Hundreds of Ohio judges attended the annual Ohio Judicial Conference on September 13 and 14 to help advance the administration of justice.
The judges attended several educational sessions throughout the two-day meeting that included subjects such as courts adapting to new technologies, innovations to providing access to justice, dealing with contempt of court issues, learning about court funding and consolidation, as well as discussing the Supreme Court's New Writing Manual.
Judge Lisa Coates from Stow Municipal Court said she specifically came this year to learn more about certification for specialized dockets, which goes into effect next year.
"I'm a mental health court. I want to make sure I have it certified in time by next year because I really enjoy my court and I want to make sure it keeps going, but I want it to be approved by the Supreme Court," Judge Coates said.
The state's judges also had a chance to exchange ideas, discuss issues, and make recommendations for improving courts with their colleagues.
"You get an opportunity to exchange information with judges, exchange phone numbers and if you have questions about certain issues you can always call them up. All the judges here are really nice and really receptive and they are really helpful because they want to see everybody succeed," said Judge Michael John Ryan from Cleveland Municipal Court.
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor gave her annual State of the Judiciary Address during the conference, and the Ohio State Bar Association presented the Innovative Court Practices Award to Stark County Family Court for its "Never-Married Parents Program." The judges also receive continuing judicial education credits for attending the conference.