Board for Judicial Administration
Members present: Judge Robert McSeveney, co-chair; Judge Marlin Appelwick; 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; Justice Barbara Madsen; Ms. Janet McLane; Judge Alicia Nakata; Judge James M. Riehl; and Mr. Brooke Taylor
Guests present: Mr. Richard Carlson; Ms. Pam Daniels; Judge Anne Ellington; Justice Mary Fairhurst; Ms. Jan Michels; and Ms. Margaret Yetter
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Ms. Wendy Ferrell; Mr. Doug Haake; Mr. Jeff Hall; Mr. Dirk Marler; and Ms. Ann Sweeney
Call to Order
Judge Robert McSeveney called the meeting to order. He asked those present introduce themselves.
The December, 2005 minutes were amended to include Mr. Brooke Taylor as an attendee.
It was moved by Judge Fleck and seconded by Judge Churchill to approve the minutes of the December 16, 2005 minutes as amended. The motion passed.
Public Trust and Confidence Committee
Justice Fairhurst recognized the hard work of the committee, its subcommittees and Ms. Wendy Ferrell. She reported that the Committee had completed four major projects since its last report to the Board:
Justice Fairhurst continued that the Public Trust & Confidence Committee is revitalizing the "Judges in the Classroom" and "We the People" projects. The Committee feels these projects will compliment the work that is being done by the Public Legal Education Committee.
Justice Fairhurst provided a brief overview of the Media Guide to Washington State Courts. She said areas such as court procedures, ethics, access to courtrooms, etc. are covered for all levels of court. Justice Fairhurst said the Committee plans to provide a copy of the Guide to every reporter and photographer covering the courts. In addition, county clerks and judges will also receive the Guide.
Ms. Ferrell advised that the Guide will be provided to all daily and weekly papers. In addition, broadcast and radio media will receive copies.
Justice Fairhurst informed the Board that an announcement for the "Media Guide to Washington State Courts" was made during the November Bench-Bar-Press Committee meeting. Following that announcement, 157 requests for the Guide were received. Justice Fairhurst said it is the goal of the Committee to begin distribution of the Guide on February 1.
Justice Fairhurst asked that the Board approve the distribution of the Media Guide to Washington State Courts to the media.
It was moved by Judge Churchill and seconded by Judge Nakata to approve the Public Trust and Confidence Committee moving forward with the distribution of the Media Guide to Washington State Courts on February 1, 2006. The motion passed.
Judge Fleck complimented Justice Fairhurst on the progress of the Public Trust and Confidence Committee under her leadership.
ATJ Impediments Committee
Judge Ellington provided an overview of the publication "Ensuring Access for People With Disabilities: A Guide for Courts." Judge Ellington said the purpose of the guide is to ensure that Washington courthouses and court services are accessible to persons with disabilities.
Judge Ellington reported that in addition to the Guide, a draft rule was approved by the ATJ Board last fall. The SCJA and DMCJA Boards are currently reviewing the rule and they will forward comments to the Impediments Committee.
Judge Ellington said that a presentation will be made at the DMCJA Spring Conference in June. The Committee has submitted a proposal to the Fall Conference Education Committee for consideration of a session at the Spokane conference. In addition, the March issue of Bar News will have an article about the Guide.
Judge Ellington pointed out that the Committee recommends a statewide ADA coordinator, possibly an AOC staff person, be designated. She stated that the Committee is in the process of conducting a national survey regarding statewide ADA coordinators.
Judge Ellington asked that BJA take some type of approval action at its next meeting.
Judge McSeveney thanked Judge Ellington and the Committee for their efforts in developing the Guide. He said it will provide a useful resource for judges and court staff.
Mr. Hall provided an update on the status of all BJA Request legislation as follows:
In addition, Mr. Hall provided, by separate handout, a list of all bills which have come before the Executive Committee for review and consideration of taking a formal position.
Ms. McLane advised that SB 6579 proposes to set up a work group to review and make recommendations about the practice, procedures, polices, etc., regarding the interrogation of juveniles in custody of law enforcement. The proposed bill places the study under the auspices of the AOC. She said it is very clear that Senator McAuliffe is trying to find a neutral group to conduct the study. She continued, concerns should be articulated to the sponsor and assistance provided in an effort to identify another group to conduct the study. Ms. McLane explained that the study must be conducted by AOC using existing resources, with a January 2007 deadline to have the report to the legislature.
A brief discussion followed.
It was moved by Judge Fleck and seconded by Judge Riehl that Mr. Hall be authorized to express concerns regarding the study to the sponsors. The motion passed.
Washington State Bar Association Report
Mr. Taylor reported that Attorney General Rob McKenna presented two pieces of legislation to the Bar Board of Governors. Mr. Taylor advised that the Board took no position on the following legislation:
Mr. Taylor advised that the Washington Farm Bureau proposed a modification to the IOLTA court rule imposing the same restrictions on the use of IOLTA money for civil legal services that state law imposes on the use of state money. The BOG unanimously opposed adding those restrictions.
Mr. Taylor reported that the BOG created a new annual WSBA award to honor lawyers who have made special contributions to their communities. It will be called the "State Hero Award."
Mr. Taylor said that more and more things will be happening in support of the focus for his presidency - increasing the public's education about the rule of law, the separation of powers, checks and balances, and judicial independence. He said that the President's Road Show, started by Ron Ward, will continue around the state with presentations by Ms. Michels, Ms. Dial and himself.
Mr. Hall advised that he met with the new manager of performance audits in the state auditor's office. Mr. Hall was advised that under I-900, Brian Sonntag, the state auditor, believes there is a separation of powers issue, therefore, Mr. Sonntag has no intention of auditing the courts.
Reports from the Courts
Court of Appeals
Judge Becker announced that Teresa Kulik has been appointed to replace Frank Kurtz in Division III. Ms. Kulik is from Yakima where she works in the Attorney General's Office. Ms. Kulik has outstanding credentials and is the first woman judge on Division III. Ms. Kulik will be sworn-in in February.
Judge Cooper echoed comments expressed about Ms. Kulik, adding that she is an exceptional attorney.
Judge Cooper said that the SCJA Legislative Committee meets each Friday to review pending legislation. Judge Wartnik is screening the bills and Judge Schafer is chairing the Committee.
Judge Cooper said the hearings for the bill to fix Blakely are completed and it is expected that the bill will be executed out today.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
Judge Nakata reported that they are working with Mr. Hall on the election and contracting bills. Judge Nakata said the Board had approved modification of the election bill and limitation of commissioner's authority. In an effort to streamline the bill, the Board approved modification to delete that portion.
Judge McSeveney asked if there was any other business to come before BJA.
The members were reminded that the February 17 meeting will be held at SeaTac. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. in order to complete business prior to members' departure to the Goldmark Luncheon.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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