President's Message

August 2017

    By William B. Murphy

    CCJSCA’s mission is to provide chiefs “a body for consultation and education.” This message is to give a brief overview of the status of CCJSCA and its efforts to fulfill this mission.

    Between the annual conferences, the work of the Council continues throughout the year and is carried out with our committee structure and the active involvement of committee members. If you have not served on a committee, I would encourage you to convey your interest to President-elect Judge Melanie May. Not only will the Council welcome your involvement, but you will benefit from your interaction with other chief judges.

    This year, Lynn Kuderka became our new association manager following in the footsteps of her predecessors, Tiffany Mitchell and Brenda Williams. Lynn has performed admirably as she learns the ropes, so to speak. She is ably assisted by Sydney Rohnow and the experience she brings to the table.

    In my last message to the members, I emphasized how our website has made tremendous progress in advancing CCJSCA’s mission. Credit goes to chair Judge Vance Raye and his very dedicated and capable committee for their accomplishments. Visit the website and learn what it has to offer. I continue to urge members to use this valuable resource.

    I can report to you that all of our committees have been busy this year and that the financial status of the Council is solid.

    Judge Maggie Robb and the Finance Committee have made huge strides in working with Lynn and the National Center for State Courts to set the course for the future. Our Long Range Planning Committee, led by Judge Brad Hill, and the Development Committee, chaired by former judge and former Council president Arthur Scotland, are undertaking with approval by the Executive Committee new efforts to ensure the financial stability of the Council going forward. Their combined efforts are critical as we explore new ways to provide additional benefits and educational experiences to our members and as we continue to face individual state financial challenges, which may impact membership and individual judge participation. Our Education Committee, under chair Judge Melanie May, finalized the interactive learning modules on governance of a court of appeal and is developing more educational tools that will likewise be available on the Council’s website. The Membership Committee, under the leadership of Judge Stephen Powell, has been reaching out to new chief judges to join the Council, has put together a brochure about the Council and is working on a welcoming package for new chief judges. The Administration of Justice Committee, under chair Judge Jim Worthen, has provided leadership in presenting resolutions for the Council to act upon; Judge Rett Inbody is busy preparing resolutions for the annual conference; Judge David Gratton, chair of Scholarship, and his committee will be reviewing scholarship applications for this year’s annual conference; and Judge Bill Palmer and his committee have undertaken the serious task of making nominations for the future leadership of CCJSCA.

    Recognition must be given to the Newsletter chair, Judge Roy Valdez, who will be retiring at the end of 2018, and his committee for all their efforts in bringing to the members this form of continuing communication. It helps keep us all informed and connected. All in all, it has been a busy and productive year.

    The highlight of the year is always the annual conference, where we have the opportunity to come together in person, learn, consult, interact, develop, and renew friendships. The Annual Conference Committee works diligently throughout the year to plan this important event. This year is no exception. Under the very capable leadership of chair Judge Morris Silberman, the Annual Conference Committee has put together another outstanding education program for this year’s 38th Annual Conference to be held on October 17-21, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in scenic Lexington, Kentucky. The conference theme is “Winning the Race: The Rule of Law and Safeguarding the Role of the Courts.” New this year, through the efforts of Judge Maggie Robb and Judge Susan Gantman, will be an “early bird” program from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17th for new chief judges to provide additional insight into CCJSCA, the benefits of memberships, and how new chiefs can become involved. (Descriptive details of the formal program and social events for the annual conference are set forth elsewhere in this newsletter.) Host Committee Judges Glenn Acree and Joy Kramer, with assistance from Glenn’s wife, Lisa, have planned an array of social activities for all to enjoy, including a trip to Keeneland Race Track. The 38th annual conference is one you will not want to miss.

    Once again we are asking judges and their guests to bring to the Annual Conference children’s books from pre-K through sixth grade to donate to the Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Lexington, a Title I school where all 305 students are eligible for the school’s free-lunch program. These students will truly appreciate and enjoy your gift.

    As my term as president of CCJSCA is winding down, I want to tell all of you what a privilege it has been to serve as your president of this outstanding organization, to represent the Council in meetings with other associations, and to work with all of you. I am deeply grateful to the officers, executive committee, chairs of the various committees, and active committee members whose time, talent, and efforts have advanced the welfare of CCJSCA and enhanced our mission. I know you will provide the same support to President-elect Judge Melanie May, just as I know she will provide the necessary leadership for CCJSCA going forward.

    See you in Lexington.