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Report of the Ohio Courts Futures Commission Page 2 of 2

Section A:

Ensuring Equal, Convenient And Affordable Access To Ohio Courts

Recommendations: Enhancing Physical Access to Courts


In order to ensure that all citizens have equitable and convenient physical access to the judicial system in the future, Ohio's courts should :

  • At minimum comply with, and exceed where possible, legal requirements regarding physical accessibility.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Citizens come to the courts to seek equal justice under the law, and courts should make every effort to utilize the best available structural and technological accommodations to permit all citizens to use the courts on an equal footing. However, the OSBA recognizes that this is an aspirational goal and notes the current state of many of Ohio's court facilities, as well as practical concerns with implementation.

  • Expand current days and hours of operation where possible.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The importance of enhancing public trust and confidence in the courts; the need to make court information and services more accessible, with emphasis on efficiency, customer service, and user convenience; and public expectations, all suggest the need for expanded court days and hours of operation. The OSBA also recommends that court hours be standardized across the state, where possible, to meet public expectations. The OSBA recognizes that there may be budget considerations, but most of the recommendations can be accomplished without additional staff by staggering staff schedules or other administrative means, such as compensatory time or flexible scheduling.

  • Within appropriate security limits, use current communication technologies to make a wide range of court services such as docket and record searches and document filing available by remote access around the clock.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Availability of information will be important in enhancing public confidence, public service, and user convenience. Access to court records through the Internet is no longer a long-term strategic goal, but is necessary today. In light of continuing changes in technology, Ohio's public records law, Section 149.43 of the Revised Code, should be reviewed and evaluated.

Recommendations: Enhancing Functional Access to Courts


The Commission recommends that Ohio courts:

  • Simplify rules and procedures and provide straightforward, plain-English notifications, instructions, forms and explanatory materials to guide citizens through their dealings with the courts.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Research indicates that the public believes that court rules, procedures, and forms are difficult to understand and navigate. Simplified rules, procedures, and forms will be important in improving accessibility. All rules, procedures, and forms should be simple, clear, and concise without compromising important substantive information.

  • Develop multi-lingual written materials and increase availability of translators and interpreters.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA recognizes that this is an aspirational goal and that courts cannot have all materials in every language.

  • Adopt ongoing procedures to identify and remove other informational barriers.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. All of the recommendations discussed above will assist in "demystifying" the legal system and enhancing public confidence in the courts.

Recommendations: Enhancing Diversity in the Court System


The Commission recommends that:

  • Courts should acknowledge the trend toward a more multi-cultural society and should ensure equal access and treatment of all persons in Ohio courts regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical or learning disabilities and other cultural differences.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA recognizes that our society is becoming increasingly multi-cultural, that courts should ensure equal access and treatment for all persons, and that improvements can and should be made.

  • Judicial officers and other court personnel should reflect the racial and cultural diversity of the communities they serve.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Judicial officers and court personnel should reflect the diversity of the community at large.

  • Diversity, gender sensitivity and customer service training should be institutionalized in each court.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The well-accepted concept of customer service should be a priority in the delivery of court services to the public.

Recommendations: Enhancing Access to Affordable Legal Services


In order to ensure that Ohioans have access to effective legal advice and representation regardless of their economic circumstances, the Commission recommends that:

  • Courts and lawyers should focus public attention on the moral imperative that all citizens have access to the justice system, including adequate professional advice and representation.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. It is important to ensure that all Ohioans have access to effective legal counsel. The OSBA sponsored the study "An Assessment of the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Ohio's Poor," the Spangenberg report, in 1991, which found that 83 percent of low income households did not have access to adequate, affordable legal services. Courts should not be perceived to be accessible only to the very rich or very poor. Legal access to be available to all.

  • Courts and lawyers should lead efforts to maintain and increase the resources of legal aid societies, public defender offices and appointed counsel; and should develop effective programs to provide pro bono representation and other affordable sources of professional legal services for low-income citizens.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA concludes that assisting in maintaining and increasing legal resources is an important role of the legal profession.

  • Courts should work in partnership with appropriate public and private entities to increase availability of affordable legal services.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA recognizes the important role of the OSBA and local bar associations, among others, in increasing the availability of affordable legal services.

Recommendations: Ensuring Meaningful Access for the Self-Represented


The Futures Commission firmly believes that appropriate legal representation should be available to all Ohioans. It also recognizes that there are simple legal matters, such as small claims cases and name changes, in which it is customary for individuals to represent themselves; that there are many Ohioans who encounter great difficulty obtaining professional representation; and that some individuals will choose to exercise their right to represent themselves. While the Commission strongly recommends that all persons involved in complex cases seek the assistance of an attorney, in order to accommodate Ohioans who represent themselves in our courts, the Commission recommends that:

  • Courts should develop simple legal instructional materials, including sample pleadings and forms designed for use by non-lawyers, and make them available at court facilities and via online and other remote access technologies. In addition to printed materials, self-help videos and online tutorials that can be accessed at any time from a home computer or public access terminal should also be explored.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA believes that, in general, self representation should not be encouraged, in large part because it places the pro se litigant at a disadvantage. However, the OSBA supports efforts to adopt approved statewide sample pleadings and forms for use in less complex or less adversary disputes, such as small claims. This could include the development of easy-to-use software to facilitate compliance with court rules and procedures.

  • Court personnel may respond to questions from self-represented persons in civil cases by explaining court processes, answering questions regarding preparation and filing of simple or form documents, and supplying informational pamphlets and court forms. This assistance is limited to providing neutral information and does not include giving legal advice to disputants.

    The OSBA opposes the recommendation in part, and supports in part. The OSBA opposes permitting court employees to engage in conduct that could be construed as giving legal advice to litigants, including answering procedural questions and explaining court rules, procedures, and forms. However, the OSBA supports uniform, written statewide information for litigants, such as pamphlets and brochures, and including sample completed forms.

Recommendations: Ensuring Access in the Future


The Commission recommends that:

  • All courts should establish performance and service standards.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. In general, the OSBA believes that court services to users can be improved. Court employees should receive training on improving "customer service."

  • Under the guidance of the Supreme Court, all courts should regularly assess their status and implement needed changes to optimize public safety, accessibility, and convenience in court facilities.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. Courts must balance the need for access with the need for security.

Section B:

Building Public Understanding and Confidence

Recommendations: A Fully Developed Public Information System


In order to institutionalize public education as an ongoing part of the courts' social role, the Futures Commission recommends that Ohio courts:

  • Make public education materials available in all current media formats explaining court procedures and frequently encountered legal issues in clear, non-technical language.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA recommends significantly increased use of printed materials on court processes and procedures for the media and the general public, including pamphlets, brochures, and handbooks, which should be written in language and at a level to permit public understanding. Key topics may include, but should not be limited to: 1) court structure, 2) evidence, and 3) civil and criminal procedures. A good example is the material on the public records law prepared by the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, court and state and local bar association web sites would be a useful tool in fostering public understanding of the court system.

  • Reach out to local and statewide news media to build relationships, improve the quality of law-related journalism and enhance editorial understanding of issues facing the courts.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA recommends the creation of partnerships between and among courts and state and local bar associations, including standing bar committees, to foster continuing relationships with the media and to be available as a resource when necessary. Specifically, the standing committees could assist the media in understanding court processes and procedures generally, and explain the legal and procedural issues of a specific controversial or complex case when appropriate or necessary. It is important that there be a mechanism in place to before these issues arise.

    Bar associations can also help the media to understand issues involving judges who may not be able to respond to public criticism. To this end, the OSBA has appointed the Committee on the Independent Judiciary and Unjust Criticism of Judges.

  • Encourage live coverage of appropriate judicial proceedings.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA recommends the expansion of the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts to encourage coverage of court proceedings, including use of the Internet and other appropriate new technologies. All courts, beginning at the appellate level then moving to trial courts, should be equipped to permit live coverage of appropriate judicial proceedings. Also, the OSBA encourages televising every Supreme Court proceeding, and making programs widely available, especially in the schools. However, rules should be adopted to protect the rights of all participants and jurors and the integrity of the judicial system.

  • Encourage law schools to cooperate with media in presenting programs on justice.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA will consider expanding its successful Law and Media Conference.

  • Share information about successful public education programs.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. However, the OSBA recommends that the efforts be centralized and coordinated to avoid unnecessary cost and duplication of efforts. Programs could be developed at the state level and distributed statewide through state and local bar associations, law schools, and primary and secondary schools.

  • Make court records and other public information maintained by the courts easier for the public to access and search.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation, but urges caution. The OSBA supports the wide availability of public information by and about the courts, but urges caution in certain circumstances. For example, steps should be take to ensure privacy in certain cases, including juvenile, domestic relations, and probate issues, and criteria should be developed by the Supreme Court and implemented statewide. In addition, the OSBA notes that the Internet makes information very accessible and that such access may have significant, perhaps unintended, consequences. In light of continuing changes in technology, Ohio's public records law, Section 149.43 of the Revised Code, should be reviewed and evaluated.

  • Train staff in the latest record-search techniques and provide software to assist with public information searches, including language-based aids and accommodations for persons with special needs.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

Recommendations: Enhancing Community Outreach


In order to enhance courts' real and perceived role as a constructive, approachable, problem-solving force in their communities, the Commission recommends that:

  • Court officials should work willingly with educators to help develop comprehensive curricula to provide students of all ages a fundamental understanding of the court system and how it affects their lives.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The Supreme Court, OSBA, and State Department of Education should work together to develop comprehensive model school curricula to provide students of all ages an understanding of the Ohio court system.

  • Judicial officers and court personnel should continue to seek opportunities to learn about and interact with the communities and people they serve, because such efforts build bridges of cultural understanding and respect.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. However, this is not solely the responsibility of judges and court staff. The OSBA and local bar associations should also be involved in a collaborative effort.

  • As a normal part of their duties, judges should reach out to individuals and community groups to provide knowledge about the court system's values and processes.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. However, the curricula and training should be provided statewide to ensure uniformity and consistency.

  • Appropriate changes should be sought in judicial ethics rules to the extent that current rules may be construed to restrict non-political community outreach or public education activities by judges.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation to the extent that the rules are consistent with the canons of judicial ethics.

Section C:

Building a Technological Infrastructure

Recommendations: Statewide Computer Information Network


The Futures Commission recommends that Ohio's courts:

  • Plan and create a statewide electronic communications network linking all Ohio courts to one another.

    The OSBA strongly supports a state funded, statewide electronic communications network. Such a network would greatly improve communications throughout the court system. To streamline case filing and scheduling, greater emphasis should be placed on electronic filing. Every court, including the courtroom, judge's bench, and court offices, should be connected. The OSBA supports pilot "courtroom of the future" projects and efforts to move toward real time transcription.

  • Apply the capabilities of the network to making court information and services more accessible and convenient to court users.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Expanded information will greatly improve operations for the users as well as court officers and staff. However, the OSBA cautions that there are costs associated with such an effort, including costs to lawyers. In addition, the courts should be mindful of privacy issues. In light of continuing changes in technology, Ohio's public records law, Section 149.43 of the Revised Code, should be reviewed and evaluated.

  • Make materials and information available in other appropriate formats at each court location to help persons who do not have direct electronic access.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Every effort should be made to make court information available in a variety of media. In addition to using the Internet, public terminals should be considered, at least at court facilities.

Recommendations: Statewide Technology Standards & the Ohio Court Technology Standards Committee


In order to establish and operate the interactive communications network described above, and manage the efficient implementation of evolving technology in Ohio courts, the Futures Commission recommends that:

  • The Supreme Court should establish an Ohio Court Technology Standards Committee.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA supports efforts to move toward greater uniformity in the administration of Ohio's courts. The establishment of the Ohio Court Technology Standards Committee will be an important step because the OCTSC will establish uniform standards for compatibility and interoperability. Currently there is a patchwork - vast disparities in the levels of technology, plus a large number of different systems, few of which are compatible.

    The OSBA notes that on September 7, 2000, Chief Justice Moyer announced the appointment of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Technology and the Courts to "address the challenge of defining the technology needs of Ohio courts and developing standards that could make all court computer systems compatible with each other."

  • The technology standards committee should establish knowledge, skills and ability standards and continuing educational requirements for technology personnel employed in the courts.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • In establishing statewide standards, careful attention should be paid to protecting the integrity of official records and data.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. It will be important to establish stringent security procedures.

  • The standards committee should provide training programs, technical support and materials.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA emphasizes the need for state funding to ensure adequate technologies in all of Ohio's courts.

Recommendations: Applying Technology


  • To improve efficiency and reduce expense and delay, courts and attorneys should be encouraged to use technological advances to:

    --expedite litigation processes including discovery and witness depositions

    --assist those responsible for managing cases and dispute resolution processes;

    --gather statistical data on similar cases and outcomes;

    --reduce or eliminate delay in transmitting trial court records for appeal.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA encourages cooperative efforts between and among courts and lawyers, enhanced by the organized bar, to work together to utilize technology to improve the efficiency of court processes and reduce or eliminate delay.

Section D:

Court Structure, Organization and Management

Recommendations: Court Structure


Courts of Appeals

With regard to the courts of appeals, the Futures Commission recommends that:

  • The Chief Justice should continue to make assignments of court of appeals judges across district lines.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. In general, the OSBA supports the process of assigning judges at all levels across jurisdictional lines to provide coverage, use judicial resources efficiently, and ensure relative equity in case loads.

  • The Supreme Court should exercise its authority to appoint an appellate redistricting commission every ten years.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA notes that the Appellate District Study Committee created by Am. Sub. S.B. 164 of the 123rd General Assembly, which includes Supreme Court appointees and legislative members, will conduct a thorough review of current districts. The OSBA also supports a continuing regular review, approximately every ten years.

    Trial Courts (Common Pleas, Municipal, and County Courts)

    With regard to the structure of Ohio's trial courts, the Futures Commission recommends that:

  • Ohio should retain three levels of courts: trial courts, appellate courts, and the Supreme Court.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA believes that the general structure of Ohio's court system is sound, but supports efforts to provide flexibility by authorizing some variations in trial court structure, with approval of the Supreme Court and General Assembly, to permit local courts to be organized to best meet local needs.

  • Each county (and municipality where applicable) should continue to have and operate its own trial courts, and be empowered to organize them according to local need.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • Within each county, with the approval of the Supreme Court and General Assembly, trial courts should consider the merits of organizing according to one of three structural models:

    a. retaining their current structure;

    b. forming a two-tier trial court which retains a distinct common pleas level but combines municipal and county courts into a unified county-wide court of limited jurisdiction served by full-time judicial officers; or

    c. combining common pleas, municipal and county courts into a single trial court. served by full-time judges and magistrates who are authorized to hear cases and provide judicial services at whatever level they are needed at any given time.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA supports permitting, but not requiring, local courts to organize in one of three structure options. The OSBA emphasizes the importance of full-time judicial officers.

Recommendations: Court Governance and Management


With regard to the governance of Ohio's state court system, the Futures Commission recommends that:

  • Local courts should continue to govern themselves, within an expanded framework of statewide standards adopted by the Supreme Court.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA strongly believes that local governance of courts should be accomplished within a framework of statewide standards to ensure consistency and predictability in the Ohio court system.

  • Statewide standards for court facilities, technology, personnel qualifications, training, operations and performance should be implemented.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA supports the creating of statewide standards for court facilities, technology, personnel qualifications, training, operations, and performance, and also recommends consideration of a statewide salary structure for court employees.

  • Virtually every Ohio court should employ a full-time administrator and be guided by a comprehensive management plan.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA strongly supports the need for full-time, professional court management. The specific needs will depend on the local court structure and other local issues.

Recommendations: Local Delivery of Court Services


Mayor's Courts

  • The Commission recommends that mayor's courts be replaced by local delivery of judicial services through trial courts with locations convenient to the public.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA agrees with the recent federal court decision in City of Macedonia v. DePiero, (6th Cir. 1999), 180 F.3d 770, cert. denied 120 S.Ct. 844 (Jan. 10, 2000). Mayors presiding at mayor's court create at least the appearance of impropriety, and some conduct may constitute a significant conflict of interest. Full-time, professional judicial officers should preside in all Ohio courts. In addition, some of the positive characteristics of mayor's courts, such as providing local delivery of judicial services in convenient locations, can be accomplished by holding municipal court sessions throughout the jurisdiction at times convenient to the public and law enforcement officers. However, it will be necessary to consider administrative issues such as facilities, security, and clerk's office operations.

Community Courts

  • The Commission recommends that, at their discretion, local trial courts should be authorized to create one or more "community courts" within a county which could assume many of the functions of mayors' courts and provide many additional judicial and dispute resolution services.

    The OSBA takes no position on the recommendation.

Voluntary Regional (Multi-County) Partnerships

  • The Commission recommends that, with the approval of the Supreme Court and General Assembly, local trial courts should consider forming partnerships with courts in nearby counties to operate regional courts or justice centers if such cooperative arrangements would optimize the use of economic and judicial resources.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA supports voluntary, multi-county or regional partnerships, as appropriate, particularly to provide related court services such as dispute resolution and domestic relations and juvenile court services such as court counseling and evaluation, supervised visitation, and parent education classes. The goals would be to "maximize efficient delivery of judicial services to the public." The OSBA notes that common pleas courts have had similar authority since 1961, under the Modern Courts Amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

Specialized Courts

  • The Commission recommends that trial courts within a single county or multi-county court system be authorized to recommend to the Supreme Court and the General Assembly the creation of specialized courts (e.g. environmental or housing court, family court, drug court, business court) to serve identified local needs.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA supports the concept of specialized courts as a flexible concept to permit efficient case management and to best meet local needs for judicial and other court resources.

Recommendations: Court Funding


  • The essential functions of state courts should increasingly be funded from state general tax revenues.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The report states:

    "The Futures Commission did not seek to estimate specific cost items or identify specific funding sources for each proposed improvement in the state courts at this initial stage, but understands that funding issues must be addressed as a first and essential element of implementing its recommendations….

    The administration of justice is enhanced when funding for courts is adequate and there is funding equity among courts. The Ohio Courts Futures Commission recognizes that many of its recommendations will require new or expanded funding for courts. The OSBA also recognizes that it may be necessary to shift the balance between state and local funding to achieve adequate funding.

    With the assumption by the state of financial responsibility for essential court functions, formulas should be developed to assure adequate fiscal resources for those functions. The distribution of court costs and possibly some fines and fees may need to be altered, with the state receiving an increased share of these revenues. Local courts should retain the flexibility to increase or decrease fees to meet local needs.

    The Supreme Court should continue to fund pilot programs in county or multi-county court systems to test experimental techniques for improving the administration of justice. To meet fiscally extraordinary cases, the OSBA suggests that the legislature be asked to set aside a special contingency fund which local courts may seek permission to access."

    The OSBA agrees.

  • New requirements and standards imposed by the state should be supported by state funding or other available funding sources.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA believes that new state requirements should be accompanied by state funding.

  • State funding should be phased in through an orderly and deliberate process over a period of years.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA recommends that this be accomplished as soon as possible.

Section E:

Enhancing Court Rules and Processes

Recommendations: Clear, Uniform Rules And Procedures


The Commission recommends that:

  • Court rules, forms, and procedures regarding the practice and general case process should be as uniform as possible throughout the state to enhance the efficient and fair administration of justice. A primary value served by all rules and procedures should be efficiency in resolving disputes and best use of party, attorney and court resources.

  • All court rules, forms and procedures, and all changes as soon as adopted, should be timely published and available to court users and the public online and via other current electronic media according to a process and standards adopted by the Supreme Court.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA emphasizes its strong support for clear, written, uniform statewide rules, procedures, and forms, consistently applied to achieve predictable outcomes, county to county, court to court, and even within courts. In our mobile society, it is often necessary to conduct business and personal matters across city, county, and even state lines. Technology, especially the use of the Internet and other remote access mechanisms, makes broad applicability of rules and procedures even more important. In addition, uniform rules and procedures promote "quality decisions that are based on legal merits…rather than technicalities." The OSBA recognizes the need for some local rules and flexibility, provided they are consistent "with the intent and requirements of the rules of general application." However, the OSBA urges that court procedures, such as pretrial orders, be uniform within each county and court.

Recommendations: Role of Judges and Counsel


With regard to the proper roles of judges and counsel in moving cases efficiently through the judicial process, the Commission recommends that, where these practices are not already in use:

  • Judges should communicate to counsel, early and consistently, that the judge expects a high level of professionalism.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA recognizes the importance of the judge in managing trials and other legal processes and ensuring that attorneys and others achieve high levels of professionalism.

  • Judges should discuss with counsel and map a schedule for the case.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation, as long as the process is consistent with uniform statewide case management guidelines.

  • Judges should be available to promptly resolve discovery disputes.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • Court decisions should be written clearly and articulate the basis for all substantive issues.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA emphasizes that court decisions should be clear and provide adequate information and rationale to provide an understanding of the court's decision. In addition, decisions should be rendered as expeditiously as possible.

  • Counsel should deliver services professionally and in a manner designed to promote efficient and fair resolution of the dispute.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • Courts and counsel should use available technologies.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Both the court and counsel should be familiar with technological advances and use technology to enhance the dispute resolution process, including discovery, case management, and even trials. Current examples include electronic mail, teleconferencing, and online legal research, but technology is evolving rapidly and other technologies will certainly emerge.

  • Counsel should resort to judicial involvement only where necessary to resolve an issue, and not for areas in which they should normally cooperate. Local counsel should be responsible for communicating practice requirements to out of town counsel since both are responsible for the content and tone of pleadings.

    The OSBA supports the first sentence of the recommendation. Assuming that the second sentence applies only to co-counsel, the OSBA supports the recommendation.

Recommendations: Integrated Case-Management Systems and Reporting


The Commission recommends that:

  • Each court should implement an integrated, effective, case flow management process.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation, but urges statewide uniformity to provide predictability of outcomes. The Commission stated that the case flow management process "should promote predictability, early and continuous court involvement, flexibility, adaptability to changing circumstances, and optimum use of resources. Judges within a division of a multiple-judge court should cooperate to manage case flow. Case management processes should move individual cases from filing to disposition in a timely, cost-effective manner using the best means consistent with their content and circumstances. Such means may include mediation, arbitration, and conventional litigation."

  • The Supreme Court should continue to improve its computerized reporting system and enforce mandatory reporting guidelines.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The Supreme Court should exercise its authority to monitor and assess court caseloads. The Supreme Court should also institute a system of caseload audits for all courts.

    According to the Commission report, "(s)ince the early 1990's, each court in Ohio has been required to develop and file with the Supreme Court a case management plan. The Commission supports this requirement and recommends that the case management process continue to be improved. An integrated case management system allows courts to monitor their dockets in a systematic way that requires each case to be dealt with pursuant to a formal, recorded plan of action designed to move that dispute toward appropriate resolution. By requiring that a specific management plan be developed for every case entering the system, courts establish a presumptive calendar of key dates by which parties, counsel and court officers must take appropriate steps and initiate necessary legal actions to arrive at a negotiated settlement or bring the matter to final disposition. The Commission recommends that the Supreme Court continue to improve its computerized reporting system and enforce mandatory reporting guidelines through periodic audits, so the system can be developed into an effective evaluation tool. This computerized reporting system and supporting technology should provide compatibility and interchangeability of data that are consistent with statewide standards, and meaningful sanctions should be enforced for noncompliance."

Recommendation: Efficient Appellate Case Management


  • The Commission encourages appellate courts to adopt streamlined case processing strategies.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA strongly recommends that the Supreme Court adopt uniform statewide appellate case management practices, and time guidelines are strongly encouraged.

Section F:

Encouraging Alternatives in Dispute Resolution

Introduction

Ohio is a national leader in the development of dispute resolution processes. Traditional litigation is and will continue to be an important mechanism. Over the last ten or more years, a wide range of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms have evolved and many have proven successful. The OSBA recognizes and supports the Commission's recommendation that each case be evaluated as early as possible (similar to the "triage" in the medical field) so that it can be directed to the most efficient and effective processes for resolution. In addition, research has demonstrated that dispute resolution may promote "faster, more efficient, less costly, and mutually satisfactory resolution of disputes." Therefore, since dispute resolution has proven successful in Ohio, the OSBA recommends statewide implementation of dispute resolution as soon as possible, as a priority of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Recommendations: Civil Mediation


In order to promote faster, more efficient, less costly and mutually satisfying resolution of disputes, the Futures Commission recommends that:

  • Users of all Ohio courts should be able to file a request for mediation without filing a lawsuit.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. However, the process should be clarified. For example, does the filing of a request with a court mediated program stay a statute of limitation?

  • Each trial court should have an array of tracks or systems besides traditional litigation that parties may use to resolve their disputes.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

    According to the Commission report, "the effectiveness of court-based programs will depend on getting disputes on the right track of the dispute resolution continuum as early as possible. Advice from counsel may be the first step in this process, followed by assistance from professional court staff who will guide disputants through their choice of mediation, case evaluation, fact finding, mini-trials, summary jury trials, or other assisted negotiation methods or combinations of such options. If non-adversarial methods are not successful, fast-track trials, arbitration or traditional litigation remain as options.

    Court personnel should be trained in all dispute resolution options, and should assign each new case to an appropriate track or system consistent with the nature of the controversies. There may be mandatory mediation in some cases or situations, but there should be no penalty for proceeding with litigation if a dispute remains unresolved."

  • The courts should develop strong, high quality in-house mediation programs.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • Courts should have a sound process and criteria in place for selecting and maintaining qualified mediators and administrators.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA supports the use of attorneys as mediators and administrators.

Recommendations: Civil Family Matters


  • Courts should provide mediation, counseling, and education services at the initial stages of civil family conflicts.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. This should be a priority area for dispute resolution. According to the Commission's report, "(m)ediation works best when there are ongoing relationships between the parties that they want or need to maintain. This is why child custody, visitation, truancy and many other juvenile and domestic problems are excellent for mediation and have been among the first areas of the system to adopt non-adversarial techniques. In light of the high success rate for juvenile court mediations, it may be reasonable for courts to mandate mediation in such cases--at least to the extent of ordering parties to attend a mediation. Parties should not, however, be required to reach an agreement or be punished for failing to do so. The right to a trial should be preserved."

Recommendation: Public Policy Disputes and Mass Tort Cases


  • To obtain more appropriate outcomes and speed up the process, courts should use mediation to assist in the resolution of public policy disputes, mass torts and product liability litigation.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

Recommendations: Criminal Mediation


  • At the pre-filing stage, community-based mediation should be available on a voluntary basis in certain lower-level cases, such as neighborhood disputes, graffiti, and shoplifting.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA recognizes that mediation or other dispute resolution processes may be valuable in certain neighborhood cases, such as "bad check" and neighborhood disputes, provided that the process is voluntary.

  • At the victim's request, mediation through courts should be available after charges are filed in some lower-level felony, misdemeanor and delinquency cases (nonviolent cases, defendants with no prior criminal records).

    The OSBA supports the recommendation, with the provision that the prosecutor must consent. However, the OSBA recognizes that there may be issues regarding a defendant's right against self-incrimination if the mediation process is unsuccessful and the case is prosecuted.

  • After a more serious criminal or delinquency case is concluded, restorative mediation programs should be available through the court with the victim's consent.

    The OSBA feels that the recommendation is not clear. However, assuming the term "restorative mediation" means victim restitution, apologies to the victim or victim's family, and the like, the OSBA supports the recommendation.

Recommendations: Mediation at the Appellate Level


  • The Supreme Court should increase its use of mediation in appeals and original actions in appropriate cases.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • Mediators should be available on-call and utilized when appropriate to assist in public policy and other similar disputes at the state level or within an appellate district.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • The Supreme Court should continue to lead and monitor ADR programs in state courts.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

Section G:

Jury Reform

Introduction

The OSBA strongly recommends uniform, mandatory statewide jury procedures and standards. However, the OSBA recommends that some flexibility be permitted to meet the needs of the community. The OSBA also recognizes the need for diversity and to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Recommendation: Jury Summons


In order to improve public respect for jury service, increase participation by persons called to serve on juries and enhance the value of jury trials as a method of resolving disputes, the Futures Commission recommends that:

  • The jury summons should provide adequate notice, be clear and understandable and include background materials explaining the court system and jury service.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA recommends that the jury summons provide adequate notice and be clear and understandable. It is extremely important that individuals asked to perform this most important public duty be able to fully understand and appreciate what they are being asked to do in order to fully participate as a juror. The OSBA also recognizes the need for more translations of court materials. The courts should make greater use of modern technology, such as the Internet and voice messaging to provide easy access to the answers to commonly asked questions and other information to help prospective jurors understand their role. A resource center to accomplish these purposes could be developed by the Supreme Court and used statewide.

Recommendation: Jury Pools


  • Courts should use expanded jury source lists to achieve more representative juries.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA emphasizes that this should be part of a uniform, mandatory statewide jury management system. The expanded resources should include records of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and the expanded system should be mandatory for all counties.

Recommendation: Voir Dire (Questioning of Jurors)


  • Judges should be involved in and actively manage the voir dire portion of the jury selection process.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Voir dire is the process of questioning prospective jurors in order to select unbiased jurors. The OSBA believes that judges should be actively involved in managing the voir dire process while recognizing the legitimate role of trial counsel in the selection of jurors. According to the Commission report, the judge should "determine the extent and nature of judicial involvement on a case by case basis." In addition, the judge should set parameters on questioning and provide clear leadership throughout the process.

Recommendation: Juror Service and Treatment


  • Courts should make efficient use of jurors' time, and make jury service as comfortable and convenient as possible.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA strongly recommends that courts make every effort to make efficient use of jurors time. Courts should use all available technology and explore "one day - one trial" and "on call" or "call in" methods.

    The Commission reports states "(t)o minimize inconvenience to jurors and their employers, jurors should serve the shortest possible term consistent with the needs of the trial court. Currently, courts in Ohio are experimenting with methods such as 'one day-one trial' and 'on call.' In 'one day-one trial,' jurors are summoned for a single day or a single trial and, to the extent possible, know when they will be called and what they will be doing. The 'on call' or 'call in' method uses technology to permit jurors to call in at the beginning of the day to determine whether they will be needed on that day--allowing those not needed to go to work or take care of other business rather than driving to the courthouse and waiting for hours before being dismissed. Courts also can and should use technology to monitor case status and minimize wasted time and inconvenience caused by last minute settlements and rescheduling. By making jury service more efficient and less burdensome, these strategies can foster positive word-of-mouth which will increase future juror participation."

  • Judges and courts should address language and cultural differences to enhance juror participation and understanding of judicial proceedings.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. Courts should make greater use of translators. The OSBA supports diverse juries, but believes that this recommendation is unclear.

Recommendations: Jury Activities, Juror Understanding of Evidence


  • In order to effectively process, evaluate, and comprehend the evidence and the law and make informed decisions, jurors should be permitted, under appropriate instruction, to

    - take notes, including the use of electronic means, during the trial and during deliberations to aid their memory for both factual and conceptual items;

    - ask questions in a manner in which both parties' rights are protected;

    - at the court's direction, have technical issues clarified and explained by neutral experts selected by the court;

    - in lengthy trials and trials of complex cases, have notebooks for keeping documents and other information about the case;

    - have the alternate jurors randomly designated just before deliberations;

    - have access to projected real-time transcripts during the trial and access to the written text of jury instructions and trial testimony during deliberations; and

    - discuss evidence during the trial, when all jurors are together.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation, but strongly opposes 1) permitting jurors to discuss evidence during a trial, and 2) permitting the appointment of neutral experts at the request of jurors.

    The OSBA strongly supports statewide jury standards. In general, the OSBA supports most of the first six recommendations, unless the judge, on a case-by-case basis, with explanation and rationale on the record, determines that one or more of the procedures is not appropriate based on the particular case. The OSBA supports permitting jurors to ask questions, provided the request is through the judge and in writing. The OSBA would permit access to real-time transcripts, when available technologically at a reasonable cost, but only during deliberations and not during the trial.

    However, the OSBA strongly opposes permitting jurors to discuss evidence during the trial, even when all jurors are together. As the current Ohio Jury Instructions (§2.2) make clear, a fair trial requires that jurors not form or express an opinion on the case until everything necessary to reach an informed decision has been presented. The OSBA believes that allowing jurors to discuss evidence during the trial would increase the likelihood of jurors forming opinions or expressing views before all of the evidence has been presented. This is a particular concern in extended civil or criminal cases where the defense does not present its case for days or weeks after the plaintiff or prosecutor begins presenting evidence. In addition, discussions of the evidence during trial may result in some jurors expressing opinions or taking positions which they are reluctant to change during deliberations even though a change may be warranted by later evidence. For these reasons, the OSBA strongly opposes the recommendation that jurors be permitted to discuss evidence during the trial. The OSBA also opposes the appointment of neutral experts at the request of jurors.

Recommendations: Jury Instructions and Deliberations


  • The judge should provide jury instructions when they are most useful to jurors, using clear, simple language.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA agrees with the Commission's conclusion that "it may be more helpful and appropriate for a judge to provide final instructions before closing arguments instead of after them." The Commission also stated that "many judges now provide instructions in writing or even in electronic format available to all jurors. Judges should also instruct jurors on effective techniques for selecting a foreperson and deliberating.

    The Commission also felt it would be useful to have jury instructions and trial testimony available to jurors through technological means during deliberations, just as historically they have had access to physical evidence. This support, and more active assistance from the judge in attempting to resolve impasses, will help to preserve the integrity of the jury system and promote judicial economy and finality."

  • If jurors reach an impasse, the judge should be able to provide the jury not only with legal instructions but also, with agreement of counsel, with additional information.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA would limit the information to transcripts of testimony and stipulated evidence.

Recommendation: Statewide Jury Commission


  • The Supreme Court should establish a jury commission.

    The OSBA strongly opposes the creation of a statewide jury committee.

Section H:

Supporting Excellence in Judicial Officers and Court Personnel

Introduction

Judges and other judicial officers are fundamental to our system of justice. Therefore, it is imperative that they be highly qualified and possess superior professional qualifications and experience and demonstrate integrity and ability to make decisions in a fair and impartial manner. This is critical to the independence of the judiciary and public trust and confidence in the justice system.

In the context of its review of the Futures Committees recommendations, the OSBA notes that the Commission did not take a position on judicial selection. The OSBA will continue its long standing efforts in support of merit selection, a method of selecting judges by appointment with a retention election. The OSBA strongly supports merit selection.

The OSBA believes that the role of money does more than merely create an apparent conflict of interest, it raises the specter of the appearance of impropriety, a cynicism that erodes public confidence in a system that was designed to promote impartiality, an absence of bias, and equal application of the law. The OSBA recommends the exploration of public financing of judicial elections if Ohio is to continue to elect judges.

Recommendations: Improving Judicial Selection


Whatever method of judicial selection is employed in the future, Ohio's judicial selection process should:

  • Be non-partisan at all levels.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. While it would be difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate all partisan politics from judicial elections, the OSBA strongly recommends that every effort be made to minimize the impact of political partisanship, including non-partisan primaries and elimination of party identification on all judicial ballots and campaign materials.

  • Promote diversity.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Every effort should be made to ensure that the judiciary reflects the makeup of the community.

  • Provide published, objective qualifications.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Criteria for judicial selection should be as objective as possible and be widely distributed.

  • Include mechanisms to ensure that voters are well-informed about all judicial candidates.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation, provided that the information distributed to the public is either absolutely objective or provided by the candidate.

  • Minimize the role of money to avoid conflicts of interest.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA notes that an elective method of selecting judges, even if judges are prohibited from requesting money, creates at least an apparent conflict of interest, which has a negative impact on public confidence in judges' ability to render impartial decisions.

    The OSBA recommends the study of public financing of judicial electons if Ohio is to continue to elect judges.

  • Maintain and enhance public confidence in the justice system.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Our system of justice depends largely on public confidence; courts rely on the fact that people believe in the system and comply with judgments. Therefore, public confidence is critical to the system.

Recommendations: Judicial Qualifications Commission


In order to assure that only well-qualified persons are selected to serve in judicial positions, the Futures Commission recommends that:

  • The Supreme Court should establish a Judicial Qualifications Commission.


    The OSBA strongly supports the creation of a judicial qualifications commission to: 1) develop qualifications for judicial office; 2) evaluate all judicial candidates to ensure that they meet all criteria; 3) in the case of an interim vacancy, recommend a list of qualified candidates to the Governor for appointment; and 4) assist the Supreme Court in administering and enforcing the qualification process.

That Commission should:

  1. a. Be nonpartisan, reflect the demographic diversity of the state and be comprised of lawyer and non-lawyer members.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Non-partisanship is critical to confidence in the Commission. It is equally important that the membership be diverse and include non-lawyer members.

  2. Use input from state and local bar associations, judicial professional associations, court users and other knowledgeable individuals and groups in developing qualifications for judicial positions. The criteria adopted by this commission should establish clear, relevant and objective qualifications for judicial officeholders at each level of the state courts. Those rules should be developed, published for comment, adopted and become law unless disapproved by the legislature under the same procedures as new rules of practice and procedure.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. According to the Commission report, "a diverse non-partisan Judicial Qualifications Commission should be established to set qualifications for judges at all levels of the state court system. The Futures Commission believes these criteria should be more demanding than Ohio's current statutory minimums of admission to the bar and six years in any type of legal practice. New criteria could include a required number of years of experience relevant to the position sought, increasing the number of years of experience as a practicing lawyer from six years to up to ten years, and setting a required preliminary curriculum to prepare an individual to serve as a judicial officer. Required courses could include, but not be limited to: court rules and processes, court technologies and case management procedures, the duties of the judicial officer, judicial ethics, and substantive law." The OSBA believes that, under the separation of powers, the Judicial Branch should establish the qualifications for judicial office, although this change would require a constitutional amendment.

  3. Assist the Supreme Court in administering and enforcing qualification rules by evaluating and approving or disapproving the qualifications of candidates for election or appointment to judicial office.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

Recommendation: Filling In-Term Judicial Vacancies


When a judge dies or leaves office before completing his/her full term, the Commission recommends that:

  • Only persons who meet minimum criteria set by a judicial qualification commission should be eligible for appointment.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • The judicial qualification commission should assist the Governor in making appointments to fill in-term judicial vacancies.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA reaffirms its long-standing support for merit selection and believes that this is a step in the right direction.

    According to the Commission report, "(c)urrently, the Governor appoints individual to fill all in-term vacancies in judicial positions. Recent Governors have varied in the selection process. Some have consulted with bar associations and other knowledgeable sources to identify the best- qualified candidates. Some have deferred to state or local political party leaders. Others have not consulted with local officials. On those occasions when judges are to be placed in office by appointment, the Futures Commission recommends that the selection process be improved and strengthened. When in-term vacancies arise, a knowledgeable, nonpartisan judicial qualifications commission should evaluate all applicants - including political independents who are effectively excluded from the bench by the current party-driven appointment system. After identifying all applicants who meet minimum qualifications, the commission should assemble a list of those nominees it finds best qualified, from which the Governor would make the appointment."

Recommendation: Orientation, Training and Judicial Education


  • An individual who has been selected for a judicial position should complete a mandatory training program within six months of taking office including mentoring by a sitting judge. Continuing education requirements for all judicial officers should continue throughout a judge's judicial career.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. Training is critical to a strong judiciary.

  • Equitable funding should be provided for judicial officers to attend continuing judicial education programs coordinated with Ohio law schools and other sources. Continuing education requirements for judicial officers should include programs that incorporate cultural and diversity issues.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation that there be ample funding for continuing judicial education. However, the OSBA notes that the continuing education programs should be coordinated by the Ohio Judicial College, with support from the OSBA CLE Institute, law schools, and local bar associations.

Recommendation: Judicial Evaluation


  • The Supreme Court should establish criteria and set procedures for the periodic evaluation of all sitting judges.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation in concept. Currently, there is no statewide mechanism for the evaluation of judges, and the OSBA believes that judicial evaluation is a worthwhile goal. Evaluation should be based on objective criteria that are widely disseminated to the bench, bar, and public, so that all are aware of the expectations. Evaluation criteria may include statistical information on case dispositions, as well as legal knowledge, judicial temperament, work habits, and other criteria.

    However, the OSBA recommends that any evaluation mechanism be carefully considered. The OSBA recognizes the value of evaluations as a tool for judge self-evaluation, but is particularly concerned about the implications of public dissemination of evaluation results. The OSBA notes that there have been examples of misuse of such information. Also, the OSBA believes that any evaluation mechanism should include input from users of the system - attorneys, particularly those who have appeared before the judge; parties; and jurors.

    This Commission recommendation has merit but deserves further study. The 2000 Bench-Bar Conference sponsored by the Ohio State Bar Association, Supreme Court of Ohio, and Ohio Judicial Conference addressed the topic of mid-term evaluation of judges as one of its topics for discussion. The OSBA recommends that the report of the Bench-Bar Conference on this topic be utilized in the development of any program related to this subject matter.

Recommendation: Judicial Compensation


  • Judicial salaries, benefits, and retirement should be sufficient to attract and retain well- qualified professionals. A separate and permanent judicial compensation commission should be established.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. In addition, judicial salaries should be paid by the state.

Recommendation: Judicial Age Limits


  • Ohio's current prohibition against persons 70 or older from running for judicial office should be re-examined.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. This requirement was adopted by Ohio voters as part of the Modern Courts Amendment of 1968. Thirty years later, people are living longer lives and remain productive later in life. The OSBA agrees with the Commission that the issue should be studied further.

Recommendation: Judicial Officers Should Not Engage in Private Practice


  • Judicial officers should not engage in the private practice of law.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation. The OSBA agrees with the Commission's analysis, as follows: "(r)eal and perceived conflicts of interest arise from private attorneys serving as advocates for clients in a courtroom one day and as part-time judges in the same courtroom the next. In jurisdictions where caseloads do not support full-time judicial officers, judges should be permitted to serve more than one court, and court magistrates should be permitted to serve in more than one court or perform more than one court function. This is one improvement that can be realized if courts within a county opt to reorganize into a single-tier or two-tier structure and share judicial resources." The term "judicial officer" includes both judges and magistrates. The same analysis applies to acting judges, local attorneys who are appointed by municipal and county judges to serve in their absence. The OSBA assumes that the Futures Commission report, which calls for a full-time profession judiciary, intended to recommend that acting judges be eliminated. The OSBA strongly recommends that acting judges be eliminated as soon as practical.

Recommendations: Legal and Judicial Ethics and Discipline


The Futures Commission recommends that:

  • Attorneys and judicial officers should continue to exemplify the highest professional and personal standards to ensure public confidence in the legal system.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • Attorneys and judicial officers should be held accountable for their professional and personal ethics, in the broadest sense of the term.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • Ohio's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline should review public concerns about real or apparent conflicts of interest, insularity, lack of courtesy and timeliness in the legal and judicial discipline system. Where appropriate, processes and rules should be strengthened to enhance public trust and confidence.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • The legal and judicial ethics process should be, and be perceived to be open, visible, understandable, and accessible to the public as possible, taking into account that complaints should not be made public until probable cause has been established. One means to this end could be to increase the number of public, non-lawyer members of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.

    The OSBA would maintain the current number of nonlawyer members of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.

  • Law schools and continuing legal education programs should continue to place substantial emphasis on legal and judicial ethics. The legal profession should initiate or expand training for new lawyers, including "bridge the gap" and mentoring programs.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • All active lawyers who represent private clients should have legal malpractice insurance.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

Recommendations: Magistrates and Other Court Personnel


The Futures Commission recommends that:

  • In filling staff positions, courts should seek out applicants who meet and exceed relevant job qualifications and training standards. Formal performance standards should serve as the basis for regular evaluations, and be supported by ongoing training and professional development opportunities. Continuing educational requirements for technology personnel are essential to ensure the presence of knowledgeable individuals who are able maintain and upgrade critical systems and keep operating hardware and software current.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • Hiring and administration of court personnel should continue to be the prerogative of local jurisdictions under guidelines developed by the Supreme Court to ensure that court users in all areas of the state benefit from fair and consistent administration of justice.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • The Supreme Court should clarify the appropriate roles and responsibilities of employees and officers of the court and promulgate standards for use by courts.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • Allocation of resources for personnel matters should remain at the local court level.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.

  • Court employee salaries, benefits, and retirement should be sufficient to attract and retain well qualified individuals.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. Also, statewide standards for salaries and benefits should be established.

  • Behavior in the courts should continue to be guided by civility, ethical behavior, a fundamental concern for the treatment of the public, as well as respect for courts, the judicial system and participants.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

  • Comprehensive codes of professional responsibility for judges, court personnel, and attorneys should guide behavior and be enforced consistently with these priorities.

    The OSBA strongly supports the recommendation.

Recommendations: Clerks of Court


  • The Ohio General Assembly should establish qualifications for clerks of court.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation. The OSBA supports the establishment of performance standards for all court officials and employees, including work experience, education and training, and professionalism.

  • Clerks should also meet performance standards, receive continual training necessary to discharge their duties and be able to use technologies appropriate to the court-related functions of their office.

    The OSBA supports the recommendation.


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Phone:

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