Minority and Justice Commission
Washington State Minority and Justice Commission
Minutes of Meeting
Law Offices of Graham and Dunn
1420 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3300
Friday October 5, 2001
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 10:30 A.M.
Present at the meeting were Justice Charles Z. Smith, Justice Charles W. Johnson, Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Judge Monica J. Benton, Ms. Myrna I. Contreras, Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen, Ms. Erica S. Chung, Judge Ronald E. Cox, Ms. Mary Alice Theiler, Dean Donna Claxton Deming, Judge Anne L. Ellington, Judge Richard A. Jones, Judge Dennis D. Yule, Judge LeRoy McCullough, Judge Philip J. Thompson (Retired), Judge M. Karlynn Haberly, Judge Richard F. McDermott, Jr., Judge Vicki J. Toyohara, Judge Douglas W. Luna, Robert C. Boruchowitz, Ms. Denise C. Marti, Lonnie Davis, Tony Orange, Kenneth E. Payson, and David J. Della.
Persons not in attendance with excused absences were Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Judge James M. Murphy, Brian A. Tsuchida, Judge William W. Baker, Ms. Lourdes Fuentes, Guadalupe Gamboa, Judge Ron A. Mamiya, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, Jeffrey C. Sullivan, Judge Sergio Armijo, Jeffrey A. Beaver, Ms. Madelyn Botta, Dr. George S. Bridges, Judge James D. Cayce, Judge Patricia Hall Clark, Michael J. Killian, Larry M. Fehr, José E. Gaitán, Charles A. Jardine, Ms. Ada Ko, Ms. Leana Lamb, Ms. Lorraine Lee, Judge Anne Levinson, Ms. Terry Mark, Ms. Mary Elizabeth McKnew, Tony Orange, Ms. Esther L. Patrick, José Quintana, Judge Albert M. Raines, Ms. P. Diane Schneider, and Judge Mary I. Yu.
Justice Charles Z. Smith expressed appreciation to Mr. Jeffrey A. Beaver, a member of our Commission, and Mr. Ed Pettigrew, Litigation Team Chair, of the Graham and Dunn Law Offices for inviting us to have our meeting at their facility, and for hosting a reception for the Commission members.
Justice Smith announced that the minutes of the May 18, 2001 open agenda meeting had been approved at the Executive Committee meeting held earlier in the day.
Report of Co-Chairpersons
Justice Smith complimented Ms. Erica S. Chung for her work to date and specifically mentioned her effort towards completing the Commission's annual report. Justice Charles W. Johnson concurred with Justice Smith's commendation.
Moment of Silence
Justice Smith asked the meeting attendees to observe a moment of silence to acknowledge the change in all our lives because of the tragedies on September 11, 2001.
Justice Smith announced that the Commission had retained the services of a graphic designer to work on the format of the annual report, and that he reasonably expected to have the designer's work in hand no later than October 22. The hope is to have the annual report printed and ready for distribution by December 1. Justice Smith also mentioned that the report would not include photographs of members who had not submitted photographs by today.
Justice Charles W. Johnson reported that the legislature had approved the Commission's 2001-2003 biennium budget. A budget status summary prepared by Ms. Chung was included in each of the packets. Justice Johnson indicated that the figures would be adjusted if necessary but that each sub-committee should work through Ms. Chung on the planning and spending of their allocation.
Report of Executive Director
Ms. Chung announced changes to the Commission membership. Specifically, that Judge Ronald E. Cox is no longer chairperson of the Education Sub-committee but continues to serve on the Commission. Judge Monica J. Benton is now the chairperson of the Education Sub-committee and is on the Executive Committee as well. Ms. Kazzie Katayama resigned from the Commission and the Workforce Diversity Sub-committee and had recommended Brian A. Tsuchida to replace her. Mr. Tsuchida has been appointed to the Commission by the Supreme Court and is also the co-chairperson of the Outreach Sub-committee. Ms. Barbara J. Selberg and Mr. Manuel Romero resigned from the Technical Support group and the Education Sub-committee. Ms. Pam Daniels resigned from the Technical Support group and Michael J. Killian, from the Franklin County Clerk's Office, has been appointed by the Commission to replace Ms. Daniels.
Ms. Chung also elaborated on the budget status report that was included in the packets, particularly on the sub-committee allotments and scheduled programs.
Report of Sub-Committees
Workforce Diversity Sub-Committee
Recruitment and Retention Manual
Judge Deborah D. Fleck, sub-committee Chairperson, reported that the contract for the recruitment and retention manual project has been signed with Ms. Sheryl Willert with a May 31, 2002, deadline. The sub-committee will be meeting further to discuss the many aspects of this project that remain to be determined, including marketing, dissemination, web site update, periodic hard copy update schedules and more.
Judge Fleck reported that the sub-committee is continuing work on the externship program, which is based on the Gonzaga University Law School externship program. She and Judge Mary I. Yu had met with the deans of the Seattle University Law School and the University of Washington School of Law, however, without much success. A meeting with sub-committee members and the deans of Seattle University and University of Washington law schools is scheduled for late November to discuss the necessary components to establish an externship program. Judge Fleck expressed her excitement about Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen's idea to extend the process to community colleges and possibly even to high schools.
Youth and the Law Forums
Judge Richard A. Jones and Judge LeRoy McCullough, sub-committee members and coordinators of the "Youth and the Law" forums, reported that the programs had been hugely successful to date. The next targeted area is Tri-Cities, then perhaps Vancouver. Judge Jones attributed much of the success of the programs to having local community contact persons, and the support from the Young Lawyers Division, the local law enforcement agencies, defense agencies and prosecutors' offices. Judge McCullough expressed his pleasure at the success of the programs and specifically with working with Judge Jones. Judge McCullough indicated that he thought one of the reasons for the program success is that other occupations were represented, such as Court Reporters and Interpreters, which seemed to be of great interest to youths interested in non-judicial but court-related careers.
Work Force Resource Directory
Judge Fleck reported that the on-line directory, last updated in 1997, needs updating and that the update will be a goal for next fiscal year.
The sub-committee submitted a letter to the Fall 2002 Judicial Conference Planning Committee requesting allocation of time for a national speaker. Upon approval, the sub-committee would invite Justice Joyce Luther Kennard of the California Supreme Court as the key note presenter at the Fall 2002 Judicial Conference.
Judge Kenneth H. Kato, sub-committee Chairperson, was unable to attend the meeting. In his absence, Justice Smith reported that the Research sub-committee does not have a project currently underway.
Ms. Myrna I. Contreras, sub-committee Chairperson, reported that the current (September) issue of the Equal Justice newsletter was in the meeting packets, and that the newsletter was being mailed out that day to approximately 1900 groups and people.
Ms. Contreras also reported that the sub-committee was working on the next issue, which will focus on minority bar association programs and issues. To expedite the process, a questionnaire will be sent to each of them. The goal is to distribute the newsletter by the end of November.
Ms. Contreras announced that with Mr. Brian Tsuchida's appointment to the Commission, he shares the sub-committee co-chairperson position and duties, and Ms. Contreras stated that she was very pleased to have him as part of the group.
Lastly, Ms. Contreras asked that members of the sub-committee meet briefly right after the Commission meeting so that work assignments could be distributed.
Justice Smith commended all involved parties, including Ms. Chung and her secretary, for their work on the newsletter, stating that he was very pleased with the result.
Evaluation and Implementation Sub-Committee
Judge James M. Murphy, sub-committee Chairperson, was unable to attend the meeting. In his absence, Judge Deborah D. Fleck reported that the sub-committee had been very busy for a long time on the Criminal Rule 3.2 project and that it was now in the hands of Justice Charles W. Johnson to present to the Supreme Court Rules Committee.
Mr. Robert C. Boruchowitz reported on the Sentencing Reform Act project. Specifically, the sub-committee had developed proposed amendments to the Act that would allow judges to be able to consider specific mitigating circumtances in sentencing offenders. The sub-committee asked the Commission to authorize the Executive Committee to review the proposal with changes and suggestions incorporated, and if they approved it, to send it onto the Sentencing Guidelines Commission and the legislature.
Justice Smith solicited and received comment from all former and current Superior Court judges, except for Judge Richard A. Jones. Judge Jones has abstained from participation on this project because of a pending case before his court. Each of the Superior Court judges, a former Court of Appeals judge (Judge [retired] Thompson), Judge Douglas W. Luna, Ms. Mary Alice Theiler, and Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen provided their input and perspectives which were supportive of the proposed amendments. Several of the judges indicated they would like to see research done on the impact of the Sentencing Reform Act on juvenile offenders as well.
Justice Smith asked Mr. Boruchowitz to concisely state the specific proposals upon which the Commission was to vote. The proposal is to authorize the Executive Committee to approve proposed amendments to the Sentencing Reform Act (A two-page document submitted to the Commission) which would develop two additional mitigating circumstances as outlined in the memorandum distributed. Mr. Boruchowitz made the motion, Judge Fleck seconded it, and the Commission voted unanimously with one abstention to authorize the Executive Committee to approve the proposed Sentencing Reform Act amendments. Judge Richard A. Jones abstained from voting.
Justice Smith also indicated that Judge Fleck shall ask the Superior Court Judges Association to make a formal and specific request to the Commission to pursue the Sentencing Reform Act amendment project.
Judge Monica J. Benton, sub-committee Chairperson, expressed her deep appreciation for the assistance and expertise rendered to the efforts of the sub-committee by Judge Ronald E. Cox, former sub-committee Chairperson.
2002 Judicial College Program and Reading List
Judge Benton reported that a primary project of the sub-committee was the judicial college program scheduled for January of 2002, specifically the cultural competency program to be presented by Achievement Architects North. Judge Benton indicated that they were seeking short vignettes from Commission members that might illustrate personal experiences from the bench or as lawyers on the issues of cultural incompetency.
Another information tool the sub-committee is working on for the judicial college is a "cultural competency bibliography" - a reading list that contains books or articles which provide insight into ethnic customs or cultural understanding. Judge Benton asked that each Commission member contribute to the reading list, and to send those contributions to Judge Anne E. Ellington who had agreed to be the repository.
Judge Benton stated that one of the sub-committee projects was to review the results of the professional survey of past participants in the Judicial College that had been conducted in an effort to assist in developing modifications to the program.
"When Bias Compounds" Program
The sub-committee is reviewing the Gender and Justice Commission "When Bias Compounds" program to determine if there is follow-up to be considered for training purposes.
Training on Bail Rule Changes
Judge Benton reported that the sub-committee would be working with the Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee to develop a training syllabus on the bail rule changes.
Training for Administrative Law Judges and Pro Tem Judges
The sub-committee has been working on facilitating a training program for administrative law judges, and Judge Benton asked for feedback from those judges on the Commission. Judge Leroy McCullough suggested blending in training for pro tem judges at the same time that training is developed for administrative law judges.
Other Training Discussion
Judge McDermott indicated that he was given responsibility for the education portion of the SCJA Spring Conference and he would like to devote that portion to the cultural competency issues.
Judge Jones questioned the overall process of selecting pro tem judges and suggested that formal standards that include cultural competency training be developed. Judge Fleck suggested that the Superior Court in King County had developed a process that might be used and modified as appropriate.
Justice Smith reminded the attendees of the reception being hosted by Graham and Dunn, and indicated that the meeting would be automatically adjourned at the end of the reception.
Justice Smith thanked all present at the meeting for their continued commitment and work towards the goal of the Commission.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.
Graham and Dunn hosted an informal reception that ended at 1:00 p.m.