Remote work by video is great, but not quite the same as in person. This session will discuss the impact that days of endless video meetings can have on staff, and will discuss approaches to using video technology in ways that maximize our efficiency but reduce the strain on our eyes, and our brains. Taking in non-verbal cues by video is a bit different than in person, but the adjustment is not so bad if you know how to recognize the differences, and plan accordingly. Aside from the technology, the need to use this platform because of the pandemic and feeling more isolated also takes its toll. Now is a great time to discuss ways to take care of our own mental health and make sure we address work-life balance in our socially distant environment.
Tom Topping is delivering the keynote for eCourts 2020.

Tom Topping

Tom Topping is a professional speaker and employee engagement expert with a master’s degree in Human Resources Management. He has spent his career transforming teams and training individuals for some of the largest organizations in the United States. His professional contributions have been described as innovative, unique, pioneering, daring, and out-of-the-box. He has led large-scale pilot programs in performance management, re-envisioned an entire human resources department, and managed the implementation of a $5 million educational grant. His company, Training Perfected, is dedicated to helping organizations and individuals maximize the performance and happiness of their employees.

As a committed member of the business community, Tom currently serves as District Director for HR Florida. He was named the HR Florida Chapter President of the Year for 2017 for his service to SuncoastHR in Pinellas County, Florida.

An aspect of his background that brings him pride is the 15 years he spent as a consultant for Nike, as the Director/Head Coach of the Nike Team Florida traveling basketball team. Many of his players went on to win high school, state,T and national basketball championships, as well as NCAA Division I National Championships and NBA championships. Six Nike Team Florida alumni have been drafted by NBA teams. Over 120 Nike Team Florida alumni received full college basketball scholarships (an estimated value of $15 million dollars.)

According to Tom, “Optimizing staff leadership and team performance at every level of an organization truly excites me. I love developing cutting edge techniques that lead to award-winning approaches in team building.”

Joseph Sawyer

Online Learning and Faculty Development Director, National Judicial College

Joseph Sawyer has been a member of The National Judicial College’s staff since 1986. He also educates the faculty on the best methods of educating judges in a distance-learning environment in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. He has developed distance-learning workshops for judges on such topics as Handling Small Claim Cases Effectively; Select Criminal Evidence Issues; Judicial Education on Substance Abuse: Promoting and Expanding Awareness and Leadership; International Kidnapping and the Hague Convention; Evidence Challenges for Administrative Law Judges; Ethics, Bias, and Judging: Reaching Higher Ground; and Ethics, Bias, and the Administrative Law Judge; and Essential Skills for the Unemployment Adjudicator. Mr. Sawyer instructs participants on courtroom technology, evidence presentation systems, litigation support software, and technology infrastructure in courtroom design. He is a former president of the National Association of State Judicial Educators and serves on the association’s technology and diversity committees. In 2004, Mr. Sawyer was the recipient of the William R. McMahon Award presented annually by the American Bar Association Judicial Division National Conference of Specialized Court Judges for leadership in the field of technology in the courts. He was a lecturer at the Russian Academy of Justice in Moscow during the summer of 2004, the James A.A. Pierre Judicial Center in Liberia in 2009 and 2011, and in Bosnia in 2011 for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Mr. Sawyer is a graduate of the Leadership Institute for Judicial Education, and in 2006 he was accepted into the Advanced Leadership Institute for Judicial Education. He has also been a faculty member of the State Bar of Nevada since 2002. Within the United States, Mr. Sawyer has taught more than 200 educational workshops for judges and judicial branch staff in 22 states and the District of Columbia on behalf of The National Judicial College, the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office of Immigration Review, the U.S. Department of Labor, The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, the Occupational Health and Safety Hearing Commission, and the Administrative Office of the Courts of various states.

Mr. Sawyer has developed and produced hundreds of webcasts on topics ranging from criminal evidence, mental competency, and electronic discovery. He is the co-author of “The National Judicial College Approach to Distance Learning: Towards a Model of Best Practice” (2015), and author of “Judicial Education and Distance Learning: An Economic Imperative” (2010). Mr. Sawyer joined the faculty of The National Judicial College in 2000.

Patricia Tobias

Principal Court Management Consultant, NCSC

Patricia Tobias has been with the NCSC’s Court Consulting Services division as a Principal Court Management Consultant since August 2014. Ms. Tobias has experience working in a wide variety of national, statewide, and local projects including those involving leadership and governance, caseflow management, strategic planning, child welfare, criminal justice reform and improving the justice system response to mental illness. She works with national court organizations and often presents at state and national conferences. She currently serves as the Project Director of a State Justice Institute (SJI) funded national initiative to Improve the Justice System response to Mental Illness.

Prior to becoming a Principal Court Management Consultant, Ms. Tobias served as the Administrative Director of the Idaho Courts for 20+ years, since November 1993.She previously served as the Clerk of the Court, St. Louis County, Missouri (1986-1993); Director of Court Services Division, Office of the State Courts Administrator, Missouri Supreme Court (1980-1986); and Adult and Juvenile Probation Services, Champaign County Circuit Court, Illinois (1976-1979).Ms. Tobias served as President of the Conference of State Court Administrators and as Vice-Chair of the NCSC’s Board of Directors (2002-2003) and on the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center Board of Directors (2009-2011).She received the NCSC’s Warren E. Burger Award for Administrative Excellence, 2012; the Robert L. Doss, Jr., Memorial Scholarship, 2011; the Justice Management Institute’s Ernest C. Friesen Award of Excellence, 2008; the Idaho State Bar’s Award of Distinction, 2003; the Public Policy Leadership Award, 2003; and the Kramer Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration, 2001.Ms. Tobias received her M.S.J.A. from the University of Denver College of Law and her B.S. from the University of Illinois.