Rx4 Series

AJA, with generous support from the State Justice Institute, presented four webinars examining the challenges facing the country and state courts due to the pandemic and social unrest related to systemic racial inequality. Three of the four topics echoed President Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression, which focused on Relief, Recovery, and Reform. The fourth addressed the steps state courts, and especially judges, can take to ensure that the state justice system provides equal justice to all.


Date: November 18, 2020 
Presenter: Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law

Renowned constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky will discuss the legal challenges and constitutional issues courts will face during and after the pandemic, as well as the development of law in the past year. He will conclude with a reflection on Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and what new Justice Amy Coney Barrett means for the Supreme Court.

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Date: Friday, January 15, 2021 
Presenters: Judge George Grasso, Supervising Judge of Bronx County Criminal Court (NY), and David Slayton, Director of the Texas Office of Court Administration

This webinar panel discussion will highlight the steps courts have taken to resume suspended in-person hearings and jury trials, to adjust to judges and staff working remotely, and other issues.

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Racial Justice

Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 
Chief Justice Bernette Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court and Barbara Arnwine, President & Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition; Moderated by Judge Yvette Alexander, Baton Rouge City Court, Louisiana and President-Elect of AJA

This webinar will speak to the responsibility of judges and the state courts to address persistent racial inequality and the negative perceptions of the justice system among communities of color. Attendees will be fortunate to hear from recently retired Chief Justice Bernette Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court and Barbara Arnwine, President & Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition. CJ Johnson, the state’s first African American Chief Justice, has emphasized the need for judges and lawmakers to recognize their roles in maintaining a system that leaves many persons of color dissatisfied. Ms Arnwine, the radio host of Igniting Change and a regular presence in the national media, is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues. The discussion will be moderated by Judge Yvette Alexander of Baton Rouge City Court, Louisiana and President-Elect of AJA. You won’t want to miss this provocative and enlightening discussion to include practical advice for criminal justice reform.

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Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 
Presenters: Lisa Foster, Retired Judge and Co-Director of the Fines & Fees Justice Center; former Director of the Office for Access to Justice at the United States Department of Justice; David K. Byers, Director of the Administrative Office of the Arizona Supreme Court

This final webinar on REFORM will examine why Fines and Fees Reform will help courts weather the COVID-19 recession and move toward more equitable, effective ways of funding operations. The session will include policy recommendations offering strategies to address the immediate economic harms caused by fines and fees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will also explore institutional and systemic changes that resulted from, and may outlive, the immediate impact of the pandemic.

View Webinar RecordingHandouts: Fines & Fees Justice Center slidesJustice for All slidesJustice for All Final ReportFair Justice Handout | Fair Justice Subcommittee Report Lawful Collection Bench CardFines & Fees Resource Center