Board for Judicial Administration
Members absent: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander; Mr. Dale Carlisle; Judge Christopher Culp; Judge Vicki Hogan; Judge Michael Roewe; Judge Jay Roof; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Guests present: Judge T. W. Small
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Mr. Rick Coplen; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Mr. Doug Haake; Ms. Janet McLane; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
The meeting was called to order by Judge James Murphy, member-chair.
It was moved by Judge Kurtz and seconded by Judge Holman to approve the minutes of the March 16, 2001 meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Coplen advised the Board the terms of four members; Judge McSeveney, Judge Murphy, Judge Roewe, and Judge Roof, expire the end of May. Elections for BJA members are scheduled to take place during the spring conferences.
Mr. Coplen continued, the election of the member-chair will take place during the May BJA meeting. The term of the member-chair is two years, as set out in the bylaws.
Judge Kessler questioned whether a member is eligible for the member-chair position, if there is less than two years remaining on their term. Mr. Coplen responded that the member must have a minimum of two years remaining on their term to be eligible to run for the member-chair seat. Judge Kessler responded, the bylaws are too restrictive. He indicated the election should be tabled for two months to allow for time to review the bylaws.
Judge Murphy explained he did not serve a two year term because he was elected prior to the bylaw amendments in September of 2000.
Ms. McQueen advised the Board, to allow for continuity, the Justice, Efficiency, and Accountability Commission recommended the member chair position be for a period of two years. Ms. McQueen reminded the Board, as the staggered terms are completed, all terms will become four-year terms.
It was moved by Judge Kurtz and seconded to create a subcommittee to study the proposed changes to CrR 3.2. Members of the committee will be Judge Fleck and Bob Boruchowitz (as authors of the rule), Judge Cozza (SCJA criminal law and rules chair), Judge Holman (BJA member), and Judge Fitterer (DMCJA court rules chair) and a representative from the Bar's Criminal Committee. Motion passed unanimously.
Ms. McQueen reported the legislation has passed. The constitutional amendment will go to a vote of the people.
Ms. McQueen advised that legislation relating to the right to a speedy trial has been reviewed by the SCJA Criminal Law and Rules Committee and Rick Neidhardt, AOC staff (included in materials). Ms. McQueen indicated the fiscal impact could be dramatic. She suggested the Board consider creating a workgroup to further review the legislation over the summer.
Ms. McQueen reported the legislature had reduced, by a like amount, the monies going to the six counties not paying judges' benefits. Further, those counties are still refusing to pay for benefits.
Presiding Judges' Conference
Ms. McLane briefly reviewed the proposed agenda (included in materials).
Judge Murphy advised the committee meets weekly via conference call. The Board briefly discussed the process used during this year's session. Members agreed that the judiciary's legislation work operated smoother this year with the coordinated effort of the Executive Committee.
Ms. Pettus briefly reviewed the minutes of the Committee's March 30, 2001 meeting. She reported the committee would next meet in May. She advised the Board a memo would be sent to all presiding judges, court managers and other interested parties soliciting methods courts are employing to resolve cases prior to trial or prior to oral argument. The memorandum will be distributed next week.
A written report was provided by Mr. Moore.
Judge Murphy advised the Committee would hold its first meeting immediately following BJA. Members are: Judge Murphy, chair, Justice Madsen, Judge Kurtz, Judge Kessler, and Judge Cary.
Judge Murphy recognized Judge Small's contribution to the Access to Justice Board. A resolution from BJA was presented to Judge Small.
Judge Small reported the Technology Bill of Rights Seminar is schedule for May 18 and 19 at Seattle University School of Law. The seminar will explore the issues of interrelationships between technology and the law and the public's right to access.
Judge Small advised the unbundled legal services working draft with the proposed changes to the rules of professional conduct will be circulated at the ATJ conference in June.
Judge Small extended an invitation to the annual Access to Justice Conference, June 8-10 in Wenatchee. The Superior Court Judges Association Board is scheduled to meet in Wenatchee in June to provide the Board an opportunity to attend the Conference.
The Access to Justice Board is working with the Supreme Court to create a task force to explore better mechanisms for funding legal services. Judge Small stressed the need for stable funding of civil legal services.
Ms. McQueen reported the next hearing is scheduled for Richland in late April. The judiciary will make their presentation during the Richland hearing. The plan is to request that judicial officers are provided the same COLAs the Senate is proposing for state employees.
The Board agreed that Judge Dennis Sweeney should be asked to attend the Richland hearing.
Mr. Peterson reported the Bar has been occupied with the legislative session. In particular, funding for legal services and PSEA monies for legal services.
Mr. Peterson advised after 10 years, the Bar's discipline workload has no backlog for investigations or grievances. They have also set an all time record number in prosecutions.
Mr. Peterson continued, lots of irons are in the fire, including the pilot project "The Law Book." "The Law Book" is a consumer guide to the legal system. It is being distributed as a newspaper supplement (copy provided to Board members). The Bar is also working with KING to produce more legal stories and have lawyers on television during the news hour.
Judge Kessler and Judge Riehl will establish the grant guidelines.
Ms. McQueen reviewed the letter sent to Judge Leopold by Allied Insurance advising the judge they are no longer providing personal umbrellas for attorneys or judges.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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