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Copy of letter sent by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman to
all Chief Justices and State Court Administrators

___________________________________________________________________May 14, 2002
Dear Colleague:

_______In the eight months since the terrorist attacks on America, we have spoken to various groups about the unique challenges that the New York State court system faced, and continues to face, in the aftermath of those attacks. Our conversations with many of you during this time about your own experiences in coping with disaster situations have reinforced for us the value of discussing such issues with other court leaders. Across the nation, we are all engaged in responding to the events of September 11th specifically, and planning generally how to prepare for future emergency situations in our respective jurisdictions. Clearly, a national conversation on these issues would benefit us all. To that end, a "9-11 Summit" is being planned to discuss the many issues that confront all courts in the wake of September 11th.

_______As hosts of the Summit, along with the National Center for State Courts, the Center for Judicial Studies at Pace University School of Law, the Center for Court Innovation in New York and the court systems of Virginia, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, we are writing to invite you to participate in the Summit, which will be held in New York City on September 25-27, 2002, at the Marriott Financial Center in lower Manhattan--a location that represents our tragic loss and our nation's unbroken spirit.

_______We hope you can personally attend, and note that scholarship assistance is anticipated for this purpose. To assure the broadest spectrum of participation, we encourage you to bring leaders from the judiciary, court administration, the bar, academia and the executive and legislative branches to discuss what we have learned from 9-11 and where we go from here, as well as to forge new relationships with national, state and local agencies.

_______All of us face the challenge of creating fail-safe systems for communication, automation and records access, of ensuring the continuity of court business in an uncertain and volatile environment. Court policymakers across the country are grappling with issues ranging from how to balance heightened security needs with public access to the courts to addressing the unique legal issues arising from such events. Maintaining the rule of law in the aftermath of a disaster requires cooperation and coordination among court administrators, state legislatures, bar leaders and countless government agencies. All of these issues involve broad policy and budget-related implications. The Summit will provide an opportunity for courts here and abroad to share past experiences in dealing with disasters and for leaders of all governmental branches and entities involved in the justice system to share their thinking on these topics. We know from our personal experience and your feedback that the Jury Summit held in New York just last year proved how valuable such a national gathering can be.

_______We would appreciate if you could provide us with a list of proposed Summit attendees and their contact information (address, telephone number and e-mail) by June 3rd so that we can forward agenda and registration materials. The list should be sent to Wendy Deer or
Chester Mount by fax (212-428-2987) or e-mail or you may call them with this information or any questions (212-428-2990). Current agenda information is enclosed, and additional information is available on the Summit web site, www.9-11Summit.org.

_______These are difficult times for all of us charged with the responsibility of maintaining the openness, integrity and security of the judiciary. We know we can rise to the challenge, and we can do that best if we share the lessons learned and our thinking for the future. We look forward to seeing you in New York.

Judith S. Kaye Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman Chief Administrative Judge