State Supreme Court justices take oath

In addition to swearing in Gov. Rick Snyder and other officials, Michigan Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. swore in three colleagues on New Year's Day Justice Brian Zahra, Justice David Viviano and Justice Richard Bernstein. With Justice Stephen Markman, Justice Mary Beth Kelly and Justice Bridget McCormack, the Court begins hearing oral arguments on January 13. The Court also provides administrative supervision and assistance to Michigan's 244 trial courts. "Our new colleague, Justice Bernstein, brings incredible energy and enthusiasm to the Court," said Chief Justice Young. "We are all ready to work together to build on a successful record of driving change to improve service to the public." "The oath of office is an ideal reminder of the people we serve and the laws and constitution we are charged to interpret," Young concluded. In 2015, the Court's administrative reform agenda will focus on the adoption of best practices, implementation of performance measures and expanding the use of technology to improve service to the public. For example, there are already more than 350 virtual courtrooms that allow for certain hearings to be held by video-conference. Last year alone, the Michigan Department of Corrections saved more than $2.6 million because they were able to conduct 4058 "video transports" of prisoners instead of physically transporting them to court. Performance measures regarding trial courts are published on the Supreme Court website, including results of public satisfaction surveys, and new measures will be added in 2015. In addition, the Court will continue aggressive efforts to restructure and streamline local trial courts to eliminate duplication, share resources and improve efficiency. As part of this effort, 40 judicial seats are already being phased out, saving $4.4 million over the past three years. Published: Mon, Jan 05, 2015