Virginia's Judicial System

Justice Case Files

A series of illustrated novels created by the National Center for State Courts to educate the public about how courts work, how judges make decisions, and how courts are accountable to the law. Judges, court administrators, and other legal professionals developed the story lines and content. Comprehensive lesson plans developed by high school social studies teachers are available as teaching tools for each graphic novel. The books were illustrated and published by Layne Morgan Media, an educational graphic novel company based in Springfield, MO. Additional novels in the series are forthcoming.

Contact Information

  • The National Center for State Courts (NCSC), headquartered in Williamsburg, VA, was founded in 1971 at the urging of Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger. The NCSC’s mission is to promote the Rule of Law and to improve the administration of justice in the state courts and courts around the world. The NCSC accomplishes this by providing education, leadership, research, and consulting and technology services to the courts. The NCSC also has offices in Denver, CO; Arlington, VA; and Washington, D.C.

Justice Case Files 1: The Case of Internet Piracy tells the story of Megan, a college freshman who has been charged with theft for downloading music, and her grandmother, Ellen, who has received notice that the city plans to take her house through eminent domain. As their cases – one civil and one criminal – are brought before the court, students will learn that judges listen to both sides and make decisions based on the law.

Justice Case Files 2: The Case of Stolen Identity focuses on one of the fastest growing crimes in America – identity theft – that is turning millions of unsuspecting citizens into victims. This book tells the story of the Garcia family, whose identity is stolen in an Internet “phishing” scam, and their legal efforts to restore their credit and good name.

Justice Case Files 3: The Case of Jury Duty describes the story of Matthew Foley, an 18-year-old who has been summoned for jury duty.  Through Matthew’s story, students will learn how meaningful jury duty is to the citizens who serve, how the jury is a source of accountability for courts, and how society benefits from the right of a jury of peers.

Justice Case Files 4: The Case of the Missing Controller is a narrative coloring book that tells the story of Tyler, who says his friend broke his controller. Tyler's mom takes him to court to show how he can pursue justice.

  • Teaching Tool: There is no Lesson Plan for "Justice Case Files 4: The Case of the Missing Controller."

Justice Case Files 5: The Case of Cyberbullying tells the story of Amber, who is bullied at school and online by classmate Madison. The bullying escalates to the point the case winds up in juvenile court. Download PDF