High Profile Checklist

The Judicial Family Institute asked high profile case veteran judges and their partners or other family members how the rest of us can prepare in case such a trial should come our way. Advance preparation and family discussion can minimize the impact of a high profile case. Factors or ideas to consider ahead of time include:

  • A “Buddy Judge” and “Partner Mentor” who have been through a similar trial or appeal
  • Information and assistance from state supreme court or local public information staff
  • Urban/Rural differences apply in the planning process
  • Special attention to exercise, recreation, good nutrition, spirituality, and relaxation during, before, and after trial. Vacations before and/or after serve well. Personal physician counsel is also helpful
  • Decompression time- - judges and partners take at least 10 minute relaxation break between work activities and home
  • The “bigger picture”- - realizing the inconvenience to you and your family is a very small price to pay for living in a country ruled by law rather than anarchy and chaos
  • Extra security for home and family
  • Benefit of drawing on your relationships with media reporters to help them understand the importance of leaving names and pictures of family and home out of news stories
  • Press release to reinforce privacy of family and home
  • Judges’ avoiding reference to their family members in courtroom and with reporters
  • Breakfast conversation about the morning headlines to prepare family for responses to peers and teachers
  • Support from family, friends, other judicial families
  • Practical assistance: lawn mowing, house repairs, hot meals, car-pooling , babysitting
  • Presence for conversation and encouragement
  • Age appropriate attention to children missing judicial parent
  • Temporary housing during time of some trials

JFI welcomes your additions to this list.