Continuing Judicial Education Commission
I. Opening Business:
A. The meeting convened at 5:45 p.m. Members present included Hon. Donald Jorgensen; Hon. Ronald Goodman; Justice Carol Ronning Kapsner; Peggy Larson; Hon. Bill Severin, and Shawn Peterson.
B. The Commission Chair, Judge Jorgensen, welcomed all who were taking part. A special welcome went out to Shawn Peterson, a new member to the Commission.
II. Ongoing Business:
A. Chair Jorgensen drew the members' attention to the draft of the Strategic Plan for Judicial Education and informed members that Mr. Nelson had concern with mandating education for all court personnel. He said Mr. Nelson's primary concern lied with the amount of additional work, in the way of record keeping, it would place on the administrative office. Carla explained that for the past five years we have been successful in offering programming to all court support and the attendance has been very good. She said that certain programs are repeated in order to offer a wider pool of employees the opportunity to attend. Members discussed the need to mandate education for all employees at this time. Since staff is limited and the attendance has been favorable, the members universally decided to withhold from moving forward with proposing mandatory education for all court employees at this time. The members recommended sending the Strategic Plan to the Council of Presiding Judges for information purposes only. A recommendation to remove the word "mandatory" from Goal 1.1, Strategy 1.1.3, was approved, on a motion by Justice Kapsner and seconded by Judge Severin.
B. Judge Goodman proposed that the Court consider purchasing a defibulator for each courtroom and that the Commission provide training to one court employee in each district on its proper use. The members were uncomfortable with making any recommendation since it is out of the area of education. Chair Jorgensen suggested that he write a letter to Bill Strutz and ask him to bring it before the Court Services Committee.
C. Chair Jorgensen invited Carla Kolling to discuss the issue of non-compliance with the mandatory education rule for municipal judges. Carla explained that a year ago, the Commission made a decision to have those judges who do not comply with the mandatory education rule watch a series of video tapes relating to municipal courts. Those tapes were available through the law school and judges were able to check them out for a one-week period. Carla explained that the content of the videos were less than acceptable, and as a result, judges were extremely frustrated with having to watch a tape that was meaningless to them. She said the list was outdated, and the content of the tapes were unrelated to the duties of the municipal judge. The members discussed implementing a program whereby those judges who were unable to attend the annual program would be required to spend eight hours of time with a mentor judge over a six-month period. Judge Goodman suggested that the mentor judge could be district judges or a seasoned law trained municipal judge. A recommendation by members to set up a compliance plan for judges who do not comply with the mandatory education rule requiring a judge to sit with a mentor district judge for eight hours over a period of six months and further to survey the district judges to see who is interested in serving as a mentor judge was approved, on a motion by Judge Goodman and seconded by Judge Simonson.
D. The members requested Carla Kolling to contact Carol Vondrachek at the State Bar Association to determine if a topic has been identified for the October Bench and Bar. If not, the members requested that the judges be surveyed for suggested topic interest.
Director of Human Resources & Development