Washington State Courts: Board for Judicial Administration
Members present: Chief Justice Richard P. Guy, co-chair; Judge James M. Murphy, co-chair; Judge William W. Baker; Mr. M. Wayne Blair; Judge Christine Cary; Judge Vicki Hogan; Judge Stephen J. Holman; Judge Robert McSeveney; Ms. Mary McQueen; Judge James M. Riehl; Judge Michael Roewe; Judge Jay Roof, Judge Karen Seinfeld; and Justice Charles Z. Smith
May 19, 2000
Guests present: Mr. Pete Dewell, ATJ; Judge Robert Harris; Judge Faye Kennedy; and Mr. Paul Steere
Staff present: Mr. Rick Coplen; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Mr. Doug Haake; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
Call to order
The meeting was called to order by Judge James Murphy, co-chair.
The members introduced themselves.
It was moved by Judge Roewe and seconded by Judge Baker to approve the minutes of the March 17, 2000 meeting as published. The motion passed unanimously.
Domestic Relations Committee
Judge Kennedy advised the Board that the Domestic Relations Committee is a subcommittee of the BJA. Currently the Committee is comprised of judges, family law attorneys, legislators, ADR mediators, and law school professors. With the added responsibilities of Project 2001, the 24-member committee will increase to 27 members. The Committee has received funds to meet over the summer for three - two-day workshops.
The charge given to the Committee by the Project 2001 Committee:
Designate the BJA Domestic Relations Committee as the lead on this work. Assess current Washington models for consolidating domestic (including domestic violence) and juvenile offender and dependency cases, and identify specific components for success. Recommend specific legislation and/or court rules in response to the parenting study conducted by Dr. Diane Lye. Review operations of the legislative-funded UFC demonstration projects (Thurston, King, Snohomish). Identify the essential components of a Unified Family Court and recommend a desired implementation strategy for the state, estimate financial impact and responsibility for implementation.
Judge Kennedy continued, OAC staff has been assigned to assist with the charge from the Project 2001 Committee.
Judge Murphy briefly reviewed the written report submitted by Judge Berschauer, chair of the Commission.
Current Activities include:
- Adding additional source lists to increase representativeness.
- Creating a process to notify DOL of address changes.
- Eliminating the English language requirement for jury service.
- Adopting standards related to juror privacy.
- Standardizing the juror summons/questionnaire.
- Handling juror stress.
- Increasing juror compensation.
- Improving facilities and adhering to ADA requirements.
- Answering deliberating jurors' questions regarding evidence.
- Best practices relating to the struck jury system.
- Jurors proposing questions for witnesses.
Judge Murphy pointed out the Commission will review and edit their final report at their June 23 meeting. The final report will then be forwarded to BJA for review.
Ms. McQueen advised through Judge Fleck's Judiciary and the Medial Subcommittee, the major newspapers ran public service announcements, which included comments from three jurors, during Jury Appreciation Week. Judge Harris said Clark County included a letter from the judges thanking the jurors for their services.
The Board agreed the co-chairs should write a letter to Allied Daily Newspapers thanking them for their support of Jury Appreciation Week.
Public Trust and Confidence Committee
Mr. Blair reported that the committee consisted of 25 members representing the judiciary, general public, county clerks, state bar association, court administrators and legislators.
At the Committee's next meeting they will be reviewing the charge of the committee, casting final vote on proposed mission statement, and receiving a report from the Judiciary and the Media subcommittee.
Mr. Blair advised the Board of Judge Fleck's efforts to obtain grant dollars from foundations for the development of broadcast public service announcements dealing with juries or domestic violence. In addition, other types of informational spots will be developed.
Public Disclosure Commission
Ms. McQueen reminded the Board of the issue relating to the Public Disclosure Commission's (PDC) censorship of a district court commissioner pictured in a robe for judicial campaign photographs. The judicial officer's opponent had filed a complaint with both the PDC and the Commission on Judicial Conduct (CJC). The CJC had dismissed the complaint, while the PDC acted through censorship.
Ms. McQueen advised the Board of her correspondence with the PDC in February requesting an opportunity to meet with and discuss the issue. She continued, a meeting had taken place with OAC's attorney general and the PDC's attorney general. Further, she stated during this meeting it became apparent the PDC's staff was unaware of the existence of the Code of Judicial Conduct and RCW 42.17.131 which exempts the judiciary from RCW 42.17.130 which forbids the use of "uniforms." The attorneys general will work on the issue and report back to Ms. McQueen.
Ms. McQueen also advised the Board of the request by the PDC for her attendance at their next meeting, May 23. Ms. McQueen informed the PDC that she will be out of state at a conference.
Ms. McQueen reported the first judicial candidate forum will be held in Spokane on May 24. The other forum will be held in Seattle on June 8.
Ms. McQueen advised under Supreme Court order, the OAC published a voters' pamphlet every two years. This document is produced to assist the voters' in making education choices when electing the judiciary.
This year the Secretary of State's Office (SOS) will be producing a primary voters' pamphlet to be distributed to every household in the state. The Chief Justice, Justice Talmadge and Ms. McQueen met with Secretary Munro to determine what type of information will be collected and for which levels of court. During the meeting it was agreed there was no need to include information about judges who were in an uncontested election and the courts of limited jurisdiction candidates will be included.
Several issues to resolve are whether the SOS will allow the judiciary to use the format that has been used in previous primary voters' pamphlets published by OAC and the number of words permitted per candidate. Currently the OAC's pamphlet allows 300 words, while the SOS only allows for 200 words.
Chief Justice Guy indicated a letter would be send from the Supreme Court requesting the format used by OAC be adopted for the judicial candidates in the primary voters' pamphlet.
Ms. McQueen also advised the Board that Judge Susan Agid, chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee will serve as "advisory consultant" to OAC's judicial voters' pamphlet effort.
Ms. McQueen reminded the Board the amended BJA rule was adopted by the Supreme Court in January. The amended rule calls for the creation of three standing committees: long-range planning; core mission/best practices and legislative.
The long-range planning retreat will take place in June, but it will be up to the Board to determine how to proceed after the meeting.
Best Practices/Core Mission should reflect a good balance between justice and efficiency. This committee can use information from the JEA Final Report.
The legislative committee should reflect the judiciary speaking with one voice. Each association legislative committee should communicate with each other prior to, during and at the conclusion of the legislative session. The Board discussed the importance of BJA speaking with one voice for the judiciary, not only in legislative issues, but in all issues.
Project 2001 Committee
Mr. Steere reported the committee was authorized by the BJA. The committee was actually constituted during January and February. The committee is composed mainly of judges, along with a couple of representatives from the Bar Association.
He continued, work from the February and March meetings, along with the joint associations board meeting, five work groups were created: Case Management, Jurisdiction and Portability, Trial Court Administration, Un-enforced Warrants and Unified Family Court. Chairs for each of the work groups have been identified, members are currently be appointed.
Mr. Steere reported further, the work groups will hold several 2-day meetings in the next couple of months. Meetings scheduled to date are:
|Case Management||June 1 ||WestCoast Hotel|
|Jurisdiction/Portability||June 8||Two Union Square|
|Trial Court Administration ||June 6||Two Union Square|
|Un-enforced Warrants||June 8||Wyndham Gardens|
|Unified Family Court||June 9||Two Union Square|
Mr. Steere said the report will validate the judiciary's speaking with one voice. Further, he expects good things to come out of the Committee. The Committee's final report will be reviewed by BJA.
Members of the Board were invited to join the Project 2001 work groups.
Mr. Coplen reviewed the proposed agenda for the first day. Those invited groups will have 30 minutes for their presentation before BJA. Saturday will be spent developing the long-range planning strategy.
ATJ was invited to do their presentation at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. The Board was advised the meeting should adjourn by 3:00 p.m.
BJA Board Development
Ms. McQueen advised the Board that July's meeting would be two days, July 21 and 22. Dr. Dale Lefever will facilitate. Site is to be determined.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.