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News & Events

  • Update: Hiring DC Residents with a Criminal Record Makes Sense

    Update: Hiring DC Residents with a Criminal Record Makes Sense

    Over 120 people attended the “Hiring People with a Criminal Record” forum on Wednesday, September 17. Moderated by PNC Bank regional President Michael Harreld, the event included remarks by D.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry Wingo and presentations by a number of businesses and experts in the areas of reentry and employment.

  • Welcome Tracy Velázquez

    Welcome Tracy Velázquez

    Please join us in welcoming Tracy Velázquez to the Council for Court Excellence staff. Tracy is our new Senior Policy Analyst overseeing CCE’s mission areas of Criminal Justice and Court Improvements.

  • Welcome Zach Zarnow

    Welcome Zach Zarnow

    Please join us in welcoming CCE’s newest staff member, Zach Zarnow. Zach is CCE’s Jury Analyst and will be responsible for leading the jury project as CCE undertakes a comprehensive review of jury service in the District of Columbia.

  • Goodbye to Pete Willner

    Goodbye to Pete Willner

    July 3, 2014 marked Pete Willner’s last day at CCE, after nearly 17 years. “CCE has been where I’ve spent most of my professional life and it’s been the perfect job for me,” Pete said. “Every day is different and every project has been challenging and rewarding. The projects attract and engage a wide variety of talented and committed people.”

  • School Jury Education Program Celebration

    School Jury Education Program Celebration

    On Monday, June 30th CCE Vice President Pat McGlone and Kevin Taylor hosted a celebration in honor of CCE's School Jury Education Program. For 20 years, CCE has visited DC high school classrooms to train tomorrow’s jurors about our jury system. The Council brings our video of a mock trial and asks the students to become the jury and try to reach a unanimous verdict in the case. CCE brings a judge with us to each class, to preside over the lesson, guide the students through the jury deliberation, and answer their questions about jury service – or anything else. The video lesson works equally well with adult groups in the community, and CCE has also used it successfully with students as young as middle school.

  • CCE Commemorates 60/50 and Discusses Educational Opportunity in DC

    CCE Commemorates 60/50 and Discusses Educational Opportunity in DC

    CCE Board of Directors and special guests gathered on June 5, 2014, to listen to a panel of experts share historical perspectives on the 60th and 50th anniversaries of Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They also heard panelists discuss what educational opportunity looks like today in the nation’s capital. DC Superior Court Magistrate Judge Diane Brenneman, Chair of the CCE School Discipline Project, introduced the program by drawing a connection to CCE’s current School Discipline Project which is assessing school discipline policies and practices in traditional and charter schools in the District from a justice systems perspective.

  • CCE Job Opportunity: Senior Policy Analyst

    CCE Job Opportunity: Senior Policy Analyst

    The Council for Court Excellence seeks a full-time Senior Policy Analyst. This professional will oversee two key areas of our programs: Criminal Justice and Court Efficiencies and Effectiveness. These areas include work related to: reentry, post-arrest processes, probate and administrative law, and jury service.

  • Celebrating the Life of Julian R. Dugas, a DC Trailblazer for Justice

    Celebrating the Life of Julian R. Dugas, a DC Trailblazer for Justice

    CCE mourns the loss of longtime CCE Board Director Julian Riley Dugas who recently passed away of congestive heart failure on April 12, 2014. Mr. Dugas was someone whose name carried great weight in the District of Columbia because of the myriad of extraordinary contributions that he made to the city with more than 60 years as a lawyer, humanitarian, teacher and civil servant.

  • CCE Briefs Latin American Delegation

    CCE Briefs Latin American Delegation

    Recently CCE participated in a roundtable discussion for a State Department-sponsored visiting delegation from Latin America touring the US to learn about the administration of justice. Executive Director, June Kress talked about the work of the Council for Court Excellence over the last 32 years, about our unique court and justice system structure in DC, and about how civil society can and should be engaged in improving the administration of justice.

  • CCE Awarded $56,000!

    CCE Awarded $56,000!

    CCE received the exciting news last Wednesday that CCE’s Jury Project, Changing Perceptions: Jury Service in the 21st Century, has been awarded a $56,000 grant from the City Fund, administered through the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Last November, over 300 applications were submitted to the City Fund with requests totaling more than $30 million. CCE joins 57 other organizations for the first round of grantmaking from the City Fund.

  • Remembering Ellen Eager, A CCE Pioneer

    Remembering Ellen Eager, A CCE Pioneer

    Ellen Watson Eager, who passed away after a long illness on March 16, was a “CCE Pioneer,” one of the first board members when the organization was formed in 1982. Founder Charles Horsky had drafted Ellen to serve on the Horsky Committee studying the newly-reorganized DC court system for the DC Bar. Once the report was published in the early 1980’s, Ellen was thoroughly committed to continuing to improve the administration of justice, lending her considerable insight and perspective as a “civic director.” In her more than 25 years of active board service, Ellen was a member of CCE’s Executive Committee, serving two multi-year terms, a perennial and active member of the Public Service Committee, a stalwart on the Jury Project that published its groundbreaking report in 1998, and a participant in several of CCE’s Court Observation Projects. For all of her many accomplishments, she received the Horsky Award in 2002.

  • CCE to Survey the DC Employer Community

    The Council for Court Excellence, as part of its DC Prisoner Reentry Initiative, is considering holding an educational forum for the DC employer community about recent and current developments in law and policy about hiring people with criminal records who represent ten percent of the District’s population.The survey will take less than 2 minutes to complete. We hope you’ll consider completing the survey or forwarding to the person in your firm or company that manages the hiring process for both professionals and administrative personnel: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FHD87HL

  • CCE Led Training on the New Truancy Law and the Court

    CCE Led Training on the New Truancy Law and the Court

    On March 28th, the Council for Court Excellence organized and facilitated a half day training on “The DC Accountability Amendment Act of 2013”: What You Need to Know about Truancy and the Court. The Family Court Training Committee of DC Superior Court hosted the training in the court’s Jurors’ Lounge where more than 100 attendees participated including judges, case intake court personnel, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and other interested stakeholders. Participants learned about the new truancy law and what is required by the schools before referring a truancy case to the Family Court Social Services Division (FCSSD) and the DC Office of the Attorney General.

  • Interview with CCE Executive Committee Member, Tyrone Parker

    Interview with CCE Executive Committee Member, Tyrone Parker

    Theodore Whitehouse, CCE Board Director, Reentry Project Committee Chair, and partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher recently sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Tyrone Parker, CCE Executive Committee member, a member of CCE’s Reentry and School Discipline project committees, and Executive Director of the Alliance of Concerned Men.

  • CCE Board Director, James D. Bishop, Wins 2014 Scoutt Prize

    CCE Board Director, James D. Bishop, Wins 2014 Scoutt Prize

    James D. Bishop, director of the Catholic Charities Legal Network of the Archdiocese of Washington, was named the winner of the 2014 Jerrold Scoutt Prize by the District of Columbia Bar Foundation. The prize is given out each year to a public-interest attorney who has devoted much of his or her career working with the District’s low-income residents, providing needed legal services with great compassion and proficiency.

  • 18th Annual Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner Honorees

    The Council for Court Excellence is delighted to announce this year's recipients of the Justice Potter Stewart Award. Two awards will be presented this year, to Marc Fleischaker and Legal Counsel for the Elderly. A third award will also be presented to Pepco Holdings, Inc. in honor of their longstanding philanthropic efforts in DC. The honorees will be recognized at the 18th Annual Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner on May 8, 2014.

  • DC Superior Court Adopts Practice Standards for Guardians ad Litem in Custody and Related Consolidated Cases

    The Superior Court of the District of Columbia issued an administrative order on January 24, 2014 to release Practice Standards for Guardians ad Litem (GAL) in Custody and Related Consolidated Cases. These practice standards were developed by the Family Court Domestic Relations GAL Standards Committee in consultation with representatives from the bench, the bar, and local community-based organizations that provide legal representation in Family Court.

  • Interview with CCE Finance Committee Chair, Julia Matthews

    Interview with CCE Finance Committee Chair, Julia Matthews

    CCE Executive and Finance Committee member Leslye Givarz recently sat down for a one-on-one conversation with CCE Executive Committee member and chair of the Finance Committee, Julia Matthews, who is a Vice President and Senior Banking Advisor at PNC Wealth Management.

  • U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release New Federal Guidance on School Discipline

    U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release New Federal Guidance on School Discipline

    On January 8th, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice jointly released federal guidance on school discipline. In a joint statement, these Departments stated that this guidance “will assist states, districts and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law.”

  • CCE Program: “Secret Courts, Secret Law”

    CCE Program: “Secret Courts, Secret Law”

    CCE’s Board was treated to a special panel program on December 12th organized by the CCE Bench Bar Media Dialogue Project, entitled “Secret Courts, Secret Law.” The panel discussed a wide range of thought-provoking questions, including under what circumstances are secret courts created in the US legal system? What are the unique challenges that arise with regard to litigating secret law or before secret courts? What might the public not appreciate about the costs of secret courts/secret law and are these costs unavoidable? Could secret courts be differently configured while still respecting the underlying justification of secrecy? How does “precedent” work in a system in which the rulings at issue are not publicly available? What are the broader impacts that secret courts and secret law have on our common law system? What lessons should we take away from the military commissions/FISA Court with regard to the desirability of secret law and secret courts? These were a selection of the interesting issues discussed. All in all, it was a well-received and informative program.

 
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