Members Present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, co-chair; Judge Robert McSeveney, member-chair; Judge Mary Kay Becker; Judge Vickie Churchill; Judge Michael Cooper; Judge Sara Derr; Judge Richard Fitterer; Judge Deborah Fleck; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Ken Kato; Judge Gerald Knight; Justice Barbara Madsen; Ms. Janet McLane; Judge Alicia Nakata; Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall; Judge James Riehl; Judge Evan Sperline; Mr. Brooke Taylor; and Judge Michael Trickey
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, co-chair.
Chief Justice Alexander introduced Mr. Brooke Taylor, newly sworn-in President of the Washington State Bar Association. Judge McSeveney introduced Ms. Margaret Yetter, President of the District and Municipal Court Managers Association.
Chief Justice Alexander asked that those present introduce themselves.
Judge O'Connor began by advising that water court is not high on either the legislative or Governor's agenda. Judge O'Connor further advised that the Water Courts Work Group was available to review any legislation that may be introduced during the 2006 session.
Judge O'Connor reminded the members that the water court issue still pending before the Board is the method by which water court judges are selected. She went on to remind the members that the Board had previously referred the affidavit of prejudice issue to the Superior Court Judges' Association.
Judge Fleck expressed her appreciation of the work of the Water Courts Work Group. She went on to voice concern about the Work Group's recommendation to switch from competitive to retention elections and stated she does not support the change to retention elections.
Judge Sperline said that he echoes Judge Fleck's concerns. He recommended striking the word "retention" and replacing with the word "competitive" in the first sentence of recommendation # 4 – selecting judges, on page two of the recommendations.
The Board briefly discussed competitive versus retention election. They also discussed briefly the proposed eight-year terms of the water court judges.
4. Selecting Judges. Water court judges should be selected by competitive
Courthouse Security Status Report
Judge Paula Casey reported that the courthouse security survey was distributed to all of the courts in Washington State, with 138 courts responding.
Judge Casey reported that based upon the results of the returned surveys, the ad hoc committee is recommending that the BJA establish a standing court security committee. In addition to the establishment of the committee, the ad hoc committee recommends that surveys be obtained from those courts that did not respond to the initial survey.
The ad hoc committee also suggested tasks for the standing committee include:
Judge Casey advised the members that the ad hoc committee is requesting that BJA form a standing courthouse security committee.
The issue of whether disaster planning and recovery should also fall to the new security committee, given cross-over of many issues such as evacuation of facilities. Ms. McLane advised the Board that the JIS Committee is also considering disaster recovery issues such as a hot site, etc. It was suggested perhaps the "marrying" of efforts with a slight change to the charge of the proposed security committee is a possibility. Judge Casey said she would speak with the JISC chair following their September meeting and then confer with the ad hoc committee.
The members agreed that creation of a standing committee on security should be placed on the October agenda.
Presiding Judges' Conference
Judge James Orlando, chair of the Presiding Judges' Conference Education Committee, advised that the conference is being held December 4th through the 6th, at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson.
Judge Orlando said that this year's education committee is comprised of seven diverse people representing small and large courts. The Committee's challenge is to create a conference that meets the needs of everyone.
Judge Orlando spoke briefly about the agenda, advising that the breakouts at this year's conference will be based upon court size.
The Board was advised that registration information will be distributed the first part of October.
Election of Municipal Court Judges Status Report
Judge Nakata reminded the Board that they had established a policy position supporting the election of all judges at the December 2004 BJA meeting. The Board then forwarded the election of all courts of limited jurisdiction judges to the DMCJA for review. The DMCJA Board sent on to the Association's Long Range Planning Committee for review and recommendations.
The Long Range Planning Committee studied discussed various election "triggers." The use of population as a trigger was rejected because it does not necessarily represent the actual activity of the courts. They studied whether the number of judicial hours based on case filings should trigger an election. They also studied whether all judges should be elected to promote public accountability, noting that part-time judges would be most at risk for political pressures.
Ultimately, the DMCJA Long Range Planning Committee recommended to the DMCJA Board that all judges should be elected by 2010. At the August DMCJA Board meeting, the board unanimously adopted the recommendation.
Judge Nakata stated the next step is to determine implementation, whether to combine with Title 3 recommendations or submit a separate legislative bill through the association.
Judge Nakata advised updates will be provided to the Board.
Title 3 Status Report
Judge McSeveney provided a brief history. He reminded the members that one of the recommendations of the Court Funding Task Force was state funding for regionalized courts.
Judge McSeveney reported that the committee has met twice to review structure options. They are currently reviewing organization options and will review SB 5712 at the next meeting.
The members briefly discussed some of the problems with SB 5712. Judge McSeveney said he would provide another update at the October meeting.
5454 Implementation Issues
Mr. Radwan provided a written report on the Implementation of E2SSB 5454.
He advised the members that letters will be sent to each presiding judge. He also advised that it is anticipated that the first checks will be sent the first part of October.
Mr. Hall advised that if Initiative 900 passes, the judicial branch will be included. I-900 authorizes the state auditor's office to audit the performance of any office, agency, board, or program at all levels of government.
Judge Sperline advised that the Best Practices Committee is working on the development of measures for auditing the courts. He added, the measurements have little to do with financial efficiency programs.
Best Practices Committee Status Report
Judge Sperline reported the Committee is continuing with their work. Judge Sperline will have a status report at the October meeting.
Merging of King County's Superior and District Courts
Judge Fleck reported that during a meeting of a group of King County elected officials there was a discussion and solicitation of the King County Bar Association to form a task force to review the merger issue.
Judge Fleck advised that the King County bench voted on a position that we supporting the continuing efforts of the Board for Judicial Administration to study and evaluate changes in the structure of the Washington courts throughout the state. Therefore, the King County Superior Court advises those involved in the King County Bar Association's Court Consolidation Project that the court will not participate in its study of court consolidation at this time.
Judge Fleck said she would keep the Board informed.
Review of Proposed Bylaw Changes
Mr. Hall directed attention to the proposed bylaw changes which include the disbanding of the legislative committee and appoints the executive committee to act as the legislative committee.
BJA Account Status Report
Mr. Hall directed attention to the BJA account status report provided. He said any questions could be referred to Ms. Jude Cryderman.
Washington State Bar Association Status Report
Mr. Taylor reported that the new board will hold its first meeting in October. He reported that Ms. Ellen Dial is the new president-elect. Ms. Dial is only the third woman in their 116 year history to serve in that capacity and only the second to be elected president-elect without serving on the Board. Mr. Taylor also named the other new members of the WSBA Board of Governors.
Mr. Taylor advised the members that Noah Davis of Seattle is the new Young Lawyers' Division President.
Mr. Taylor reported that Judge Deborah Fleck had been honored as the WSBA Outstanding Judge at last week's banquet.
Mr. Taylor reported that Chief Justice Alexander, Mr. Wayne Blair, Ms. Jan Michels and Mr. Ron Ward had made a presentation about Washington's Court Funding Task Force at the ABA Annual Conference. The group outlined the Task Force's efforts and success with the legislature. Mr. Taylor went on to say that not all bar associations enjoy the good working relationship that this state does.
Access to Justice
Judge Tripp reported that Barbara Clark and Zulema Hinojos Fall were appointed to the OCLA Board.
Caitlin Davis Carlson will replace Barbara Clark, who is leaving the foundation this fall.
Judge Tripp thanked the Board and the Bar for their continued support.
Reports of the Courts
Court of Appeals
Judge Becker reported that Judge Joe Penoyar has been appointed by Governor Gregoire to replace Judge Dean Morgan, who is retiring.
Judge Becker stated that due to the death of Judge Kennedy, Division I will have a vacancy. That vacancy will be filled by election.
Judge Trickey reported that Judge Penoyar will join Division II of the Court of Appeals.
Judge Trickey reported that 2015 has passed and it is being worked on. He stated that sentencing reform continues to be an issue.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
Judge Nakata said that several proposals have been sent to the rules committee for review:
Judge Nakata reported that the DMCJA Board wrestled with the issues of limited commissioner authority. The issues include the lack of distinction between the duties of a court commissioner and those of an elected judge. Another issue is that judges pro tem have the same authority as elected judges. Discussions were tabled until the Board's October meeting.
Chief Justice Alexander said that the annual meeting of the Bench/Bar/Press Committee has been scheduled for November 18, which causes a conflict for him. The members briefly discussed the possibly of holding the November meeting on the 16th. Staff will poll the members and report at the October meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|