We Love Our Jurors!
Job well done to the Jurors’ Office for a successful Juror Appreciation Week!
For more information, click hereWe Love Our Jurors!
"Each year, the DC Superior Court calls over 100,000 residents, from across every Ward in the city, to serve as potential jurors," reports Herb Rouson, Director of the Special Operations Division, which includes the Jurors' Office. "In consideration of the important sacrifice that potential jurors make, and with an eye towards the Court's goal of 'Improving the efficient use of jurors…', the Jurors" Office has made great strides in ensuring that its business processes maximize the jurors' sacrifice in time (and sometimes money)." For instance, the Jurors' Office will soon begin issuing debit cards rather than cash and checks, which we believe will be much more convenient for those serving jury duty. You can see a video about the new debit cards here.
From the banners expressing appreciation, to the monitors playing the juror orientation video in the Moultrie Courthouse and Court Buildings A and B, the Jurors' Office went 'above and beyond' to recognize the 30,000 DC residents who responded and performed their civic duty this past year. Each day last week, jurors who reported for service were welcomed with morning treats, and then greeted judges as part of juror orientation. The judges shared their experiences of being called for jury duty, explained some of what goes on behind the scenes as contributing factors to juror utilization, and gave jurors the opportunity to ask questions.
Thank you to the DCSC Jurors' Office staff, Chief Judge Lee Satterfield and the other judges who participated (Judge Robert Morin – Presiding, Criminal Division; Judge Lynn Leibovitz – Deputy Presiding, Criminal Division; Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo – Presiding, Family Court; Judge José Lopez – Presiding, Domestic Violence Unit; Judge Judith Bartnoff – Presiding, Civil Division; Judge Ramsey Johnson – Deputy Presiding, Civil Division; and Judge Melvin Wright, Chair, Jury Committee).
But most of all, thank you to our jurors – we depend on you and we really do appreciate you!
DC Superior Court and DC Bar Co-Host the 16th Annual Youth Law FairFor more information, click here
Over 200 participants, including 177 youth and 40 attorney volunteers, attended the annual Youth Law Fair – hosted by the D.C. Bar and D.C. Superior Court. This year’s theme, “Profiling: That’s Not Me! What’s the Problem?” was designed to help students focus on building positive relationships with law enforcement through mock trials and speak-out sessions that addressed the issues of racial profiling.
The annual Youth Law Fair is an opportunity for students to see first-hand how trials worked and is always themed to engage discussions about national issues. Lawyers from the D.C. Bar Litigation Section and members of the Metropolitan Police Department joined judges from the D.C. Courts and U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to help students stage mock trials to see how profiling issues play out in a trial.
Students found the trials and the discussions to be fascinating and many commented that they had learned a great deal from the process. To see photos from this year’s fair, click here.
Supervisory Probation Officer with DC Superior Court wins 2015 Cafritz Award for Public Service ExcellenceFor more information, click here
Mark Jackson, Supervisory Probation Officer with the Superior Court’s Family Court Social Services Division, was selected by George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership to receive one of the 2015 Cafritz awards. The awards are designed to recognize five District of Columbia government workers each year for outstanding public service.
The Cafritz awards are a highly regarded recognition bestowed upon individuals whose hard work, dedication and commitment to public service have made a difference. According to the Cafritz awards website, http://cepl.cps.gwu.edu/about-awards , the awards are presented to "five individuals who play a critical, yet in many cases unseen, role in providing outstanding service to the residents of Washington, DC." Furthermore, the awards recognize individuals "whose contributions have been exceptional and whose commitment and professionalism demonstrate the best in public service." We at the DC Courts know that this is a well-deserved honor and extend to Mark our heartfelt congratulations.
GMU Professor Manuel-Scott Delivers Keynote Presentation at DC Courts Black History Month EventFor more information, click here
The DC Courts' Black History Month celebration this year focused on life, culture, and education. Throughout the month, programs and activities reflected such, including a lecture given by Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott, Director of African and African American Studies at George Mason University. Dr. Scott delivered a captivating presentation entitled If We Must Die: Enslaved Africans and the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Opening with Claude McKay's poem If We Must Die, written during the Harlem Renaissance, Dr. Scott correlated the poem to the millions of African, men, women, and children, who were captured off the coasts of Africa to be sold into slavery. The presentation explained rarely-discussed facts about the inhumane conditions of slave ships transporting Africans. Dr. Scott also showed pictures of instruments that were used to torture the slaves, especially those rebellious, while quoting records of accounts on the ship explaining the "Violence exercised in the service of human commodification…"
Dr. Scott has a decorated résumé in history as she is currently a Professor of History and Art History at George Mason University. Born in Chicago and raised throughout the South and Midwest, Dr. Scott graduated from the College of Charleston and received her Ph.D. in history from Howard University. Beyond the classroom, Dr. Scott facilitated the research to curate exhibitions Separate and Unequal in Buckingham County: An Exhibition on Segregation and Desegregation in Virginia and One Hundred Years of African American Life and Leadership in Falls Church, Virginia. Dr. Scott also started the Paul Robeson Saturday Leadership Academy at George Mason University, a Saturday STEM program for 7th-10th grade students that are underrepresented in the STEM fields.
Valentine's Day Weddings Held at DC Superior CourtMore information >
The DC Superior Court's Family Court opened its Marriage Bureau on a Saturday, a very rare event indeed, to help 14 lucky couples celebrate Valentine's Day in a very special way: by getting married! Seven court employees, four of whom are authorized to perform weddings, came in on a Saturday morning to ensure that these couples had weddings – and will have anniversary dates – that they will never forget! The ages, the stories, the countries of origin, the how they met and how long they had known each other varied a great deal. But the bottom line was the same for all – it was love and they wanted to say "I do" and make it legal and forever. Family and friends were there to serve witness, as were local media who were allowed in for the special event. And unlike virtually every other court proceeding, the ones on Saturday, February 14th ended in kisses and hugs…and a few tears!
DC’s Drug Court - A Podcast Provides Information About the Program from a Judge’s and a Participant’s perspective.For more information, click here
DC Superior Court celebrates National Recovery Month with a Drug Court graduation and CookoutRead the full article
The DC Superior Court celebrated National Recovery Month on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 with a Drug Court graduation and cookout at Fort Lincoln Park in northeast DC. On hand were Chief Judge Satterfield, Drug Court Judge Gregory Jackson, Judge Weisberg (former drug court judge), Pretrial Services Agency Director Cliff Keenan and a number of officials from PSA, Principal Assistant US Attorney Vince Cohen, Assistant MPD Chief Diane Groomes, Guest Speaker Tyrone Parker (Executive Director of the Alliance of Concerned Men), a number of drug court program alumni, and of course the graduates’ friends and family. After brief remarks from the VIPS, and inspirational remarks from Mr. Parker encouraging them graduates to look forward and to believe that anything was possible, the names were called – first of those progressing from one phase to another, then of those graduating that day. Most graduates had a few words for the audience, though some were so overwhelmed that all they could manage was ‘thanks so much!.’ But Jeffrey Marshall got a laugh from the audience when he said “Who would have thought I would have ever been glad to walk into a courtroom?” and then he talked about how happy he was to be at the graduation, to be where he was in terms of his sobriety. He thanked all those who had helped him and said “I cannot believe that I shaked Judge Jackson’s hands yesterday….not just once, but twice” and then he turned around, gave the microphone back and shook the judge’s hand once again!
For more information on DC’s drug court program, click here and here.
For information on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness on drug courts, click here.