Board for Judicial Administration
Red Lion/Hanford House Hotel
June 16, 2002
Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, chair; Judge Vicki Churchill; Judge Sara Derr; Judge Stephen Dwyer; Judge Deborah Fleck; Judge Vicki Hogan; Judge Ron Kessler; Judge Dirk Marler; Ms. Mary McQueen; Judge Robert McSeveney; Judge John Schultheis; and Judge Evan Sperline
Members absent: Judge William Baker; Mr. Dale Carlisle; Judge Stephen Holman; Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Kathleen O'Connor; Mr. Jan Eric Peterson; Judge James Riehl; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Staff present: Mr. Rick Coplen; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Mr. Doug Haake; and Ms. Janet McLane
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander.
Chief Justice Alexander introduced the new members:
It was moved by Judge Kessler and seconded by Judge Hogan not to hold meetings in July and August. The motion passed.
Court Funding Task Force
Chief Justice Alexander reported that the evening session would focus on court funding issues. He advised that Wayne Blair will be chairing the task force.
Ms. McQueen advised that the task force would be set-up similar to Project 2001, that is an umbrella task force with several work groups. She continued, a webpage will be established to provide information to the judicial community through meeting minutes and work group notes. The judicial community will also be provided an opportunity to submit comments and suggestions.
Judicial Retirement Work Group
Ms. McQueen reported the work group had met via conference call. Members include Judge Robert Harris, chair; Judge Mary Kay Becker; Judge John McCarthy; Judge Mark McCauley; Judge Richard McDermott; Judge W. Daniel Phillips; Judge Patrick Burns, and Dennis Seinfeld (representing the WSBA).
Ms. McQueen reminded the Board that the purpose of the work group is to gather and evaluate information relating to judicial retirement benefits. The work group is to make a recommendation to the BJA.
The next meeting of the work group is scheduled for the end of July.
Civil Equal Justice Funding Task Force
Chief Justice Alexander briefly reviewed the written report submitted by the task force.
Court Accounting Study
Ms. McLane reported at the direction of the Judicial Information System Committee (JIS) AOC is reviewing statutes and court rules governing the distribution of court revenue. She continued, confusion relating to the correct use of these codes appear to result in incorrect distribution of the revenue. Further, there appear to be two codes that are misused on a regular basis: Court Cost Recoupment (CCR) and Deferred Prosecution (DPC). Recommendations to the JIS Committee include: 1) placing edits on 15 codes not used in infraction cases; 2) work with individual courts; and 3) make recommendations regarding edits and practice changes.
Ms. McLane reported that after nearly 30 years, Judicial News will go electronic, saving the AOC about $50,000 per year in distribution costs. Beginning July 1, articles will be copied from the daily newspapers, and sent out daily via the internet. Articles from weekly newspapers will be distributed on a monthly basis.
Family Law Handbook
Ms. McQueen advised the Board that she had contacted Seattle University regarding their assistance in the development of the Family Law Handbook. Ms. McQueen will keep the Board apprised of the progress.
Ms. McQueen advised that the judicial education unit of AOC was reduced by one FTE as a result of budget cuts. That reduction equates to the loss of 80 hours of support, resulting in limiting the number of tracks for fall and spring conference. There will be no reduction in education hours for the fall and spring conferences or Judicial College.
Judge Marler reported BCE feels there are enough hours available through attendance at the spring and fall conference to reduce the number of optional tracks. In addition, no out-of-state travel assistance will be available.
Court Independence Response Team
Judge Marler reminded the Board that they had previously approved CIRT's mission statement and bylaws. He continued, the purpose of CIRT is to foster commentary and deal up front with issues. In addition, to help with the development of unified policies, practices and standards. Judge Marler advised the Board the letters asking for appointments to CIRT will be sent next week by Chief Justice Alexander and Judge Riehl.
Time for Trial Task Force
A written report was submitted.
Court of Appeals
Judge Schultheis indicated the court is working on their budget-maintenance only.
Judge Fleck reported the two main initiatives are: 1) Trial Court Funding Task Force (letters inviting participation will be sent soon); and 2) Race and Justice issues-racial disparity at application of drug laws. This group will be headed by Judge Murphy.
District and Municipal Courts
Judge Marler reported the new board was elected during their spring conference, last week. The new members are:
He continued, they are working on making the appointments to the Court Funding Task Force and getting CIRT established.
Chief Justice Alexander advised that the Salary Commission's lawyer position is vacant. A recommendation will be made to appoint Jan Eric Peterson to that position.
Ms. McQueen reported the judicial voter pamphlet will be published through AOC, this year. In addition, AOC in conjunction with the Ethics Advisory Committee will conduct 2 judicial candidate forums. One forum has been held in Seattle and the other forum will be in Richland, Monday, June 17.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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