Judicial Education Commission
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Judge Sonna Anderson
Judge David Reich
Judge DeNae Kautzmann
Judge Steven McCullough
Dean Kathryn Rand
Deborah Carlson, Juvenile Court Director
Jean Lindvig, Electronic Court Recorder
Judge M. Richard Geiger via phone
Judge John McClintock
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education
Louie Hentzen, Assistant State Court Administrator
Lana Zimmerman, scribe
Justice Maring called the meeting to order. A motion was made by Judge Anderson to approve the December 4, 2009, minutes. The motion was seconded by Judge Kautzmann. Motion carried.
I. Lee Ann Barnhardt updated the Commission on the progress of the following conferences:
A. The Clerk of Court Conference is scheduled for May 5-7, 2010, at the Holiday Inn, Riverside in Minot. The clerk registration has dropped this year as the Odyssey rollout for Administrative Unit 2 has required additional training, which is being conducted at the same time as the clerk's conference.
B. The Judicial Conference is scheduled June 17, 2010, at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. It will be held in conjunction with the SBAND Annual Conference. The Judicial Branch Education Commission is sponsoring the presentation by Professor Kirsten Dauphinais from UND Law School on forensic eyewitness testimony. There will not be a separate education track for judges at this Judicial Conference.
C. The Fall Judicial Conference is scheduled for November 22-23, 2010, at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck. A State Justice Institute grant was approved for the development of curriculum and a presentation on sexual offender cases during the first day of the conference. A session on detention practices for juvenile offenders is scheduled for the second day.
I. The future of the Trial Court Benchbook was discussed. Judge Geiger, who updates the benchbook, gave some history on its development. He said over time the benchbook has become very thick. He noted that district judges may use the benchbook in different ways and they may have a better sense as to how they would prefer to have it developed and maintained. Judge Geiger has suggested that due to the volume of the benchbook, the Commission may consider a re-drafting of the book. Judge Geiger is willing to continue editing the benchbook and is open to suggestions for editing, content, methodology, and frequency of the benchbook updates.
In response to a question by Justice Maring, Judge Geiger said he revises the benchbook after each legislative session when he receives the newly compiled laws issued the secretary of state. He then edits the benchbook and submits a draft of each section to support staff in Bismarck who make the appropriate changes. It is distributed every two years in November.
Justice Maring suggested forming a benchbook subcommittee to have to consider changes to the editing and reformatting process. Judge Geiger suggested including newer judges on the subcommittee.
Judge McCullough stated the benchbook is a very useful resource. He suggested a change to a "mini" benchbook to be utilized on the bench, but to have the full benchbook available as a resource. A sub-committee could determine what material would be used on the bench and material for the resource book.
A motion was made by Judge McCullough to form a subcommittee to review the Trial Court Benchbook and give the chair the discretion to appoint members of the subcommittee. Motion seconded by Jean Lindvig, motion carried.
Justice Maring will contact Judge Reich, who volunteered to form the sub-committee.
II. The 2011 Judicial Institute is scheduled for May 2011 at the UND Law School in Grand Forks. Lee Ann Barnhardt surveyed the trial court judges about potential education topics for the institute. The majority of responders asked for a combination of plenary and concurrent sessions. The length of the institute will be 2 ½ days to run Monday, Tuesday and a ½ day on Wednesday. The responders also requested the Judicial Institute continue to be held at the UND Law School in Grand Forks.
The most requested topics included Evidentiary Issues and Rulings from the Bench, Courtroom Safety and Security, Working with Technology, Ethics, and Procedural Fairness. The suggested overall theme of the Judicial Institute was the Business of Judging.
Lee Ann Barnhardt will have a sample agenda with faculty at the June meeting.
III. Lee Ann Barnhardt proposed that all Continuing Judicial Education (CJE) requests be decided by the members of the CJE subcommittee and that one response be submitted by the subcommittee chair. The chair of the CJE subcommittee is Judge Kautzmann.
IV. Justice Maring reported that Judge Romanick will be participating in the next ASTAR Fellows Science for Judges program. Justice Maring and Judge Marquart completed the program last year. A utilization plan to use the North Dakota ASTAR judges for education and consultation will be submitted to the ASTAR organizers by the end of April, as requested.
V. Updates were made to the Judicial Branch Education Strategic Plan. (Updated plan attached)
VI. Lee Ann Barnhardt submitted a proposed education budget for 2011-2013. Barnhardt explained that an additional $1,685 is requested to cover increased travel expenses. Due to the cancellation of the Bench and Bar Seminar, the allotted $5,000 for this conference was added back into the budget. Barnhardt asked if $5,000 should be kept in the budget as a partnership and special funding or lump the amount into another conference? She also asked if the base funding for the Midwest Drug Court Conference could be placed in the education budget.
Judge McCullough stated the Drug Court Conference should be included within the education budget because it involves education and training. This is a very beneficial conference and, with the quality of this conference, significant out-of-state presenters will be available. It allows the drug court personnel to receive training that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive.
The total request for the education budget for 2011-2013 is $145,530, which is an increase of $11,535 or 8%. Justice Maring suggested the $5,000 for the Bench and Bar Seminar be removed from the budget. By consensus, it was agreed to eliminate the amount as a line item, which will reduce the budget request to a 4% increase.
A motion was made by Judge Anderson to amend the proposed budget to remove the Bench Bar funds of $5,000. Motion seconded by Judge Kautzmann, motion carried.
A motion was made by Judge McCullough to approve the proposed budget as amended. Motion was seconded by Judge Kautzmann, motion carried.
A motion to adjourn was made by Judge McCullough and seconded by Judge Kau
Lana Zimmerman, scribe
ND Supreme Court