As I enter into my second year as Court Executive Officer and 14th year with the court, I continue to become more and more inspired by the judges and court employees who dedicate themselves to the daily operations of Contra Costa Superior Court.
This has been a very exciting and exhausting year focused on migrating to a new traffic case management system. We have been talking about this for as long as I can remember and to actually flip the switch was monumental. This effort took transferring all the data that was in the old system and finding a place for it in the new system and then building all the rules surrounding traffic. We went through each and every process of our traffic case flow and made efficiencies as we could find them. We went live on Monday, August 19th! We continue to work through “bugs” and will for the next several months but overall this was a successful implementation. I would like to specifically mention the tremendous work of Fae Li, Christena Flores, Shelly Hasson, Romel Martinez, Karen Cardinale, and the entire Information Technology Unit (featured on the cover). Their dedication was beyond what I could have asked for and they continue to work hard on the traffic project.
We are now headed to the other case types and migrating off four other antiquated systems. We will start with Criminal and Juvenile and move to Civil, which includes Family, Probate, Limited/Unlimited Civil. We are required to complete this in a 3-year time frame. This is aggressive but we have been granted funds directly from the state for this project and they have set hard timeframes for completion. We are up for this challenge!
Our staff is very focused on case management and are limiting other large projects for the next three to five years to make our transition successful.
In 2019, I welcomed Matt Malone as my Director of Compliance and Communication and along with many other projects on his list, he has been working diligently to revamp our Temporary Judge Program with our new commissioners. He is also doing a thorough review of all our policies and procedures as well as standing orders. This review is long overdue. Matt was a Civil Research Attorney for our court prior to taking this position and his transition has been so beneficial to our court.
This year the court has been focusing on our ability to function in the event of a natural disaster. There are so many things to prepare ourselves for and we have been working to ensure the safety of our employees and the public in the event of a disaster. As we have seen with our sister courts, this can happen with no warning and we must make sure Contra Costa is prepared. We are working with the Judicial Council and the Office of the Sheriff staff to cover all our bases.
I would like to express my thanks to Presiding Judge Barry Baskin for his support during my first year as CEO and his incredible encouragement during the case management project. I would also like to express my gratitude to the court staff who work hard day in and out, from the clerks at the windows, the court reporters and courtroom clerks, finance, IT, administration, human resources and custodian and the facilities staff. Each day they come ready to work with patience and respect for all needing our help. And lastly, I would be completely remiss if I did not send a special thank you to my management staff. They are the most dedicated group of people I have the utmost pleasure working with.
I ask for your patience during this major transition of a new case management system especially when you visit our courts. This is a change for our employees as well and they are under great pressure and handling it with continued professionalism.