News Item
Ninth Judicial District Judge Chad LeDuc Presides Over Drug Court from Capitol Hill

Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010

Ninth Judicial District Judge Chad LeDuc presided over the Koochiching County DUI/Substance Abuse Court and the Family Dependency Treatment Court on Oct. 1 via videoconference from U.S. Congressman James Oberstar's office in Washington, DC.  Never before has a drug court session been held from a congressional office building. 

Judge LeDuc was in Washington last week to meet with members of Congress about drug court.  Oberstar is Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

Judge Chad LeDuc (r) and U.S. Congressman James Oberstar applaud a drug court participant during the proceedings.
Photo courtesy of the National Assoc. of Drug Court Professionals

Judge LeDuc presides over three drug courts in the Ninth Judicial District.  Because they are so far apart, he occasionally needs to hear cases via videoconference, so using videoconferencing on Friday was an expansion of the technology that allows him to serve people when he needs to serve them.

During videoconferenced proceedings, drug court participants move to stand before a large screen when their cases are called and speak to Judge LeDuc.  The end result is that they feel as though they have had their hearing in person.

Oberstar was reportedly impressed not only with how Judge LeDuc effectively handled the proceedings, but also how the technology allowed for the efficient administration of justice from halfway across the country.