Chair Neugebauer called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and drew attention to Attachment B (July 15, 2004) - minutes of the June 18, 2004, meeting. The minutes were approved as distributed.
Canon 5B(2), Code of Judicial Conduct - Draft Amendments
Chair Neugebauer next drew attention to Attachment C (July 15, 2004) - draft amendments to Canon 5B(2). He explained that the amendments would add a new paragraph (d), which would permit a candidate for appointment to judicial office to contact lawyers or others for expressions of support and would permit the candidate to distribute personal and professional information in the form of a resume. He noted that the draft was prepared in response to an issue referred to the Committee and discussed at the June 18 meeting regarding ambiguity in the canon's provision about the scope of permissible activity by a candidate for appointment to judicial office.
In response to a question from John Mahoney, Chair Neugebauer recalled the Committee's earlier conclusion that it should not be inappropriate for such a candidate for appointment to contact lawyers and others for expressions of support. There was, he said, also general agreement that a candidate should be able to distribute personal and professional information by way of a resume.
John Mahoney said the draft language seems to be a reasonable approach and should address the problems first presented to the Committee. Judge Anderson agreed. Gary Lee agreed and said it should be acceptable for a candidate for appointment to judicial office to pursue efforts to garner support for the appointment.
It was moved by Sen. Lee, seconded by John Mahoney, and carried unanimously that the draft amendments to Canon 5B(2) be approved and submitted to the Supreme Court for its consideration.
Canon 3B and C, Code of Judicial Conduct - Draft Amendments
Chair Neugebauer then drew attention to Attachment D (July 15, 2004) - draft amendments to Canon 3B and C, which were submitted by the Gender Fairness Implementation Committee. He said this would be the Committee's first opportunity to review the draft amendments and requested that staff generally review the proposals.
Staff noted that the Committee had been advised at the June 18 meeting that the Implementation Committee would be submitting the draft amendments to Canon 3B and C, which address the issue of sexual harassment within the context of the Canon's general requirements that a judge perform various responsibilities without bias or prejudice. He said the transmittal letter from Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair of the Implementation Committee, outlines that Committee's discussion of the issues and notes that including a prohibition against sexual harassment in the black-letter canon has been discussed by the ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct. He said the draft amendments to Canon 3B(5) would include a requirement that a judge refrain from any speech, gesture, or conduct that could be reasonably be perceived as sexual harassment and would require the judge to expect the same standard of conduct from those subject to the judge's direction and control. He said similar and related language would be added by draft amendments to Canon 3C which create a new paragraph (2) and modify language in renumbered paragraph (3). He said language would be added to the Commentary which explains the importance of a judge's responsibility to ensure proper conduct by court personnel subject to the judge's supervision. He noted that Canon 3B(4) would be modified to include "court staff" in the list of those to whom a judge is required to be patient, dignified, and courteous.
Sen. Lee noted a possible grammatical oversight in renumbered paragraph (4) of Canon 3C: "judge" (singular) and the later modifier "them" and "their" (plural). She encouraged review of the draft for other grammatical errors before any final consideration.
In response to a question from Chair Neugebauer, staff said the ABA Joint Commission is in the process of circulating draft revisions to various canons of the Model Code and is soliciting comments throughout the summer and early fall. He said there are no final drafts at this point.
Staff said it is likely the Committee will receive another referral to consider an issue discussed by the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. That issue, he said, concerns the advisability of establishing a mechanism for responding to complaints about judicial campaign practices. Currently, he said, there is no method by which such complaints can be expeditiously addressed. He said the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee will soon submit a request to the Chief Justice to have the issue reviewed by the appropriate advisory committee and it is possible the matter will be referred to this Committee.
Chair Neugebauer suggested the draft amendments to Canon 3B and C could be held over for a more thorough review at a subsequent meeting, perhaps in conjunction with discussion of the possible additional issue described by staff. Committee members agreed.
Committee members agreed a meeting should be considered for sometime during early October. Members willed be contacted for a possible meeting date.;
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:55 a.m.
Jim Ganje, Staff