Board for Judicial Administration
Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, chair; Judge James M.
Members absent: Judge James Gavin and Mr. Jan Eric Peterson
Guests present: Mr. James Bamberger; Mr. Michael Dale; Justice Faith Ireland; Ms. Jan Michels; Ms. Ada Shen-Jaffe; and Judge Gregory Tripp
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Mr. Rick Coplen, Ms. Jude Cryderman; Ms. Janet McLane; Mr. Victor Moore; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
Call to order
The meeting was called to order by Chief Justice Alexander.
Chief Justice Alexander introduced Richard Manning, president-elect of the Washington State Bar Association. He then recognized Dale Carlisle as the new President of the Bar.
In light of the recent attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Chief Justice Alexander provided an opportunity for members to share what took place in their courtroom and lives on September 11, 2001. Chief Justice Alexander asked for a moment of silent in honor of those who lost their lives during the September 11 attacks.
Ms. Shen-Jaffe briefly reviewed the resolution proposed by the Public Legal Education Committee. The Board agreed to wait for Justice Ireland’s arrival before going forward with the resolution.
Summary of last BJA Meeting
It was pointed out that Judge McSeveney should be identified as “Judge” under “members present.”
It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of the July 20, 2001 meeting as amended. The motion passed unanimously.
Provision of Counsel in Capital Cases
Chief Justice Alexander reported that recent articles in the Seattle PI have outlined defects relating to legal representation in capital cases. The Chief has concluded there’s a need to address these defects. Further, a committee has been established to study defects in legal representation. The committee is in the process of creating rosters for legal counsel at both the trial and appellate level.
Chief Justice Alexander reminded the BJA that the Office of Public Defense (OPD) handles the payment to counsel in appeals cases. Currently OPD’s Advisory Board is chaired by Retired Judge Pete Clarke of Spokane. Retired Judge Phil Thompson also sits on the Advisory Board, along with legislators and lay people. The Advisory Board will hold a special meeting on October 18 to discuss alternatives, recommendations and possible court rules or changes to the statute to improve the appointment process in death penalty cases. Recommendations made by the Advisory Board will be presented to the BJA and Supreme Court for consideration.
The Chief advised this issue is also of interest to the BOG. Mr. Carlisle reported, the BOG passed a resolution that was sent to Governor Locke asking for a moratorium on executions. The ABA has passed a similar resolution. The basis for the moratorium was not only the number of reversals, but also the uneven application state by state and use of DNA.
Justice Madsen advised the Board that several requests have been made to the legislature for a staff person to assist trial court judges around the state in conducting research in death penalty cases. Ms. McQueen reported in the past, AOC has had the money to contract with a former law clerk to provide legal research on an as needed basis. Given the current $1.2 million deficit, no money is available for the position.
Judge Hogan advised that a Death Penalty Handbook is available through OAC. The Board requested that judges be advised of the availability of the handbook through the Judicial News.
Defects and Omissions in the Law
Chief Justice Alexander explained state constitution and statute requires an annual report of defects and omission in the law. This report is made to the Governor by the first of January.
Judge Riehl advised the bylaws would be distributed electronically for review and comment. The bylaws will be discussed at the November 30 meeting. Comments received will be compiled and distributed prior November 30.
Judge Fleck provided a brief history of the proposed rule. She reminded the Board that they had established a subcommittee to review the changes submitted by the Minority and Justice Commission.
The Board was advised that the SCJA and the DMCJA had not reviewed the proposed rule. The Board briefly discussed the proposed rule.
It was moved by Judge Harris and seconded by Judge Culp to recommend to the Supreme Court Rules Committee the publication of the proposed rule changes to CrR 3.2, CrR 3.21, CrRLJ 3.2 and CrRLJ 3.2.1 for comment.
The Board discussed the bail schedule which is currently a part of the rules.
The chair called for a vote. Motion passed unanimously.
Chief Justice Alexander reported that the effort of the “Committee for Cost Effective Justice” continues. The PAC is continuing to solicit support from organizations such as the League of Women Voters, Association of Washington Business, County Clerks’ Association, Superior Court Judges’ Association and the District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association. In addition, the deans of Washington’s three law schools will be asked for their support. The Chief continued, he is working with editorial boards statewide to gain their endorsement.
Ms. Michels reported the media packets have been assembled and are available. Ms. Michels also reported, there is no known organization opposing this effort.
Unmet Civil Legal Needs
Judge Tripp gave a brief overview of the proposal for Washington State, which includes a study modeled after the recent study undertaken in Oregon.
The Board was joined via phone by:
Linda Clingan, Campaign for Equal Justice
Tom Matsuda, Legal Aid Services of Oregon
Steve Walters, Attorney at Law
Ed Harnden, Oregon State Bar President
The Oregon contingency briefly discussed the need, benefits and mechanics of the study.
Mr. Bamberger provided the Board with “Civil Equal Justice and the Judiciary: The Leadership Challenge,” a presentation he had made to the National Conference of Chief Justices and State Court Administrators during their recent conference in Seattle.
Mr. Bamberger pointed out the study would be of value to the consuming public and the justice system in that it would identify not only those with legal needs, but what those needs are. In addition, the justice community needs common grounding and an understanding to identify and address the critical issues.
Mr. Walters noted the Oregon study was a joint effort of the Oregon Supreme Court, Governor’s Office and the Oregon State Bar Association. He continued, the study was used as a resource in their attempt to obtain additional funding.
Mr. Dale (Oregon Law Center) advised that 20 focus groups had been held around the state in both urban and rural settings. In addition, various service providers were interviewed and client surveys were provided to approximately 1,500 people.
Mr. Bamberger emphasized the Washington study is essential in the efforts to secure appropriate funding for unmet civil legal needs. He continued, this funding must be sustained and ongoing to provide equal civil justice.
The Oregon participants and Mr. Dale presented aspects of the Oregon study and addressed various questions from the Board.
Chief Justice Alexander thanked the Oregon participants for providing the Board with valuable information.
The Chief next asked Judge Tripp the following:
1) What would they like BJA to do?
2) How much will the study cost? How much are they requesting from the judiciary?
3) How much money is realized through the pro hoc filing fee statute?
Judge Tripp responded, the ATJ would like the BJA to pass a motion to direct the appropriate parties to contribute up to $50,000 for the study.
Mr. Dale advised that the Oregon judiciary contributed approximately 15% of the $50,000 for the study (this included printing of the brochures). In-kind services by people in the legal services area were also provided.
He continued, that approximately $50,000-200,000 per year should be realized from the pro hoc filing fees. The fee will be in the $200-300 range.
Mr. Bamberger next reviewed how the dollar amount for the study was derived. The Board discussed the needs for focus groups, surveys and interviews as presented by the Oregon participants.
It was moved by Justice Madsen and seconded by Judge Kurtz to recommend to the Supreme Court that funding be provided for the legal needs assessment study not to exceed $50,000.
Called for vote: Motion passed with 12 voting in favor and 1 voting against.
Vote on 2005 Fall Conference
Mr. Carlisle reported the WSBA voted not to proceed with planning for a joint conference in 2005.
Judge Harris briefly reviewed the Courthouse Infrastructure Needs Survey Summary. Judge Harris added several other jurisdictions will be participating in the survey.
Judge Harris reported he had met with legislative staff and Representative Odgen regarding the needs of the county courthouses. He will also be meeting with representatives from the Governor’s office and the Office of Financial Management.
The Board briefly discussed the state’s role in providing financial support to the county courthouses. The Board agreed that Judge Harris should continue seeking information from the counties’ regarding their courthouse needs. In addition, meetings with appropriate groups, i.e., legislature, Governor’s office, etc., should continue.
Trial Court Coordinating Councils
Ms. Pettus reported that six counties currently have Trial Court Coordinating Councils (King, Spokane, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap and Jefferson). Each of these counties have functioning trial court coordinating councils with membership limited to court personnel. Judge Harris advised that Clark County has also established a TCCC.
Presiding Judge Rule
Ms. Pettus provided the following presentation.
Presiding Judge Rule
Project 2001 “essential elements”
Project 2001 Recommendation 1.3, as adopted by BJA
History of Proposed PJ Rule
History of Proposed PJ Rule
The Board agreed to discuss the presiding judge rule provisions at the October 7 meeting.
Justice Ireland presented the revised resolution for BJA’s consideration.
It was moved by Judge Baker and seconded by Judge Seinfeld to adopt the Resolution Regarding the Events of September 11, 2001 as revised. The motion passed unanimously.
Jury Cost Report
Mr. Austin advised the Board that the juror pay increases’ fiscal note and appropriation were based on best practices, including 2 day/1 trial legislation (legislation did not pass). The legislature is deciding whether the $1.6 million appropriated for the juror pay increase is an “entitlement” or a “grant.” “Entitlement” implies ongoing state responsibility for juror pay without a “cap” on the dollar amount of that responsibility. “Grant” implies a “cap” on the amount to be reimbursed by the state.
The Board discussed the need for accurate information before reintroducing juror pay increase legislation.
The motion was amended to reintroduce juror pay legislation when data collection is complete. Motion carried.
Civil Change of Venue
Judge Harris referred to the handout pointing out that the new section includes: 1) transferring county pays for per diem and mileage for jurors and witnesses and 2) all other costs properly arising from a civil case including but not limited to the costs of judicial officers and staff.
Reports and Information
Written report provided.
Ms. Pettus advised the next meeting is scheduled for November 9.
Judge Riehl advised they would be meeting the latter part of October.
Public Trust and Confidence
Written report provided.
Court of Appeals
Judge Seinfeld reported Division II’s open house is scheduled for the first week of October. Fall conference’s welcome reception will be held at Division II.
District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association
Judge Marler reported that the Traffic Safety Commission has received a $50,000 grant for educational purposes. The Board was advised there was a “ton” of federal money available for alcohol, drug and traffic related education/projects.
Superior Court Judges’ Association
Washington State Bar Association
Mr. Carlisle reported that John Fattorini was retiring as the Bar’s lobbyist and Gail Stone would be assuming the lead role for the Bar.
The Practice of Law Board had been created with 14 members, four of which are non-lawyers. The focus of the Board will be licensing efforts for non-lawyers and unauthorized practice of law complaints. The Limited Practice Board which is currently under the AOC will be transferred to the Bar Association by July 2002.
A new oath for new lawyers has been submitted to the Supreme Court. This oath will replace the outdated oath currently being administered.
The new Board of Governors were sworn-in during the Bar’s Awards Dinner on September 13. The new members are: Carl J. Carlson, Seventh Central District; Bryce H. Dille, Ninth District; Jon E. Ostlund, Second District; and Robert M. Boggs, Fourth District.
The next meeting of the Board is Sunday, October 7 beginning at noon. The meeting will be held at the Tacoma Sheraton Hotel.
The November 30 joint meeting with the Court Management Council will either be in Tacoma or Olympia. Staff will secure facility and advise Board.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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