Discussion Leader’s Guide:
Procedural-Fairness Video Scenarios

The National Center for State Courts has prepared four video scenarios that can be viewed and then discussed to supplement training programs on procedural fairness (also called procedural justice) for judges and court staff. These videos explore how procedural-fairness principles may best be deployed in situations judges and court staff face as litigants encounter the court system.

Four video scenarios are available:

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The Multitasking Judge (5:18):
A judge conducting a hearing on whether to modify the no-contact order in a domestic-violence case pending trial also signs a stack of routine orders during the hearing.
The Computerized Judge (9:15):
A judge hearing a proceeding to terminate a mother’s parental rights sits in a modern courtroom, where he accesses the court file on one computer, the court calendar on an iPad, and texts about emergency warrant requests on an iPhone. This leads to a motion for mistrial based on the judge’s inattention.
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The Counter Clerk and the Upset Litigant (2:42):
A mother who has just received a court order taking away her children comes to the Clerk’s front counter for information. The Clerk may—or may not—be able to help.
The Criminal First-Appearance Docket (3:04):
A judge must process more than 100 defendants making their first court appearances in criminal cases.


A separate discussion guide for participants is included. It provides an introduction for each scenario and questions to consider as participants watch it. The guide also includes links to further background information regarding each scenario. This Discussion Leader’s Guide provides some suggestions for comments that might be made regarding each scenario. Greater information about procedural fairness in courts can be found at ProceduralFairness.org, a website cohosted by the National Center for State Courts.