Michigan Court of Appeals named leader in automation of court business procedures

Strong management, sophisticated business practices, and intelligent use of information technology were among the reasons the Michigan Court of Appeals was a standout in a study by the National Center for State Courts. The Michigan Court of Appeals was one of three courts nationwide selected to be part of the study. The NCSC report noted, "The Michigan Court of Appeals is as fine an example as we have found of business process discipline in the judicial branch, where court leaders have applied modern and innovative tools and techniques to operations management. The court has a culture of innovation and cooperation, along with a high level of vision and competence in its judges and staff. . . . Over time, the chief judges of the court have been supportive, staff has felt empowered, and everyone has worked together. It is a well-organized, well-run operation that is, to an outsider, quite extraordinary." Chief Judge William B. Murphy said, "Our goal is always administering justice fairly, and the Court of Appeals' business practices allow us to accommodate changing court rules, caseloads, and court policy. By collecting data and using that data effectively, we're ensuring timely, effective resolution of cases. This is good for the parties to a case, the appellate bar, and indeed, Michigan taxpayers." Murphy, his 27 judicial colleagues, and staff in the four Court of Appeals district offices developed standardized business practices to streamline how cases are handled from intake to issued opinions. Using technology to carry out court rule requirements, the Court created management lists, showing all of the cases that were at various points in the appellate process. NCSC noted in its report that court staff is able to locate any case at a very fine level of detail, based on the next expected action, and to determine how long it has been there. This is the second favorable study of the Michigan Court of Appeals conducted by the National Center for State Courts in recent years. Murphy observed, "This report, like its predecessor, speaks volumes about the dedicated and competent individuals who make up the Court of Appeals family." The National Center for State Courts, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a court improvement organization. For more information, visit http://www.ncsc.org/. For the full report, visit http://www.ctc2013.com/Education- Program/Wednesday-Sept-18/Afternoon/Session-5/~/media/Microsites/Files/CTC2013/Classes/Business-Process-Automation-Case-Studies.ashx. Published: Fri, Oct 4, 2013

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