IAALS Report - A Publication of IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
Message from Our Executive Director

Summer is upon us and has already been a busy one for IAALS. The Honoring Families Initiative and I presented at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Conference last week on the exciting and important work that we are doing. And, we are gearing up for a number of conferences of our own here at IAALS, beginning in September with our Second Annual Educational Summit for State Court Judges on e-discovery. Other events and projects are in the works, and we'll share them with you soon.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
June 2013

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Movement on Judicial Nominating Commissions Around the Country

While some states look to move away from commission-based appointment of judges, other states look to adopt such a process. John T. Broderick, Jr., former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court and current member of the IAALS Board of Advisors, penned an Informed Opinion to commend Governor Hassan for establishing a Judicial Selection Commission in New Hampshire to advise her in filling vacancies in the state’s courts. And in Ohio, Chief Justice O’Connor identified the creation of a nominating commission as a way to improve the selection process between judicial elections.

Elsewhere, the Tennessee legislature ended its 2013 session without renewing the state’s judicial nominating commission, leaving it to expire on June 30. In Kansas, a compromise selection reform proposal was rejected by the Kansas Bar Association, and was followed by the introduction of three new proposals directed at the selection and structure of the appellate courts.

The Second Annual Educational Summit for State Court Judges: Unlocking E-Discovery



On September 19-20, 2013 in Denver, Colorado, IAALS and the National Judicial College will host an educational summit exclusively tailored for state court judges on all facets of the discovery of electronically stored information—from preservation to production to eventual use at trial. The Summit will feature nationally renowned speakers and will provide both a core of basic training for judges on e-discovery and in-depth and interactive discussions on the more complex issues facing judges in state courts across the nation.

For the complete event schedule, a list of the faculty, the program brochure, or to register, click here.

Professional Identity in Legal Education

David Trickett, a member of the ETL Advisory Committee, is the subject of our latest interview in the "Voices from the Field" video series, which gathers perspectives on the need for legal education reform. Here, he discusses the formation of professional identity in law students and the capacity to better serve clients. Trickett goes on to contemplate the most effective ways in which we can help instill a professional identity in law students, through mentoring, a focus on service, and an institutional trajectory by schools that seeks to engage students in fundamental considerations of what it means to be a legal professional.

"Let Kids Be Our First Focus"



Bob Emery is one of the preeminent national experts on issues related to children and divorce. In this video excerpt, he captures the essence of the problem: almost all of the systems that relate to divorce and separation are geared around the parents, lawyers, or judges. Very few systems are geared to the needs of the children.

The Honoring Families Initiative at IAALS agrees. In fact, at the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families, which will debut on campus at the University of Denver this fall, there is a specific role for the voice of the child. We hope to demonstrate that a system built to value not only the parents, but also the children, can indeed succeed.

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