I had the opportunity to summarize the Judiciary’s accomplishments to the Legislature in the context of an assessment of our future funding. The following excerpt is adapted from the speech I delivered to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on April 17, 2012.
An excerpt from that speech:
We have, as you know, undergone reductions in both staff and resources in recent years. We have managed the courts with great discipline and remained focused on our efforts to meet our mandates to provide timely access and efficient court administration despite these challenges.
We have, over the past three years, deferred many of our initiatives as we recognized the challenges of a difficult economy. We have continued to focus our attention on our core services despite these obstacles, and I firmly believe we have done an excellent job.
We have, once again, resolved more than 7 million cases in our various courts – the Supreme Court, the appellate and trial divisions of our Superior Court, the Tax Court and the municipal courts.
And we have done this with more than 500 fewer staff members than in recent years and with judicial vacancies averaging between 50 and 55 judges. And to add to those challenges, in the past year we have had unprecedented changes in upper management – five new assignment judges, three new trial court administrators and one new member of my executive management team.
On behalf of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and myself, I would like to publicly acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment of our judges, administration and staff to ensure that we meet our responsibilities as an organization. It is only because of them that we have successfully faced our long-term challenges.
The Judiciary continues to be very involved in attacking some of the larger societal issues. We continue to leverage technology to provide services to the public and make our courts even more efficient.
We are continuously focusing on our core mission. Our Judiciary remains dedicated to our larger society through our role as the arbitrator of disputes that occur within our communities and as a forum for the just prosecution of crimes and other offenses. In this role, we ensure that justice is done each and every day in the hundreds of courtrooms throughout our state.
In this role by and through the rule of law, we are able to ensure that the foundation and principles that have made this country great are accomplished daily. Our judges, our hearing officers, our staff are committed to ensuring that the citizens of this state are afforded fair and efficient justice in our courtrooms. I am truly proud of our results and our thousands of Judiciary employees who work for the cause of justice every day.