The Verdict Is In: Judge and Administrator Perceptions of State Court Governance

Christopher D. Kimbrough, Mitchel N. Herian, David B. Rottman, Brian H. Bornstein, Alan J. Tomkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The court unification movement has progressed in fits and starts over the decades. Recent proposals have been put forth that attempt to continue the move toward a state court structure that utilizes a more coherent approach to governance. Drawing on a survey of court personnel who were asked about a set of proposed governance principles, this article examines how state court judges and administrators view their roles and responsibilities in the court system, the current need for court reform, the importance of future trends, and whether they are confident in the performance of their respective court system. Three hundred and seventy-five judges and administrators answered sixty-two questions regarding principles governing state court procedures and measures of their confidence in the court system. Participants overwhelmingly agreed that changes in court governance are necessary, although the degree of change for specific principles and trends was moderated by career, age, and time working for the courts. Results indicate that perceptions of court performance are not uniform among court professionals, perhaps signifying that current court governance emphases should be reexamined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-361
Number of pages18
JournalJustice System Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • court organization
  • court reform
  • court standards
  • unification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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