Board for Judicial Administration
Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander; Judge William Baker; Judge Vickie Churchill; Mr. Dale Carlisle; Judge Sara Derr; Judge Stephen Dwyer; Judge Deborah Fleck; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Ronald Kessler; Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Robert McSeveney; Judge Kathleen O'Connor; Judge James M. Riehl, co-chair; Judge John Schultheis; Judge Evan Sperline; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Guests present: Justice Susan Owens, Judge Greg Tripp, and Mr. Jeff Amram
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Mr. Doug Haake; Mr. Jeff Hall; Ms. Janet McLane; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
Call to Order
Chief Justice Alexander called the meeting to order.
It was moved by Judge Schultheis and seconded by Judge Seinfeld to approve the minutes of the March 21, 2003 meeting as amended. The motion carried.
Model Court Manager Job Description
Ms. McLane advised that the model job description has been amended by moving the commentary to the end of the document, adding commentary to clarify the purpose of the job description, and clarifying in the distinguishing characteristics the hiring and supervisory authority of the court with respect to the court administrator. The Board made several changes in the model job description. These changes are outline below.
In the first sentence of the Distinguishing Characteristics Section the word "per" was changed to "according to".
It was moved by Judge McSeveney and seconded by Judge Holman that the phrase "hired by and works" be changed to "appointed by and serves at". The motion carried.
In the Core Competencies portion of the job description, the Board discussed the phrase "customer focus".
It was moved by Judge Sperline and seconded by Judge Churchill to change this section to read as follows.
Customer Service Orientation: Identifies and advocates for changes necessary to better serve the public.
The motion carried.
Judge Sperline expressed concerns about the last sentence in the minimum qualifications sections. Mr. Hall reported the AOC is in the process of conducting a salary survey and the results should be available for the June meeting.
It was moved by Judge Fleck and seconded by Judge Churchill to eliminate the last sentence in the minimum qualifications section and to change the last sentence in the commentary to read as follows. "Jurisdictions may tailor the minimum qualifications and typical work to address local circumstances." The motion carried.
The Board then discussed the salary range section of the job description.
It was moved by Judge McSeveney and seconded by Judge Schultheis to change "agency" to "court" in the first sentence of the section. The motion carried.
It was moved by Judge Schultheis and seconded by Judge Fleck to delete the phrase "based on business need" from the second sentence of this section. The motion carried.
It was moved by Judge Sperline and seconded by Justice Madsen to amend the last sentence in the section to read as follows. "This position is exempt from overtime hourly compensation provisions of state and federal law." The motion carried.
It was moved by Judge Baker and seconded by Judge Fleck to adopt the job description as revised. The motion carried.
Mr. Hall advised the Board that Judge Riehl's term as member-chair will expire in May. The Board discussed whether to hold the election for the member-chair at the May or June meeting. It was decided to hold the election at the June meeting.
Judge Schultheis discussed the purpose of the proposed by-law amendment recommended by the Court of Appeals.
It was moved by Judge Schultheis and seconded by Judge McSeveney to approve the by-law amendment as proposed by the Court of Appeals. The vote will be held at the May meeting.
The Board discussed the mandatory nature of the requirement of the attendance by the Presiding Chief Judge and President-Elects of the SCJA and DMCJA. It was moved by Judge Schultheis and seconded by Judge Seinfeld to substitute the new proposed amendment as attached. The vote on this proposed by-law amendment will occur at the May meeting.
The Board discussed the quorum and voting requirements contained in Articles X and XI. It was moved by Judge Sperline and seconded by Judge Churchill to add the "voting" to the sentence in Article X and delete the sentence in Article XI that begins "Eight voting members…" The amendment is attached. The vote on this proposed by-law amendment will occur at the May meeting.
Mr. Hall reviewed the status of legislation. He reported the mega-municipal court bill and municipal department bills are dead. Judge Kessler asked about the Executive Committee process. He stated there is a need to formalize process by which the BJA takes positions on legislation. He is concerned about non-BJA members voting. Judge Dwyer raised the issue of court level veto in the Executive Committee and whether it applied to the Executive Committee. Article VII of the by-laws address some of the issues raised but Chief Justice Alexander asked Judges Kessler, Dwyer and O'Connor to explore changes to the by-laws to address the issues raised.
Ms. McLane reported on the March meeting in Yakima. The focus of the April 24 hearing in Spokane will be the judiciary. Chief Justice Alexander and Judges Schultheis, O'Connor, and Derr will attend as well as Mary McQueen. Mary will present information regarding the judiciary that tracks the system used by the Commission to analyze executive branch agency heads. The national salary survey has been updated and will be presented at the meeting
Court Funding Task Force
Mr. Hall reported the work groups continue to meet. The Funding Alternatives work group has had several presentations. The Implementation Strategies work group held a planning meeting and is awaiting further work by the other work groups. Mr. Amram reported the Problem Definition work group has a 42-page draft report/outline in circulation. The work group has 2 more meetings scheduled. Ms. McLane reported the Courts of Limited Jurisdiction work group heard presentations from judges and court managers from each statutory model of court of limited jurisdiction and will hear from "court users" at the next meeting. Presentations by the task force and work groups are scheduled for the SCJA and DMCJA spring conferences.
Best Practices Committee
Judge Sperline presented a summary report from the committee. The committee is currently working on two projects: collection practices in courts of limited jurisdiction and court performance audits. The Board discussed the contents of the report.
Court of Appeals
Judge Schultheis reported the Appellate Spring Conference was held in Leavenworth and was very successful. The hot topic of the conference was GR 26 (Mandatory Judicial Education). The Court of Appeals has formed a study committee to review the rule and recommend appropriate changes. Judge Susan Agid was elected as the Presiding Chief Judge.
Judge Fleck reported:
District and Municipal Courts
Judge Dwyer reported the mega-municipal court experience was important for the BJA. Judge Robert Wacker, King County District Court, passed away. The DMCJA spring conference will be held the beginning of June in Spokane.
Access to Justice
Judge Tripp reported on the funding for legal services. He reported on the favorable outcome of the IOLTA case in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Access to Justice conference will be held in Wenatchee, June 6 - 8.
Mr. Carlisle reported:
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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