Chad C. Schmucker, former state court administrator and circuit judge of Jackson County, Michigan, will become the 8th president of the National Judicial College in 2014. As president, he will work to provide innovative judicial education and improve the competency of judges across the nation. A former state court administrator, Judge Schmucker managed 246 trial courts across the state of Michigan. He also spent twenty years on the bench as a circuit court judge, working to reform Michigan’s judicial system.
Judge Schmucker left the bench with a reputation for efficiency, creativity, and technological innovation. Nicknamed “rocket docket,” Judge Schmucker initiated several programs that helped him successfully manage an overburdened court docket, including: bringing cameras into courtrooms, using email for notices instead of mail, and suggesting video conferencing with lawyers instead of trips to the courthouse to handle minor matters. He continues to hope that all courts will move toward using electronic filing systems. Judge Schmucker also focused on “problem-solving” courts, creating both a recovery court for felons dealing with substance abuse and helping to begin a mental health court. Judge Schmucker’s dedication to case management and court efficiency will certainly be a hallmark of his National Judicial College presidency.
Katherine Kirk is a third year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to firstname.lastname@example.org.