Minority and Justice Commission
WASHINGTON STATE MINORITY AND JUSTICE COMMISSION
MINUTES OF COMMISSION MEETING
Gonzaga University School of Law, Classroom 305
721 North Cincinnati, Spokane, Washington
Friday, July 30, 2004, 10:30 a.m.
Justice Charles W. Johnson and Justice Charles Z. Smith, Co-Chairpersons Presiding
Call to order
The meeting was called to order by Justice Charles Z. Smith at10:30 a.m.
Present at the meeting were Justice Charles W. Johnson, Justice Charles Z. Smith (Retired), Robert C. Boruchowitz, Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Ms. Yemi Fleming Jackson, Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Judge Douglas W. Luna, Ms. Denise C. Marti, Judge Maryann C. Moreno, Judge James M. Murphy (Retired), Toni Orange, Judge Greg D. Sypolt, Judge Philip J. Thompson, Judge Vicki J. Toyohara, Brian A. Tsuchida, Ms. Brenda E. Williams, Judge Dennis D. Yule, and Ms. Erica S. Chung.
Persons not in attendance with excused absences were Jeffrey A. Beaver, Judge Monica J. Benton, Dean George S. Bridges, Ph.D., Ms. Myrna I. Contreras, Judge Ronald E. Cox, Lonnie Davis, Dean Donna Claxton Deming, Larry M. Fehr, Ms. Lourdes Fuentes, Ms. Bonnie Glenn, Judge Donald J. Horowitz (Retired), Charles A. Jardine, Ms. Regina J. Jones, Judge Richard A. Jones, Ms. Kyle Taylor Lucas, Ms. Amalia Maestas, Judge Ron A. Mamiya, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, Judge LeRoy McCullough, Judge Richard F. McDermott, Jr., Ms. Janet L. McLane, Ms. Rosa M. Melendez, Kenneth E. Payson, Ms. P. Diane Schneider, J.D. Smith, Jeffrey C. Sullivan, and Judge Mary Alice Theiler.
Justice Charles Z. Smith thanked Dean George A. Critchlow for hosting the Commission meeting at the Gonzaga University School of Law and Judges Sypolt and Murphy for their assistance in securing the location for our activities for the day.
Justice Smith reported that the minutes of the April 30, 2004 Executive Committee and Commission meetings, held in the Jury Assembly Room on the 12th floor of the Seattle Justice Center, 600 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, were approved during the Executive Committee meeting subject to necessary editorial revisions.
Report of Co-chairpersons
Commission and Technical Support Membership
Justice Smith reported that Ms. Janet L. McLane, Interim Administrator for the Administrative Office of the Courts, has joined the Commission filling the vacancy created by Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen, who has been appointed President of the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Justice Smith also reported that Ms. Regina J. Jones, Executive Director of Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, Ms. Kyle Taylor Lucas, Executive Director of Governor's Office of Indian Affairs, and Ms. Brenda E. Williams, an attorney with the Defender Association and a board member of the Latina/o Bar Association, have accepted membership to the Technical Support Group.
Justice Smith asked Ms. Williams to report on the Latina/o Bar Association seminar titled “La Senda a la Judicatura." She stated that about 55 attorneys of color attended the event to learn the process for seeking a judicial position. She stated that following the program a reception was held in honor of Judge Ricardo S. Martinez in recognition of his recent appointment to the United States District Court. She thanked Justice Smith for his help in putting the event together and Judge Kenneth Kato for his participation. Justice Smith stated that the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington was formerly called the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington.
Justice Smith stated that Justice Johnson participated in the Access to Justice Conference — Inclusion, Diversity, Multicultural Competence on June 11-12, 2004 in Yakima, Washington. Justice Johnson reported that he represented the Minority and Justice Commission and the Taskforce on Civil Equal Justice Funding at the conference. He stated that the civil legal needs study, partially funded by the Minority and Justice Commission and implemented by the Civil Equal Justice Funding Taskforce, showed that there is disparity by people of color in accessing legal services. The Access to Justice Conference brought together representatives from different groups such as Justice Barbara A. Madsen, Gender and Justice Commission; Ms. Michele Jones with the Access Board; Stephen Roevig, Diversity Consortium and Diversity Initiative; David Savage, President of the Washington State Bar Association, and Ron Ward, President-elect of the WSBA. He reported that the conference showed that a variety of efforts are on going from several different groups in the state of Washington addressing disparity. He further stated that the purpose of the session was to foster communication between these various groups, creating a more collaborative effort. He reported also the presence of several Commission members including Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Judge LeRoy McCullough and Erica S. Chung to conduct a session titled “A Diverse Court and Bar" in association with the guide “Building a Diverse Court: A Guide to Recruitment And Retention".
Report of the Budget
Ms. Erica S. Chung, Executive Director, reported that as a result of Justice Smith deciding to combine the 2003 and 2004 Annual Reports in to one 2003-4 Report, the Commission expenditure will be reduced by approximately $20,000. Based on budget expenditure projects by sub-committees and administration, we are anticipating an under-expenditure by approximately $17,000 for the end of the biennium 2003-2005. She advised the members to refer to the handout included in the packets. A Commission member asked if the extra funds could be used for a project. Justice Smith warned that the transfer of funds between sub-committees is more complicated than just transferring the funds on paper. Justice Johnson suggested that if there were any specific requests from Commission members to please submit it to the Co-chairpersons for review.
2003-4 Annual Report
Justice Smith announced that the combination of the two Annual Reports was not a fiscal decision but a timing issue. It is more agreeable to have an Annual Report that is published on an annual basis.
Justice Smith announced that the annual report will be dedicated to former Judge Janice B. Neimi and former Senator George T. Fleming for their work in establishing the Gender and Justice Commission and the Minority and Justice Commission.
Next Commission Meeting
Ms. Chung announced the next Commission meeting schedule:
October 29, 2004 in Seattle hosted by Kathleen Mary Thompson (Judge Thompson‘s daughter) at Gardner, Bond, Trabolsi, St. Louis & Clement, 2200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, Washington.
Justice James M. Dolliver (retired)
Justice Johnson asked Justice Smith to report on Justice Dolliver's health. Justice Smith stated that Justice Dolliver is being treated for complications stemming from his various health problems. Justice Smith reported that Justice Dolliver's condition is being carefully monitored and that he seems to be in good spirits. Commission members decided to prepare and sign a special greeting to be delivered to Justice Dolliver.
Report of the Sub-committees
Judge Greg Sypolt, Vice Chairperson of the Education Sub-committee, reported for Judge LeRoy McCullough who was not able to attend. Judge Sypolt reported that the sub-committee is in discussions with Judge David Tracy, Acting Dean of the Judicial College, regarding the upcoming 2005 Judicial College. He further stated that the sub-committee will seek the services of Achievement Architects North and Judges Frank Cuthbertson and Kenneth H. Kato for the education session at the 2005 Judicial College.
Judge Sypolt reported that a new project ad-hoc committee will be started to focus on Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions/Barriers to Reentry. This ad-hoc committee will address the barriers people of color, who have been incarcerated, have with reentering society and determine whether an in-depth research study is viable. Judge Richard A. Jones and Lonnie Davis have agreed to act as lead persons for the project. Judge Sypolt stated that Commission and Technical Support members are encouraged to join the ad-hoc committee, especially those with experience in this area.
Judge Sypolt reported that James Kozick will no longer be working on the Virtual Institute for New Court Employees (VINCE) project. He will be leaving the Administrative Office of the Courts on August 30, 2004. Therefore it was agreed that a thank you letter will be given to Mr. Kozick to express the sub-committee's appreciation for his outstanding work on the project.
Judge Sypolt reported that the sub-committee will present a choice session called “Foster Care: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" at the Fall 2004 Judicial Conference to be held in Spokane on September 20. Judge McCullough is heading the project. He further stated that the session will contain an overview of the foster care system, demographics, a skit two panel discussions – a personal perspective panel consisting of foster care children (or former) and foster parents and a legal perspective addressing recent legal challenges that will impact how judges exercise judicial discretion.
Judge Murphy asked if the Board of Trustees of the Judicial College has been created and staffed. Judge Sypolt, a member of the Board of Trustees, replied that the trustees have been selected but have not been staffed. Everything should be finalized by the end of September.
Judge Douglas Luna asked if the Commission members had seen an article in the Seattle Times a couple of weeks ago about DSHS using interpreters from Immigration Naturalization Services to conduct interviews on cases. There was a lot of concern about possible due process violations. Justice Smith stated that it is important that members of the Commission be vigilant and bring concerns that they find like this to our attention. He requested that the article be found and shared with the members of the Commission.
Judge Luna also announced that he had attended an Alien Labor Law Conference in Milwaukee and one of the issues that came up was that many of the Native American felons being release do not have identification. This issue has been found to be common in many states.
Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee
Judge James M. Murphy, Chairperson of the Evaluation and Implementation Sub-committee, stated that the sub-committee has been working to create a pre-trial release form which will help to implement the spirit and letter of CrR 3.2. The sub-committee will ask the Pattern Forms Committee to approve the form for use in the Criminal Bench Book. In order to enhance the application of CrR 3.2 as it has been amended, the sub-committee discussed a research study be done on the number, types of warrants and the effect of warrants as they affect pre-trial release decisions. He stated that the purpose of the study will be to observe municipal court judges analyzing the differences between judges using the form and judges that are not. He stated that the results would determine what cost savings in jail days arise from the new changes to CrR 3.2. Furthermore, this would also include training judges, staff and lawyers and can be accomplished through a continued presence at the Judicial College and other means.
Judge Murphy reported on the Rights of Released Felons Project. There are legal and financial obligations that are always imposed when one is sentenced, and unless those legal and financial obligations are paid off, their civil rights will not be reinstated and often times under the system that we have now the department of corrections simply writes off the legal and financial obligations and terminates the supervision of an individual. The effect of that is the individual can never get their civil rights back until their final discharge of supervision. One noticeable observation is the impact on a person's ability to avail themselves to Federal funding for education. There is empirical evidence that shows disproportional affects on minority students. Minority students make up 50% of the students filing for financial aid. There are a disproportional number of minorities who are convicted of drug crimes therefore they can not avail themselves for Federal funding. The sub-committee discussed the issue of the waiving Legal Framework Orders (LFO) for those who are indigent. The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University produced a study which discusses this in greater detail.
Judge Fleck mentioned that the sub-committee will be attempting to measure the beneficial effect of rewriting the CrR 3.2. One of the selling techniques would be to demonstrate to local government that there are actual cost savings. The sub-committee will be gathering empirical data demonstrating the disparate impact and submit a proposal to the Co-chairpersons. This data will derive from the Kennedy School study that Bob Boruchowitz participated, the University of Washington study on Interdiction produced by Professor Baird, and other material gathered during Judge Fleck's term as President of the Superior Court Judges Association. The sub-committee has local and national data which will be presented to the Co-chairpersons of the Commission.
Brian Tsuchida, Co-chairperson of the Outreach Sub-committee, reported that the April 2004 newsletter focusing on Brown vs. Board of Education is approaching completion and publication. The following newsletter will examine the public forums held by the Commission and other organizations in the state to include past community forums. There are recurring issues in the community forums that are of some interest. Judge Yule and Mr. Tsuchida will head this newsletter.
Mr. Tsuchida stated that the Outreach Sub-committee needs to tap into the resources of the Commission and become more visible and participatory in outreach activities. One of the issues that came out at the community forums was the need for some coordination and more communication between groups interested in minority issues. The Commission and Outreach Sub-committee may be in a good position to be one of those intersecting points among the groups. He asked the Commission members to keep the Outreach Sub-committee informed of events that the sub-committee could participate and to also continue to submit suggestions for newsletter themes.
Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Chairperson of the Research Sub-committee, stated that he had nothing to report. Justice Smith requested that the members of the Commission draft proposals for the Research Sub-committee and submit them to the Co-chairpersons of the Commission.
Workforce Diversity Sub-committee
Judge Deborah D. Fleck, Chairperson of the Workforce Diversity Sub-committee, announced that she has asked Ken Payson, President of the Asian Bar Association, to be Vice chairperson of the sub-committee because of the large number of projects. Judge Fleck agreed that more new, young and energetic members like Ms. Yemi Fleming Jackson, J.D. Smith, Ms. Brenda Williams, and Ms. Bonnie Glenn need to join the Technical Support Group.
Judge Fleck reported that the Workforce Diversity Sub-committee made a presentation at the Bar Leader's and Access to Justice Conference on June 12, 2004. Washington State Bar Association President, David Savage, Judge Fleck, Judge McCullough and Judge Hightower led the presentation and distributed the guide “Building A Diverse Court: A Guide to Recruitment and Retention". She also stated that a similar program will be presented to the Central Panel Directors Conference for Administrative Law Judges on September 9, 2004, hosted by the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearing. Ms. Chung reported in response to Judge Fleck's question that Judge Patricia Hall Clark and Ms. Kathy Cooper Franklin will be the presenters because Ms. Sheryl Willert, the sub-committees first choice as the author of the book, was not available.
Judge Fleck stated that the sub-committee is continuing its work on the Youth and Justice Forums. Judges McCullough and Jones have been instrumental in heading these forums, and also Judge Yule, who was part of the last presentation. She reported that the next forum will be for Native Americans hosted by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Ms. Chung reported the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe is eager partner with the Commission in hosting the Forum. She also stated that the Tribe would host a reception after the Forum for leaders and volunteers.
Judge Fleck reported that with the assistance of Ron Ward, the sub-committee was able to secure Mr. Denise Archer, President of the American Bar Association, to be the Keynote Speaker for the Fall 2004 Judicial Conference.
Judge Fleck reported that for the Diversifying the Court project, the Sub-committee plans to create a manual that will inform people how to become a judge. This will cover all levels of the judiciary. She hopes to collaborate with the Latina/o Bar Association given their presentation titled, “La Senda a la Judicatura."
Judge Luna asked if tribal judges are participating in the Native American Youth and Justice Forum. Ms. Chung stated that several tribal judges are being contacted. Judge Luna suggested contacting the Northwest Inter-tribal Court system since they represent tribes in five states.
Justice Johnson reported that the members of the Supreme Court participated in the Loren Miller Bar Association celebration of Brown vs. Board of Education on May 17, 2004 at the University of Washington by participating in a re-enactment of the Brown vs. Board of Education case. The members of Supreme Court played the Warren Court. Attorney Lembhard Howell played Attorney Thurgood Marshall and Judge John Coughenour played Attorney John Davis. Ms. Constance L. Proctor was the Master of Ceremony and Dave Barman gave a historical perspective. The program was well scripted and presented considering they took an event that happen over a period of several days and condensed it into an hour presentation.
Justice Smith commented that the Loren Miller Bar Association is an organization of predominantly African American lawyers. The association is named after Judge Loren Miller of California who was one of the pioneers in the civil rights movement.
Judge Luna announced that the National Tribal Justice Resource Center in conjunction with the National Tribal Indian Judges Association has a website: www.ntjrc.org. He stated that they have a major cultural exchange between the states and tribal courts regarding inter-tribal jurisdiction issues and cross cultural aspects as well. There is a major article on fetal alcohol syndrome and its affect on drug courts.
The meeting was adjourned by Justice Charles Z. Smith at 1:00 p.m.