Minority and Justice Commission
Washington State Minority and Justice Commission
Office of the Administrator for the Courts
Two Union Square
55th Floor Conference Room
September 24, 1999
Justice Charles Z. Smith, and Justice Charles W. Johnson, Co-Chairpersons Presiding
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Justice Charles Z. Smith at 1:30 o'clock in the afternoon in the 55th floor Conference Room, Two Union Square in Seattle.
Present at the meeting were: Justice Charles Z. Smith, Justice Charles W. Johnson, Judge Ronald E. Cox, Judge William W. Baker, Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Judge LeRoy McCullough, Judge James M. Murphy, Ms. Myrna I. Contreras, Ms. Lourdes Fuentes, Judge Douglas W. Luna, Ms. Kazzie Katayama, Ms. Mary Alice Theiler, Judge Philip J. Thompson, José E. Gaitán, Richard F. McDermott, Jr., José J. Quintana, Tony Orange, Kenneth Payson, Ms. Barbara J. Selberg, David J. Della, Judge Vicki J. Toyohara, Ms. Anne Levinson, Ms. Leana Lamb, Manuel Romero, and Ms. Donna V. McConnell-Adams.
Persons not attending (with excused absences) were: Judge David H. Armstrong, Judge Monica J. Benton, Judge Ann L. Ellington, Judge Ron A. Mamiya, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, Dean Donna Claxton Deming, Guadalupe Gamboa, Ms. Mary Cambell McQueen, Jeffrey C. Sullivan, Judge Sergio Armijo, Judge Patricia M. Warnick, Judge James D. Cayce, Judge Albert M. Raines, Judge Clifford L. "Kip" Stilz, Jr., Judge Dennis D. Yule, Jeffrey A. Beaver, Ms. Madelyn Botta, Lonnie Davis, Ms. Kim M. Eaton, Larry M. Fehr, Charles A. Jardine, Ms. Ada Ko, Robert Lamb, Jr., Ms. Lorraine Lee, Ms. Terry Mark, Ms. Mary Elizabeth McKnew, Ms. Esther L. Patrick, Ms. Denise C. Marti, Ms. P. Diane Schneider, Brian A Tsuchida, Ms. Mary I. Yu, and Judge Patricia Hall Clark.
Introduction of Guests
Justice Smith introduced Leo Hamagi who attended the meeting on behalf of Robert C. Boruchowitz and new Commission Technical Support members Judge Douglas W. Luna and José J. Quintana. Justice Smith also recognized TVW staff Robert Dimko and Ms. Christy Worthy.
The minutes of the September 10, 1999 Executive Committee meeting were presented for approval. The minutes were approved by common consent, subject to any necessary editorial revision.
The minutes of the July 23, 1999 meeting were presented for approval. The minutes were approved by common consent, subject to any necessary editorial revision.
Report of Co-Chairpersons
Justice Charles Z. Smith and Justice Charles W. Johnson deferred their report to the Executive Director.
Report of the Executive Director
Ms. Donna V. McConnell-Adams referred the Minority and Justice Commission to the Project Status Report included in their meeting folders. Many of the proposed projects reflected were instituted at the July 23 Open Agenda meeting. Other categories included complete and in-progress projects and activities. Ms. McConnell-Adams intends to provide an updated Project Status Report at every Commission meeting. Summary evaluation comments from the July 23 meeting were also included in meeting packets.
Ms. McConnell-Adams reported on recent changes to the Commission web-site. Ms. McConnell-Adams reminded the Commission that the web-site is updated quarterly. The Outreach Sub-committee requested that contact information for minority bar associations be added to the Commission site; that has partially been accomplished. Ms. McConnell-Adams reported that a demonstration of the web-site would occur at the next Commission meeting, and that it would include new sample formats for review. Ms. McConnell-Adams expanded on the web-site report, commenting that it is now available through the State of Washington Home Page "Access Washington."
Ms. McConnell-Adams reported to the Minority and Justice Commission on the current status of the annual reports for 1998 and 1999. Ms. McConnell-Adams informed the Commission that Washington Media Services was currently working on the 1998 annual report, and that development of the 1999 report will begin after publication and distribution of the 1998 annual report, which is expected to be by late October 1999.
1999-2001 Biennium Budget Status Report
In the absence of Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen, Ms. McConnell-Adams reported on the Minority and Justice Commission on the biennium budget for 1999-2001. The Commission was allocated $308,000 for the biennium, which is equal to the 1997-1999 biennium allocation from the Legislature. Sub-committee chairpersons have made funding requests which will be reviewed by the Finance Committee for approval. Finance Committee chairperson, Justice Johnson commented that the Commission and its Sub-committees are developing a list of potential projects for which to request funding and that funding for any proposed/new projects should be submitted through the appropriate sub-committee for approval and action.
Liaison to the Gender and Justice Commission
Ms. Lourdes Fuentes reported on the joint project between the Education Sub-committees of the Minority and Justice and Gender and Justice Commissions. The pilot project to present the "When Bias Compounds: Insuring Equal Justice For Women of Color in the Courts" curriculum to both sets of commission members. The tentative date is January 22, 2000 in the Sea-Tac International Airport area. The program will be conducted between 9 o'clock in the morning and 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The expected budget for the program is between $2,000 and $5,000. The Education Sub-committee of the Gender and Justice Commission is negotiating with a consultant team to present the curriculum.
Reports from the Sub-committees
Judge Ronald E. Cox announced to the Minority and Justice Commission that the Education Sub-committee has finalized the selection of a Master List of Certified Consultants. The consultants are: Achievement Architects North, Affirm Able Action Associates, Culture Works, Fred R. Cooper and Associates, and King County Dispute Resolution Center. Judge Cox reported that the selection of consultant team to present the November 3 "Institute for New Court and Bailiffs" cultural diversity education program was in progress.
Judge Cox informed the Commission that its July 1999 production of the videotape "Cultural Competency: Rising to the Challenge" is available for purchase at $10 plus shipping or on loan.
Judge Cox asked Education Sub-committee members to provide him with their e-mail addresses to expedite communications among the group.
Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee
Judge James M. Murphy reported to the Minority and Justice Commission that the Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee has prioritized the "Task Force Recommendations Submitted to the Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee for Formal Action" The recommendations were:
- Increase the number of minorities hired as bailiffs, law clerks, magistrates, and commissioners at all levels of the judiciary.
- Measures to encourage cooperative approaches between tribal and state courts.
- The development and review of a complaint referral process of procedure.
- The establishment of a community law education program.
- The development of a workforce diversity program for the court sysem.
- An adoption of a workforce diversity program.
The Sub-committee has acted upon or made further recommendation on each item.
The Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee will establish a task force to begin the analysis and evaluation of Court Rule 3.2. The task force might include representatives from other Minority and Justice Commission sub-committees, the defender's association, offices of the prosecuting attorney, a variety of judicial committees and other affected parties.
Judge Murphy also mentioned the plan to collaborate with the Workforce Diversity Sub-committee on issues related to that subject.
Ms. Myrna I. Contreras announced to the Minority and Justice Commission that the August 1999 Equal Justice newsletter has been mailed. The feature article was on Frederick Paul and the theme was "Tribal Courts and Indian Law."
Ms. Contreras reported to the Commission that a questionnaire has been sent to women judges of color, in support of the October Equal Justice newsletter theme "Justice and Women of Color." Questions included:
- Why did you decide to pursue a judicial career?
- What has surprised you most about being a judge?
- What has disappointed or frustrated you most in your capacity as a judge?
- In your time on the bench, have there been occasions when you perceived a reaction (positive or negative) from lawyers, litigants, jurors or others to your being a woman judge of color?
Ms. Contreras reported that the October 1999 issue of Equal Justice will feature Judge Veronica Simmons McBeth, Los Angeles Municipal Court, current moderator of the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts. Additional articles will feature judges and attorneys from Washington State.
Judge Kenneth H. Kato gave a report on the "Judicial Clerkship Survey" that was sent to the approximately 450 judges in the State of Washington. Over 200 responses were received, creating nearly a fifty percent (50%) response rate. Judge Kato and Jose J. Quintana will compile the results.
Judge Kato reported to the Commission that the bound copy of Dr. Rodney L. Engen's report "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Sentencing Outcomes for Drug Offenders in Washington State: FY 1996 to FY 1999" was complete. A copy of the report was included in the Commission meeting folders. Judge Kato mentioned to the commission that phase two of the study, which is titled "The Impact of Race and Ethnicity on Charging and Sentencing Processes for Drug Offenders in Washington State," is in progress. Because of a request for an extension by the research team, the report will be complete in mid-December 1999.
A question was asked about positive or negative feedback on phase one of the report. Judge Kato has only received one neutral comment, which was about a statement of fact, not about the report or its findings. Commission members proposed creating a discussion group to announce the report. Justice Smith asked Judge Richard A. Jones, Judge Ronald E. Cox, and Judge Kato to discuss such an activity. The Commission further discussed presenting the recommendations at annual meetings of prosecutors and defender associations, and courts to explore possible implications and discuss additional recommendations. The Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee will review the report and make recommendations or proposals for additional use of the report.
Workforce Diversity Sub-committee
Judge Deborah D. Fleck updated the Minority and Justice Commission on the activities of the Workforce Diversity Sub-committee by reviewing their six major priorities as decided at its July 23, 1999 meeting.
The Sub-committee has successfully, through Justice Smith, obtained time during the fall Judicial Conference in 2000 to present a national speaker on workforce diversity issues. Governor Parris N. Glendening, State of Maryland has been invited. Governor Glendening spoke at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts.
In light of the educational programs sponsored by the Commission, the next phase of work for the Workforce Diversity Sub-committee is to pursue the development of processes to address recruitment and retention of a racially and ethnically diverse workforce. The Sub-committee intends to develop a recruitment and retention notebook for use by the court system and other interested groups. Judge Fleck also reported on the development of a computerized workforce diversity resource directory that will be available on the Commission's web-site.
Judge Richard A. Jones and Judge LeRoy McCullough are organizing an activity for high school students on job opportunities within the justice and court system. The quarterly activity will occur in various locations around the state. Commission members interested in participating should contact Judge Jones.
Justice Smith asked the Commission to pass a resolution acknowledging the life and contributions of former Commission member Charles H. Sheldon. The resolution will be presented to Mrs. Pat Sheldon. The Minority and Justice Commission agreed by common consent.
Judge Philip J. Thompson announced the development of a review panel to study restructuring of the state's Liquor Control Board. Judge Thompson will receive and forward any comments and suggestions by interested parties.
Justice Smith and Ms. McConnell-Adams agreed to work on establishing an annual Executive Committee and Commission meeting calendar.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:45 in the afternoon.