Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast: September 21, 2021 Episode

Brought to You in Cooperation with NACM

Threats from cyberattacks can be easily ignored by courts.  There are many rationalizations:

“Our court is too small to worry about cyberattacks”

“We have a great firewall that keeps everything out”

“Our employees change their passwords every three months just like clockwork”       

“Everyone has been told not to open suspicious email attachments”

Often the perspective can be “Thanks, but we’re good”

You are good until the morning you fire up your desktop only to find a black screen with the words “pay $50,000 in bitcoin and we will send you the codes to unlock your case management system.”  Cyber-experts continue to advise that it isn’t a matter of “if,” it is a matter of “when.”

In this episode we are talking to court professionals, several of whom have suffered through a cyberattack in their court.  We’ll be exploring questions including:

  • How did the court respond to the cyberattack?
  • What could management have done differently?
  • What could they have done to have prevented a cyberattack in the first place?
  • What advice does our panel of experts have for the rest of us?

Watch the  September 21, 2021 CLAPodcast Episode 37 Minutes 30 Seconds

Listen to the September 21, 2021 CLAPodcast Episode 36 Minutes 10 Seconds

Leave a question or comment about the episode at

Today’s Panelists:

KEVIN J. BOWLING, JD, MSJA, CCE is the Trial Court Administrator and Attorney Referee for the 20th Judicial Circuit Court and the Ottawa County Probate Court in Ottawa County, Michigan. He is a Past President of the National Association for Court Management, Co-Chair of the COSCA/NACM Joint Technology Committee, and Chair of the DOJ Global Advisory Committee.  His work in the judicial system spans 40 years with time spent as a court manager, attorney, judicial educator and court consultant, including service in western Africa as Deputy Chief of Party for the Nigeria Justice Sector Assistance Project.

Kevin served for 20 years in a variety of positions with the Michigan Supreme Court, including State Judicial Educator and Regional Court Administrator.  Kevin received his B.A. in Political Science/Public Administration from Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island; a M.S. in Judicial Administration from the University of Denver College of Law; a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, and is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management. 

Kevin is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Ottawa County Bar Association, National Association for Court Management, National Association of State Judicial Educators, and Michigan Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Court Management, the National Association of State Judicial Educators, and is a Faculty member of the National Judicial College.   Kevin is a trained mediator and serves on the Board of Directors for Mediation Services in Holland, Michigan.  In addition, he is a member and former Vice President of the Michigan Association of Circuit Court Administrators. 

Julia Hidy has been a Court Administrator for the Fayette County Probate/Juvenile Court in Ohio since 2011. Ms. Hidy cut her teeth in the court system as a deputy clerk for Probate/Juvenile Judge Nancy Hammond from 1996-1999. At that time, she left the court to work in a private law practice for Attorney David Bender from 1999-2005 with focus on DR, criminal, civil, bankruptcy, and probate work. Mr. Bender became Prosecuting Attorney in 2005 where Ms. Hidy left the practice to manage the Prosecutor Office staff, caseload, budget, grants, and Victim Witness Program. Judge David Bender took the Probate/Juvenile bench in May, 2011 when he appointed Julia as Court Administrator to oversee a staff of 12 made up of administrative staff and deputy clerks, the probation and diversion programs, and local Alternative School, and all other facets which burden two courts such as budget, inventories, grants, legislative changes, case management, etc..

A graduate of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Certified Court Management (CMP 3 year) Program in 2014, Julia has been seasoned by events such as an extensive conversion of the case management system in 2014, Fayette County’s extensive ransomware/malware attack of June, 2019, subsequent case management update in September, 2019, and the COVID-19 global pandemic. As the Fayette County Courthouse never closed during COVID-19, Julia managed a court staff that never worked from home and navigated court-in-session with restrictions and distanced hearings in person.

Jorge Basto is the current Director for IT Programs in the Cherokee County, Clerk of Court’s Office and oversees the implementation of new software programs and processes. Prior to joining the Clerk’s Office, Jorge served as Georgia’s Chief Information Officer for 15 years with the Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Starting in 2005, he created the Judiciary’s first Information Technology Division standing up Development, Infrastructure, Reporting and Data Exchange services across the State. A champion of national standards, Jorge has served on the committees for the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems (OASIS), the Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) and the Joint Technology Committee (JTC).

His work led to large scale deployments of statewide solutions including the electronic filing of child support cases, digital transmissions of Ga State Patrol Citations into the courts and Single Sign-On access to services for the State Bar, governmental agencies and the public. Leveraging public / private partnerships, he launched the first judicial marketplace (Gateway) that provides an array of services offered by state entities as well as private companies. Jorge is a Certified AWS Cloud Practitioner and fully migrated the entire AOC’s infrastructure to the cloud in 2019/2020.

A graduate of Georgia State University, Jorge has remained active in both local and national industry organizations and has been highlighted in the Gov Tech and ComputerWorld publications. He has been happily married for 25 years to Abby and has two daughters, Miranda 21 (Kennesaw State) and Nadia 19 (Truett McConnell).

Montrella S. Jackson serves as CEO and Court Administrator for the Akron Municipal Court, a position she has held since 2012. She received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts and subsequently earned a law degree from the University of Akron School of Law. She is a Board member of the Ohio State Bar Association Board of Directors and past president of the Board of Good Samaritan Hunger Center since 2006. With a passion for the wellbeing of children she sits on the Board of Trustees of Summit County Children’s Services. She also served eight years on the board of Women’s Network, Inc

Casey Kennedy joined OCA as the Director of Information Services in 2010. His team provides direct IT support for the Texas Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, the 14 intermediate appellate courts and several judicial branch state agencies. Additionally, Casey manages the largest volume eFiling system in the known universe. Casey is also the lead OCA staff for the Judicial Committee on Information Technology or JCIT. The committee is appointed by the Supreme Court and makes recommendations and sets standards for court technology in Texas. Casey is currently the chair of the Court Information Technology Officer Consortium, a national organization of Court IT professionals. He holds a BA in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin.

Do You Want to Know More?

Fall/Winter 2020/2021 Judicature “Contracting the Virus: Not If, But When” by David Slayton

December 2019 Joint Technology Committee Resources Bulletin on Cybersecurity

February 17, 2016 Joint Technology Committee Resource Bulletin on Cyberattacks

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