AJA’s 2020 Educational Webinar Series

The American Judges Association has selected a panel of national experts to present a series of judicial education webinars for judges and court leaders on topics challenging to courts. Participants will be able to ask questions of the experts at the end of each live presentation. The webinars will be recorded and made available from this page for those who may not be able to attend. (Links will appear under the webinar descriptions once each webinar has concluded.)

Certificates will be available for those who have participated in the full length of the webinar. During the webinar, the presenter and/or moderator will give instructions on how to obtain a certificate.

These webinars have not been approved for continuing legal education (CLE) credit with any state. Each state differs in their requirements for CLE reporting and approval. Participants wishing to obtain CLE credit for viewing a webinar must seek such credit on their own.

Understanding the Behavior of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence and their Victims: What Judges Need to Know
Date: March 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm EDT
Presenters: Lore Rogers, JD, and David Garvin, MSW, LMSW

The unique dynamics of intimate partner violence are challenging for judges. Often, there are no witnesses except the alleged perpetrator and the person he or she is accused of abusing. The defendant often presents well in court. The victim may act in ways judges find illogical and frustrating. Judges know that the orders they make in court affect not only the adult(s) before them, but also children in the home. Two nationally-respected experts with decades of experience, Lore Rogers, JD, and David Garvin, MSW, LMSW, will highlight what judges need to know about the behaviors of perpetrators of domestic violence and victims/survivors so judges may make the most informed decisions and craft effective orders that keep their communities safe. Learning Objectives: By understanding the behaviors of perpetrators and victims/survivors, judges will be able to: 1) Develop more effective interventions to stop the violence and better protect victims and their children; 2) Identify excuses, tactics and strategies perpetrators use for control; 3) Recognize when a perpetrator is trying to manipulate the court and/or falsely discredit the victim; 4) Stop the perpetrator from using the legal system to further abuse the victim; and 5) Be aware of implicit biases; understand why victims may act in ways that seem counter-intuitive or illogical.


Procedural Fairness: What Every Judge & Court Leader Needs to Know
Date: April 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm EDT
Presenter: Judge Kevin Burke

There is an erosion of trust among all institutions and the public. In the 2018 edition of NCSC’s State of the State Courts annual survey, only 65% of respondents describe state courts as being fair and impartial. Previous surveys indicate that the percentage of African-Americans describing state courts as being fair and impartial is significantly less. While a number of courts have taken aggressive steps to improve the perception of fairness among those they serve, only a tiny fraction of courts regularly measures perceptions of procedural fairness. This webinar will present social science findings about the importance of procedural fairness and provide tools for judges and court managers to regularly measure and assess fairness in their courts. Both judges and court managers will gain insight into some of the reasons people leave courthouses confused about what happened in their cases. Judges and court managers also will learn why procedural fairness may well be the linchpin for success on future budget presentations.


Developing Issues with Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Impaired Driving Cases
Date: May 13, 2020 at 2:00 pm EDT
Presenters: Judge Kevin Burke and Judge Mary A. Celeste (ret.)

Studies, reports, and developing case law on the issue of impaired driving are moving at a rapid pace. Judges at all levels of the courts preside over impaired driving cases. These judges handle over-loaded dockets and barely have the time to closely follow all the fast-paced information in this area of the law. Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) include Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, One Leg Stand, and Walk and Turn tests.  Understanding the differences in these tests and the related law enforcement protocol is paramount to making educated decisions in impaired driving cases. With the recent increase in drugged-driving cases and new appellate case law and studies, courts are taking differing approaches to these long-standing SFSTs. This webinar will offer judges a review and analysis of the current status of SFSTs in impaired driving cases across the country. Learning Objectives: 1) The participant will be able to identify the origin, types, and differences of standard field sobriety tests used in impaired driving cases; 2) Participants will be able to differentiate the varying approaches to the admissibility of SFSTs in both alcohol and drugged-driving cases across the country; 3) Participants will be able to analyze the developing case law related to SFSTs across the country; and 4) Participants will be able to explore and develop their analysis on the admissibility of SFSTs in the impaired driving cases they hear in their jurisdictions.