Dear Members and friends;
As we come to the close of 2015, we thought you might like an update on our activities.
The MCCGJA 2015-2016 Board was installed in July and our members helped with the training of the incoming 2015-2016 Civil Grand Jury.
Shortly after the installation, we were informed that the Superior Court Judges had decided that they would turn over all interview duties to the MCCGJA and then, using the Interview Committee’s evaluation of each applicant, would determine the 30 people to be part of the drawing.
The Board agreed with the changes and felt the best approach was to conduct a two-phase interview, which would allow a more thorough evaluation. We would continue to have the applicant interviewed by two former grand jurors for approximately 30 minutes and then add another preliminary phase where the applicant would join 5 -6 other jurors for a problem solving activity, which would be observed by two different former jurors. This phase would last about 15-20 minutes. Having 4 different jurors evaluate each applicant would give us more assurance that the applicant was qualified to serve. The Board voted to approve this approach.
Our Bylaws require that the membership review and agree with the Board’s action at the next meeting, which was held September 1st. I therefore informed the Judges that the membership was agreement with our proposal and we are willing to accept this added responsibility for the Court.
We have formed an INTERVIEWING COMMITTEE, which has reviewed the current interview questions and is preparing a detailed outline of the new procedures. All members interested in helping us inform and screen new applicants should contact Tom Borden.
Our OUTREACH COMMITTEE’s advertising and informational meetings program helped achieve the necessary applicants for the current jury pool. The Committee is busy setting up informational Open Houses in various locations throughout the County, with added advertising in the hopes of getting a large pool of applicants for the 2016-2017 Civil Grand Jury. We are always looking for more members to join this exciting and critical function; contact Jean Gunn.
Our IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW COMMITTEE has been active in the review of several of last years Jury reports, as reported on their page on the web site.
We welcomed the new 2015-2016 Jurors as members and have initiated and maintained frequent collaborative communication relative to how we can help them do their job and they offer suggestions on how the training could incorporate some of the new technologies.
Our active MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE has now helped us to grow to nearly 100 members, many of whom are active on our several working committees.
We have also been successful in getting additional donations to our budget so that we can further expand our Outreach Program.
Our TRAINING COMMITTEE has taken on the added duty of reviewing and updating our training manual and also reorganizing some training modules to be responsive to feedback from current jurors. Anyone interested in helping us enhance our training efforts to even higher success, please contact Rich Treadgold.
Our COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE continues to update our Web Site and News Letter. I would suggest that you take the time to view the whole site to see what is new.
We welcome one and all to join us and offer suggestions that would help our Association with the new activities we have undertaken.
Happy Holidays! We are looking forward to another productive New Year.
Nadine A. Muller
President 2015-2016, MCCGJA