Court Leader’s Advantage Video Podcast: January 2021 Episode
Brought to You in Cooperation with NACM
When we talk about the challenges confronting America’s judicial branch, we often focus on the concerns and accomplishments of large metropolitan courts. After all, they are often the ones that have more money and more resources to throw at a problem. However, a survey conducted several years ago, revealed that almost 65% of all courts in the United States had benches of fewer than four judges.
In a large portion of our country, these local suburban and often rural jurisdictions, these local courts are the representative of the judicial branch. How are these local courts solving their problems? How are they coping with the issues of the day with less staff, less money, often shared facilities, and frequently government entities that are somewhat less respectful of the court as being a separate branch of government? Our panel of Clerks of Court and Court Administrators from one and two judge courts chat about their current issues, how they are managing those issues, and what advice they have for the rest of us.
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About this Month’s Panelists
Saundra Berry has served as Cleveland Heights Municipal Court clerk of courts since 2007. She is also a member of the University Heights City Council. Prior to that, she worked as director of Cleveland scholarship and tutoring for the Ohio Department of Education. Previously, Saundra served as treasurer for the campaigns of U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge and late U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Saundra is a former math teacher and is a certified public accountant. From 1983 to 1999, she served as a Cleveland Municipal School District auditor. She earned a master’s degree in business administration from Atlanta University and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Central State University.
Lindsey Forshee is the Superior Court Administrator for the Tifton Judicial Circuit encompassing four counties in South Georgia. As Superior Court Administrator, she oversees both criminal and civil cases in four counties. She handles media relations for capital and high profile cases. Currently, she is working on the Tara Grinstead case that gained national attention after being featured in the popular podcast “UP AND VANISHED”. Lindsey graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management in May 2018. Lindsey is active in the Tifton community as a member of the Arts Council and served as the Regional Coordinator for the Georgia Bar High School Mock Trial competition.
Kelly Elliott has been the court administrator for the Lee’s Summit Municipal Division 243/263 since 2011 and has more than 39 years of experience in the court and legal field. Kelly works alongside two elected judges and directly supervises ten court employees, including two probation officers and court security. As an employee of the City of Lee’s Summit, Kelly serves on various committees, including Employee Engagement, ITS Service Coordinator, and Website Design.
Throughout the course of the day, Kelly can be found handling the administration of the municipal divisions, conferring with the judges about legislative and court rule changes, collaborating with City Administration regarding the court budget and personnel, and supervising the court security program.
Kelly has been a member of NACM (National Association of Court Management) and MACA (Missouri Association of Court Administrators) since 2011. Kelly completed the Missouri Court Management Institute in 2018 and became a Certified Court Manager through the National Center for State Courts in May of 2018. Kelly also completed her Certified Court Administrator certificate in 2015 and received her Advanced Certified Court Administrator in 2019 through MACA.
From 2003 to 2010, Kelly served as the elected Cass County Circuit Clerk. As a member of the Missouri Circuit Clerk’s Association (MCCA), Kelly served as faculty for court training provided by MCCA and the Office of State Courts Administrator as well as served as the organization president. Prior to court administration, Kelly worked as a paralegal for a criminal defense attorney, which contributed to a unique perspective of the legal system from both sides of the counter. Kelly’s passion is the court and sharing her knowledge of the court system and administration through training opportunities and mentoring court clerks.
Danielle Trujillo is an innovative public safety professional with an exceptional ability to research and analyze complex issues and provide actionable conclusions. Through problem solving and critical thinking she utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to bridge gaps in information and processes. Danielle started her career in restorative justice and love the ability to directly serve my community through local government.
Angie VanSchoick is the Court Administrator with the Town of Breckenridge Municipal Court, a position she has held since 2013. In this role, she is responsible for all court operations, including the implementation of policies and procedures, general administration, and jury management. Over the past five years, she has expanded her court presence to include serving on the Board of the Colorado Association for Municipal Court Administration (CAMCA). She is the immediate Past President of CAMCA and currently serves as its Treasurer, in addition to maintaining their website, serving as a trainer, and providing general oversight.
Angie is a licensed macro level social worker in the State of Colorado and Michigan, receiving her MSW from the University of Michigan in 2007. Her focus was on Policy, Evaluation, Community Organization, and Community Social Systems, which has provided her with a solid background to assist her Court and CAMCA. As a lifelong learner, she welcomes opportunities to expand her knowledge and knows that serving as a NACM Director will assist in that expansion.