Judicial Administration

Judicial Administration

Judicial administration refers to the management of state and federal court systems. The chief judge or justice of the court is ultimately responsible for the functioning of the court. Court administrators are responsible for many of the court’s day-to-day operations such as budgets, personnel supervision, and the preparation of statistics and annual reports. Court clerks manage court calendars and court records. Other aspects of judicial administration include jury management, assignment of cases to judges, and oversight of ethical complaints against lawyers.

Budgets

Judicial administration includes responsibility for the judiciary’s budget. Most of the funding for state courts comes from the state legislature and from local government appropriations. Federal court funding comes from the federal government. Court costs also provide revenue for the courts. Court administrators or fiscal officers prepare proposed budgets. They also have responsibility for overseeing expenditures.

Supervision of Non-Judicial Personnel

The court administrator has responsibility for supervising non-judicial personnel.

Jury Management

One very important aspect of judicial administration involves the process of jury management. Lists of potential jurors are compiled, and potential jurors are summoned to appear for jury duty. The jury pool has to be representative of the general population in the area.

Court Records and Court Calendars

Court documents are filed with the clerk of court. The clerk is responsible for setting up a case management system, docketing the cases, and managing the court’s calendar. The clerk must also record all court orders and judgments. The courts now use automated management systems. In many areas, court records are available to the public on the Internet.

Oversight of Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility

Another aspect of judicial administration is overseeing the professional actions of attorneys. A branch of the court investigates ethical complaints against lawyers and makes recommendations as to appropriate disciplinary sanctions. Because most states require attorneys to take continuing legal education courses, an officer within the court is responsible for accrediting such programs and overseeing compliance by attorneys.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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