Question of the Month2018-08-16T09:55:01-08:00

Question of the Month

Taking the pulse of the judiciary.
Have an idea for a question? Email it to


Here are the courses judges most wish the NJC would offer

August 26th, 2019|

By Anna-Leigh Firth

Many judges wish they knew more about mental health.

That was one of takeaways from our monthly one-question survey, which earlier this month asked NJC alumni to choose among 13 potential new courses. The one that received the most votes, 328, was When Mental Health Is an Issue in a Case.

“There is no judge for whom mental health problems have not been an issue,” commented one judge, anonymously, as was most often the case among those who added comments with their votes. “It only takes one case of this type to realize you’re not as well-equipped to handle it as you’d like.”

The second most popular choice was Judicial Discipline: How a Lapse in Judgement Could Cost You (278 votes) followed closely by Effective Sentencing: The Latest Research (271).

Respondents could vote for as many of the proposed courses as they

Here’s how often trial judges disagree with a jury’s verdict

June 18th, 2019|

By Anna-Leigh Firth

Our monthly one-question survey emailed to NJC alumni in June asked trial judges, “About how often do you disagree with the jury’s verdict?”

The choices were:

  • Less than 25 percent of the time
  • 26 to 50 percent of the time
  • 51 to 75 percent of the time
  • More than 75 percent of the time

Top choice

Eighty-two percent of the 446 judges who responded said they disagree less than 25 percent of the time. The majority who left comments said the jury usually gets it right, and it is not a judge’s job to second guess their decision.

Wrote one judge (anonymously, as was most often the case with the comments): “When you hear the voice of a dozen people speak in unison, it is rare that they get it wrong.”

Wrote another: “I have rarely disagreed with civil or criminal juries. And I

What do judges want to ask Nina Totenberg? Here’s what you said.

December 10th, 2018|

Nina Totenberg

By Anna-Leigh Firth

December’s Question of the Month was unusual in that it asked our judicial alumni for questions instead of an answer.

With the College about to present one of the biggest events in its history – a nonpartisan national symposium for judges and journalists Dec. 13 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.– we asked judges what they would like to ask Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legendary Supreme Court and legal affairs correspondent.

That’s because the famed radio reporter will be our guest for a conversation during lunch at the historic symposium, which is titled “Undermining the Courts and the Media: The Consequences for American Democracy.” Read more about the program’s all-star lineup and register (only about 50 seats remain) here.

NJC President Benes Aldana will be interviewing Totenberg