20 February 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.
15 February 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.
6 February 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.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
29 January 2018
Dan Ritchie has had a profound influence on IAALS. The idea of IAALS was born in his office one day in 2005 when he said to me, "Is there a think tank for the legal system somewhere—a think tank that would be collaborative and action-oriented? Does such a thing exist? No? Well, why don’t we start one. Why don’t you reach out to John Moye and see if he would be interested, too." Then, Dan raised the money, positioned IAALS for maximum impact, and helped me to pull together an initial team. And he has stuck with us, helping us shape our mission and our projects at every turn.
25 January 2018
As part of the University of Denver’s Engaging Ideas series, IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis was interviewed about the importance of an independent judiciary—and IAALS’ model for sustaining it. In the video, titled “Judging the Judges,” Kourlis discusses how IAALS is helping improve state court systems through the O’Connor Judicial Selection Plan. “Public trust in the judiciary is central to its legitimacy and to its capacity to enforce its orders. Retaining that impartiality, independence, and integrity of the judicial branch, I think in this day and age, is more critical than perhaps it’s ever been.”
17 January 2018
Kentucky State Representative Jason Nemes pre-filed bills at the end of 2017 that would change how state appellate judges are selected. Should the bills pass, the governor would select judges from a recommended list of qualified candidates provided by a Judicial Nominating Commission instead of forcing judges to run for election. The public would then cast their vote for or against a given judge in retention elections at the end of each judge’s eight-year term.
12 January 2018
The Wisconsin Lawyer recently reviewed IAALS' Foundations for Practice study and discussed some of its ties to Wisconsin's legal community. Of the more than 24,000 lawyers nationwide who participated, 500 were from Wisconsin. In the first part of the survey, at least three-fourths of those respondents said that characteristics were vital for new lawyers to have right out of school, while professional competencies and legal skills were less immediately valuable. Alli Gerkman, the director at IAALS who oversees the Foundations project, emphasized that the survey suggests that legal skills were still important, but new lawyers do not need to have them all mastered right out of law school.
Carolyn A. Tyler
10 January 2018
The Federal Judicial Center and IAALS Roll Out Case-Specific Disclosures with Goal of Efficiency for All The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was one...
Natalie Anne Knowlton
9 January 2018
In August 2016, the Conference of Chief Justices’ Civil Justice Improvements Committee released—and the Conference adopted—Call to Action: Achieving Civil Justice for All, outlining a comprehensive set of recommendations for civil justice reform. The Committee charge was limited to civil cases, and the National Center for State Courts recently launched a corollary project to explore domestic relations cases. The Family Justice Initiative is a partnership between IAALS, the Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges—with support from the State Justice Institute.
Michael J. Madison
21 December 2017
The theme of the 2017 ETL conference, “Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers… to Serve Tomorrow’s Clients,” captures perfectly the attitude that I have used for many years to frame my teaching. This year’s Ignite presentations put that theme into practice a myriad of concrete programs, in the classroom, the law clinic, and courthouse. Tech developers were represented. Law librarians. Producers of extracurricular activities. That diversity is precisely what legal education and the legal profession need. Here’s why.
20 December 2017
No system of judicial selection and retention is perfect; however, merit selection systems attempt to balance judicial independence with voter accountability. Those are the comments of IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis who, along with IAALS Board Member Chief Justice (Ret.) Ruth McGregor of the Arizona Supreme Court, was interviewed by an investigative reporter for a Goldwater Institute paper on the benefits of using a merit selection system for municipal judgeships.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
19 December 2017
Diane and I have known each other since grade school. From those early days, she was a phenomenal athlete, a brilliant scholar, and a bit of a daredevil. She played field hockey, rode horses, skied competitively, attended Stanford undergrad and business school, traveled the world, and became a jet pilot. On that list along the way she added becoming an extraordinarily skilled business woman. In addition to being colleagues, we are friends. We have climbed Kilimanjaro together, ridden horses, walked ranches, and biked Italy. My husband, Tom, and I also knew her Dad, Charlie Gates. He was the one to recognize the need for and possible promise of IAALS. And then Diane carried his intention forward, and made it her own.