Board for Judicial Administration
March 15, 2002
Temple of Justice, Olympia
Members Present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, Chair; Judge James Riehl, Member-chair; Judge Christine Cary; Judge Vickie Churchill; Judge Deborah Fleck; Judge James F. Gavin; Judge Robert Harris; Judge Vicki Hogan; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Ron Kessler; Judge Frank Kurtz; Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Dirk Marler; Ms. Mary McQueen; Judge Robert McSeveney; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander.
Chief Justice Alexander introduced Justice Susan Owens and Mr. Steve Henderson, representing the Bar Association.
Mr. Moore reported the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Administrative Office of the Courts and the Law Library will take a three percent budget cut. He continued the legislative branch will take a five percent, plus will not be allocated funds for salary increases. The jury pay increase money was not included in the budget.
Mr. Moore advised that the Office of Public Defense had received new dollars for the continuation of dependency and termination pilot project.
Other legislation of interest:
Discussion continues regarding the budget cuts to the appellate courts and Supreme Court departments.
Judge Riehl provided a brief historical perspective of the establishment of minimum standards for courts of limited jurisdiction.
Judge Marler stated that certain minimum standards should be required before establishing a court. Those minimum standards must be met with periodical checks to ensure the standards continue to be met.
The Board was advised that the rule had been forwarded to the Supreme Court Rules Committee. The rule will be considered during their May meeting.
The Board discussed whether the Supreme Court has legal authority to decertify courts not meeting the established minimum standards. Discussion continued, during which Ms. McQueen offered to obtain an information opinion from the attorney generals' office. Additionally, she indicated AOC legal staff would conduct research and provide information.
The Board agreed to carry this item to April's agenda.
Long Range Planning Recommendations
Judge Riehl reported the recommendations had been broken down into four areas of concern:
1) Adequate Judicial Resources
2) Independence of the Judiciary
3) Improved Case flow Management
4) Adequate Access to Justice
In addition, the issues were divided into three parts:
1) Recommended priorities for BJA action
2) Recommended issues for further study and/or referral to other entities
3) Work in progress
Judge Riehl requested that the members review the Committee's recommendations and be prepared for discussion at the April meeting.
Judge McSeveney briefly reviewed issues relating to attendance at the Board meetings. Ms. McLane pointed out that it may not be necessary or practicable to have members of the BJA chair each of its committees. It was pointed out that the President-judge elect was a non-voting member.
Staff was asked to make revisions as recommended by the Board and circulate the bylaws for comment.
State Justice Institute (SJI).
Chief Justice Alexander directed attention to a letter written to Senator Patty Murray in support of funding for the State Justice Institute. He requested that the BJA approved the draft resolution in support of SJI.
Mandatory Education Rule
Ms. McLane briefly reviewed comments received by the Board for Court Education (BCE). She also directed the member's attention to the letter written to Chief Justice Alexander by Judge Susan Hahn, chair of BCE. The Board was advised that the rule will be before the Supreme Court Rules Committee at its April meeting.
Judge Marler reported that they are currently drafting bylaws and preamble. Those documents will be before the Board at its April meeting.
Time for Trial Task Force
Chief Justice Alexander reported the letters requesting appointments to the Task Force went out March 11. He continued, the Supreme Court Order calls for one Court of Appeals judge, three superior court judges, three district and municipal court judges, two prosecutors, two criminal defense attorneys, two WSBA representatives, and four legislators. The Task Force will be chaired by Professor David Boerner of Seattle University School of Law.
Court Funding Group/SCJA Long-range Planning
Judge Fleck reported that the SCJA long-range planning retreat was facilitated by Steve Johnson, court futurist. Presentations at the retreat included:
Judge Riehl stated the weekly conference calls provided a mechanism for the executive committee to stay apprised of legislative developments and an avenue to provide direction to Mr. Moore during session. With the conclusion of the legislative session, the conference calls are no longer necessary.
Judge Seinfeld stated that the court is in the process of dividing up their dollars.
Judge Kurtz reported that Division III had recently held court at Gonzaga University School of Law.
Judge Harris reported of a recent meeting with Joanne Moore and Judge Pete Clarke, retired, regarding the qualifications of those lawyers on the list qualified to defend capital cases. Those lawyers must meet specific educational requirements to be qualified for placement on the capital cases list.
Judge Marler reported there continues to be ongoing problems with inaccurate information from the Department of Licensing. He continued, there is a need to re-energize liaison with DOL.
Written report was provided.
Mr. Henderson reported Washington/Oregon/Idaho is one of the first regions in the country to have reciprocity that allows lawyers who have passed the bar and practiced for three years to be able to practice in the other two states.
The Bar Fair will be held at Seattle University. In addition to the nuts and bolts sessions, seminars will cover ethics, professional conduct and civility.
Mr. Henderson presented Judge Holman with the WSBA's Creed of Professionalism. Mr. Henderson stated the goal is to have the Creed in every courtroom in the state.
Mr. Henderson advised the Board that the BOG has made a rule change allowing full-time tribal court judges to pay their dues at a reduced rate.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.
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