Minority and Justice Commission
Meeting Minutes



Office of the Administrator for the Courts
55th Floor Conference Room
Two Union Square
Seattle, Washington

September 24, 1999
10:00 AM

Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Presiding

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Judge Kenneth H. Kato at 10:00 o'clock in the morning in the 55th floor conference room, Two Union Square in Seattle.

Present at the meeting were: Judge Kenneth H. Kato, Mr. Jose Quintano, Mr. Jose E. Gaitan, Judge Monica J. Benton , and Ms. Donna V. McConnell-Adams.

Persons not attending (with excused absences) were: Dean Donna Claxton Deming, Judge David H. Armstrong, Judge James D. Cayce, Mr. Larry M. Fehr, Mr. Robert Lamb, Jr., and Ms. Mary Elizabeth McKnew.


Judge Kenneth H. Kato started the meeting by offering an overview discussion of the Judicial Clerkship Survey for Mr. Jose J. Quintana.

The Research Subcommittee established that there was a need for information on the total number of courts, and counties in the State of Washington. The subcommittee proposed the idea of a subcommittee sponsored project, that would entail sending a research team to visually observe, and or interview statewide court personnel, in order to get the objective, hard data on the workforce.

The Research Subcommittee discussed the use of the researched data. The Subcommittee proposed that it could present information to law schools surrounding Judicial Clerkship Issues, and information on Judicial Clerkship as a possible career path. The subcommittee recommended, having a multiple-tiered group of judges offer information to students, and share personal experiences. The subcommittee discussed having the ethnic student bar associations take part in these presentations to collaborate efforts with the judges, creating a more profound result. The subcommittee discussed possible forums that the presentation could be conducted by.

The Research Subcommittee decided that Ms. Loraine Lee would be well suited for writing an article on the Workforce Diversity Subcommittee's high school target group project, (headed by Judge Richard A. Jones, and Judge LeRoy McCullough) for the January 2000 Equal Justice Newsletter.


Through discussion the Research Subcommittee arose a question pertaining to "Is there a barrier for lawyers and law students of color to fulfill certain career paths?" The subcommittee offered possible recommendations. These recommendations include:

  1. Generating a partnership between the Law Clerk Job Fair with the law schools of color.
  2. Working with ethnic student bar associations, to develop a model curriculum in accordance with Judges' preferences.
  3. Holding the Law Clerk Job Fair at the annual 2000 fall conference.

The Research Subcommittee questioned the sponsoring of recommendation 2 (developing a model curriculum) The subcommittee proposed targeting students of color as a remediation process, and including non students of color to participate.

The Research Subcommittee recognized that the recommendations would be given to the Evaluation and Implementation Subcommittee, following the compilation of the results. The recommendations would than move from The Evaluation and Implementation Subcommittee to the Executive Committee/Justice Charles Z. Smith.


The Research Subcommittee discussed the issue of the Judicial Clerkship Survey. The subcommittee listed recommendations to improve the current standing of a diverse Judicial Clerkship. These recommendations are:

  1. The improvement of the law school faculty involvement, in the influencing and mentorship process of law students
  2. Develop a rough idea of a model base presentation concept.
  3. Justice Charles Z. Smith could address the law schools as to the details of the concept
  4. Schedule a module for self-analysis on the process/model that is developed
  5. Broaden the subcommittee's network for this project
    1. Bar Associations
    2. Judiciary
    3. Judge Phillip J. Thompson, and Dean Donna Claxton Deming, (for presentation)
    4. Law Schools
    5. Educational Consultants

Judge Kenneth H. Kato, and Jose J. Quintana, informed the Research Subcommittee, that they would be building an analysis of the data.

Research Subcommittee Final Report

Judge Kenneth H. Kato announced to the Research Subcommittee, that he had only received one comment on the "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Sentencing Outcomes for Drug Offenders in Washington State: FY 1996 to FY1999" report.

The Research Subcommittee discussed the second part ("The Impact of Race and Ethnicity") of the report. The subcommittee inquired as to the direction that should be took for part 2 of the report. In review of Dr. Rodney L. Engen's recommendations, the subcommittee arrived at another question. The subcommittee questioned whether it would need to do a colloquium, to discuss the recommendations and from there propose further action. The subcommittee also question as to who needed to be involved in this discussion. The subcommittee mentioned the legislative, prosecutors, defenders, affected parties (AG sentences, Guideline Comm. Governors etc.). The subcommittee decided that it would make recommendations to the Evaluation and Implementation Subcommittee based upon the outcome of any such meetings that could transpire.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:52 a.m.

  • Connect with us
  • Find us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Watch our YouTube Channel
  • Use one of our RSS Feeds
For Washington State laws, visit the Washington State Legislature