Call to Order.
President Chris Williams
called the second Executive Committee (EC) Meeting to order at 9:02 a.m. on
Friday January 12, 2001. The following individuals were in attendance:
President Chris Williams, Pres. Elect Bonnie Sudderth, First Vice-Pres.
Francis Halligan, Second Vice-Pres. Michael McAdam, Sec. Gayle Nachtigal, Tres.
Harold Froehlich, Past Pres. Gerald Elliott, Judges Steve Leben, Jeffrey
Rosinek, Leslie Johnson ex-officio, and Shelley Rockwell from the National
Center for State Courts.
The minutes from the
September 10th and 15th meetings were approved without corrections.
Treasurer’s Report .
The meeting in Kansas City appears to have been a financial success. There may still be one outstanding bill, but there also remain uncollected pledges that more than compensate for the bill. The outstanding bill is from the hotel for the under booking of the hotel, but so far they have not presented a bill.
The investments are
improving. A final dollar amount
for the interest is still being computed.
Court Review is under budget for 2000 as they did not publish one
edition, but they are expected to make up the issue this year.
The National Center discounted $8,000.00 off of the contract.
This is a one-time discount and should not be expected each year.
The 2002 contract will be presented at the mid year conference.
There will need to be adjustments to the overall budget to be made at
the mid year meeting and the Treasurer will bring those adjustments to the BOG
meeting in Hot Springs.
Approval was given to the
President to sign the modified contract with the National Center for State
The Treasurers report was
accepted as discussed.
Proposed By-laws revision
for the Nominations Committee. Judges
Sudderth and Leben have worked on several changes to the existing provisions.
They wanted to address several areas of concerns.
1. Length of service, 2.
Ability to appoint a replacement if a committee member does not attend
the annual conference, and 3. Prohibited
conduct by committee members.
It was generally agreed
that a member should not serve more than 2 years on the Nominations Committee
and that the President should have the authority to appoint someone to fill a
vacancy that occurs when a nominations committee member fails to attend the
annual meeting. There followed
much discussion about the prohibited conduct and just what we were trying to
accomplish. There was general
agreement that committee members should not be pledged to a particular
candidate prior to the meeting and that they should not endorse a particular
candidate prior to the meeting. The
by-law needs to prohibit a committee member or a candidate from attempting to
get or give a pledge or promise to support while still leaving the committee
free to solicit candidates if necessary in order to present a slate for the
election. There was discussion
about the need for an oath or affirmation from committee members indicating
they understand the requirements and they had not and will not violate the
provisions. Although no vote was
taken on the subject directly, the need for an oath was not favored. It was the belief of the executive committee that any
disputes about the ability of someone to serve on the nominations committee
would be handled by the Court of Appeals.
Judges Sudderth and Leben will re-work the proposed by-laws change and
have it for the mid year meeting for review.
2000 Annual conference.
Feedback from those
attending indicates this was a very successful conference. Those not attending the conference really missed out on a
good time in a beautiful city with much to offer.
The education sessions were very good, however the presenters will need
to provide written information or material in order for some states to grant
continuing education credits. This
is a problem for at least one state and it may be for others as well.
As reported above the financial end of the conference was also a
success. Many thanks were
given to Mike for a job well done. He
and Jeff will work on protocols for upcoming annual meetings in order to help
future chairs to avoid some of the hidden pitfalls that can and do happen even
in the best of efforts.
The website has been
updated and improved. Background
colors were changed and now it is possible to download any page from our site
and get the information. The
Center now has a person devoted to the web sites and she is great to work
with. She will work with Jay on
getting information about the Reno conference up on the site and we may have a
link like we did for Kansas City information.
Judge Elliott will report
on this later in the meeting.
Use of AJA Membership List serve.
As of this meeting it had
not been used to distribute information to the general membership.
We are currently using the ex-committee and committee chair Listserve
on a regular basis. If you have
information of interest to the general membership, you need to get that
information to Judge Sudderth and she will have it sent.
Currently she is serving as the clearing point to make sure we are
putting out appropriate and important information.
Members should begin to receive information as soon as Judge Sudderth
Other Old Business.
Less Johnson reported on
an experiment by the American Academy of Judicial Education and the AJF.
An educational program will be presented this spring and the funds
generated after expenses will be donated to the AJF.
If this is a success it may be tried again.
Site Selection: There was
much discussion about sites and criteria for selection of the mid year and
annual meetings. Cost, location
and membership stated interests were discussed.
Judges Sudderth and McAdam will meet with the site selection committee
prior to the mid year meeting and report to the ex-committee at its Thursday
Joint Meetings: Judge
Elliott suggested if we are interested in some type of a joint meeting with
NACM, NAWJ, NAJE or others we might want to consider the year 2004.
He also suggested a small committee be appointed to look further into
the idea and to report back. President
Williams believes it is important that we reach a decision quickly. Judge
Elliott moved and Judge McAdam seconded that we look into a joint meeting with
NACM, NAWJ, NAJE and perhaps others.
The motion passed and Judges Elliott, McAdam and Nachtigal were
appointed to the committee.
E. Future Conferences.
2002 midyear Hot Springs. There will be an optional educational session on one day in the afternoon. The budget and executive committees will also meet and it is expected they will meet on Thursday. Fun will be had by all.
annual Reno. The education
portion is still in flux. The
hotel and other arrangements are in place and things are looking good.
2002 midyear Biloxi. We are still negotiating the rates and locations. Less Johnson will assist.
2002 annual Maui. Judge Sudderth still needs ideas and help with the education program. Cost is a concern. She believes we may need to provide some food if we are going to meet early in the morning. That will be an additional cost. In order to get in the requested amount of CLE credits and allow for plenty of free time. One suggestion was to set the CLE times and leave it up to the membership to attend or not and let the speakers know they may have a small audience. Generally, the idea of returning for an evening CLE session was disfavored.
2003 midyear and annual Billings/Montreal. Shelley is just now working on those. No report as of yet.
Updated conference and Membership Statistics. They are in the packet.
House of Delegates.
Judge McAdam now believes he has the time to work with the Delegates.
It was suggested that we have a by-law change to not require the
appointment within 30 days of any vacancy as we are just not able to get that
accomplished. Judge McAdam moved
and Judge Froehlich seconded to request a by-laws change to allow the President
to appoint whenever a vacancy occurred and to remove any time requirements.
The motion passed.
There was a general discussion about the need to keep some committees
especially if they could not give any report as to any activity.
This is an ongoing discussion as the needs of the organization.
1. Awards. No report.
2. By-laws. No report.
3. Conference Site. No report.
4. Domestic Violence. The report was in the packet. This is an active committee and is currently working on projects.
5. Education. No report.
6. Highway Safety. While there was no report there was discussion about this committee. There is federal money available for programs in this area and it is important that we stay connected.
7. Juvenile Justice. No report.
8. Law Student Essay Competition. The initial mailing has gone out.
9. Membership. The report is in the packet. Judge Elliott had 3 points he wanted to make with regards to membership. We need to work on the solicitation of new members along with the retention of the current membership. To start we need to work on getting the new judges to sign up for the first year. Judge Elliott will be doing a solicitation for Kansas and North Dakota. Judge Sudderth went to two of the Texas “new judges school” and she obtained many new members. How many will renew for the second year is really up to the Board of Governors and their retention program(s). The National Judicial College pays the membership to the Judicial Division of the ABA for individuals attending the College. Judge Elliott suggested we contact the NJC and see if they will extend the same to the AJA. It was agreed that first we would need to establish some ongoing relationship with the NJC before they would be willing to pay for membership in the AJA. Judge Rosinek everyone needs to take an interest in a follow-up contact to new members once their year is up. The BOG should each write a letter to try and determine why someone did not renew their membership.
10. Nominations. No report.
11. Public Information/Relations. The report is in the packet. The first discussion we need to have in Hot Springs is to give direction to this committee on just what we want them to accomplish. Judge Rosinek will talk to Kevin Rifler and see if he can come to Reno. In the past he has been willing to do things for us with the media but we have not given him any direction. What we have asked him to do has not been appropriate to his services. President Williams will talk to Judge Wallace and tell him the committee is not going in the direction we want and that we will provide better direction in the future.
12. Publications. The report is in the packet. Everyone is pleased with the job being done with “Benchmark”. As always the editor needs articles and things to put in the publication. The committees should be encouraged to send articles to him for publication. We will be adding the chair of the committee to the list serve so he can communicate directly with the various committee chairs and seek information for publication. Advertising is up slightly.
13. Resolutions. No report.
14. Judicial Leadership for Ethnic Equality. No written report. President Williams received information that one of the difficulties with the committee is that it had 3 chairs. That was 2 too many. Additionally the role for the AJA in the matter was never defined. Currently there is a grant proposal to develop a program on the topic of Judicial leadership and Ethnic Equality. President Williams will contact Judge Hernandez and have a report for Hot Springs.
15. Trial Court Performance Standards. No report.
16. Judicial Leadership for Substance Abuse Reduction Initiative. No report.
17. Therapeutic Jurisprudence. The AJA is a co-sponsor of the International Conference to be held this year.
18. Evaluate Conference site selection, scheduling and educational programming. This has already been done. There will be additional discussion later on in this meeting.
19. Alternative Dispute Resolution. The report is in the packet.
20. Pro Se Litigation. It was agreed that this would be a good topic for the Public Relations Committee to work on along with Kevin Rifler.
21. Investments. There will be discussion on this topic later in the meeting. Tabled until tomorrow.
22. Canadian Judges. No report.
The meeting was adjourned
until the next morning.
January 13, 2001.
were discussed at the beginning of the morning. The report we received indicated we should reallocate our
investments. Before we have
someone do a great deal of work for us we will need a resume and a
recommendation on just what to do with the investments.
It was moved and seconded to obtain the information and report back.
It may be advisable to have a firm do the investing for us. The
Treasurer will work on getting the necessary information and report back at
Updated Meeting Guidelines.
This has been accomplished and is ready to be used by others in
planning future conferences.
Proposed by law amendment.
There was considerable discussion as to the procedures to be applied if
someone disputed a violation of the proposed by-law governing the nominations
committee. It was generally
agreed that under our current structure the appeal of any dispute would be to
the Court of Appeals. It was
moved and seconded to forward the by-law proposal with option I to the By-laws
Committee. It passed with one no
vote. Judge Elliott regretted the
need for such detail.
Proposed conference site protocol.
This report by Judge McAdam is done and ready for distribution.
2001 Assembly of Associations.
It is scheduled for Washington DC March 7-9th.
President Williams believes it is very important for AJA to have a
presence with the other associations. He
has attended several meetings of the other associations and there is talk of a
joint conference in 3 years between AJA, NAJE and NACM..
While we support this joint meeting, it should not be at our annual
meeting or we would get lost in the number on members in NACM.
It was suggested that we look toward a mid-year conference.
President Williams recently attended the COSCA conference.
He was very impressed by the way their committees functioned.
We could learn a great deal from that organization.
There is the possibility of an upcoming joint project, but we would
have to be sure that our members will participate better than they did the
last time. How to motivate
participation is difficult and something we need to keep working on. President Williams and President Elect Sudderth will attend
the Assembly 2001 meeting. This
program is sponsored by the National Center.
Having the President Elect travel with the President is a good thing
for the upcoming President and the organization.
An article for the “Benchmark” should be done following the trips
to keep the membership informed and to help them understand the benefit of
this travel and help justify the expense.
M. Evaluation of AJA
There have been concerns about how the educational programs are
planned. In the past it has been
the Conference Chair who has planned the education programs and not the
education committee. If the
conference chair is strong and organized the education program will be good.
If not... There was the
suggestion that we study our education programs and how we put them together. It might be time to look at providing different educational
tracks to better meet the needs of a diverse membership.
There are some topics that all judges need and then there are other
topics that only reach a portion of the membership.
Judge Elliott moved that we appoint a committee to look at our
education programs and how we are delivering them.
There was no second. Judge
Rosinek suggested that the Education Committee take this on for a project and
report back to the BOG. Les
Johnson went over a brief history on the prior relationship between the
American Academy of Judicial Education and the AJA.
They may be in a position to help us with our future educational needs.
President Williams will
have the Education Sub Committee to look at and develop a protocol on how to
present education. Rosinek, Johnson, Elliott are appointed. He will see if Chuck Erickson from the Center can assist.
He may also seek assistance from other organizations.
Jury Summit 2001.
We are co-sponsors of this 3-day program.
The meeting will be in New York and be held in late January.
The purpose of the conference is to look at all phases of juries and
their function. President
Williams is attending for the AJA.
Joint Meeting with NACM/NASJE.
This was discussed under section L above.
NJC payment of ABA judicial division fees.
See discussion under Committee Reports (9).
Review of NCSC 2001 contract.
This contract was discussed. They
have reduced our contractual obligation for this year due to our support of
their projects and in recognition of our efforts.
This is a one time reduction and should not be expected to occur each
year. The contract for the year
2002 should be available for the executive committee review well in advance of
the contract deadline. The contract was approved with Judge Nachtigal not
voting as she is a member of the Centers Board.
Judicial Education Network/ICM.
There was not a particular discussion on this topic.
Judicial Technology committee.
Judge Elliott believes this is an important topic and we should stay
involved in this area. The ball
was passed to Judge Sudderth to follow up on this topic.
Our committees submitted 5 responses to the Best Practices request by
President Williams. We are
struggling with the topic as is the Best Practices Institute.
We will submit some to the Institute.
We will need additional information on where or what courts are
actually using one of the submissions and that could be indicated in a cover
letter to the Institute and the Chair of the CCJ.
Additionally, we need to make sure that our representative on the
Advisory Committee Judge Olds, is notified of our submissions so she will not
Credits for teaching at judicial education programs. This was not discussed.
Judge McAdam will bring
the officer handbooks to Hot Springs.
AJA has a seat on the
Advisory Counsel for the Research Department at the National Center.
Judge Elliott has served for the last 3 years.
Currently, a Past
Presidents Advisory Committee is being formed.
It will be ˝ social and ˝ service to the organization. It was moved and seconded to request the BOG create a Council
of Past Presidents. It passed.
Judge Elliott suggested we
think about having some type of program for presiding judges.
If there is a interest it could take the form of a program, education
or just a forum for discussion. It
was generally agreed that we do not want to set out to create separate
divisions within the organization. One
of our strengths is that we all come together as equals.
We do not want to establish elite subgroups or to have subgroups take
control of the educational programs.
There being no further
business to discuss and the hour was late, the meeting was adjourned.
There being no further
business to come before the Executive Committee, the meeting was adjourned on
Saturday, January 13, 2001.
Gayle A. Nachtigal,