Best Practices Committee
June 8, 2001
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Ms. Pettus (in Judge Hogan's absence). Per Judge Hogan's request, a Vice-chair position was discussed. It was noted that Judge Donohue was willing to fill this position; committee members present agreed with his appointment as Vice-chair.
The minutes from the March 30, 2001 meeting were approved with no changes.
Review of Submitted Best Practices
Ms. Pettus reported that the solicitation form was sent out to Washington courts asking for their best practices in the area of methods used to resolve cases prior to trial. The results were provided to the committee. She also reported that the solicitation form had been sent to the Washington State Bar for possible inclusion in their Bar News and website (it's unknown if they distributed it).
Study Efforts Regarding Best Practices
Judge Houghton asked if there were statistics from other states/federal courts; if so, can we look at what successful states are doing. Ms. Pettus responded that yes, there are some statistics from other states.
Dr. Glenn added that a "literature review" could be done-looking for comparisons that have already been documented, then checking with those states that are successful in the areas we're interested in.
Judge Cook asked if there was an empirical way to measure these practices. Dr. Glenn responded that AOC could measure what is found against courts that do use a specific practice.
The following questions were raised.
Ms. Cusimano asked if AOC does a report at the end of the year that shows the average time from filing to resolution/sentencing. Ms. Pettus responded affirmatively, for superior courts only. Those reports are also available to the courts monthly.
Ms. Pettus summed up her understanding of what AOC will work on before the next meeting in September.
Regarding the submissions relating to the driver's license reinstatement programs, Justice Ireland remarked that the Courts of Limited Jurisdiction are not the same in each county. As an example, on drivers license fines, in some counties only 20% of the fine is required to get a drivers license back; some counties offer classes, etc.
Judge Cook asked if AOC would be looking at litigant satisfaction or cost. Ms. Pettus replied the study would examine post-decree proceedings to see the impact over time. It will not be possible to examine litigant satisfaction. It may be possible to derive some cost information.
Regarding settlement conferences, areas looked at will include:
-number in a day
-length of time (hour, two hours)
-who conducts the settlement conference
-whether the parties are represented by lawyers or are self represented
Ms. Pettus said she would keep the committee in touch with the study via email during the summer. It is expected that a preliminary report will be available to the committee by the September meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 7, 2001. It will be at Two Union Square in Seattle, 9:30 a.m., in the Boardroom on the 54th Floor. Please note the floor and room change.
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