2001 Midyear 
Board of Governors Meeting


2001 Midyear Board of Governors Meeting  
March 30, 2001  
The Austin Hotel and Convention Center  
Hot Springs, Arkansas.  

Call To Order.

President Chris Williams called the midyear meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. in Hot Springs Arkansas.  President Williams then introduced two very special guests, Judge Larry Williams, County Judge and Executive Officer for Garland County Arkansas, and Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court W.H. “Dub” Arnold.


The following BOGs have excused absences: Mark Bernstein, James Faison, Morton Minc, Pedro Hernandez, George Harris, David Orr, Steve Wallace.  A quorum was declared.

Introduction of Special Guests.  

Past Presidents: John Mutter, Jerome Gertner, Jeffrey Rosinek, Gerald Elliott, Thomas Clark.  Court of Appeals member Merwin Brandon.  House of Delegates members: Stephen Sillman and Sherry Jackson.  Ann LeRoy of the NCRA.  Mr. James Gingerich, Director AOC Arkansas and Kay Palmer, Judicial Educator, AOC Arkansas.

Introduction of New BOG Members.

Karen Thomas of Kentucky, Leo Bowman of Michigan and Cedric Kerns of Nevada.  

A moment of silence was given for Judge Joseph Brewer who passed away since our last meeting.  He was from the state of Alaska.


Approved as submitted, with one request from Judge Raab.  In the future the minutes should list those members who have excused absences.  They are kept by the Association Services office at the NCSC, but they should also be reflected in the official minutes.

Association Services.

Shelly Rockwell reported on the activities of the Association Services office.  If  you have any questions about the office or the National Center, just give Shelley a call or e-mail her and she will get to you the requested information.  

Treasurer’s Report.

The current financial statements were reported and approved.  There will be no adjustments to the current budget.  The proposed 2002 budget remains unchanged at this time.  There will be further reports in Reno.  The travel budget has increased over the years due to the increased importance of the Association and the need to travel to other Association’s meetings and other Judicial meetings.   

American Judges Foundation.  

Judge Kidd reported on the joint AJF/NCRA project on “realtime” reporting. $5,000.00 has been allocated to the project.  The AJF has authorized to exploration of using a full time executive officer/fund raiser.  Judge Gertner will work on the proposal and further action will be taken at the AJF breakfast later in this meeting.  Later in 2001 there will be an education session co-sponsored by The American Academy of Judicial Education and AJF.  The dates and location are yet to be determined.  There will be another silent auction at the annual conference in Reno.  Judge Bentley is the chair of the auction this year.  Remember to bring your auction items to Reno.  Begin to think of what you might bring. 

Committee Reports.  

Executive Committee:  President Williams reported on the dues issue.  It was moved and seconded to increase the general membership dues to $100.00 after the first free year and to $85.00 for the group membership category.  The increase will be effective in 2002.  This motion passed. 

President Williams will be sending out a retention letter that will highlight the accomplishments of the AJA and what it has done for Judges.  Judges Elliott and Leben will help with the letter. 

President Williams discussed AJA’s poor response to the Barnard College Survey.  If you still have one sitting on your desk, please complete it and turn it in as soon as possible.  During the conference at Reno we will be asked to complete a survey on eyewitness testimony.  This will be done at one of the educational sessions.  There will be an additional survey that will be sent to 500 randomly selected members of our association on crime victims access to the courts.  The survey is being done by the NCSC and the Department of Justice.  If you receive one of the surveys please complete it as requested.  Our participation is very important to this association.  

Awards.  No report.  A request for submissions is in the conference packet.  

Several awards of a different nature were given to those who signed up for the round of golf.  Due to the rain, the event did not occur as planned, but several hardy soles did show up in spite of the weather.  Each had a similar score (-0-) and each won several great prizes.  

Bylaws.  Judge Olds reported.  A written report is in the conference packet.  There was a discussion about the executive committee’s request for a bylaws amendment to address the nominations committee concerns and the appointment of members to the House of Delegates.  The committee recommended that the House of Delegates rule remain “shall appoint” but change the time frame to allow more time for the appointment.  Judge Sudderth explained the concerns of the executive committee about the House of Delegates appointment requirement. The current bylaws require the President to accomplish something that no President has been able to accomplish in several years.  The changing of the word “shall” to “may” will at least allow the President to try and get appointments made but if no names are submitted at least the President will not be in violation of the bylaws.  The members of the bylaws committee did not have a complete understanding of the reasons for the requested change.  In the future it would be helpful to the committee to have a report of some kind that explains the reasons for the requested changes.  If the executive committee is making a directive rather than a request, then that needs to be made clear to the committee.  Following further discussions, Judge Thomas moved and Judge Raab seconded that the bylaws revisions be returned to the bylaws committee for further revision and re-submission in line with the discussions at this meeting today.    This motion passed.  The bylaws proposed changes will appear in the Benchmark this summer prior to the Reno conference.  

Conference Site.  The protocol for conferences is not finished but will be ready by Reno.  The survey as to the time of year for the annual conference indicated a greater preference for a summer annual meeting.  Further study will have to be made because the majority of those who responded were not the members that usually attend the meetings.  If the annual meeting is moved then the midyear will need to be moved.  In any event 2003 is the first time we will be in a position to move the annual meeting.    There will be a joint mid year meeting in 2004 with NACM and NASJE.  Judges Johnson and Nachtigal have been appointed by President Williams to work on the joint planning committee for that meeting.  The dates and location have not been selected.   

Domestic Violence.  The committee submitted a written report that was included in the conference packet.  The report was accepted as submitted.  

Education.  The full report was deferred until tomorrow.  A general question was asked by Judge Rosinek as to what if anything additional the BOG wanted the education committee to accomplish other than help set up education programs at the annual meeting?  

Juvenile Justice.  The committee submitted a written report that was included in the conference packet.  The report was accepted as submitted.  

Law Student Essay Competition.  Judge Rosson reported that the competition will start up in June of this year.  

Membership.  In addition to the written report that was in the conference packet, Judge Fielding reported that several more membership drives will be started before Reno.  Additionally, Judges Orr and Minc are working on a Canada membership drive.  Judge Minc will send one out in French.  The committee wanted to concentrate on new membership for this year with the renewal coming in time for the conference in Hawaii.  That conference location may be enough to draw people into a subsequent year(s) membership.  The next step will be to work on retention.  Judge Minc is excited about the conference coming to Montreal.  This should help with the membership drives in Canada.   

Judges Sudderth and Raab brought in 61 new members each.  They won the prize money and donated it to the Foundation.   

Nominations.  There are three vacancies.  They are in districts I, V, IX.  Judge Cicconetti moved and there was a second to nominate Judge Milt Nuzum to the vacancy in District IX until the annual meeting.  This passed.  Three members of the committee are up for re-election and therefore are not eligible to serve on the Nominations Committee.  Additional members will need to be appointed.   

Public Information/Relations.  A written report was submitted and is in the conference packet.  Judge Leben reported on the draft of the new brochure.  They hope to have something to present at the conference in Reno.  Judge Rosinek reported the Kevin Reifler will be at the conference in Reno.  His expenses will come out of the President’s travel budget.  Kevin Reifler will address the topic of how to deal with the media.  Additionally his company, Legal Voice, will help this organization deal with the issues of “Judge Bashing”.  They will help with news articles in response to such articles.  If you have any such articles in your state send them to Judge Rosinek for a response.  

Publications.  Benchmark is a great success and a big Thank You is due to Judge Nuzum for all of his hard work.  Remember to get your articles to Milt for publication.  

Resolutions.  No report.  

The meeting was adjourned for the day.