Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, chair; Judge Deborah Fleck, co-chair; Judge Vickie Churchill; Judge Leonard Costello; Judge Sara Derr; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Elaine Houghton; Judge Eileen Kato; Judge Faye Kennedy; Ms. Janet McLane; Judge Robert McSeveney; Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall; Judge Evan Sperline; Judge Michael Trickey; and Mr. Ronald Ward
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chief Justice Alexander.
Judge Fleck reported that Mr. Ronald Ward had been inducted as President of the Washington State Bar Association at their annual meeting. During the annual meeting Judge Richard Jones was honored as Judge of the Year.
The Board was advised that six members had completed their terms: Judge William Baker, Judge Stephen Brown, Judge Stephen Dwyer, Judge Vicki Hogan, Mr. J. Richard Manning and Judge Kathleen O’Connor. Judge Dwyer was present and recognized for his service.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Work Group Report
Mr. Ward referenced the Work Group’s final report that was provided to the Board. He acknowledged the nearly 100 members of the Work Group and complimented Mr. Haake for his support of the Work Group. Mr. Ward advised that the report had been distributed to the Work Group members for their review and comment. Comments received will be reviewed and taken into consideration. There was no action anticipated by the Board during today’s meeting.
Ms. McLane reported on the Association of Washington Cities’ history relating to the mega-municipal court bill. Ms. McLane stated that it is clear the Cities will not agree to any language that would require the election of all limited jurisdiction judges.
Mr. Ward added that the Association of Washington Cities seems to have misunderstood the Work Group’s charge. He continued it is important to understand that the justice system sees the election of judges as important to the independence of the judiciary, while the Cities are focused on local control and raising revenue.
Judge McSeveney said, for the record, that Mr. Kenyon’s letter had several inaccuracies. He clarified those inaccuracies, adding that his memo had not been published in the Bar News.
Judge Fleck requested that the Board members thoroughly review the CLJ Work Group report, including the letters from the Association of Washington Cities and Mr. Kenyon. She asked that the Board be prepared to vote on the report at the October meeting.
Court of Appeals Request for Creation of BJA Committee
Judge Houghton reported that various groups have studied the issue of reporting of the appellate court decisions to the Washington State Patrol and the impact on defendants’ conviction records. Judge Houghton proposed a committee comprised of appellate judges, appellate court administrators, superior court judges and county clerks and a representative from the WSP. Judge Houghton said she would be willing to contact the superior court judges for a representative and identify the chair. Mr. Hall will contact the county clerks for a representative.
It was moved by Judge Costello to approve the creation of a short term, ad hoc committee of BJA to study the reporting of the appellate court decisions to the WSP. The motion was seconded and carried.
Residence Address Information
Judge Trickey advised of his concern that judges provide their home address when filing their declaration of candidacy. Mr. Hall pointed out that the practice of publishing candidate address information varies from county to county. He said it appears to be a local auditor’s policy as to what appears on each county's website.
The Board briefly discussed the security concern for judges. Mr. Hall agreed to contact several auditors regarding the publishing of judges address information. He will report at the November or December meeting.
Court Funding Implementation Committee
Ms. Michels advised that the Problem Definition Work Group had studied indigent defense and recommended that the Task Force should somehow include indigent defense under the core functions. She advised that WACDL, WACD, ACLU, and counties have been consulted in the development of the proposal brought to the BJA. Ms. Michels reported the proposal was adopted by the Bar on Friday.
The legislative proposal includes:
• One hundred percent state funding in parental representation in dependencies to be phased in over the biennium.
• An extended training program for new defense attorneys.
• Additional staff within the Office of Public Defense to provide technical assistance to local government regarding contracts and service delivery structure.
• Contract staff to provide legal advice, assistance and support to public defenders.
• Direct financial support to local jurisdictions from the state to increase the level of indigent defense services.
Judge Clarke noted that it is helpful to have legislators on the advisory committee to discuss issues and provide guidance. He said the legislators are in favor of pursuing funding for indigent parental representation. Judge Clarke advised that three counties are currently participating in a pilot project for representation of indigent parents. He reported that the pilot project is working well.
The Board was advised that 100 percent of dependency representation, OPD’s staff attorneys, and resource attorney would cost $17 million for the 05-07 biennium and $30 million for the 07-09 biennium. The Board further discussed the indigent defense request.
Mr. Hall advised that this year’s committee will be chaired by Judge Churchill. Other members include Judge McSeveney, Judge Quinn-Brintnall, Judge Paja, Judge Shaffer and Mr. Ron Ward. The first meeting of the committee will take place November 8. Mr. Hall indicated that he is in the process of drafting a legislative notebook for the committee’s review.
Mr. Hall advised of the Law School for Legislators, which is an orientation for freshmen legislators. Lunch follows at the Temple.
Next, Mr. Hall spoke about legislative dinners. He reported the last dinners were held in 1998. He said the dinners, which are held across the state, provide local judges with an opportunity to speak with local legislators. The recommended locations for this year’s dinners are Seattle, Spokane, Yakima and Vancouver. It was pointed out that in the past, the highest attendance was at the Olympia dinner.
It was the consensus of the Board that Olympia should be included as one of the locations for the dinners. The Board also agreed to go forward with the dinners.
Mr. Hall reported that the last time dues were assessed was in 1998. Mr. Hall estimates that each legislative dinner will cost approximately $2,000. Those expenses along with costs associated with the Salary Commission will leave the account balance significantly lower.
Best Practices Committee
Judge Sperline discussed performance audits and measures. AOC and ACS has entered into a partnership to develop an experimental program to develop an automated court performance measurement system with three pilot courts. The Committee saw the first demonstration of the product at Friday’s meeting.
Judge Sperline gave a brief history of the ACS system. Initial measures include citizen court user opinions, case flow expedition and timeliness and jury representativeness. The fourth measure which is not yet incorporated into the model is case file reliability and accuracy. Three other measures that were discussed on Friday include enforcement of monetary obligations, workforce strength (how employees feel about their work and the court), and cost per case.
Next, Judge Sperline described the CourtMetrix application. The two purposes for the application are providing individual court performance information and providing information to audit courts. The Best Practices Committee will meet again in December.
Long Range Planning Committee
Judge Fleck reported that Julia Appel had been assigned to the long-range planning project. The committee is scheduled to meet prior to the next BJA meeting.
ABA Recommendation Regarding Budget Submission
Judge Fleck said that the recommendation of the ABA is direct submission of the judicial branch budget to the funding authority. Judge Fleck indicated the ABA recommendation is information only at this time, but she may ask that this recommendation be incorporated into the Court Funding Task Force recommendations.
Judge Sperline and Judge Derr expressed concerns about focusing on charter counties, as other counties are also treated like any other county department.
Reports from the Courts
Court of Appeals
Judge Houghton reported the RAP Committee has proposed changes and has forwarded them to the full Court for approval. They are still waiting to be contacted by Fred Owen.
Chief Justice Alexander said that the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to adopt paragraph numbers in opinions. Lexis will be putting the numbers on the paragraphs.
Judge Costello reported on the election results which proved to be good for all but two incumbents. He said they are spending a fair amount of time on Blakely v. Washington. He said perhaps the ultimate solution is to make sentencing guidelines advisory. They are trying to move ahead on the retirement issue.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
Judge Eileen Kato reported that the Board has not met since the last BJA meeting. She expects a lively discussion on the CLJ Work Group report at the next Board meeting.
Access to Justice
Judge Tripp was unable to attend today’s meeting.
Washington State Bar Association
Ms. Michels had nothing to add.
The 2005 meeting schedule was reviewed by Mr. Hall. He advised that AOC will begin using the SeaTac facility February 1, 2005.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|