The Judicial Education Subcommittee of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts is conducting a confidential, limited purpose survey to undertake a revision of the instructional materials now in use to raise consciousness regarding gender equity in the Court system. This effort is part of the judiciary’s continuing process of self-critical analysis to ensure that New Jersey’s courts are institutions of fairness and justice for all attorneys, litigants and staff who use them. We intend to utilize the material in an objective way to provide instructional training materials which may include a video illustration of instances of concern raised by members of the profession. The adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” has amply aided the illustration of continued instances of bias which may be lost when merely expressed in writing. To accomplish our objective of ensuring that gender equity training materials are updated and relevant to current issues, the Committee requests that all members of the bench and bar respond to the brief survey below by August 30, 2001. While anonymous responses are acceptable, it is important to note that survey results will be kept in confidence by the Committee and will be used solely for the purpose of revising and updating training materials.
Please respond to the following:
1. At any time in the past three years, have you experienced or observed gender bias in the context of a legal matter or Court case? If so, please describe each instance you faced or observed where demeaning, demoralizing or other inappropriate biased conduct was exhibited by counsel, Court personnel or judges. Anonymity is acceptable; feel free to change the names of participants if this will make you comfortable. However, the Committee would prefer to be able to contact you to verify details as necessary.
2. What actions, if any, did you take in response to the experience with or observation of the above described conduct? If you declined to take action, please explain why. If you or someone else took action, please relate the results of that action.
3. Attach any written documents which verify the above experience or observation.
By August 30, 2001, please submit your written responses and any other materials to the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women and the Courts, Judicial Education Subcommittee, c/o Marilyn C. Slivka, Manager, Special Programs Unit, AOC, Hughes Justice Complex, Post Office Box 988, Trenton, New Jersey 08625. (Telephone number 609-984-2172 and FAX 609-633-7142.) Alternatively, you may forward your response via e-mail to Marilyn_Slivka@njcourts.gov (attaching any supporting materials as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect formatted documents).
Please direct any questions to Ms. Slivka and a subcommittee member will respond directly.