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On Friday, Aug. 28, SOC Institute launched a new initiative designed to make the nation’s civil justice system more accessible, affordable and efficient. Stewards of Change Institute, with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts, plans to identify advanced, innovative and promising technologies and practices already being used or tested in other domains and systems – human services, healthcare, public safety and IT – to improve the performance of U.S. civil courts.

Once these technologies are identified, Pew will conduct proof of concept testing around the country to determine which of them work best. The objective of this work is to implement tools and approaches that level the legal playing field for millions of people for whom the courts are too often an impediment – rather than an opportunity – for achieving justice. This Stewards project is an important part of Pew’s larger Civil Legal System Modernization Project, which aims to make the civil legal system fairer and more efficient overall by:

  • Increasing the availability and quality of free online legal tools that help everyone navigate complex problems and connect to resources.
  • Developing, promoting, and evaluating technologies that improve how people interact with state and local courts.
  • Conducting research to identify policies that can improve outcomes for people involved in the civil legal system.
  • Building partnerships with the private sector, policymakers, and other stakeholders to advance comprehensive improvement to the civil legal system.

During the webinar, we also introduced the focus group series we will be conducting in the coming months as an integral part of this work. These conversations will provide pivotal information about “what’s out there” and what would be most useful. The learning will inform the proof of concepts that will be tested by Pew over the next few years.

Presenters included:

  • Amie Lewis, a Senior Associate with Pew Charitable Trusts, who will provide an overview of the foundation’s legal project and how SOCI’s efforts fit into the broader work
  • Anthony Capizzi, the Administrative Judge, Montgomery County Ohio Juvenile Justice Center who has worked extensively to integrate technology and interoperability in the courts (Invited)
  • Daniel Stein, President of Stewards of Change Institute who is providing leadership for the project

About the Presenters: 

Daniel SteinDaniel Stein | President of the Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI), and Co-Principal Investigator for the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC)

Daniel Stein is President of the Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI), a unique not-for-profit think tank and advocacy/implementation organization. He is also Co-Principal Investigator for the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC), a new “Community of Networks” initiative led by SOCI and AcademyHealth. For over a decade, Stein has been a thought-leader, educator, consultant and advocate in promoting and implementing interoperability and information-sharing by working nationally in the private and public sectors – at the local, state and federal levels – to instigate systemic change. Through the Stewards of Change Consultancy, which is the implementation arm of SOCI, Stein also has provided his expertise and experience nationally to create the strategies, operational regimes, tools, trainings and materials needed to achieve tangible results and fulfill the Institute’s mission.

7505147269?profile=RESIZE_400xAmie Lewis | Sr. Associate, Civil Legal System Modernization, Pew Charitable Trusts

Amie Lewis is currently with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Civil Legal System Modernization Project, where she works to make the nation’s civil legal system more accessible and affordable by implementing the most promising technologies and tools to assist self-represented litigants and improve state court efficiency. Formerly at Equal Justice Works, Amie managed cohorts of legal fellows and various private and federal grants. At the Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women, she provided training and technical assistance to attorneys, judges, and court personnel and assisted domestic violence survivors nationwide in obtaining legal representation. As a paralegal and a pro bono coordinator in both private and public interest law, Amie developed a deep understanding of the civil legal system, including housing, consumer, probate, and family law. She also has experience working with nonprofits to build capacity, strengthen community partnerships, implement cutting-edge and practical technology solutions, and develop systems to more effectively meet the needs of low-income individuals. Amie holds a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in women’s studies.

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Anthony (Tony) Capizzi | Administrative Judge, Juvenile Court, County of Montgomery, OH

Judge Capizzi has served as Montgomery County, Ohio Juvenile Court Judge since 2004. He previously served as an Acting Judge for Dayton Municipal Court and in private practice. Judge Capizzi was admitted to the Ohio and Federal Bars in 1979, receiving his J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law and a B.A. from Saint Bonaventure University. He is a 1989 graduate of Leadership Dayton.

Judge Capizzi was the proud recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2015 in recognition of his distinguished service to the community and to the law school

Nationally, Judge Capizzi serves as President-Elect of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (“NCJFCJ”), and Chair of the NCJFCJ’s Juvenile Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Project Advisory Committee.

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