In this episode of Open Ninth, Chief Judge Frederick Lauten, along with Administrative Judges Julie O’Kane and Patricia Doherty, speak about the state of the courts in 2017. Besides providing an overview of their respective divisions, the Judges also discuss the Ninth Circuit’s relationship with the legislature, the impact of Hurricane Irma on social services and the courts, and the loss to the judiciary of three dearly beloved jurists – Judge Scott Polodna, Judge Ted Coleman, and Judge Rom Powell.
The Ninth Circuit is the third largest circuit in the state of Florida, employing about 360 staff, including 65 judges and their judicial assistant. Judge Lauten predicts an increase in staff will be necessary in 2018 to handle the impact of Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma damaged Puerto Rico’s power grid, prompting a large migration of Puerto Rican immigrants to Central Florida. With the large influx of native Spanish speakers to our community, the Ninth Circuit may experience an increased demand for court interpreters.
Judge Lauten also discusses the Circuit’s efforts to address issues with implicit bias in the court system. In 2017, the Circuit invited experts to provide training on implicit bias to all our judges. Noting the importance of the topic, Judge Lauten is honored to sit on a diversity panel that identifies and provides recommendations on a series of diversity and racial issues present in the justice system. Judge Lauten is optimistic that we will see even more advances in our circuit in 2018. Tune in to find out more.