Court Talk

Court Talk

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Court Talk is a podcast from the National Center for State Courts, which focuses on the intersection between courts and current events.Tune in each month as we bring you a new episode on the latest happenings in courts.


405: What happens when a high school student gets bored during study hall
Jun 18 • 12 min
Anna Salvatore’s interest in the Supreme Court, which started during a boring study hall, led her to start a blog called High School SCOTUS
404: Justice on Trial
May 21 • 26 min
Criminal defense attorney Jerry Buting, made famous from Netflix’s documentary mega hit Making a Murderer, talks about life after the Steven Avery trial.
403: Improving public engagement with the courts is a personal and professional journey for this Chief Judge
Apr 22 • 18 min
Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals chairs the Community Engagement in State Courts Initiative, aims to advance understanding of how to use public engagement to build trust in courts.
Epi 402: How does employee engagement affect court culture?
Mar 6 • 14 min
Listen to Judge Russo talk about how he has changed the court’s culture and runs his court like it’s a Fortune 500 company.
401: Tough Cases, tough decisions
Jan 15 • 20 min
Judge Greg Mize joins moderator Jesse Rutledge to discuss Tough Cases, a book featuring 13 judges who share their stories about the most difficult cases they tried.
312: Is judicial independence under attack?
Dec 17, 2018 • 17 min
William & Mary law professor Neal Devins, appeared on Court Talk to help shed light on the topic of judicial independence.
311: Bringing state courts back into the constitutional picture
Nov 9, 2018 • 17 min
U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey Sutton outlines the under-appreciation of the state courts in the development of American constitutional law and discusses his new book, 51 Imperfect Solutions.
310: Regional Opioid Initiative Chair Judge Slone gets personal
Oct 12, 2018 • 17 min
How can the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative help solve the opioid-driven addiction crisis?
309: Measuring recidivism in recovery courts
Sep 17, 2018 • 15 min
Andy Brown, Recovery Court Coordinator the 20th Judicial Circuit Court in Ottawa County, Michigan, shares the lessons he learned in measuring recidivism data and how do you collect it.
308: The dividends of effective court communications
Aug 20, 2018 • 15 min
Communications Counsel Craig Waters and Deputy Director of Communications Tricia Knox talk about how social media helped the courts communicate with the public during last year’s hurricane season.
307: Navigating the foreclosure crisis
Jul 25, 2018 • 23 min
Florida Judge Jennifer Bailey discusses how the court’s employees dug their way out of that crisis with successful case management.
306: The science of state court statistics
Jun 18, 2018 • 15 min
In this episode, Researcher Nicole Waters talks about the science of data collection and how the project is improving.
305: Developing data standards for court records
May 16, 2018 • 14 min
The National Center for State Courts’ Tom Clarke talks about electronic records standards and what it means to the courts.
304: Family defenders, bringing a voice to parent representation in child welfare cases
Apr 20, 2018 • 16 min
Many people have heard of a guardian ad litem, a lawyer who represents the interest of a child in family court matters. But how about parent representation?
303: Foster care should be support, not substitute, for families
Mar 19, 2018 • 10 min
Dr. Jerry Milner, acting commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, has spent four decades trying to strengthen the child welfare system.
302: The brain science of addiction
Feb 15, 2018 • 17 min
Carl M. Dawson discusses what courts can do to help those individuals with drug problems who come into the courts.
301: Judging on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic
Jan 22, 2018 • 17 min
opioid epidemic
213: Courts unite to fight impact of opioid epidemic on communities and courts
Dec 18, 2017 • 12 min
ask force co-chairs, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush and Tennessee State Court Administrator Deborah Taylor Tate, discuss efforts courts are taking to address the opioid epidemic.
212: Retired chief justice helps meet refugees’ unmet legal needs
Nov 6, 2017 • 16 min
Interview with retired Idaho Chief Justice Jim Jones, a Vietnam veteran
211: How do you measure the distance of reasonable fear?
Oct 18, 2017 • 19 min
Yance Ford joins us on Court Talk to discuss the shooting of her brother, the role of the grand jury, and much more.
210: Think you know a lot about our Constitution?
Sep 15, 2017 • 10 min
William & Mary Law Professor Allison Orr Larsen, an expert in constitutional law, can tell you a lot about the Constitution.
209: Rikers Island: Symbol of everything wrong with the justice system
Aug 1, 2017 • 14 min
On any given day, more than 7,500 people are detained at New York City’s largest jail, Rikers Island. Nearly 80 percent of those people – roughly 6,000 — have not been found guilty of the charges they face. Many remain in Rikers for months awaiting…
208: Managing high-profile cases in the 21st century
Jul 17, 2017 • 13 min
The vast majority of cases in state courts are resolved with little or no fanfare. But when public scrutiny focuses on a particular trial – whether it involves a heinous crime, a celebrity, or a societal issue – judges and other court leaders need e…
207: Welcome to One80 Place: Addressing the legal issues of the homeless
Jun 16, 2017 • 11 min
Charleston, South Carolina is home to One80 Place, a homeless shelter that provides legal services and serves as a national model for homeless courts. Jeff Yungman tells listeners what One80 does and how the organization got its start.
206: Fines, fees & bail practices create paradigm shift for judiciary
May 11, 2017 • 20 min
Chief Justice of Ohio Maureen O’Connor and Laurie Dudgeon, co-chairs of a National Task Force on Court Fines, Fees & Bail Practices discuss the potential impact that court fines and fees have on the poor and what the courts are doi…
205: Court service animals: Dogs only, except for miniature horses
Apr 11, 2017 • 8 min
More and more states are recognizing the benefits service and therapy animals can provide to people coming to court. In this edition of Court Talk, you will learn what qualifies as a service animal, an emotional therapy animal, or just a courthouse …
204: Bench and bar partnership in action
Mar 15, 2017 • 9 min
In 20 minutes a lawyer can change a [veteran’s] life says new ABA President Linda Klein. Hear how the ABA is focusing efforts on veterans’ legal services — and so much more.
203: Why law (school) matters
Feb 22, 2017 • 16 min
Who are tomorrow’s lawyers? Professor Paul Marcus talks about the declining number of applicants for law school, but the increasing quality of students.
202: Couples’ courtship at the courthouse
Feb 8, 2017 • 9 min
Every year several couples gather at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to get married on Valentine’s Day. Nancy Peters, communications specialist for the Minnesota Fourth Judicial District, takes us behind-the-scenes o…
201: The unsung heroes of federal courts: District court judges
Jan 23, 2017 • 9 min
Adam Liptak, New York Times Supreme Court Correspondent, talks about Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2016 Year-End-Report, which focuses on the work of the district court judges.
111: Veterans’ courts help restore honor
Dec 13, 2016 • 20 min
Judge Marc Carter created the first Veterans’ Court in Texas. Listen as Judge Carter, a veteran himself, talks about the need for and effectiveness of providing veterans who wind up in court with a second chance.
110: Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases with state-court impact
Nov 15, 2016 • 13 min
This year’s Supreme Court high-profile cases address transgender rights, racial bias in the justice system, voting right, and immigration. Erwin Chemerinsky fills listeners in on which ones stand to have the most impact on state courts.
109: Scared of going to court? Now you’ve got reason to be. (Part 3)
Oct 25, 2016 • 7 min
Host: Jesse Rutledge Guest: Shelle Stormoe In this extra feature, Shelle Stormoe, former education outreach coordinator for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, reveals more of the haunting history at the Desha County …
109: Scared of going to court? Now you’ve got reason to be.
Oct 25, 2016 • 9 min
Booooooooo! Did we scare you? If you aren’t scared now, you probably will be by the end of this special episode. Moderator Jesse Rutledge speaks with ghost hunter Douglas Myers about the spooky sightings court staff has witnessed at the Wayne…
109: Scared of going to court? Now you’ve got reason to be. (Part 2)
Oct 25, 2016 • 2 min
In this extra feature, Tammy O’Kelley, executive director of the Randolph County Tourism Development Authority, shares the history of ghost Laura Worth, a local woman who had been given a room in the basement after falling on hard times in th…
108: Bail denied: Turning a wealth-based system into a risk-based system
Oct 18, 2016 • 15 min
In many states, dangerous defendants or those who pose as flight risks can buy their way out of jail before trial if they have access to the money required to post bail — while large numbers of poorer defendants who are neither dangerous nor flight…
107: How old is too old to judge?
Sep 20, 2016 • 15 min
It’s not as sexy as Presidential politics, but voters in several states are being asked to give thumbs up or thumbs down on a number of policy proposals, including mandatory judicial retirement. Host Jesse Rutledge checks in with Gavel to Gavel (htt…
106: Body-worn cameras and the courts
Aug 23, 2016 • 11 min
Police use of body-worn cameras is rapidly increasing as a way to increase the public’s confidence and trust in law enforcement. But how does this increase of evidence impact state courts? Greg Hurley discusses benefits and challenges that bo…
105: The changing of the civil landscape
Jul 22, 2016 • 12 min
Americans deserve a civil legal process that is fair and timely for everyone – rich or poor, individuals or businesses. Yet, the opposite has been happening with runaway costs and excessive delays. The Conference of Chief Justices is leading the cha…
104: Sentencing while mad?
Jun 20, 2016 • 11 min
In this episode of Court Talk, host Jesse Rutledge speaks with Judge Jimmie Edwards of the 22nd Judicial Circuit in St. Louis, Missouri, about the confidence gap in the courts. Why do minority communities exhibit such less confidence, and how…
103: Special Edition: Bridging the communication gap
Jun 9, 2016 • 12 min
In this special edition of Court Talk, Carmel Capati, nationally recognized manager of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Interpreter Program, tells us why providing language access is so critical to protecting people’s rights — and why just being …
102: Have state courts become today’s mental institutions?
May 18, 2016 • 19 min
Host Jesse Rutledge asks Miami-Dade County Judge Steve Leifman about his experiences with people with mental illnesses and how he changed the way his courts deal with these individuals. The results are dramatic: people are getting treatment, …
101: Reality TV v. Court reality
Apr 19, 2016 • 11 min
Host Jesse Rutledge sits down with California Chief Justice Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to discuss the impact that television shows, such as “Making a Murderer,” have on the public’s perception of and trust in the courts.