The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Chief Counsel Mark C. Palmer has been appointed to the Illinois Judicial Conference’s (IJC) AI Task Force and Communications Director Laura Bagby has been reappointed to the IJC’s PR/Public Education & Engagement Task Force.
Both Illinois Judicial Conference Task Forces will support initiatives in 2024 that advance the goals laid out in the IJC’s 2022-2025 Strategic Agenda, titled “Charting the Course: Innovations and Transformations within the Illinois Judicial Branch.”
2024 Strategic Initiatives
The AI Task Force, which is new in 2024, will focus on generative AI and the Illinois Judicial Branch. The Task Force falls under the Strategic Goal of Fair, Timely, and Efficient Courts.
“AI has the potential to enhance customer service and operational efficiencies for the legal and judicial systems, but we must also be prudent of potential ethical challenges and the proper regulation of these tools,” Palmer said. “I am honored to be selected to serve on the AI Task Force, and applaud the IJC for its vigilance and thorough exploration of these issues.”
The PR/Public Education & Engagement Task Force will focus on the Strategic Goal of building “Understanding of/Confidence in the Judicial Branch.” This includes initiatives centered on court-user experience, public trust in the Judicial Branch, and public relations crisis management/rapid response systems.
“Over the last several years, the PR Task Force has supported the Court’s excellent work in connecting the judiciary to the public they serve, bolstering clear and transparent communications channels and furthering public education about the court system,” said Bagby. “From training Public Information Officers at courts across Illinois to creating a new Illinois Jury Orientation video, I am proud of our work and grateful for the opportunity to continue to support the Illinois Judicial Branch’s Strategic Agenda.”
Bagby was appointed to the IJC PR Task Force in 2020. Palmer previously served on an IJC Task Force that supported the development of the Illinois Court’s new website.
2022-2025 Strategic Agenda
The IJC is designated by Supreme Court Rule 41 to “consider the work of the courts and to suggest improvements in the administration of justice” as well as “to strategically plan for the Illinois judicial branch.”
The multidisciplinary IJC has 29 members, including Illinois Supreme Court justices, appellate court justices, circuit court judges, circuit clerk courts, court administrative staff, Illinois attorneys, and members of the public, among others. The Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court presides as chairperson. An IJC roster can be found here: https://www.illinoiscourts.gov/courts/supreme-court/illinois-judicial-conference/.
The IJC released its first three-year Strategic Agenda in 2019, outlining the mission, vision, and core values of the Illinois Judicial Branch, as well as organizational goals and strategies for achieving those goals. The 2022-2025 Strategic Agenda was released in 2022.
In the 2022-2025 Strategic Agenda, Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis noted advancements in the court system driven by technology—like electronic filing and virtual courts—and the need for the Judicial Branch to “embrace the next technological frontier—data.”
“With the help of the IJC, impressive efforts are underway in the collection of data and the focus will shift to how we analyze and use that information to better serve our court users,” Theis wrote.
A full rundown of the Illinois Judicial Branch’s Strategic Goals and 2024 Initiatives can be found here: https://ilcourtsaudio.blob.core.windows.net/antilles-resources/resources/efee1ac1-5b47-41bd-8df5-f24af82f08fb/Strategic%20Agenda%20Operational%20Plan%202024.pdf.
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Illinois Supreme Court established the Commission on Professionalism under Supreme Court Rule 799 to promote integrity, professionalism, and civility among the lawyers and judges of Illinois, to foster a commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems, and to ensure those systems provide equitable, effective, and efficient resolution of problems for the people of Illinois.
The Commission achieves this mission through professional responsibility CLE, lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring, legal professionalism programming, educational resources, and more. To learn more, visit 2Civility.org and follow us on social media.
Laura Bagby, Communications Director
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