Judicial Education Commission
August 29, 2008
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Judge David Reich
Judge DeNae Kautzmann
Judge Steven McCullough
Judge John Irby
Dean Paul LeBel
Judge Sonna Anderson
Louis Hentzen, ex-officio
Lee Ann Barnhardt
Lana Zimmerman, scribe
Justice Maring called the meeting to order. Justice Maring introduced Kim Dockter, the Education and Special Projects Coordinator to the Education Commission. A motion was made by Judge McCullough to approve the May 16, 2008 minutes and seconded by Judge Kautzmann. Motion carried.
I. Lee Ann Barnhardt reported on pending Judicial Branch Education.
A. The Bench and Bar Criminal Law Seminar will be held September 11-12, 2008. The seminar is co-sponsored by the ND Supreme Court, SBAND, Indigent Defense Commission, and the State's Attorney's Association. At present, 107 individuals have registered to attend.
B. The Juvenile Court Officers Seminar will be held September 24-26, 2008. Registration forms have been distributed. Sessions offered include: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; and Verbal Judo relating to diffusing high conflict situations through body language, verbal cues and tone of voice. There will also be a session on Engaging Parents.
C. The Fall Municipal Judges Conference will be held October 13, 2008. Registration forms have been distributed. The ND Supreme Court has contracted with the A.B.A. to provide faculty. Faculty members include Linda Strite-Murnane from The Netherlands and Judge Earl Penrod from Indiana. Sessions offered are related to unlicensed/uninsured/ revoked/suspended drivers; the guilty plea process; cultural diversity; and technology. Representatives from the North Dakota Safety Council will present on a new defensive driving program aimed at drivers under the age of 25. Dr. Deb Dragseth, a professor from Dickinson State University, will present on working with Generation Y and how to communicate in the court setting. There will also be a presentation on Individual Justice Planning. A total of 7.5 CJE credit hours will be offered.
D. The Fall Judicial Conference will be held November 24-25, 2008. The conference includes sessions on the Law School clinics, the Child Support Pride Program, and child development issues related to custody and visitation. Dean Lebel will conduct the Law and Literature session, focused on Larry Watson's novel "Montana 1948." Dr. Robin Deutsch, Director of Children and the Law Program from Boson, MA, General Hospital will conduct a session on child custody cases involving abuse, alienation, and other challenges.
E. The Court Support and Court Reporters Seminar will be held November
24-25, 2008. Court Support training will be a writing seminar with Nancy Tuten, Ph.D., from South Carolina. Juvenile Court Officer, Nicole Leitner will be conducting a conflict resolution seminar. Larry Paiz from Dallas, TX, will conduct the Court Reporter training.
F. The Judicial Institute will be held May 18-21, 2009. The location is at the UND Law School in Grand Forks, ND. The focus of the Institute is mental health related issues.
G. The Judicial Branch Education Commission is developing a Judges Orientation Program. Kim Dockter has volunteered to coordinate the work of the sub-committee consisting of Judge McCullough, Judge Reich, Judge Herauf, Judge Narum and Bill Neumann. The sub-committee will hold its first meeting in October.
II. Lee Ann Barnhardt reported on the 2008 Children's Justice Symposium held on July 22-24, 2008. The Symposium was sponsored by the Court Improvement Committee with grant funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services specifically to train judges, attorneys and other legal personnel in child welfare cases and conduct cross-training with child welfare agency staff. The symposium was offered at no charge to participants. Participants included 423 individuals from across the state who perform a variety of child-related functions. Program evaluations were positive, however, the need for more judge involvement was a topic discussed during debriefing. Plans are underway for the next symposium in 2010.
I. Lee Ann Barnhardt reported on the status of the 2008 Continuing Education Compliance Reports.
District Judges not in compliance - Judge Richard Grosz submitted his report of compliance. The courses listed were from the Judicial College in Reno, NV. The number of hours were not indicated on his report. Administrative Rule 36 states that if the course is presumptively approved, an agenda needs to be submitted along with the application for approval of continuing judicial education activity, so that credit hours can be verified.
Judge McCullough moved to give Judge Grosz a 30-day deadline to submit the proper paperwork. Seconded by Judge Kautzmann. Motion carried.
Judge Frank Racek submitted his report of compliance claiming 45.8 hours, however, 9 of the credit hours were reported for attendance at Inns of Court programs. The Inns of Court programs are not on the presumptively approved list and must be submitted to the Commission for approval.
Judge Kautzmann moved to request Judge Racek submit the proper documentation for consideration for approval of the credit hours from the Inns of Court with a deadline of 30 days. Seconded by Jean Lindvig. Motion carried.
Referee Sue Thomas submitted her report of compliance. A question was brought up regarding the number of required hours because her employment began in the middle of the three-year reporting period. Referee Thomas attended the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council, just prior to starting employment a the judiciary, but the course had not been submitted for approval. Other CLE credits she had acquired prior to employment were on the presumptively approved list. To reach the required credit hours, she would need to seek approval for the conference listed above.
Judge Kautzmann moved to give Referee Thomas 30 days to submit her documentation. Seconded by Judge McCullough, Motion carried.
Surrogate Judge Norman Backes submitted his report of compliance with a total of 31.5 credit hours. He listed no explanation as to the lack of required hours. It was noted that he attended the SBAND meeting in June 2008, however, he neglected to list it on his report.
Judge Kautzmann moved to send a letter indicating he needs 13 hours and asking him to submit documentation within 30 days of any other house he obtained during the reporting period. Seconded by Judge Reich. Motion carried.
Surrogate Judge Robert Holte submitted his report of compliance late. He had been out-of-state and could not be reached. Judge Holte is in compliance with Administrative Rule 36.
Judge McCullough moved to grant Judge Holte the extension due to the circumstances. Seconded by Judge Reich. Motion carried.
B. Municipal Judges not in compliance - Dickinson Alternate Municipal Judge,
Brenda Selinger did not comply with the education requirements for municipal judges for the 2008 reporting period. Judge Selinger had resigned as alternate judge and was not an alternate during the 2007 annual municipal judges conference, which is the preferred method of earning continuing education credits for municipal judges. She was reinstated later as an alternate judge.
Judge Kautzmann moved to require Judge Selinger to submit credits that she believes assisted her in serving as municipal judge for approval or complete an alternative education program, and a 30-day deadline to submit her report. Seconded by Jean Lindvig. Motion carried.
C. Approval process for local bar association meetings and Inns of Court - The Judicial Branch Education Commission discussed the feasibility of amending AR 36 to include the Inns of Court and local bar association meetings to the presumptively approved list. The Commission decided to not seek that change in AR 36. Judge Kautzmann moved for the Inns of Court and local bar association meetings to be submitted to the Commission for approval of CJE credits. Seconded by Judge Reich. Motion carried.
D. Standard for granting ethics credit - Lee Ann Barnhardt contact the ND State Bar Association in regard to the approval process for ethics credits. The staff responsible for CLE credit approval said they do not have written criteria, but rely on the session title and description. In response to a question from the sub-committee regarding approving ethics credits, Judge Reich suggested the entity offering the course lists the credits as ethics, then judges may document them in their report of compliance. By consensus, the Commission agreed.
The Commission requested Lee Ann Barnhardt draft a standard for approving ethics courses for CJE credits to be presented at the next meeting.
E. Proposed timeline for submitting courses to Judicial Branch Education Commission for approval - The Commission discussed the possibility of setting a time limit for submitting courses for approval. No action was taken.
II. Review of the Judicial Branch Education Commission Policies.
Lee Ann Barnhardt stated the policies originated right after the Commission was created and were designed as guidelines to help the Commission approve credits.
A. Self-Study - Judge McCullough moved to repeal the self study policy as self study is authorized under AR 36. Seconded by Judge Reich. Motion carried.
B. Writing Activities - AR 36 does not specifically allow credit for writing an article or actual written materials in a faculty presentation. AR 36 allows for credit for the number of hours spent presenting and preparing to present an education course, but does not specify writing. Judge McCullough moved to repeal the policy on Writing Activities. Seconded by Judge Kautzmann. Motion carried.
C. Course Approval - This policy elaborates on how to procedurally go about getting course approval. The proposed amendments were to change the name to Judicial Branch Education Commission and updated references to the Director of Education and Communication. Judge Kautzmann moved the approval of the amendments to the court approval policy. Seconded by Judge McCullough. Motion carried.
This policy will be sent to all district judges for informational purposes on the procedure to seek course approval.
D. Accreditation of Faculty Participants - Judge Kautzmann moved to repeal the policy on Accreditation of Faculty Participation because the process is clearly defined in AR 36. Seconded by Deal Lebel. Motion carried.
III. Training/Seminar Proposals - The Strategic Plan is to offer courses throughout the year and offer cross disciplinary courses.
A. Poverty Seminar - Kim Dockter presented a proposal for cross-disciplinary judicial branch education on poverty. She recommended offering the Bridges out of Poverty: Strategies for Professional and Communities, along with a CAPS poverty simulation exercise. By consensus, the Commission approved the development and offering of the program.
B. Business Partner Training Consortium at BSC - This training is geared toward supervisors. Bismarck State College partners with several community agencies to provide training throughout the year. Classes range from computer training to leadership development to communication skills. The buy in for this program for partners is $6,850 per year with a per employee cost of $6.25. This is based on employees that are deemed eligible for the programs.
By consensus, the Commission denied the proposal above and requested the education staff to develop a program to assist supervisors.
IV. Budget Amendment - Purchase of Audience Response System
Lee Ann Barnhardt proposed the purchase of an Audience Response System. Meridia, a company that produces the system that Lee Ann recommends. Lee Ann has contacted Meridia and believes the system will add to the educational experiences by providing a new tool for engaging participants in learning. The system is fully integrated with PowerPoint. The software can be installed in the computers with no site license per installment. A CD will install the program or can be downloaded off the internet. The system has a carrying case with a small receiver and a USB connector that plugs into the computer with a handheld unit. The quote from Meridia for the basic unit and software is $495.00 with a carrying case for $250.00. The handheld unit is $59.00 each. The quote for the handheld units for 100 total with a grand total of $6,697.22. A three year warranty is also included. Meridia provides training for up to 25 people. Free upgrades are available when software changes. Lee Ann Barnhardt will also seek quotes from other vendors.
Judge McCullough moved to use this year's budget to purchase an audience response system. Seconded by Judge Kautzmann. Motion carried.
V. Updated Manuals for Commission members.
The Judicial Branch Education Commission manuals will be updated for all members and distributed before the next meeting December 12, 2008.
VI. 2009 Meeting Schedule
The Commission decided to convene scheduled quarterly meetings at 9:00 a.m. in 2009. Those meeting dates are as follows: March 20, 2009; June 5, 2009; September 18, 2009; and December 4, 2009.
VII. Other Business
There was no other business to report.
Motion to adjourn by Judge Kautzmann, seconded by Judge McCullough. Motion carried.
The next meeting of the Judicial Branch Education Commission is scheduled for December 12, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. in the Supreme Court Chief Justice Conference Room.
Lana Zimmerman, ND Supreme Court