Judge Claudia Laird's office recognized as a Judicial Center of Excellence

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Judge Claudia Laird and members of her staff, including Administrator Sandy Ledbetter, Investigative/Briefing Attorney Colleen Rice, Coordinator Donna Walters, Reporter Martha Koomar, Auditor Ron Bowman, Guardianship Coordinator Aimee Stevens, and Probate Coordinator Cathy Ansley. Photo courtesy of Judge Laird.

On Friday, Feb. 14 in Austin, County Court at Law Number Two of Montgomery County became the fourth court in Texas to be recognized as a Judicial Center of Excellence by the Texas Judicial Council.  Texas Supreme Court Chief Nathan Hecht presided over the award presentation.

The Court team is comprised of Judge Claudia Laird, Administrator Sandy Ledbetter, Investigative/Briefing Attorney Colleen Rice, Coordinator Donna Walters, Reporter Martha Koomar, Auditor Ron Bowman, Guardianship Coordinator Aimee Stevens, and Probate Coordinator Cathy Ansley.

Judge Claudia Laird holding the Judicial Center of Excellence award from the Texas Judicial Council. Photo courtesy of Judge Laird.

The Texas Judicial Council was created in 1929 by the 41st Legislature to continuously study and report on the organization and practices of the Texas Judicial Branch. The Texas Judicial Council is the policy-making body for the state judiciary. The Council studies methods to simplify judicial procedures, expedite court business, and better administer justice.

The Centers of Excellence Program is a Judicial Council initiative designed to support judicial leaders looking to improve the administrative performance of their courts and to improve compliance with critical administrative requirements. The program, supported by the Office of Court Administration’s Research and Court Services Division, is aligned with recognized standards of court performance measurement and management and supports local innovation.

Judge Claudia Laird receiving award for Judicial Center of Excellence by the Texas Judicial Council. Photo courtesy of Judge Laird.

In order to achieve recognition County Court at Law underwent a detailed and extensive process of evaluation in the topic areas of Governance, Case Flow Management, Access and Fairness, and Court Operations.  The Court met high marks in each of the performance areas leading to the recognition.  The program is open to all district, county, justice and municipal courts.

Although over 600 courts are actively seeking recognition, thus far only four courts have been recognized.  County Court at Law Number Two, over which Judge Claudia Laird has presided since 2011, was recognized in 2017 by the Texas Center for the Judiciary as a Model Court for guardianship administration and in 2016 by Montgomery County as Department of the Year.

“It is with a happy and humbled heart that I accept this recognition from the State of Texas.  Every member of our team in County Court Two strives to exceed the expectations placed upon us by an ever increasing caseload.  We are steadfast in our dedication to court efficiency and to the service of the residents of our great county, ” said Judge Claudia Laird.

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