier this year, both the General Assembly and the Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation tackled head-on the challenge of drafting new legislation to keep the program in place, and IAALS applauds their efforts.
Carolyn A. Tyler
5 June 2017
In three quarters of all civil cases, at least one party is going to court without an attorney and navigating a legal system not designed for the layperson’s use. To help potential litigants, some courts are leveraging technology and developing websites and portals that offer a vast amount of information and resources. However, these offerings vary widely in courthouses across the country. With the goal of helping bridge what has become an access-to-justice gap, IAALS today announced the release of Court Compass: Mapping the Future of User Access Through Technology, a compendium and analysis of court-offered solutions for self-represented litigants (SRLs), along with maturity models to guide the development of integrated solutions in courts nationwide.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
1 June 2017
Stanton Dodge knocked on the doors at DISH until they hired him. His advice to young lawyers is to figure out what you love, and do that. For his part, he figured out that he was fascinated by the broadcast satellite business. He started in any position DISH would give him, and worked his way to the top. Stanton is now General Counsel. We first met in the elevators at the courthouse, when he was clerking for the Court of Appeals and I was newly on the Colorado Supreme Court. Many years later, he showed up at IAALS and told us he believed in our mission and wanted to support us. In the intervening years, he has helped us envision and execute on convenings, bring together stakeholders, identify key issues, and come up with solutions.
Carolyn A. Tyler
30 May 2017
The effort to create a 21st Century system of justice is advancing. Today, IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) announced the release of a new Roadmap to guide states as they implement sweeping changes to make state courts more efficient and effective—and that five jurisdictions will serve as demonstration pilots as they follow the roadmap and implement civil justice reform. An additional three states have also received grants to support their efforts to have also been selected as demonstration pilots around the country as they work to reduce cost and delay in the legal system. These efforts are part of three-year $1 million strategic response to the call to action sounded by the Conference of Chief Justices, and supported by the State Justice Institute.
Carolyn A. Tyler
22 May 2017
Our O’Connor Advisory Committee (OAC) members are sounding the alarm about a growing and concerning pattern: state lawmakers all but declaring war on our courts. In defense of America’s system of checks and balances, the OAC banded together on an op-ed that ran in the Arizona Republic last week. In “If you like checks and balances, these bills to usurp the courts should worry you,” the OAC explains how legislation in Arizona is an example of the 41 bills introduced in 15 states this year that would “control the ways by which judges reach the bench, unseat judges currently on courts, and generally restrict courts’ jurisdiction and power,” should they become law. They argue that these state bills interfere with the independence of the judiciary and threaten our democracy.
18 May 2017
Washington State’s innovative Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLT) program was recently evaluated by the National Center for State Courts and found to be a well-designed program for expanding legal assistance. LLLTs are non-lawyers who are specially trained to provide certain kinds of legal assistance. And, unlike paralegals, LLLTs practice without having to be supervised by a lawyer. Becoming a LLLT requires an associate-level degree of at least 45 credits and an additional 15 credits in family law from an ABA-approved law school. In Washington, the training is provided by the University of Washington School of Law, with Gonzaga University School of Law professors helping to teach the courses.
16 May 2017
This month, the Virginia Supreme Court begin pilot testing a performance evaluation program for its appellate judges. Among the sources of guidance to which the court looked in developing the pilot program was IAALS’ Recommended Tools for Evaluating Appellate Judges. With the implementation of this program, Virginia joins ten other states that seek input on appellate judges’ job performance from attorneys and other judges. This feedback is used by appellate judges for self-improvement, and it is also shared with the public to ensure trust and confidence in the judiciary.
15 May 2017
For years, there is one piece of advice I give prospective law students that hasn’t changed: take time off before you go to law school. Work, travel...