Board for Judicial Administration
Members Present: Judge Vickie Churchill, Member Chair; Judge Marlin Appelwick; Judge Leonard Costello; Judge Ronald Cox; Judge Sara Derr; Judge Susan Dubuisson; Judge Deborah Fleck; Judge James Hutton (by phone); Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Richard McDermott; Judge Larry McKeeman; Judge Marilyn Paja; Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall; Judge John Schultheis; and Judge Stephen Shelton
Guests Present: Mr. M. Wayne Blair; Ms. Roni Booth, Judge Paula Casey,
Ms. Pam Daniels, Ms. Paula Littlewood, Ms. Kathy Martin, Mr. Joe McGuire, and Justice Susan Owens
Staff Present: Ms. Beth Flynn, Mr. Doug Haake, Mr. Jeff Hall, Mr. Robert Miera, Ms. Karina Pugachenok, and Mr. Chris Ruhl
The meeting was called to order by Judge Vickie Churchill, Member Chair.
June 15, 2007 Minutes
It was moved by Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall and seconded by Judge Deborah Fleck to approve the June 15, 2007, minutes as submitted. The motion carried.
Justice Susan Owens reported that the Interpreter Commission held a long-range planning retreat recently in Wenatchee, and also worked on the criteria for courts to receive the interpreter funding provided by the 2007 Legislature.
Mr. Chris Ruhl stated that at the April BJA meeting, it was requested that the Interpreter Commission propose criteria to distribute two million dollars in state interpreter funds. Part of the funding was used to hire Ms. Karina Pugachenok to help courts create and implement their Language Assistance Plans (LAP) and in general to help with the interpreter funding implementation and distribution. $610,000 is allocated for FY 2008 and $950,000 is allocated for FY 2009 to reimburse courts for interpreter services—both spoken language and American Sign Language interpreters.
A joint work group was created consisting of three Interpreter Commission members and three Court Management Council members to work with AOC to determine criteria to distribute the interpreter funds.
The work group does not want to make it difficult for trial courts to receive the interpreter funding. The work group members envision a relatively small number of initial implementation sites will receive this funding and will work closely with the Interpreter Commission and the AOC to identify and implement best practices for providing interpreter services with state funds.
The following changes to the Interpreter Commission’s funding criteria recommendations were suggested by Mr. Jeff Hall, and details of the recommendations were distributed at the meeting.
Judge Fleck spoke in favor of Mr. Hall’s proposal from a BJA perspective as they work to complete the Justice in Jeopardy initiative. It is critical to remain true to the commitment that was made to the Legislature.
Mr. Hall stated that as a member of the Interpreter Commission, he agrees with the general direction the Commission wants to go. He would suggest that in approving this, the Board should also request or require that at the end of the first two years, the Commission prepare a report to both the BJA and Legislature showing how the compensation model worked.
Mr. Joe McGuire agreed with Mr. Hall’s recommendation based on his experience at Renton Municipal Court. It is impractical to consolidate hearing dates until there is a half day’s worth of hearings needing interpreters.
Judge Fleck moved and Judge Dubuisson seconded that the Board adopt the Interpreter Commission’s interpreter funding proposal with the exceptions recommended by Mr. Hall. The motion passed.
Mr. Ruhl asked the Board members to note the funding timeline in the materials. It is fairly aggressive, and within the next two weeks there will be a large communication to all courts electronically and by mail which will contain the funding and LEP/LAP information. Ms. Pugachenok will be available to local courts for LAP creation assistance, funding application assistance and guidance.
August BJA Meeting
Mr. Hall stated that there are no emergent issues that have to be reviewed in August and he suggested that the August meeting be canceled.
Judge Stephen Shelton moved and Judge John Schultheis seconded that the August BJA meeting be cancelled. The motion passed.
Trial Court Coordination Report
The final Trial Court Coordination Report was distributed to the Board members. Mr. Hall would like to come back to the Board in December for a discussion on providing Trial Court Coordination Project funding this biennium. He has a growing sense that the money is no longer serving as seed money as intended. Good results are still being seen but Mr. Hall is not certain that we are seeing the original intent of the funding in the results.
Justice in Jeopardy Update
Judge Fleck reported that the Justice in Jeopardy Retreat will be held September 14 and Ms. Janet McLane will serve as the facilitator. The purpose of the retreat is to take stock and determine what steps need to be taken to reach the goal of concluding the Justice in Jeopardy Initiative in the next five years and to identify at least a rough timeline to accomplish that task.
Three retreat planning meetings are scheduled between now and the retreat. The planning group developed a list of invitees that was carefully vetted to include stakeholders who have been involved in the past along with new leaders who will be involved in the future with achieving the Justice in Jeopardy objectives.
Judge Fleck is excited about the retreat which will be both a necessary and reenergizing process.
Mr. Wayne Blair commented that all the groups involved in the Justice in Jeopardy Initiative have changes in leadership constantly. Part of the reason to pause is to ensure that as leadership transitions, new leaders know where we’ve been and where we’re headed to enable their organizations to continue to be active and committed participants.
Courthouse Public Safety Standards
Judge Paula Casey reported that in 2006 the BJA appointed a Court Security Committee and the committee has been meeting since then.
The draft Washington State Courthouse Public Safety Standards were distributed during the meeting and outlined four areas for recommendations: administrative standards, security policies, access control standards and physical facility standards.
Judge Casey is hoping the BJA will adopt the committee’s recommendations at the September BJA meeting. The committee will make a presentation during the Annual Judicial Conference related to court security and the committee would like to distribute the recently-adopted Washington State Courthouse Public Safety Standards to the attendees.
Regarding courthouse security training, in addition to the education program at the Annual Judicial Conference, the committee distributed a self-help guide for judges during the business meetings at spring conferences. The committee is also developing a one-day training put on by the United States Marshall’s Office. The committee would like to provide some travel expenses and will most likely request that the BJA assist them with that funding. They may need up to $20,000 to pay for transportation. More information regarding this request will be provided at the September BJA meeting.
Judge Fleck asked if other funding sources had been considered, such as Homeland Security Funding. Judge Casey heard there might be grants available but she hasn’t received any information about them yet.
Legislature’s CLJ Work Group
Judge Marilyn Paja reported that Representative Roger Goodman wants the Legislature to become involved in the discussion on CLJ courts structure. The Legislature is growing weary of the courts approaching them with one proposal and the cities and counties presenting another.
There is a specific work group meeting to discuss changes in CLJ structure. The group has met twice to date and there will be two more meetings in the fall. Members of the Legislature attend the meetings and the clear benefit is that those in attendance have heard, from everyone, all of the factual reasons the CLJ principles were adopted in the first place.
Representative Goodman thinks something might be able to be accomplished during the upcoming session.
BJA Long-Range Planning Action Review
Mr. Hall stated that one of the things the Long-range Planning Committee has been working on over the last few months is reviewing the recommendations of the commissions over the past 20 years. The committee members looked at all the recommendations to determine if they have been implemented.
Ms. Julia Appel vetted the recommendations and prepared a list of recommendations that have not been implemented and the list was distributed to BJA members. The list will be distributed back out into the community to determine if each recommendation still applies and should be pursued. It is anticipated there will be a full report of the Long-range Planning Committee at the October meeting.
Washington State Association of County Clerks
Ms. Pam Daniels shared two items of interest from the Washington State Association of County Clerks (WSACC):
Washington State Bar Association
Ms. Paula Littlewood shared that the WSBA hosted a forum at the WSBA offices as part of ABA-President-elect Bill Neukom’s “World Justice Project”. Mr. Neukom’s project is focused on reaching out to disciplines other than law to talk about the importance of the rule of law in society. A number of state pilot projects are being held and Washington’s was the first in the nation. The forum brought together members of many disciplines and Ms. Littlewood reported that, among other things, a highlight of the forum was WSBA connecting with members of disciplines that they have not traditionally partnered with in their public legal education efforts, including health care and biotech folks. WSBA looks forward to partnering with them in the future along with the judiciary, bar and education community.
At the June Board of Governor’s meeting, Mr. Mark Johnson of Seattle was elected as the new President-Elect and he looks forward to working with the BJA throughout his presidency.
The Judicial Selection Task Force is scheduled to present their findings to the Board of Governors in September for a “first reading.”
Access to Justice Board
Mr. Blair stated that the Equal Justice Community is constantly struggling to obtain adequate funding. Part of the Justice in Jeopardy Initiative is to get more money for civil legal aid. It appears nationally that there will be at least another $25 million for all civil legal aid programs this year from Congress. Mr. Blair is not sure how much Washington will receive as its share but the state, through the Legal Services Corporation, will receive some additional funding.
Reports from the Courts
Supreme Court: Justice Barbara Madsen reported that the Supreme Court finished spring term last week. In other news, she mentioned that the author of Simple Justice is writing a book about the Chief Leschi trial. He recently interviewed several of the court members regarding the reenactment of the trial by members of the Supreme Court.
Court of Appeals: Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall stated that Division II is quite concerned the building they are in will be sold and they may not receive an extension on their lease.
Superior Courts: Judge Vickie Churchill reported on the results of the SCJA Long-range Planning Retreat. The association now has a list about five pages long and they will prioritize it and distribute it to the membership over the next few months.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction: Judge Stephen Shelton said there was no DMCJA meeting this month.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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