The following are highlights from the KCBA Board of Trustees meetings held in October and November, convened by KCBA President Richard Mitchell.
At the first meeting on October 17, the principal agenda item was a discussion of the bar's Judicial Evaluation Survey. Mitchell gave a brief history of the survey and then introduced the guests in attendance: Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff from the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office; Gregory Miller, a past chair of the Judicial Evaluation Survey Committee; and Michael Ricketts, current chair.
Ricketts briefed the trustees on the year's challenges with the administration of the survey. Miller presented an historical overview of the committee's operations. Goodhew briefed the Board on the concerns of the prosecutor's office regarding the release of confidential data by the survey administrator. After a lengthy discussion, the Board agreed that several members would continue to review the situation and report back to the Board at a future meeting.
At a second meeting on October 26, the principal agenda item was a discussion of the pros and cons of moving production coordination for the Bar Bulletin in-house at KCBA. Executive Director Andrew Prazuch's analysis indicates that the bar can net, after expenses, more revenue than is currently realized from the current outside contract publication process. He recommended that the bar move forward with the change in production. By unanimous voice vote, the Board accepted the recommendation.
At the November 21 Board meeting, Mitchell congratulated Trustee John McKay on his efforts to support Washington's marijuana reform Initiative 502; reported on the Bench-Bar Conference; and briefed the trustees on the fall KCBA swearing-in ceremonies for new lawyers.
Trustee Jill Pugh reviewed initial points for consideration in improving the Judicial Evaluation Survey, including changes to the survey timing, committee empowerment and communication, control of the data, and the importance of continuing work to eliminate bias in evaluations. After discussion, the Board agreed that a task force be identified and appointed by KCBA's Executive Committee to work with the Judicial Evaluation Committee to develop an implementation plan for improvements to be implemented with the 2013–14 survey.
Trustee Kastuv Das summarized recent discussions to amend the KCBA Judicial Screening Committee Rules and Procedures. Das noted that he had obtained feedback from the committee chairs. After discussion, the Board agreed that a task force be identified and appointed by KCBA's Executive Committee to work with the Judicial Screening Committee to develop a plan for implementing improvements to the committee's rules and procedures.
The Board reviewed two potential pieces of legislation being developed in Washington based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision against mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles. Trustee Dan Kilpatric will continue to monitor developments and report back to the Board as needed.
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