Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Judge William Severin
Judge Ron Hilden
Dean Paul LeBel
Judge Sonna Anderson
Judge Ron Goodman
Judge John Irby
Lee Ann Barnhardt
Justice Maring called the meeting to order. A motion to approve the Sept. 16, 2005 meeting minutes was made by Judge Severin and seconded by Shawn Peterson. Motion carried.
I. Bench and Bar Topics/Dates
Lee Ann Barnhardt reported that the date for the Bench and Bar has been set for Sept. 14-15 at the Doublewood Hotel in Bismarck. The theme is Focus on Families. Various aspects of family law will be covered. She said the judges have been surveyed regarding topics and that she will be meeting with the Bar Association staff in January to begin planning the agenda.
Justice Maring reported that a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the cost sharing of the Bench and Bar was still not in place. She said Ted Gladden, the former State Court Administrator, had requested that judges be allowed to attend free of charge. The Bar Association did not agree with that and Justice Maring had asked about a reduced cost for judges. She has not heard back from SBAND.
Dean LeBel suggested that if the judges attended Bench and Bar without paying a registration fee, SBAND could be given credit toward its financial obligation in the amount of the fees that otherwise would have been paid by judges (i.e., if 10 judges would have paid $125 each, but were not charged, SBAND would have $1,200 less that it would have to pay before the Supreme Court contribution to the expenses kicked in). Justice Maring said she would contact Bill Newman at SBAND and try to get the topic on the agenda for the Board of Governor’s meeting in January.
II. June Judicial Conference
Lee Ann Barnhardt reported that the June Judicial Conference business meeting will held on June 15 during the SBAND Annual Meeting. She said Dori Egge from Arizona has agreed to present a session that morning on the Interstate Compact. That session will be open to all attendees, not just judicial conference members. The business meeting will convene after lunch. Lee Ann will continue to work with SBAND and will pass on the full agenda once details are set.
III. CLE/CJE Electronic Compliance Report – Draft Excel Document
Lee Ann Barnhardt explained the Excel spreadsheet that was created for tracking continuing education hours in lieu of keeping track and reporting on paper. She said the spreadsheet could be sent to the judges with instructions for them to save a copy on their computer. They can track their hours and then submit the document electronically at the end of each reporting period. Lee Ann said she is continuing to look into other long-term options, including a web-based database and a PeopleSoft module. Louie Hentzen said the administrative office in Kansas tracks the hours and alerts judges if they are short hours when it is close to the end of the reporting period. Judge Anderson recommended putting in a separate section for tracking ethics hours. Lee Ann will make the changes and will send out the spreadsheet with an explanatory memo after the first of the year.
IV. Continuing Education Hours
a) Sanctions for non-compliance for municipal judges.
Justice Maring researched the policy following the September meeting and reported that if a judge, including a municipal judge, fails to comply, that state court administrator shall report the judge’s failure to the judicial conduct commission for appropriate action.
b) Amended guidelines for alternative completion of Municipal Judge Continuing Education credits.
Lee Ann Barnhardt explained the changes made in the guidelines that would provide a little more flexibility for completion of hours. Judge Severin asked the language to be clarified regarding when the permission to pursue an alternative choice needs to be sought. It was agreed that the second paragraph would be modified to better explain the process. A motion to approve the guidelines with the recommended change was made by Judge Anderson and seconded by Judge Severin. Motion carried. Lee Ann will make the change and send a copy of the amended guidelines to the municipal judges and commission members.
c)Request from Julie Evans
Julie Evans submitted a letter requesting that her attendance at the November Judicial Conference be allowed to count for her continuing education credits. She was unable to attend the Municipal Judges seminar in October. The commission agreed to forward her request to the CJE Approval Subcommitee for their review. It was noted that Judge Severin is a member of that subcommittee, which will leave an opening when his term expires at the end of the year. The commission will wait until his replacement, DeNae Kautzmann, is on board to make a new sub-committee appointment.
V. YASI Training for Judges
Shawn Peterson gave an overview of YASI, a youth risk assessment tool. Lee Ann Barnhardt reported that the juvenile court directors have decided to meet with the judges in each district to educate them on YASI. Judge Anderson suggested that there may be some further training needed for judges on the juvenile court system. Judge Severin added that the municipal court judges could also benefit from some adolescent development training. Justice Maring agreed saying that many education programs could appeal to more than one group and that we should work at keeping everyone informed when sessions are planned.
I. Upcoming Events
a)Lee Ann Barnhardt reported that the topics for the November 2006 Judicial Conference are Justice for Children and Jury Innovations.
b)The 2007 Judicial Institute was discussed. The topic is Science for Judges. The commission asked Lee Ann Barnhardt to develop a list of proposed topics with brief descriptors and send them out for ranking. That will help prioritize the agenda for the conference. The survey will be e-mailed out in January. The commission also discussed the use of evaluations for the educational programs. Lee Ann reported that all of the programs are currently using evaluation sheets except for the Judicial Conference. Justice Maring suggested that an evaluation sheet be developed for those programs as well.
c)Lee Ann Barnhardt reported the Education Leadership Conference will be March 28, 2006 at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck. A full agenda notice will be sent out in January. The judges on the Education Commission have been asked to attend that conference to begin the planning for future judicial education programs.
II. Date and Location of the Judicial Institute
SBAND submitted a request asking that a new date and possibly new location be considered for the Judicial Institute which has traditionally been held in May at the UND Law School. The SBAND annual meeting is in June of each year. Two events held close together can have a negative impact on attendance. Justice Maring said Judge Foughty in Devils Lake had approached her about holding the institute there. There are some facility and transportation issues to consider. Holding the institute in Medora was also discussed. Justice Maring asked the commission and staff to consider some options and will bring the item back at the next meeting.
III. Judicial Education Commission Member
Justice Maring reported that DeNae Kautzmann, the Mandan Municipal Court Judge, has accepted the appointment to the Judicial Education Commission. Justice Maring thanked Judge Severin for his work on the commission and his dedication to service.
IV. New Judge Orientation Requirements
Lee Ann Barnhardt brought the issue of attendance at the Minnesota New Judges Orientation before the commission. She asked whether attendance at the Minnesota program was mandatory or optional. The New Judges Orientation Program, which was revised in 2004, requires attendance at the Minnesota program, however, one year there was not enough room for North Dakota judges to attend and this year the announcement was received late and left very short notice. Justice Maring said she visited with Chief Justice VandeWalle and he said attendance should be mandatory, with some flexibility on time. Justice Maring asked Lee Ann to visit with the education coordinator in Minnesota and bring that information, and the information on the North Dakota requirements back for the next meeting.
Submittal of Municipal Judge education program to Minnesota Bar for CLE credits for law-trained judges. A motion was made by Judge Anderson to submit education programs for approval to the bar association of the bordering states. The motion was seconded by Jean Lindvig. Motion carried.
V. Other Business
The dates for the 2006 Judicial Education Commission meetings were set. They are as follows:
March 28, 2006 – 8:30 a.m. Radisson Hotel, Bismarck
June 16, 2006 – 7:30 a.m., Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo
Sept. 15, 2006 – Noon, Bismarck
Dec. 8, 2006 – 9 a.m., Bismarck
Lee Ann Barnhardt