February 2–4, 2016 | Location San Diego, CA | Tuition $625 | Conference Fee $195 What’s this?
Every day, when you take the bench, you have the opportunity to ensure that litigants leave your courtroom with greater respect for the justice system — whether they have won or lost their case. As a judge, you have the responsibility to ensure that the four key principles of procedural fairness (voice, respect, neutrality, and trust) are exhibited in your courtroom. With busy dockets and an increase in self-represented litigants, how can you be both efficient and effective in demonstrating these tenets?
The research shows that some very small things can make a big difference to the perception of litigants, witnesses, victims and jurors. Don’t miss this advanced, interactive, two-day course taught by a communications expert and judges who will engage you in the practical application of new techniques to enhance your judicial bench skills.
Procedural fairness (also called procedural justice) — where the focus is on how decisions are made and the quality of interpersonal treatment — has profound implications for judicial officers as well as for the justice system overall. Judges as the ultimate authority figures in court have a particularly strong influence on court users’ perceptions of fairness. Improved procedural fairness has a ripple effect throughout the justice system, from increasing litigants’ voluntary compliance with court orders, to reducing recidivism, to increasing overall trust and confidence in the system.
Building on the extensive research that supports procedural fairness principles and practices, we’ll go into the nuts and bolts of ensuring that people in the court system feel they’ve been treated respectfully, understood what was happening enough to participate meaningfully, and had an opportunity to be heard by a trustworthy decision-maker who carefully considered what they said and made decisions impartially.
In this engaging, interactive course, the emphasis is on practical application. It will be beneficial for judicial officers of all levels of experience. Topics include:
- A review of the fundamentals and the latest research on procedural fairness
- How specific judicial communication behaviors align with the four major components of procedural fairness: understanding, respect, voice, and neutrality
- Perceptions of fairness from various perspectives including litigants, attorneys, victims, jurors, friends and family of court participants, witnesses, the press, and the public
- Issues specific to criminal, civil, and family and juvenile dockets in relation to the application of procedural fairness principles
- Cultural issues in perceptions of fairness of the courts, including current events that have intensified the spotlight on the topic
- Plea hearings through a procedural fairness lens – an alternate approach
- The role of all court staff in improving procedural fairness
- Analysis of two successful court programs that were developed based on principles of procedural fairness
- How to make positive change, even with very limited resources
- Judge Victoria Pratt, chief judge of the Newark Municipal Court, who runs the pioneering court that she helped build from the ground up based on procedural fairness principles. For more on Judge Pratt and her court, see: “The Simple Idea that Could Transform U.S. Criminal Justice.” Tina Rosenberg, The Guardian, (6/23/15).
- Judge David Suntag, Superior Court Judge in Vermont for 25 years and an innovator in applying procedural fairness principles to an integrated domestic violence docket as well as other types of cases. For more on a program he developed, see: “Procedural Fairness, Swift and Certain Sanctions: Integrating the Domestic Violence Docket.” David Suntag, Future Trends in State Courts, NCSC (6/13).
- Professor Kelly Tait, communication instructor at the University of Nevada, judicial education consultant for 14 years, immediate past president of the National Association of State Judicial Educators, and part of a multi-year collaboration between the NJC, the Center for Court Innovation, and the BJA on improving procedural fairness. For more, see: CCI Research Report (1/14).
This NJC course has been scheduled immediately prior to the ABA Judicial Division events at the 2016 Midyear Meeting in San Diego. Come for the NJC course and stay for the ABA Judicial Division events! The ABA requires separate registration at americanbar.org.
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
The hotel for this course will be Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.
The NJC and the American Bar Association have rooms set aside at a special rate. Once you are registered for the class, you will be sent an email with the hotel registration information.
This course qualifies for the NJC Certificate in Judicial Development program Administrative Law Adjudication Skills, Appellate Judicial Skills, General Jurisdiction Trial Skills, Special Court Trial Skills, and Tribal Judicial Skills disciplines.