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KCBA Asks Supreme Court to Delay New Jury Selection Rule

April 30, 2017

The Honorable Charles W. Johnson
Chairman, Rule Committee
Washington State Supreme Court
P.O. Box 40929
Olympia, WA 98504‐0929

Dear Justice Johnson:

The King County Bar Association offers the following response to the Court’s November, 2016 request for comments to a proposed new General Rule 36, “meant to protect Washington jury trials from intentional or unintentional, unconscious, or institutional bias in the empanelment of juries.” Founded in 1886, the King County Bar Association represents over 14,000 attorneys, judges, law professors and law students in King County. Our mission is to support our diverse membership by promoting a just, collegial, and accessible legal system and profession; to work with the judiciary to achieve excellence in the administration of justice; and to serve our local community through organized pro bono legal services. The Association asked both its Judiciary & Litigation Committee (which in part reviews proposed rules for tbe Association) and its Diversity Committees for feedback on this proposal before the Board of Trustees discussed the proposal at its April meeting.

While KCBA is very supportive of the goals of the proposal, the Association agrees with the suggestion of the Superior Court Judges Association and the District & Municipal Court Judges Association that further action on the proposed rule be delayed while the Supreme Court engages in a fuller discussion with all stakeholders ‐‐ gathered together. The current proposal has already been identified by the original proponents themselves as needing to be amended, and several other comments offered additional possible amendments to the proposal. KCBA believes that a rule that is developed first by consensus of all key stakeholders, not just one proponent, would result in a better proposal for formal consideration.

KCBA would welcome the opportunity to participate in an ad hoc work group to provide additional feedback to the Court.

Thank you for your consideration of the Association’s comments.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew J. Prazuch
Executive Director

King County Bar
Association

1200 5th Ave, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98101

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