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A Conversation with Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland and Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts

 At CCE's December Board Meeting last week, attendees were treated to a conversation with Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, moderated by Brigida Benitez, President of the DC Bar. The Chiefs were asked to elaborate on a wide variety of issues from describing their first day on the job, their biggest challenges, and the influence of technology and the media on their courts, to their plans for the future. They were also asked if they would recommend being a judge, and both answered in the affirmative but that it’s important to identify your passion, pursue it, and be open to changes and opportunities.

When asked how CCE could assist with their priorities, Chief Judge Garland suggested CCE be the eyes and ears of the community in terms of informing the Court about improving accessibility of its clerk’s office, more effective ways to deal with litigation, supporting the Court’s budget allocation, and educating people about the independence of the courts from the other branches of government.  Chief Judge Roberts stated that CCE’s current Jury Project has already been helpful to his Court in that the project will explain to the public why jury service matters, and that CCE’s ongoing focus on access to justice helps to ensure fairness and access to the courts.

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