District Court Administrator, Probate Register graduate ICM program

Published 10:54 am Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — Cass County District Court Administrator Lisa Withers and Cass County Probate Register Kelley James-Jura graduated from the National Center for State Courts Institute of Court Management as Certified Court Managers last month at Michigan’s Hall of Justice in Lansing. 

To be certified as a CCM, applicants must complete six courses focused on accountability and court performance, caseflow and workflow management, budget and fiscal management, project management, purposes and responsibilities of the courts, and workforce management. Upon completion of the program, graduates receive the status of Certified Court Manager. 

Lisa Withers began her career with the Cass County Courts in 2012 as the judicial assistant to the now-retired Probate Court Judge Susan L. Dobrich. After serving in this position for almost eight years, Withers joined the Fourth District Court in 2020 as the District Court Administrator/ Magistrate/ Financial Grant Officer. In her current role, Withers assists District Court Judge Stacey A. Rentfrow in overseeing the District Court’s budget as well as the federal and state grants for the District Courts Adult Treatment Court/Sobriety Court program. She also supervises ten District Court staff members and as a Court Administrator sits as a member of the Cass County Courts’ Judicial Council 

“Completing the CCM courses over the past two years has been a rewarding learning experience. It was a great opportunity to network with other Administrators throughout the State of Michigan who were in my cohort, including my co-worker Kelley James-Jura,” Withers said. 

Attorney Kelley James-Jura joined the Cass County Probate Court as the probate register/adoption specialist in 2015. In her position, she oversees the daily operations of the Probate Court, which handles various court proceedings including estates, guardianships, conservatorships, mental hearings, and adoptions. She provides supervision to the Probate Court File Room staff and as the Probate Register sits as a member of the Cass County Courts’ Judicial Council. During her time with the Probate Court, Attorney James-Jura has been involved with the Michigan Probate and Juvenile Registers’ Association, previously serving as Vice President and President of the organization. 

“I enjoyed being part of the CCM cohort over the last two years. I not only learned valuable information from each course, but I also had the opportunity to learn from other court professionals throughout the state,” James-Jura said. 

The NCSC is a nonprofit organization founded in 1971 at the urging of then-Chief Justice Burger to act as a hub of information and resources available to court systems across the country. In keeping with this purpose, the NCSC offers training courses for court employees in order to keep the operations of state courts consistent across the nation. Since 2011, the Certified Court Manager curriculum has been closely aligned with the National Association for Court Management Core Competencies, now updated and known as the NACM Core. The NACM Core is a summation of the knowledge, skills, and abilities court professionals must have in order to be effective managers and dynamic leaders.