Washington State Courts: Board for Judicial Administration
March 16, 2001
Temple of Justice
Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, co-chair; Judge James M. Murphy, co-chair; Judge William W. Baker; Judge Christine Cary; Judge Robert Harris; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Ronald Kessler; Judge Frank Kurtz; Justice Barbara Madsen; Ms. Mary McQueen; Judge Robert McSeveney; Judge James M. Riehl; and Judge Jay Roof
Members absent: Mr. Dale Carlisle; Judge Christopher Culp; Judge Vicki Hogan; Mr. Jan Eric Peterson; Judge Michael Roewe; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Guests present: Ms. Jan Michels and Mr. Scott Smith
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Mr. Rick Coplen; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Mr. Doug Haake; Ms. Janet McLane; Mr. Victor Moore; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, co-chair.
It was moved by Judge Kurtz and seconded to approve the minutes of the February 16, 2001 minutes as published. The motion passed unanimously.
Award of Federal Violence Against Women (VAWA) Funds to OAC/BJA
Ms. McLane advised that the federal government had awarded $106,000 as part of the amended STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants program. The Office of Crime Victims' Advocacy met with the WA State Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee (Judge Riehl and Gloria Hemmen, OAC, attended that meeting) to discuss the grant allocations.
The Board discussed the administration of the funds by the Gender and Justice Commission under the priorities established by the BJA.
It was moved by Justice Madsen and seconded by Judge Baker to place the Gender and Justice Commission as the administrative arm of the Violence Against Women monies, subject to criteria established by the Board for Judicial Administration. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board next discussed the need to create a subcommittee, the purpose of which is to establish guidelines for administering grants. The Board members agreed to the creation of the new subcommittee. Chief Justice Alexander and Judge Murphy will establish the membership for that subcommittee.
Ms. McLane advised the Board that HB 2035 is dead. The Board requested that AOC fiscal note information be available for dissemination at the Appellate Judges' Spring Conference.
Judge Kessler raised several issues relating to unpublished opinions. He indicated he would put those issues in writing to Chief Justice Alexander.
Chief Justice Alexander reported the legislation had been adopted out of the Senate on March 13 with a 42-6 vote.
The Bar's version of the proposed constitutional amendment includes:
- the judge be an active elected judge pursuant to Supreme Court Rule;
- the assignments be based on the judge's experience; and
- provides for a right to change a judge pro tempore.
Chief Justice Alexander provided the Board with a letter from Mr. Jan Eric Peterson, Bar President, along with a copy of the Chief's response. The Chief advised the Board that the Bar will be conducting a conference call on Wednesday, March 21 at 8:00 a.m. to discuss the Senate version of SJR 8208.
The Board was asked to contact members of the Bar Board of Governors to encourage their support of the portability bill.
Ms. McLane briefly reviewed the agenda for the "Team Building for Court Leadership" conference. She advised the Board that they will be hosting a reception on Thursday evening. Chief Justice Alexander will do the conference wrap-up.
Ms. McLane reported teams from Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Jefferson, King, and Spokane will participate in next week's conference.
Reports and Information
Chief Justice Alexander briefly reviewed the recap of the BJA Executive Committee conference calls.
Judge Murphy stated the Executive Committee provided a forum for the trial courts to discuss legislation before taking a position on bill. Judge Murphy continued, the Executive Committee has come a long way in promoting the BJA being the voice of the courts.
Judge Baker reported, at this time the work of the legislative committee has been suspended.
Mr. Moore stated approximately 400 pieces of legislation are being tracked this year. He continued, Friday, March 30 is the cut-off for the bills being out of the House.
Mr. Coplen provided a brief overview of the long-range planning documents.
It was moved by Judge Murphy and seconded to create the BJA Long-range Planning Committee. Motion passed unanimously.
The Committee will be chaired by Judge Murphy. Other members include: Justice Madsen, Judge Kurtz, Judge Kessler and Judge Cary. The two external members will be appointed prior to the first meeting.
Access to Justice
Mr. Smith noted that Judge Small's term on the ATJ Board will expire in May. Judge Tripp has been appointed to replace Judge Small, as the BJA liaison. Mr. Smith reported ATJ would like to conduct an unmet legal needs study. The study had been part of ATJ's budget request this year, but was taken out by Senate Ways and Means. Ms. McQueen advised that Oregon had recently conducted a study of unmet civil legal needs. AOC staff will try to acquire a copy of the Oregon study.
Mr. Smith advised the Board that ATJ is available to assist BJA, if needed, with the implementation of the Project 2001 recommendations.
The Access to Justice annual conference will take place June 8-10, in Wenatchee.
It was moved by Judge Murphy and seconded by Judge Baker to issue a resolution recognizing Judge Small for his service on the Access to Justice Board. The motion passed unanimously.
Public Trust and Confidence.
A written report was provided.
Jury Implementation Committee
Ms. McQueen directed attention to a letter from Judge Berschauer, chair of the Jury Implementation Committee. The Board briefly discussed it, agreeing that the Committee should provide recommendations. Chief Justice Alexander stated he would correspond with Judge Berschauer, requesting specific recommendations from the Committee.
Mr. Coplen reported the biggest concern now facing the Salary Commission is the state's budget. He advised that a member of the Forecast Council will attend the last Commission's meeting to present revenue information.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 10 in Port Angeles. May 18, the Commission will be at Wyndham Gardens in the SeaTac area.
Judge Harris reported he had spoken with Dr. Self following the hearing. Dr. Self had indicated the cost of living increase was the appropriate approach for the judiciary.
Judge Harris added that the Secretary of State and the Superintendent of Public Instruction are the only officials that may see an increase beyond cost of living. He continued, the teachers, and possibly state employees, will receive a 3.5% increase.
Judge Harris mentioned the possibility of conducting a survey of all of the judges to determine what would cause judges to stay additional years on the bench. Salary? Workload? Health?
Ms. Michels reported the following have "filed" for the BOG positions:
Jon E. Ostlund
Whatcom County Public Defender
Robert M. Boggs
Lyon, Weigand & Gustafson
7th Central District
Carl J. Carlson
Carlson & Fabish
Highline Community College
Bryce H. Dille
Campbell, Dille, Barnett, Smith & Wiley
Ms. Michels continued, the two new at-large positions on BOG were created to increase diversity on the Board. The first position is effective in 2001 and the second position will be effective in 2002.
Ms. McQueen reported that Thurston County was consulting their attorneys regarding the payments of 50 percent of the superior court judges' benefits. Ms. McQueen continued that a meeting with Victor and Jim Pharris would be taking place to discuss possible ways to resolve this difference.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.