Judge DeNae Kautzmann
Dean Paul Lebel
Lee Ann Barnhardt
Justice Maring called the meeting to order. A motion to approve the June 16, 2006 meeting minutes was made by Jean Lindvig and seconded by Judge Anderson. Motion carried.
Justice Maring suspended the Old Business to take up the Domestic Violence Bench Book, the first item under New Business to allow the guests to speak first.
I. Linda Isakson, the rural project coordinator with the North Dakota Council on Abused
Women's Services, discussed updating the Domestic Violence Bench Book and the need for
ongoing training for judges and court staff.
Justice Maring gave a brief history of the origins of the Domestic Violence Bench Book and the training curriculum developed by Jeanne McLean, Assistant Dean of the University of North Dakota School of Law. She said McLean is in the process of updating the bench book.
Ms. Isakson said the Council on Abused Women's Services has received a new grant enabling it to work with the Supreme Court to integrate curriculum on the bench book into regularly scheduled judicial training. She requested having a series of three meetings with the Judicial Education Coordinator over the next year to explore how to integrate training for judges and to make a recommendation to the Judicial Education Commission. Ms. Isakson said they would also like this training to reach new judges as part of orientation. She said they also have funds to assist with updating the bench book.
The Commission members by consensus approved Ms. Isakson's request to meet and come back to the Commission with a recommendation on training on domestic violence and integration of domestic violence curriculum into new judges' training.
Ms. Isakson then informed the Commission that the Council has partnered with Legal Services and had funds to help Legal Services put on its annual CLEs. She suggested including Legal Services in the domestic violence training discussions. Ms. Isakson said the Office on Violence Against Women does provide funds for judges' training and she introduced Shelly Carlson to speak about an upcoming institute.
Shelly Carlson, criminal justice project coordinator for the Council, said the project she is working on is in collaboration with Captain Keith Wilson, Bismarck Police Department, Judge Deb Kleven, Northeast Central District Court, and State's Attorney Nicole Foster, Williams County, who attended a conference in September that specifically dealt with firearms and domestic violence. The conference required the attendance of a multi-disciplinary team with advocacy, law enforcement, prosecution, and judiciary. They would like to hold a similar conference in North Dakota on May 14-15, 2007, in Bismarck. They plan to ask a prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney's Office to specifically provide information and training on firearms and domestic violence. They plan to require multi-disciplinary teams from within the state to attend. Judge Kleven has spoken with Justice Maring about the possibility of having a requirement that at least one judge from each of the judicial districts in North Dakota be a part of a multi-disciplinary team. Ms. Carlson said Judge Kleven was extremely supportive and felt that in order to tackle the issues that North Dakota has with domestic violence and firearms, the judiciary needs to be involved and be given the same information as the state's attorneys, law enforcement and advocates. They would like to collaborate with the Judicial Education Commission to have that requirement and to get more judges involved.
Justice Maring asked if she was talking about a multi-disciplinary team that would just attend this conference or one that will be ongoing within the districts?
Ms. Carlson said they would like the teams to be ongoing, even if the judiciary isn't always involved in the team. At the minimum they could start some good relationships and establish some ongoing communication with the judiciary.
No further action was taken.
Justice Maring then returned to the Old Business on the agenda,
I. DUI training for judges.
Lee Ann Barnhardt reported on offering a course for judges called "Hard Core Drunk Driving." The sponsoring group is available to come to North Dakota in 2007. Ms. Barnhardt asked whether the Commission wanted to explore this course, which focuses on repeat offenders, innovative sentencing, and different treatment strategies for those repeat drunk driving offenders.
Justice Maring mentioned it could be something that the law-trained municipal judges would be interested in attending. She voiced concerns about the ability of the trial judges to use innovative sentencing practices under the current state statutes. She noted that they had to have legislation amended in order to use adult drug courts to address the alcohol abuse in DUI offenses.
Judge McCullough said he doesn't believe judges have a much flexibility to be innovative and are pretty limited by what they can do according to the statutory mandatory minimums on repeat offenders.
After further discussion, Justice Maring asked Ms. Barnhardt to get more information on the specific course topics and the types of sentencing options covered and to report back to the Commission in January, 2007.
II: Presumptively approved courses.
Justice Maring proposed that Ms. Barnhardt take care of the credit for pre-approved courses and the that subcommittee take care of approving credit for all other courses.
Judge Irby agreed that would be a good approach.
Ms. Barnhardt said if courses are offered by organizations on the pre-approved list, she will confirm attendance, credit hours, and notify the participant.
Justice Maring asked about requests for credit for teaching. Ms. Barnhardt said AR 36 addresses how to calculate the hours for teaching credits, which will be handled by the subcommittee.
III. Judicial Institute Update
Ms. Barnhardt informed the Commission that the schedule for the Institute is finalized and that the last day will end around noon instead of continuing all day. The topic on the last day is on mental capacity of older adults. The rest of the agenda is the same: the DNA focus on genetics on the first two days, sexual predator treatment and psychology of a sexual predators on day two. She said a complete agenda for the Commission to review will be ready by the next meeting.
II. Leadership Institute
Ms. Barnhardt explained what took place at the Leadership Institute in Memphis in September and what would follow. She said when she, Justice Maring, Shawn Peterson, and Judge McCullough went to Memphis for the Institute, they decided to review the strategic plan for judicial education that was done approximately 7 years ago. When that process started in Memphis, they decided it was bigger than they thought and more input and direction was needed. Therefore, a planning retreat in January will be held so that the Commission can start the process by looking at education holistically. In preparation for that meeting, Ms. Barnhardt will send out the old strategic plan in advance, along with an agenda for the day. The meeting is Jan. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Center. Lunch will be provided.
Justice Maring asked that Commission members take the opportunity to look through the existing strategic plan so they will know what has been done and to think about how the plan can be improved.
Judge McCullough asked Ms. Barnhardt to compile the notes from the team meetings in Memphis and from the other participants at the Memphis Institute and send them out to the Commission members in advance.
Onsite Institute for Faculty Development.
Justice Maring said all of the members of the commission are invited to attend the Faculty Development Institute in March. She strongly encouraged attendance, stressing that the faculty has so much to offer. This is the second phase of the Leadership Institute.
Judge McCullough said anyone who ever speaks in front of any group, whether it's giving a legal judicial education presentation or just talking to the local Kiwanis, should be encouraged to attend.
Ms. Barnhardt said they have invited a number of individuals including judges, clerks, juvenile court officers, and referees. She said that agenda is almost final. She is still working with the faculty from Memphis.
III. LA Writers Seminar
Ms. Barnhardt said LAWriters is a group she heard in August that offers sessions on grammar and legal writing. She said she would like to bring them to Bismarck for the support staff training in June. In addition to grammar basics, they offer legal writing, opinion writing, and research. She said the faculty is willing to do a combination of courses or offer a basic course one day and a more advanced class another. She asked the Commission if there would be value in bringing this group for basic sessions and advanced sessions and should it be offered to employees beyond just the support staff such as judges, law clerks, administrators, and other people who may write as part of their employment.
After discussing possibilities, the commission agreed to have Ms. Barnhardt survey the support staff, law clerks, and judges regarding their interest level in the course. She will have the results by the January meeting.
IV. Other Business
Ms. Barnhardt reported to the Commission that Judge Kautzmann would like to form a sub-committee to review the training for the Municipal Judges and their CJEs hours. She would like the subcommittee to include some other Municipal Court judges to discuss what would work best for their training and the reporting of their hours.
Justice Maring asked if this would be an ongoing subcommittee or temporary subcommittee.
Ms. Barnhardt said any recommendation would involve AR 36, the Commission, and the Supreme Court.
Justice Maring suggested that Judge Kautzmann prepare a proposal outlining the members, scope and time frame of the committee prior to January meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
Lee Ann Barnhardt