Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast: May 18, 2021 Episode

Brought to You in Cooperation with NACM

International work can be challenging.  It can also be very rewarding.  No matter what, it is an adventure you will remember for the rest of your life.  Have you thought about it?  Wondered if it was for you?  Where would you even go to get answers to your questions? 

This month we are talking to folks who have served as consultants on rule of law assignments in countries across the globe.  From Russia, to Vietnam, to the Pacific Islands, these panelists have seen it all. Now you will hear their stories first-hand.  This episode will give you a taste of international work.  We will also tell you about NACM’s own forum for people involved in international work and for those wanting to get involved: The NACM International Committee.  In addition, you will learn about the National Center for State Court’s International Division and the outstanding work it is doing around the globe.

the pandemic.

Watch the May 18, 2021 CLAPodcast Episode 43 minutes 29 seconds

Listen to the May 18, 2021 CLAPodcast Episode 43 minutes 27 seconds

Today’s Contributors

Michele Oken is a past president of NACM and has chaired the International Committee for the past seven years. In March of 2020, she retired from the Los Angeles Superior Court, State of California where she worked as a manager and court administrator for approximately 19 years. Prior to that time, from 1981-2001, she served as an official court reporter for both Municipal and Superior Courts in Los Angeles County. She enjoys spending time with family, especially her six grandchildren, taking long walks and has a passion for music and theater.

Jeffrey Apperson is vice president for International Relations for the National Center for Stare Courts. Jeff works all over the world to help courts establish and improve judicial administration. He directs dozens of programs in 25 or so nations at any given time. He has had leadership roles in projects in Mongolia, Iraq, Brazil, Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago, to name just a handful. He co-founded the International Association for Court Administration, helped establish the International Journal for Court Administration and is a founding board member of the International Institute for Justice Excellence in The Hague. Before working at NCSC, Apperson served as a clerk of court for U.S. Courts and attorney advisor to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts for 27 years. He also served as chief of court management for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2006, and as president of the Federal Court Clerks Association and National Conference of Bankruptcy Clerks. He is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

Today’s Panelists

Pamela Ryder-Lahey is a Court Management Consultant with 41 years’ experience working at all levels of Court and in multiple positions, including her most recent full-time position as Chief Executive Officer for the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador from 2011-2017.    

Pamela is an expert in the design, development and implementation of court administration reform projects funded by either Global Affairs Canada (former Canadian International Development Agency), USAID, World Bank, and Departments of Justice in recipient countries.  Since 2000, she has been involved in Rule of Law and Court Reform projects in several countries including Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Albania, Jamaica, and Philippines.  One of her trademarks is the development of Model Courts which enable real-time testing of reforms in a live environment.

In addition to her extensive experience in all facets of court operations, Ms. Ryder-Lahey has experience in strategic planning, policy development, course development and teaching, as well as collective bargaining within public-funded bodies.  She has worked extensively with justice system partners to advance access to justice and to increase public trust and confidence in the court system.     

She is Past-Chair of International Justice Partnerships.  She has been President of the Association of Canadian Court Administrators, a Director with the National Association for Court Management, and Vice-President of the North American board of the International Association for Court Administration. 

She has won awards from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the National Association for Court Management, and the Institute for Court Management, as well as honorary recognition from the Governments of Russia and Ukraine for her work in developing their court systems.

Norman Meyer is a court administration expert after a 38 year career as a trial court administrator in the state and federal U.S. courts.   Mr. Meyer has written and spoken widely on judicial administration in the United States and abroad,  and is currently writing a court management blog ( as a member of the nonprofit Court Leader coalition.  He is a member of the Advisory Council of the International Association for Court Administration (having previously served as Vice President for the North American region for five years), an Associate of the Justice Speakers Institute, a Past President and recipient of the Award of Merit of the National Association for Court Management, and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts.  He has experience working with many foreign judiciaries, especially in the Russian Federation, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Albania.  He received his M.S. in Judicial Administration from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1979, and a B.A. in political science and Russian studies from the University of New Mexico, graduating in 1977.

Pamela Harris was appointed by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera as the first female Maryland State Court Administrator as of August 5, 2013.  In 1989, she was appointed as the first woman to hold the Court Administrator position for the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland and held that position until 2013.  Ms. Harris is committed to infusing evaluation-based practices into every aspect of court administration so that quality initiatives achieve intended results while meeting the needs of court personnel and clientele.  Ms. Harris is a Fellow of the National Center for State Courts’ Institute for Court Management (ICM); has taught national programs on ethics, leadership, and differentiated case management.  She serves on the Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Rules of Practice & Procedure.  She is also Past President of the National Association for Court Management (NACM).  Having previously served as the Vice President – International Associations on the board of the International Association for Court Administration (IACA), she has now assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.  She also serves on the Board for the International Institute of Justice Excellence, (The Hague).  Ms. Harris served a four-year term on the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts, and is still serving on their Programs and International committees.  She has spoken internationally on strategic planning, case management, and specialized courts. She has been active in various rule-of-law initiatives in Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, India, China, and the Ukraine, and served on the Board of the Russian American Rule of Law Consortium. She also serves on the Conference of State Court Administrators Board (COSCA), Justice Management Institute Board (JMI), the Board of the Maryland International Coordinating Council, Inc., (MICCI), and Montgomery’s Miracles, Inc (MMI).

Janet Cornell has over 35 years in court leadership including service in general and limited jurisdiction courts. She is a founding and contributing member to She has a Masters in Public Administration from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, and is a Fellow of the National Center for State Courts, Institute for Court Management in Williamsburg, VA, along with certificates from the Leader Coach Institute, Scottsdale, AZ, and the Leadership Institute for Judicial Education, Memphis, TN. Currently she serves as a consultant, faculty, and author on court administration, leadership, governance, caseflow management, performance measurement, operational assessment, access for self-represented litigants, and court reengineering with projects across the US and internationally.

John Cipperly is an International Development Program Manager with more than 15 years of experience in the design and management of justice sector assistance programs for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and other donors. John has developed or managed programs in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. As a Principal Consultant and Senior Program Manager with NCSC, he is responsible for developing and expanding NCSC’s portfolio of programs that advance justice systems and services outside the U.S. His interests include systems analysis and program design, monitoring and evaluation; measuring public trust; and sociological studies of justice systems. He is a native English speaker and fluent in Spanish.

Do You Want To Know More?

NACM Provides Leadership in Groundbreaking Russian Educational Conference by Norman Meyer. The Court Manager, Volume 15, Number 2, 2000

Court Association Formation Template

NACM The Court Administrator Court Administration: A Guide to the Profession. This publication is free to NACM members. The general public can purchase this on the NACM website for $10.

NACM The CORE in Practice A Guider to Strengthening Court Professionals Through Application, Use, and Implementation. This publication is free to NACM members. The general public can purchase this on the NACM website for $10.

May 18 Question Time Marker Sheet

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