Board for Judicial Administration
Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, chair (late arrival); Judge James M. Riehl, member-chair; Mr. Dale Carlisle; Judge Christine Cary; Judge Chris Culp; Judge James Gavin; Judge Robert Harris; Judge Vicki Hogan; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Ronald Kessler; Judge Frank Kurtz; Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Dirk Marler; Judge Robert McSeveney; Ms. Mary McQueen; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Members absent: Judge William Baker; Judge Vickie Churchill; Mr. Richard Eymann; Judge Deborah Fleck; and Mr. Jan Eric Peterson
Guests present: Judge James Murphy; Judge Michael Roewe; and Mr. Scott Smith
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Mr. Rick Coplen; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Mr. Doug Haake; Mr. Victor Moore; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
Call to order
The meeting was called to order by Judge James Riehl, member-chair.
Judge Dirk Marler, president-elect of the District and Municipal Court Judges' Association was introduced.
Judge Marler pointed out he was not a member of the Board at the May meeting. His name should be removed from the members absent designation in the minutes.
It was moved by Judge Kessler and seconded by Judge Kurtz to approve the minutes of the May 18, 2001 as amended. The motion passed unanimously.
Pattern Forms Committee
Judge Holman reported the Pattern Forms Committee had several concerns regarding the recommendations of the Project 2001 committee. He continued, the Pattern Forms Committee unanimously agreed that in order to accomplish the recommendations a substantial increase in resources would be necessary.
It was agreed that the BJA Long-range Planning Committee would review the PFC request for clarification.
Municipal Court Judges Salary Issue
Judge McSeveney reported on the concerns of some of the municipal court judges regarding the work of the Salary Commission. He continued, not all municipal court judges' salaries are prorated or comparable to district court judges. He advised that municipal court judges are not paid to attend conferences, which can create some difficulties. He also indicated that a survey would be distributed to the DMCJA to ascertain the feeling of the general membership.
Judge Culp stated the municipal court members realize they are not forgotten, but did feel left out of this last salary effort. The real issue is whether the municipal court judges can or should be included.
Ms. McQueen stated mandatory education would solve the problem of municipal court judges' inability to attend conferences. Further, new judges could request that AOC provide technical assistance, which might include review of policies and contract proposals. She also indicated that obtaining copies of the municipal court judge's contracts would be helpful.
Judge Culp will advise members that salary/benefits will be considered.
Joint Convention/Conference 2005
Mr. Carlisle advised that a questionnaire would be distributed to potential participants. The BOG revised the criteria for continued consideration of a "convention" in 2005 during their June meeting. Revisions are:
Mr. Carlisle continued, participation by bar members must increase from the September 2000 conference to justify 2005 convention.
Chief Justice Alexander reviewed the salary schedule adopted by the Commission. He advised, the judiciary was the only branch that had members attend the Commission hearings.
Judge Harris noted that the Superior Court Judges Association had sent a letter of appreciation to the members of the Salary Commission.
Ms. McQueen reported the personnel commission members looked at what had changed in the judge's jobs and the importance of attracting and keeping high quality judges on the bench. She continued, the recommendation for the judges' salary increases had been made by private sector members.
Ms. McQueen advised in the past that the Chief Justice has met with legislative leadership to make recommendations for appointments to the Commission. With the possibility of having many new members, it's necessary to lay the ground work early to educate those new members.
Portability Status Report
Ms. McQueen reported she had met with a group of attorneys, who agreed as individuals to create a committee to support the constitutional amendment. The group will be gathering information required by the Public Disclosure Commission; hire a political consultant; and raise money to support the effort.
Ms. McQueen advised that the Code of Judicial Conduct allows judicial officers to speak on behalf of the constitutional amendment as it's under the administration of justice.
Mr. Moore walked through the process for writing the "statement for" the voters' pamphlet.
Presiding Judges Conference
Ms. McQueen reported 104 participants had registered for the conference that is being sponsored by BJA. The agenda was briefly reviewed.
Ms. McQueen advised that she had contacted retired Judge Swayze. Judge Swayze is willing to meet with the study group to discuss possible options.
Judge Riehl indicated Judge Dan Phillips, Kitsap County District Court is willing to serve on the study group. The Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Superior Court Judges Association will designate representatives to serve on the study group.
Ms. Pettus provided a brief overview of the Committee's last meeting. She distributed a summary of the best practices submissions. The next meeting is scheduled for September.
Mr. Moore advised the legislature is schedule to begin their second special session. An updated legislative budget was distributed showing the Senate revised their budget to provide for $15 per day juror pay. The Senate did not provide for juror parking, as the House budget does. Mr. Moore advised that the salary increase provided for by the Salary Commission will be handled in the supplemental budget.
Judge Riehl reported the committee will meet immediately following the BJA meeting.
Written report provided.
Access to Justice
Mr. Smith reported the 6th Annual Access to Justice Conference had wrapped up earlier today. Over 200 attended the conference, which was held in Wenatchee.
Mr. Smith stated one of the panels, moderated by Denny Heck, covered judicial selection. The potential threat to judicial independence if "big money" funds judicial races was discussed.
Mr. Smith provided an update on the IOLTA litigation. He advised, the 9th Circuit en banc would be looking at the case. The outcome of this litigation could have a devastating impact on civil legal services.
Mr. Smith advised the Board of the passing of GR 24 (defines the practice of law) and GR 25 (creates the practice of law board). The purpose of the rules are to serve the public through the regulation of the delivery of services by non-lawyers and protecting the public by investigating and taking appropriate action when complaints are filed. The Board will be comprised of 13 members.
Mr. Smith reported in an effort to work better with the judicial associations, the ATJ Board would be extending a formal invitation to invite a liaison from the judicial associations.
The ATJ Board will be establishing a task force that will look into ways to generate stable, long-term funding for civil legal needs. The Board will also be looking for funds to conduct the civil legal needs study.
Mr. Carlisle thanked the Supreme Court for passing GR 24 and 25. He requested the rules be distributed to the BJA members.
Mr. Carlisle advised that the Discipline Study will be released in July and will result in some changes.
He also advised that Columbia Legal Services' budget has not been set by the legislature. They are hopeful that they will recieve between 10 and 12 million dollars.
Judge Riehl acknowledged the hard work of Judge Murphy and Judge Roewe during their term on the Board.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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