Performance of the Courts of Appeal

Fiscal Year 2014 - 2015

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INTRODUCTION


The chief judges of the five courts of appeal adopted the Strategic Plan of the Courts of Appeal in 1999. The Supreme Court approved the plan the same year. The plan was reviewed in 2005, 2010, and 2015. The goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan of the Courts of Appeal reflect the Court of Appeal Performance Standards which have been adopted by the Supreme Court. The information comprising the “Intent of the Objective” sections of this report was taken primarily from “Appellate Court Performance Standards and Measures” (June 1999), a joint publication of the National Center for State Courts and the State Justice Institute. The information presented in the “Response to the Objective” and “Major Strategies Initiated or Completed” sections of this report was compiled from responses of each court of appeal to a survey of chief judges, which was prepared by the Supreme Court Judicial Administrator’s office and distributed to the courts of appeal.


SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS BY THE COURTS DURING THE PERIOD


GOALS AND OBJECTIVES







SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS BY THE COURTS

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1st Circuit

The court continued to promote its e-notification and e-filing programs though judges’ outreach in the legal community and informational flyers and phone responses by the clerk's office staff. The promotion resulted in increased usage by all types of First Circuit filers. At the beginning of the period covered by this report there were over 2,400 participants in the court’s e-notification program. The program increases efficiency in the receipt and processing of filings for both the court and the public. Through cooperative efforts by the judges’ committees, judges’ staff, clerk’s office personnel, and information technology staff, the court has entered the final phases of creating its ECase Access Program. Once launched, the court’s ECase Access Program will provide subscribers with access to the court’s publicly accessible documents and filings.

2nd Circuit

The court ordered new printers for the judges' suites and replaced old e-mail software with Microsoft Outlook. The court also began network connectivity optimization to improve electronic communications among the court's internal and remote office locations. Court personnel planned training for future transition from WordPerfect to Microsoft Word software and for an upgrade to Windows 10. Lastly, the in-house programmer is approximately a year away from rolling-out a new case management/document management system.

3rd Circuit

To further the court’s educational outreach to students, the court held satellite court for fourth through ninth graders at the Lake Charles charter schools. This is the first time the court has done educational outreach in Calcasieu Parish.

Heretofore, the educational outreach was restricted to high school juniors and seniors. However, by fourth grade, the students are learning about government, and it is important that students in grades lower than high school have an understanding of how the judicial branch of government works in concert with the other branches of government. The goal is to help younger students grow to become effective participants in society.

5th Circuit

The successful launch of an e-filing system was the court's major accomplishment this year. This system, along with other pre-existing technology, now allows the court to be accessible to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.


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