2019 Conference Agenda

(Updated 7/23/19) PDF

Dress for all meetings is business casual. Dress for evening events is casual.

Sunday, August 4

Location: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower, 1360 West Mall Dr., Cleveland, OH 44114

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration.  CCPIO Conference registration desk will be on the hotel’s second floor. Follow the signs.Sign up for and pay for baseball ($25) and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ($18) tickets at time of registration, cash or check.

5 p.m. – New member orientation led by CCPIO President Leah Gurowitz, Director of Media and Public Relations for the District of Columbia Courts, and CCPIO board members to welcome new members and explain the committee process and what to expect at the conference.

6-8 p.m. – Reception at hotel with hors d’oeuvres.

8 p.m. – Informal dine-around for anyone still hungry. Meet in the lobby near hotel registration.  Local host Darren Toms, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, will provide a list of nearby restaurants. If you arrive late and want to join a group at a restaurant, a list of restaurants will be left at the hotel front desk. 

Monday, August 5

Locations: Breakfast at Marriott; morning session at the Historic Courthouse, 1 Lakeside Ave.; afternoon session at the Justice Center, 1200 Ontario St.

7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Registration.  CCPIO Conference registration desk will be on the hotel’s second floor. Follow the signs. 

7:30-8:30 a.m. – Buffet breakfast at hotel.

8:30 a.m. – Gather in the hotel lobby at the hotel registration desk to walk to the Historic Courthouse, 1 Lakeside Ave.

8:45 a.m. – Group photo in the Historic Courthouse.

Morning meetings on the second floor in the 8th District Court of Appeals courtroom.
9-9:30 a.m. – Opening remarks by CCPIO President Leah Gurowitz, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.  Opening video.

9:30-10:30 a.m. – Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, speaks on The Importance of State Courts and Constitutions. He will bring a few copies of his book, 51 Imperfect Solutions: States and the Making of American Constitutional Law. Those who want autographed copies may want to buy books ahead of time. It’s available on Amazon. CORE COMPETENCY: Legislative/Government Relations

10:30-10:40 a.m. – Break. (Catch up on work, network.)

10:40-Noon – Threats Against Courts and Judges. Judge Anthony Cappizzi, of Dayton, talks about media coverage of threats, and Geoff Fattah, Communications Director for the Utah State Courts, will talk about bomb threats. Geoff and Jesse Rutledge, Vice President of External Affairs at the National Center for State Courts, discuss disinformation campaigns targeting the courts. CORE COMPETENCIES: Crisis Communication, Media Relations

Noon-12:30 p.m. – Optional guided or self-guided courthouse tour and walk to afternoon meeting site at The Justice Center, site of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court,1200 Ontario St.

12:30-1:30 p.m. – Box lunch at The Justice Center in the 12th Floor Education Room. 

Afternoon meetings in Courtroom 15D.

1:30-2:30 p.m. – How to Create Effective Marketing Campaigns. Ed Miller, Director of Information at the Ohio Supreme Court; Mary Ann Price, Court Information Officer for Nevada’s Eighth Judicial District Court; and Amy McGahan, of the Cleveland firm Dix & Eaton (See her bio at https://www.dix-eaton.com/our-team/amy-mcgahan/) CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Education, Community Outreach

2:30-2:40 p.m. – Break.

2:40-3:40 p.m. – The Many Faces of Facebook. Liza-Bart Dolan, Associate Manager of Politics and Government at Facebook, talks about best practices for government. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Community Outreach, Education

3:40-3:50 p.m. – Break.

3:50-5 p.m. – Face-to-Face Listserv focuses on responding to unwarranted criticism and other challenges. Moderated by Kathryn Dolan, Chief Public Information officer for the Indiana Supreme Court. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Crisis Communication, Education, Community Outreach, Internal Communications, Publications, Legislative/Governmental Relations

Evening – Time for networking, including an outing to the Cleveland Indians baseball game at 7:10 p.m. Gather at 6:15 p.m. in the hotel lobby at the hotel registration desk to walk to Progressive Field. Sign up and pay for tickets at CCPIO registration.

Tuesday, August 6

Location all day: Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 1375 East 9th St., Second Floor. 

7:30-8:30 a.m. – Buffet breakfast at Marriott.

8:45 a.m. – Gather in the hotel lobby at the hotel registration desk to walk to Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (three blocks from hotel).

9-10 a.m. – A Discussion of “Serial.” Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Community Outreach Coordinator Darren Toms, Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo, and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich talk about their experiences working with the podcast “Serial.” Professor Witmer-Rich teaches a law school class about “Serial.” See https://serialpodcast.org/Season 3CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Education, Community Outreach

10-10:20 a.m. – Break.

10:20-11:10 a.m. – Trends in News and Media. Craig Waters, Director of the Florida Supreme Court’s Office of Public Information, and Doris Burke, Research Reporter at ProPublica. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Education, Community Outreach

11:10-Noon – Visualize Your Message. Lindsey Borschel, Creative Services Manager at the Indiana Supreme Court; Gretchen Smith, graphic designer for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts; and Kelley Hynds, president and executive producer of Hyndsight Productions in Cleveland. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Education, Community Outreach, Internal Communications, Publications

Noon-1:30 p.m. – Lunch and CCPIO annual business meeting/Election of New Officers

1:30-3 p.m. – High Profile Trials. Panel discussion with Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, of the 30th Circuit Court of Michigan, who presided over the Larry Nassar sexual assault trial; Kim Bathgate, Assistant Director of Communications at the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, who worked on the Bill Cosby criminal case; and Rhonda Stearley Hebert, Manager of Communications for the Connecticut Judicial Branch, who worked on the Kennedy cousin murder case and a home invasion/triple murder case. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Crisis Communication, Education, Community Outreach

3-3:20 p.m. – Break

3:20-4:15 p.m. – Tornadoes and Elections and Storms, Oh My! Craig Waters and Tricia Knox, Director and Deputy Director of the Florida Supreme Court’s Office of Public Information, respectively, talk about how technology has changed the role of the court PIO in crisis communication by comparing the ballot case this year to the Gore-Bush recount. They also address crisis communication during weather crises. Charles Keller Jr., Information and Communication Specialist for the North Carolina Judicial Branch, will talk about North Carolina’s storm-related crisis communication. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Crisis Communication, Education, Community Outreach, Legislative/Governmental Relations

4:30 p.m. – CCPIO committee meetings.  Committees meet in the same room as this afternoon’s sessions.

6 p.m. – Dinner on your own with CCPIO friends, old and new.  

Wednesday, August 7

Location: Marriott Hotel

7:30-8:30 a.m. – Buffet breakfast at hotel.

8:30-8:45 a.m. — A video “Reveal of the 2020 CCPIO Conference Site.”

8:45-9:45 a.m. Opioids. Kathryn Dolan, Chief Public Information Officer for the Indiana Supreme Court, moderates a panel on the work of the CCJ-COSCA Opioid Task Force. Panel members include Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and NCSC Senior Court Management Consultant Nora Sydow. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Crisis Communication, Education, Community Outreach, Internal Communication, Publications, Legislative/Governmental Relations

9:45-10 am. – Break.

10-11:20 a.m. – How to Wrangle a Hundred Students, Keep Their Attention and Teach Them Something Along the Way.  Lorri Montgomery, Director of Communications for the National Center for State Courts, will highlight national resources available to us all.  Beth Riggert, Communications Counsel for the Supreme Court of Missouri, will about court tours and Missouri’s “Have Gavel, Will Travel” judicial speakers program. Nebraska Supreme Court PIO Janet Bancroft will talk about that court’s traveling oral arguments and ways she entertains visiting students. Representatives of the USAID justice reform program in Ukraine make a brief presentation about their public education efforts. CORE COMPETENCIES: Education, Community Outreach

11:20-12:30 p.m. – Stategies for Dealing with Misinformation, Disinformation, and Unwarranted Criticism. Rhonda Stearley Hebert, Manager of Communications for the Connecticut Judicial Branch, talks about Connecticut’s Fair and Impartial Courts Committee; Janet Bancroft, the Nebraska Supreme Court’s PIO, talks about her state’s efforts to adopt the Connecticut model; and Mary Ann Sharkey, an Ohio-based media consultant for cities and state governments (formerly Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial page editor and member of the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame) offers her insights. CORE COMPETENCIES: Media Relations, Crisis Communication, Education, Community Outreach, Legislative/Governmental Relations

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Plate lunch. Speaker Judge Dick Ambrose, who played on the Cleveland Browns for 10 years and began law school while still a player. CORE COMPETENCY: Media Relations 

For those who are staying in Cleveland, Darren Toms will lead a group tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a discount rate of $18 per person. Sign up and pay for tickets at CCPIO registration.

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