Monday, June 22, 2009

Focus Groups

I continue to attend Commission on Judicial Operation focus groups as well as facilitate those organized by the VBA. Last week I attended groups of court staff in three locations as well as two groups of court administrator and Supreme Court staff. Their perspectives were a bit different than some other groups I’ve heard. Also on June 11th, I met with the Chittenden County Bar, while on the 12th I facilitated the discussion with the Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County Bars. The Chief Justice has been to all meetings so far, while Justices Johnson, Skoglund and Burgess have each other some.
Later today I’m driving to Middlebury for the Addison Bar meeting; tomorrow it’s Bennington’s turn. On Wednesday, I meet with the Washington-Orange bars and on Friday I’ll be in Rutland. To date there are two more meetings scheduled: Caledonia, Orleans, and Essex Counties on July 1st and Windham County on July 10th. I’m still working on Windsor; I’ll up date you as soon as I have a date.
Last Friday, John Douglas of the National Center for State Courts facilitated a discussion with the VBA Board of Managers with the Chief and Justices Johnson and Burgess present. There was a lively discussion about alternatives to the judicial system as we know it.
It’s looking as though we’ll have a final report of the Commission in mid October for delivery to the legislature upon its return in January. We’re thinking about a “town hall” style meeting at the VBA Annual Meeting at Lake Morey on September 25th. Stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Update on Focus Groups

Well it’s been a few weeks since I logged on and updated this blog. I want to bring you up to date on the work of the Commission on Judicial Operation. The Bennington County Focus Group will be held at the Mt. Anthony Country Club on the 23rd of June as noted earlier. Also the Windham meeting will be at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in downtown Brattleboro on Friday, July 10th from 10:00 AM to Noon. Please join either group if you’re close by.
In the meantime I’m working on setting up a Caledonia-Orleans-Essex Focus Group to be held at the Caledonia Courthouse. We’re working on either July 1 or 2; I’ll post the date and time as soon as I have it.
I’ve been attending focus groups as they occur including the State’s Attorney’s and public Defender’s groups last week. Tomorrow I’ll be at the Chittenden County Bar group while on Friday, I’ll be at the Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County meetings. Please attend if you’re able and participate in the discussions. This may be your only chance to weigh in.
The Chief Justice has been to all the meetings thus far, at times accompanied by Justices Burgess, Johnson, and/or Skoglund. In fact, all four attended the Public Defender session last week. Remember, just as in the online survey you were invited to complete, nothing said at these group meetings is for attribution. The complete schedule of focus groups is in the post of May 22nd.