Minority and Justice Commission
WASHINGTON STATE MINORITY AND JUSTICE COMMISSION
MINUTES OF COMMISSION MEETING
Seattle University School of Law
900 Broadway Plaza, Sullivan Hall, Room 327
October 25, 2002
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 11:00 A.M.
Present at the meeting were Justice Charles Z. Smith, Justice Charles W. Johnson, Judge Monica J. Benton, Judge Ronald E. Cox, Ms. Erica S. Chung, David J. Della, Dean Donna Claxton Deming, Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Ms. Lourdes Fuentes, Judge Douglas W. Luna, Judge Ron A. Mamiya, Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen, Judge James M. Murphy, Tony Orange, Kenneth E. Payson, Ms. P. Diane Schneider, Jeffrey C. Sullivan, Ms. Mary Alice Theiler, and Brian A. Tsuchida.
Persons not in attendance with excused absences were Judge William W. Baker, Jeffrey A. Beaver, Robert C. Boruchowitz, Ms. Madelyn Botta, Dr. George S. Bridges, Judge James D. Cayce, Judge Patricia Hall Clark, Ms. Myrna I. Contreras, Lonnie Davis, Judge Anne L. Ellington, Larry M. Fehr, Jose E. Gaitan, Guadalupe Gamboa, Judge M. Karlynn Haberly, Charles A. Jardine, Judge Richard A. Jones, Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Michael J. Killian, Ms. Ada Ko, Ms. Lorraine Lee, Ms. Terry Mark, Ms. Denise C. Marti, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, Judge LeRoy McCullough, Judge Richard F. McDermott, Jr., Ms. Mary Elizabeth McKnew, Ms. Rosa M. Melendez, Ms. Esther L. Patrick, Jose Quintana, Judge Albert M. Raines, Judge Philip J. Thompson, Judge Vicki J. Toyohara, Judge Mary I. Yu, and Judge Dennis D. Yule.
Justice Charles Z. Smith thanked Dean Donna Claxton Deming for hosting the Commission at the Seattle University School of Law.
Justice Smith announced that the meeting minutes of the June 28, 2002 Executive Committee and Commission meetings, held at the Law Offices of Heller Ehrman White and McAuliffe, were approved during the Executive Committee meeting subject to any necessary editorial revision.
Report of Co-Chairperson
Annual Report Update
Justice Smith asked sub-committee chairpersons to submit their respective sub-committee reports by end of November 2002, so that the Commission may prepare and produce the 2002 Annual Report by December 2002 or January 2003. Justice Smith stated he was not satisfied with the artwork concept submitted by Sekio Matsumoto, who produced the original logo of the Commission, and was therefore rejected. He also stated that currently Ms. Chung is pursuing an artist to submit artwork proposals.
The National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts
Justice Smith reported that the National Consortium elected a new Chairperson at its last conference, Justice Patricio M. Serna, Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court and changed “Bias” in its title to “Fairness” in April 2002 in California. Justice Smith stated that the National Consortium, scheduled for April 10—12, 2003, will be held in Detroit, Michigan and the Michigan Bar Association has appropriated $21,000 for developing the program. He also stated that the National Consortium has already identified and confirmed its keynote speaker for the Thursday evening session, Dennis W. Archer, President of the American Bar Association, former Mayor of Detroit, and former Supreme Court Justice of the State of Michigan.
Next Commission Meeting
Justice Johnson stated that it was decided at the Executive Commission Meeting that early March 2003 will be the tentative month for the next Commission Meeting, specific date to be decided by Ms. Chung and himself. He also reported that it was agreed during the Executive Committee meeting that the meeting format would be revised to have sub-committee meetings in the morning for approximately two hours followed by an executive committee meeting. The number of work sessions will be determined by Ms. Chung and himself.
Justice Johnson made a motion to recommend to the Washington State Supreme Court to reappoint Justice Smith as Co-chairperson of the Commission after his retirement from the Supreme Court. Judge Cox seconded the motion. The motion was approved with one abstention from Justice Smith.
Budget Status Report
Justice Johnson reported that the Commission is anticipating an unexpended balance of $32,000 at the end of the biennium, June 30, 2003, resulting from no research projects. Ms. Chung proposed allocating approximately $1,000 per month until the end of the biennium to extend the Administrative Support position from .75 time to full time. Judge Fleck made a proposal to dedicate some funds for a bail guidelines project and reprinting of the “BUILDING A DIVERSE COURT: A Guide to Recruitment and Retention.” After some discussion, it was decided that a proposal, which outlines the various projects, amount of funds required, and a financial impact statement, be submitted to the Co-chairpersons for review, followed by a conference call with the executive committee to discuss and decide on the budget proposal before the end of the year.
Report of Executive Director
Ms. Chung stated that she is working with Mr. James Kozick of the Administrative Office of the Courts Judicial Education in developing images portraying diverse individuals for the on-line web learning tutorial available to judges and court staff. Ms. Chung stated that diverse images would project a message of inclusiveness in the courts.
Report of Sub-committees
Judge Monica J. Benton, Chairperson of the sub-committee, reported that the Opening Plenary session with Justice Xavier Rodriguez, Texas Supreme Court, and Ms. Sheryl Willert at Fall 2002 Judicial Conference was a success and a significant accomplishment given that the Commission was the feature of the Opening Plenary session.
Judge Benton reported that the bibliography project is still in the works. She stated that the project is bigger and more complex than originally anticipated. Hence, Judge Ann Ellington, project lead, is seeking the assistance of law librarians in search of an extern who may design a user friendly system for the bibliography project.
Judge Benton stated that Judge Greg Sypolt with the Spokane Juvenile Court is moving forward with the second phase of the diversity program. The first phase was a general diversity training geared towards the whole juvenile court and its staff. The second phase is focusing on those in leadership and decision makers. The training is tentatively scheduled for November 30th, 2002.
She also reported that planning for the 2003 Judicial College is moving forward with two Commission sponsored sessions: “Impact of diversity on the courts” and “Diversity in the courtroom.” On a new development, Judge Benton stated that starting with the 2003 Judicial College, the sub-committee working closely with the Deans of the Judicial College will incorporate diversity in non-Commission sponsored sessions. The ultimate goal is to incorporate diversity in all Judicial College sessions; the short term goal is to incorporate diversity in one session per year, starting with “Court Management” in 2003. In response to a question, Judge Benton answered this would not replace the Commission sponsored programs but would be in addition to the Commission efforts.
Evaluation and Implementation
Judge James M. Murphy, Chairperson of the sub-committee, reported that the sub-committee presented a training of the Superior Court Criminal Rule (CrR) 3.2 and Criminal Rule of Limited Jurisdiction (CrRLJ) 3.2 at the Fall 2002 Judicial Conference and, based on the comments from the evaluations, was well received. Judge Murphy stated that this is an important change in the rules which has significant impact on the disenfranchised community and should be emphasized to the new judges at the Judicial College. Judge Benton stated that it may be too late for a stand alone session but will check with the Deans if the rule change may be incorporated into an existing session. The next focus of the Evaluation and Implementation sub-committee will be the bail studies and the creation of guidelines. This will establish more equality in the way in which people of color are processed through the judicial system.
Mr. Brian Tsuchida, Co-chairperson of the sub-committee, reported that the August issue titled “Tribal Justice” was mailed at the end of September and are expecting to produce the next issue titled “Judges Speak” before the end of the year 2002. At the recommendation of some Commission members, the sub-committee will try to include, all or part of, Justice Xavier Rodriguez’ speech given at the Fall 2002 Judicial Conference. Mr. Tsuchida reported that one of the biggest challenges of the sub-committee is the development of newsletter themes. So, he has developed a “suggestion form,” which he will distribute to all Commission members to solicit new and fresh ideas from diverse members who possess wealth of knowledge, information, and interests. Mr. Tsuchida also asked the Commission members to submit ideas for outreach activities that the sub-committee could participate such as, events at law schools, forums, etc., utilizing the suggestion form.
Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Chairperson of the Workforce Diversity sub-committee, thanked the Commission members who helped in the development and completion of the Recruitment and Retention Manual. She stated that the “A Smart Court is a Diverse Court” session at the Fall 2002 Judicial Conference was very successful. Hence, has submitted a proposal for the same session at the Spring 2003 Joint Management Conference. Judge Fleck reported that the sub-committee printed only 260 copies of the guide for the Fall 2002 Judicial Conference. Consequently, there are only 10 guides remaining. Judge Fleck stated that the Sub-committee needs to produce more copies for future events and for wider distribution. However, she would like to republish the manual in a more professional manner and permanent style binding.
Ms. Chung reported that the Youth and the Law Forum scheduled for the end of November in the Tri Cities has been pushed back to mid March. Judge Jones and McCullough will be flying down to direct the event. Judge Murphy’s wife is working on the Spokane Youth and the Law Forum. She is a teacher and is on the Diversity Committee for Education School District 81.
Justice Smith congratulated Judge Ronald E. Cox for receiving the Jackson Distinguished Service Award from the University of Washington Alumni Association and Kenneth E. Payson for becoming the new Vice President of the Asian American Bar Association.
Judge Sergio Armijo’s letter
Justice Smith directed the Commission’s attention to a letter submitted to the Commission by Judge Armijo. In the letter, Judge Armijo described, in his opinion, a bias behavior of staff towards Spanish speaking juveniles at the Green Hill Juvenile Correctional Facility. He also stated that the Latino population of Green Hill is expected to grow 15 to 20% and the institution does not employ a sufficient number of Spanish-speaking staff, especially counselors. After some discussion, it was agreed that Judge Armijo’s letter should be forwarded to the Superior Court Family Juvenile Law Committee where it will receive proper attention and action, in case Judge Armijo had not already done so.
The meeting adjourned at 12:20 noon.