Comprehensive Clerical Committee
|Full Report (PDF) | Presentation (PDF)|
In effort to serve the public effectively, the Judiciary has responded to societal change incrementally over time. However, as it pertains to clerical operations, there has been little (if any) modification to the way in which the work is approached or organized over the past 20 years. In addition, a handful of significant influences that will change the future of clerical operations are already in motion.
The Comprehensive Clerical Committee was charged to answer two questions: (1) how effective is our current system for clerical operations and (2) what must the organization do to prepare to meet the needs of the future?
This committee was primarily composed of clerks from across the state. They varied in their years of experience, backgrounds, and locations. This diversity broadened the considerations involved in the committee’s recommendations. You can learn about how the process worked by watching the video posted above.
The general direction of the committee’s recommendations is to produce a judicial office support operation that is more dynamic, cross-functional, and proactive. The committee has three core recommendations to achieve that end.
The committee completed its work and presented its recommendations to the Judicial Council in June of 2008. A full report of the committee’s work is available, as well as a variety of other informational materials.
Teams and New Positions
The first recommendation of the committee is to reorganize clerical operations around two case-centered functions. The first function would be that of “pre-case services,” or all of the duties, tasks, and assignments completed prior to the assignment of a case number. Once a case is assigned a case number, then the work would transition to the second recommended function – a caseflow management process.
To better understand the development of this organization, review appendices C (page 20), G (page 24), and H (page 25).
The committee recommends creating three teams to perform the pre-case services and caseflow management functions. Judicial Services Teams will be organized to perform all pre-case related duties. Judicial Support Teams will be assigned to judges and will perform caseflow management duties. Specialty Court Operations Teams will also perform caseflow management duties, but will be assigned to cases that are not tied to a specific judge, such as small claims cases.
The second recommendation of the committee is to cross-train staff and create new positions that are generalist in nature. By cross-trained, it is meant that members of a specific team become completely interchangeable and are prepared to effectively complete all tasks assigned to their team. Judicial Services Teams will be composed of a Judicial Service Manager with a certain number of Judicial Services Representatives. Judicial Support and Specialty Court Operations Teams will be composed of a Judicial Case Manager and Judicial Assistants. The Judicial Case Manager is a new position to our system, and will be the linchpin of the caseflow management process.
For the basic job descriptions for these positions, please review appendix I (page 26).
Professional Development and Training
The third recommendation of the committee is to initiate a new career track. According to the proposed career track, the working environment of the courts will be a place where professional growth is fostered and competency development is rewarded. The incentives for achieving new competencies and successfully applying them will be more even distributed across one’s tenure.
The committee also suggests that the organization increase the number of training coordinators employed in our system. This move would enhance job-specific training programs for employees. The training would focus on knowledge and skills that are immediately applicable to one’s daily work experience. The competencies gained from these trainings should enhance professional capability and prepare employees for advancement on the proposed career track.
The committee also suggests that the organization change its approach to new employee training. According to the report, new employees would be taken to a week-long orientation where they would receive hands-on training for job specific competencies. They would return to the office after completing this orientation in a much better position to start making contributions. Also, this would remove some of the burden of training off of the shoulders of more senior staff.