State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs

State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs — from law360.com by Andrew Strickler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As state lawmakers begin preparing for upcoming legislative sessions amid a resurgent pandemic, a scattered but largely grim outlook for state court funding is beginning to take shape.

With some judicial administrators already dealing with staggered budgets and new technology costs, experts and advocates say court leaders have their work cut out for them to convince budget analysts and lawmakers to pay for pandemic recovery efforts.

Perhaps nowhere is the coming financial strain more apparent than in Florida, where legislators began gathering Tuesday in Tallahassee to face a historic $5.4 billion budget deficit over the next two years.

There, court leaders have drawn on their experiences dealing with a crush of foreclosures and other litigation following the 2008 financial crisis to project that nearly 1 million additional cases will be in front of the state’s trial courts by the middle of 2021.

In New York, where the next fiscal year promises to include a gaping $14.5 billion budget hole, dozens of appellate judges over age 70 are being forced into retirement, a move court administrators said would save $55 million in the coming years and help prevent staff layoffs.


Addendum on 11/24/20:

Civil Justice Fest: A Month of Dialogues On the Most Pressing Civil Justice Issues — from vimeo.com
Judicial Education Program & Congressional Civil Justice Academy Law & Economics  Center Antonin Scalia Law School George Mason University November 2020 Virtual

 

How to Work Remotely as a Lawyer: A Guide — from clio.com by Teresa Matich; with thanks to Nelson Miller for this resource

Excerpt:

Whether you’ve looked at working remotely as a lawyer in the past (or as a paralegal, legal assistant, legal professional) with dreams of traveling the world, or whether you’re looking into it for the first time now, this guide contains clear, practical tips for opening a remote legal practice without interruption. We’ll cover:

  • 10 steps to follow for successful remote work
  • What to do if you still need to meet clients in person
  • Tips for how larger legal teams can succeed when transitioning to remote work
  • A basic list of tools to use for remote lawyering
  • Examples of law firms that have worked remotely in some capacity (or are currently doing so)
 

Illinois Supreme Court Issues Pandemic-Related Court Orders, Expands Criminal Appeals Pro Bono Program — from legaltechmonitor.com by Laura Bagby

Excerpt:

The Order on Remote Jury Selection in Civil Matters permits circuits to conduct jury selection in civil cases via video conference. This expands upon rules that were amended in May to support the use of remote hearings.

 

On LawNext: Rocket Lawyer Founder Charley Moore — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource from his Lawtomatic Newsletter

Excerpt

In September, Rocket Lawyer became the first national company approved to participate in Utah’s regulatory sandbox, a pilot program for licensing new and alternative forms of legal providers and services. For Charley Moore, who founded Rocket Lawyer in 2008, it was yet another step in his quest to deliver high-value legal services at an affordable price.

In this episode of LawNext, Moore recounts the founding and development of Rocket Lawyer and its expansion into Europe starting in 2012. He also explains why he wanted the company to participate in the Utah sandbox and what he expects to happen there. Finally, as one of the few Black CEOs in legal tech, Moore discusses his thoughts on expanding diversity in the industry.

Also see:

Manage all of your legal needs online. Create legal documents and legal forms instantly with safe & secure storage, e-signatures and lawyer review.

Also from Gabe, see:

Justice-as-a-Service — from Henrik Zillmer

Excerpts:

There’s a new wave of customer empowerment coming. It’s called Justice-as-a-Service (JaaS), and you need to know about it because it benefits you – you just don’t know it yet.

Justice-as-a-Service is an on-demand service, powered by tech, that challenges private and public companies by representing the consumer in their fight for justice/compensation based on laws, consumers’ rights, and contract of carriage.

Why is there a need for JaaS?

  • You don’t know your consumer rights.
  • You don’t know how to claim and neither does the service provider.
  • You don’t have the time to fight for your rights.
  • Success is very unlikely.
 

The justice gap in the United States is striking. It ranks 103rd out of 126 countries in accessibility and affordability of civil legal services, according to a World Justice Project survey. More than 80% of those in poverty, as well as a majority of middle-income Americans, receive inadequate civil legal assistance, the nonprofit Legal Services Corporation found.

(source)    

From DSC:
If the public doesn’t have access to justice — and the majority of those involved with civil-based law cases (vs. criminal law cases) don’t — the system has failed. Throughout the last several years, I have thought about the topic of access to justice (#A2J) many times on my walks past the Michigan Hall of Justice building in Lansing, Michigan.

I am hoping that a variety of technologies can help address this problem — at least in part. The impact of the Covid19 pandemic is pushing us in the right direction, but it never should have taken that horrendous event to occur in order for such innovations and changes to take root.

Michigan's Hall of Justice

Michigan's Hall of Justice -- Freedom and Equality

Michigan's Hall of Justice -- Truth and Justice

 

“Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.

Exodus 23:6 — NIV    

Also see:

 

 

WMU-Cooley Innocence Project helps earn release of Lacino Hamilton after 26 years in prison — from cooley.edu and WMU-Cooley Law School’s Innocence Project

Excerpt:

Today, Wayne County Judge Tracy Green set aside the conviction of Lacino Hamilton who was wrongfully convicted of second degree murder and felony firearms in 1994. DNA testing facilitated by the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Innocence Project was used to help win Hamilton’s release. Assistant Prosecutor Valerie Newman, director of the Wayne County Prosecutor Office’s Conviction Integrity Unit, moved to have Hamilton’s conviction vacated and requested dismissal of all charges. The motion was joined by Hamilton’s legal counsel, Mary Chartier (Johnson Class, 2002) and Takura Nyamfukudza (Moore Class, 2013) of CN Defenders. Both are WMU-Cooley law graduates and well-respected defense attorneys.

 

Civil Justice for All — from amacad.org

Excerpts:

This report calls for the legal profession, the courts, law schools, tech professionals, and partners from many other fields and disciplines to coordinate their efforts to provide necessary legal assistance to many more people in need. Past efforts to improve access to justice offer strong evidence that such an effort would have a profound effect on American society—measured in financial savings, greater trust in law and social institutions, and the safety and security of families and communities.

THE PROJECT’S SEVEN RECOMMENDATIONS ARE:

First, and above all, dedicate a consequential infusion of financial and human resources to closing the civil justice gap, and seek a significant shift in mindset—extending beyond lawyers the duty and capacity to assist those with legal need—to make genuine strides toward “justice for all”;

Secondincrease the number of legal services lawyers who focus on the needs of low-income Americans;

Thirdincrease the number of lawyers providing pro bono and other volunteer assistance, to supplement the corps of legal services lawyers;

Fourthbring many new advocates—service providers who are not lawyers—into the effort to solve civil justice problems;

Fifthfoster greater collaboration among legal services providers and other trusted professionalssuch as doctors, nurses, and social workers;

Sixthexpand efforts to make legal systems easier to understand and use through the simplification of language, forms, and procedures and the wider use of technology; and

Seventhcreate a national team, or even a new national organization, to coordinate the efforts listed above, collect much-needed data on the state of civil justice, and help identify and publicize effective innovations that improve access.

 

WMU-Cooley Named Top 10 Law School For Ethnic Enrollment in 2019 — from fox47news.com

Excerpt:

LANSING, Mich. — Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, with campuses in Michigan and Florida, was named a top 10 law school for racial and ethnic minority enrollment in 2019 by Enjuris, a collection of independent legal resources for legal professionals.

With Black students comprising 22.4 percent of WMU-Cooley’s total student enrollment in 2019, the law school is ranked in Enjuris’ recently released, Law School Enrollment by Race & Ethnicity (2019) [enjuris.com] report.

WMU-Cooley Named Top 10 Law School For Ethnic Enrollment in 2019

 

Will Pandemic Disruption Drive More Legal Operations Transformation? — from prnewswire.com
Deloitte Releases 2020 Legal Operations Survey

Excerpt:

NEW YORKSept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — While 86% of in-house counsel surveyed said they see opportunity to modernize legal services provided to their stakeholders, Deloitte’s “2020 Legal Operations Survey” found that challenges remain. Respondents described their corporate legal departments’ maturity level for technology as just “foundational.”

Ashley SmithDeloitte Risk & Financial Advisory managing director, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP said, “Organizations everywhere have undergone massive change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic uncertainties. As business strategies shift and the corporate legal department is called on to do more to help organizations navigate through disruption, focusing on legal operations transformation could help in-house counsel and their teams to evolve beyond heavy manual, tactical work – into leveraging technology to offer more strategic insights and value.”

Also see:

Deloitte's 2020 Legal Operations Survey

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87  — from npr.org
by Nina Totenberg

Excerpt:

“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member.

 

RBG's Biggest Opinions, From Civil Rights To Civil Procedure

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 20: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

RBG’s Biggest Opinions, From Civil Rights To Civil Procedure — from law360.com by Cara Bayles

Excerpt:

But from the early years of her tenure on the high court, the justice, who died Friday at age 87, wrote majority decisions that showed her breadth as a lawyer and a thoughtful scholar, who gently guided the reader to her conclusion using evidence and careful, persuasive argument.

“She strongly believed that if you disagree with people, you have to convince them with the strength of your position,” said Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP appellate attorney Tiffany Wright, who clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “Her majority opinions are less fiery, but very much RBG.”

But she was also “a lawyer’s lawyer — precise, analytical, and evenhanded,” according to Joseph Palmore, her former clerk and a former assistant to the solicitor general who now co-chairs Morrison & Foerster LLP’s appellate practice. She loved even the more granular rules of litigation.


Women Lawyers Share Lessons They Learned From Ruth Bader Ginsburg
— from abovethelaw.com by Staci Zaretsky
The Notorious RBG changed women’s lives and law practices across America.

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Early Career — from abovethelaw.com by Kathryn Rubino
Impressive, even from the start.

 

steno dot com -- depositions from a distance -- new legal tech

 

For New Orleans–based firm, architecture is a tool for design justice — from autodesk.com by Redshift Video

Excerpt:

When Bryan C. Lee Jr. was a boy, his family moved from Sicily to Trenton, NJ, and he was struck by not only the vastly different physical environment but also the ways different physical spaces affect people. It’s a concept that he explores today at Colloqate Design, an architecture and design-justice firm that focuses on civic, communal, and cultural spaces through the lens of racial justice.

 

Preserving The Art Of Black Lives Matter Using AR — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

A city-wide digital art show celebrates the street art of BLM.

Designers at the architecture and design firm GGLO have created an augmented reality art show aimed at paying homage to the eclectic lineup of street paintings created as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Not only does the project serve to preserve these impactful works of art, but to enhance them as well using modern immersive technology.

 

 

The Spanish Flu to Covid-19: How this Pandemic is Pushing Courts to Modernize — from legaltalknetwork.com by Bridget Mary McCormack and Daniel Linna

Episode notes:

Even before the global pandemic, Michigan courts were moving more quickly than many others to modernize. Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack talks with host Dan Linna about accelerating the state’s plans to offer online hearings, online dispute resolution, and to continue efforts to establish e-filing statewide.

Not everything is going smoothly, but McCormack notes some judges are almost current on their dockets. And importantly, she believes that many temporary quick fixes will lead to permanent changes that improve access to justice statewide and increase public trust in the judicial branch.

 

From DSC:
Perhaps faculty members and their students in Computer Science Departments across the nation could unleash some excellent products/projects/ideas to make this happen! Talk about Project Based Learning (PBL)! Students and faculty members could have immediate positive impacts on the nation for their work.

 

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