April 30, 2017
The Honorable Charles W. Johnson
Chairman, Rule Committee
Washington State Supreme Court
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
Thank you for your consideration of the Association’s comments.
Andrew J. Prazuch