WSR 04-01-015

RULES OF COURT

STATE SUPREME COURT


[ December 4, 2003 ]

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE AMENDMENTS TO GR 26 AND MANDATORY CONTINUING JUDICIAL EDUCATION STANDARDS )

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ORDER

NO. 25700-A-786


The Board for Court Education having recommended the adoption of the proposed amendments to GR 26 and Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Standards, and the Court having determined that the proposed amendments will aid in the prompt and orderly administration of justice and further determined that an emergency exists which necessitates an early adoption;

Now, therefore, it is hereby

ORDERED:

(a) That the amendments as attached hereto are adopted.

(b) That pursuant to the emergency provisions of GR 9(i), the amendments will be published expeditiously and become effective December 31, 2003.

DATED at Olympia, Washington this 4th day of December 2003.
Alexander, C. J.


Johnson, J.


Bridge, J.


Madsen, J.


Chambers, J.



Owens, J.


Ireland, J.


Fairhurst, J.



Mandatory Continuing

Judicial Education (GR26)

WASHINGTON STATE JUDICIAL EDUCATION

MANDATORY CONTINUING JUDICIAL

EDUCATION STANDARDS


SUPREME COURT

MANDATORY CONTINUING JUDICIAL EDUCATION RULE

GR 26 MANDATORY CONTINUING JUDICIAL EDUCATION*



Preamble. The protection of the rights of free citizens depends upon the existence of an independent and competent judiciary. The challenge of maintaining judicial competence requires ongoing education of judges in the application of legal principles and the art of judging in order to meet the needs of a changing society. This rule establishes the minimum requirements for continuing judicial education of judicial officers.

(a) Minimum Requirement. Each judicial officer shall complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of continuing judicial education approved by the Board for Court Education (BCE) every three years, commencing January 1 of the calendar year following the adoption of this rule. If a judicial officer completes more than 45 such credit hours in a three-year reporting period, up to 15 hours of the excess credit may be carried forward and applied to the judicial officer's education requirement for the following three-year reporting period. At least six credit hours for each three-year reporting period shall be earned by completing programs in judicial ethics approved by the BCE. The fifteen credit hours that may be carried forward may include two credit hours toward the judicial ethics requirement.

(b) Judicial College Attendance.

1) A judicial officer shall attend and complete the Washington Judicial College program within twelve months of the initial appointment or election to the judicial office.

2) A judicial officer who attended the Washington Judicial College during his or her term of office in a court of Limited jurisdiction shall attend and complete the Washington Judicial College within twelve months of any subsequent appointment or election to the Superior Court. A judicial officer who attended the Washington Judicial College during his or her term of office in the Superior Court shall attend and complete the Washington Judicial College within twelve months of any subsequent appointment or election as a judicial officer in a court of limited jurisdiction. A judicial officer who attended the Washington Judicial College during his or her term of office in a superior court or court of limited jurisdiction and is subsequently appointed or elected to an appellate court position is not required to attend the Washington Judicial College.

3) A judicial officer of a district court, municipal court, superior court, or an appellate court, who has been a judicial officer at the time of the adoption of this rule for less than four years but has not attended the Washington Judicial College shall attend and complete the Washington Judicial College program within twelve months of the adoption of this rule.

(c) Accreditation. BCE shall, subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, establish and publish standards for accreditation of continuing judicial education programs and may choose to award continuing judicial education credits for self-study or teaching. Continuing Judicial education credit shall be given for programs BCE determines enhance the knowledge and skills that are relevant to the judicial office.

(d) Compliance Report. Each judicial officer shall file a report with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) on or before January 31 each year in such form as the Administrative Office of the Courts shall prescribe concerning the judicial officer's progress toward the continuing judicial education requirements of sections a) and (b) of this rule during the previous calendar year. By April 15, BCE shall send a reminder of the requirements of this rule to any judicial officer who has not filed the annual progress report. AOC shall publish a report with the names of all judicial officers who do not fulfill the requirements of sections (a) and (b) of this rule. The AOC report shall be disseminated by means that may include, but are not limited to, publishing on the Washington Courts Internet web site, publishing the information as part of any voter's guide produced by or under the direction of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and releasing the information in electronic or printed form to media organizations throughout Washington State.

(e) Delinquency. Failure to comply with the requirements of this rule may be deemed a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct that would subject a judicial officer to sanction by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

(f) Definition. The term "judicial officer" as used in this rule shall not include judges pro tempore but shall otherwise include all full or part time appointed or elected justices, judges, court commissioners, and magistrates.


[Adopted effective July 1, 2002.]

*As amended November 7, 2002.


Reviser's note:
The brackets and enclosed material in the text of the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.


Reviser's note:
The typographical error in the above material occurred in the copy filed by the State Supreme Court and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Section 1: Organization and Administration

1. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the rule-making authority for the integrated judicial branch of government in Washington.

2. Board for Judicial Administration (BJA)

The Board for Judicial Administration provides policy review and program leadership for the courts at large, including recommending rules to the Supreme Court that improve the judicial branch of government in our state.

3. Board for Court Education (BCE)

The Board for Court Education assists the Supreme Court and BJA in developing educational policies and standards for the court system, and monitors the quality of educational programs, coordinates in-state, out-of-state education programs and services, recommends changes in policies and standards, and approves guidelines for accrediting training programs.

4. Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee (MCJEC)

The BCE shall appoint a seven-member advisory committee, the Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee (MCJEC), consisting of two members from the appellate courts, two members from the general jurisdiction courts, two members from the courts of limited jurisdiction, and one judicial officer such as a commissioner or magistrate from any of those jurisdictions. The responsibilities of this Committee will be to:

a) Administer General Rule (GR) 26;

b) Establish operating procedures consistent with this rule;

c) Report annually to the Supreme Court and publicly release names of judicial officers who have not complied with the rule.

5) Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)

a) Administrative Office the Courts. Under the direction of the Supreme Court and BCE, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) shall develop guidelines for the implementation of the standards, and shall develop, administer, and coordinate judicial education programs throughout the state. AOC will also track and monitor attendance at continuing judicial education programs accredited by the MCJEC.

b) Judicial Education Unit. The Judicial Services Division - Judicial Education Unit of AOC shall work with the BCE educational committees of the judicial associations and other ad hoc groups to prepare and implement judicial education programs. The unit shall coordinate all BCE judicial education programs, provide staff for the Board for Court Education, and evaluate educational programs. Further, the Judicial Education Unit staff shall provide support and assistance to judicial advisory committees in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of education programs consistent with established standards and requirements for judicial education.

The unit shall maintain the official transcript for each judicial officer based on 1) attendance records at all BCE accredited education programs, 2) the attendance records of accredited sponsors based on their submissions, and 3) the individual education reports. Based on that official record, AOC will report annually to the Supreme Court.


Section 2: General Standards for Continuing Judicial Education

1. Credit for Continuing Judicial Education (CJE)

The CJE requirement may be met either by attending approved courses or completing other continuing judicial or legal education activity approved for credit by the MCJEC.

a) The CJE requirement may be met by attending approved courses. Self-study (including the use of technology-based programs), teaching, and writing for judicial/legal publications may be considered for credit when they meet the conditions set forth in this rule.

b) Forty-five hours are required for the three-year reporting period, six credits of which are in the area of judicial ethics.

c) No more than 5 hours and 1 hour in the area of ethics can be completed through self-study (including technology based programs), teaching, or published judicial/legal writing.

d) Judicial officers may attend a combination of approved local, state, or national programs.

2. Carry-over

If a judicial officer completes more than 45 such credit hours in a three year reporting period, up to 15 hours of excess credits may be carried forward and applied to the judicial officer's education requirement for the following three year reporting period. The 15 credit hours that may be carried forward may include two credit hours toward the ethics requirement.

3. Judicial College Attendance

Each judicial officer shall attend and complete the Washington Judicial College program within 12 months of initial appointment or election to the judicial office.

a) A judicial officer subject to the rules as noted above, who has been elected or appointed to their judicial office since July 1, 1998, but has not attended the Washington Judicial College, must attend the 2003 college. A judicial officer who is unable to attend due to medical disability or extreme hardship may apply to BCE for permission to attend the 2004 college.

4. Credit Calculation

Credit is calculated on the basis of 1 credit for each 60 minutes of actual subject presentation/participation, not including introductions, overviews, closing remarks, presentation during meals, or keynote addresses unless clearly identified in the agenda as a substantive legal presentation.


Section 3: Program Accreditation

1. Washington State Judicial Branch Sponsors

Attendance at any education program sponsored by the following shall be presumed to meet standards and be accredited:

a) Washington State Supreme Court

b) Administrative Office of the Courts

c) Judicial education programs of the Board for Court Education (BCE)

d) Court of Appeals (COA)

e) Superior Court Judges' Association (SCJA)

f) District and Municipal Court Judges Association (DMCJA)

g) Minority and Justice Commission

h) Commission on Gender and Justice

2. Other Judicial Education Sponsors

Attendance at any education program sponsored by the following shall be presumed to meet standards and be accredited:

a) The National Judicial College in Reno, including the University of Nevada Masters and Ph.D. in Judicial Studies

b) American Academy of Judicial Education

c) New York University's Appellate Judges Seminar

d) University of Virginia's Master of Laws in the Judicial Process (LLM)

e) The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) programs such as those sponsored by the American Judges Association, the Institute for Court Management, National Council of Probate Judges, and the National Association of Women Judges

f) Programs approved for Tuition Assistance by BCE

g) The Judicial Division of the American Bar Association (ABA)

h) The Judicial Divisions of all National Bar Associations

1. National Asian Pacific Bar Association

2. National Bar Association

3. Hispanic National Bar Association.

3. Other Continuing Professional Education Programs

To receive credit for attending or serving as faculty at a program sponsored by an organization other than those listed above, a judicial officer may file with the JSD-Education Unit an agenda of the program, which will be submitted to the MCJEC for possible accreditation. Courses approved by the Washington State Bar Association for continuing legal education credits that deal with substantive legal topics, statutory, constitutional, or procedural issues that come before the judicial officer will usually qualify for CJE.

4. Basis for Accreditation of Courses

Courses will be approved based upon their content. An approved course shall have significant intellectual or practical content relating to the duties of the judicial officer.

a) Definitions. The course shall constitute an organized program of learning dealing with matters directly relating to the judicial officer's duties, including but not limited to substantive legal topics, statutory, constitutional and procedural issues that come before the judicial officer, judicial ethics or professionalism, anti-bias and diversity training, and substance abuse prevention training.

b) Factors in evaluating. Factors which should be considered in evaluating a course include:

1) The topic, depth, and skill level of the material.

2) The level of practical and/or academic experience or expertise of the presenters or faculty.

3) The intended audience.

4) The quality of the written, electronic, or presentation materials, which should be of high quality, readable, carefully prepared and distributed to all attendees at or before the course is presented.

5. Basis for Approval of Other Educational Activities

The following activities will be judged on a case-by-case basis and shall make up no more than five (5) credits per year, one (1) of which may be in the area of judicial ethics.

a) Teaching. Serving as faculty at any of the aforementioned accredited programs may be used to partially fulfill education requirements. Three credit hours will be allocated for each hour of instruction the first time a program is presented. Each time the program is repeated, two credit hours will be allocated for each hour of instruction. The three credit hours per each hour of instruction includes preparation time.

b) Published Judicial/Legal Writing. Credit may be earned through published legal writing with approval by the MCJEC.

c) Self-Study. Judicial officers may apply to the MCJEC to receive credit for self-study. For example, judicial officers may receive credit by accessing educational activities through technology - audiotape and videotape, CD-Rom, web-based programs, etc. To claim CJE credits earned through self-study, judicial officers must report independently. Self-study may account for no more than five hours per year.

The following will also qualify for CJE credit:

a) Institutional Visits. Up to a maximum of three credits per three-year reporting period.

b) Other Continuing Professional Education Programs. Other program courses that directly aid the judicial officer in performing his or her specific judicial duties.

6. Programs that Do Not Qualify

The following activities will not qualify for CJE credit:

a) Continuing Professional Education courses that do not relate to substantive legal topics, statutory, constitutional or procedural issues that come before the judicial officer when performing his or her specific judicial duties.

b) Teaching a legal subject to non-lawyers in an activity or course that would not qualify those attending for CJE/CLE credit.

c) Jury duty.

d) Judging or participating in law school or mock trial competitions.

e) Serving on professional (judicial or legal) committees/associations.

7. Appeals

A judicial officer may appeal the denial of program accreditation by the MCJEC to the full BCE. The appeal may be in the form of a letter addressed to the Chair of BCE that outlines the basis for the judicial officer's request. BCE shall notify the judicial officer in writing of its decision to sustain or overrule the decision of the Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee.


Section 4: Responsibilities

1. Sponsors of Accredited Programs

It is the responsibility of the Washington State judicial branch sponsors of a judicial education program to report judicial officer attendance and credits for all approved CJE courses to the Judicial Education Unit of AOC.

2. Individuals

a) It is the responsibility of individual judicial officers to file a report of their attendance when it is less than the full program provided, for programs sponsored by Washington State Judicial Branch entities.

b) It is the responsibility of the judicial officer to request accreditation for attendance for programs of other judicial educational sponsors (see Section 4.2. list of sponsors).

c) It is the responsibility of the individual judicial officers to submit requests for accreditation for other continuing professional education programs, credit for teaching, published judicial legal writing, or self-study to the Judicial Education Unit of AOC who shall present those to the MCJEC for review and determination.

3. Deadline

Absent exigent circumstances, sponsors and individual judicial officers must report attendance within 30 days after completion of a CJE activity.


Section 5: Certification

1. Compliance

The Judicial Education Unit of AOC will provide a progress report to every judicial officer of the programs they have attended during the previous calendar year by January 1. After reviewing that progress report, judicial officers must either:

a) Confirm it as an accurate record of their progress toward compliance with the rule, or;

b) Provide additional information on programs attended with accompanying documentation and;

File that report with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) on or before January 31 each year.

By April 15, BCE shall send a reminder of the requirements of GR 26 to any judicial officer who has not filed the annual progress report.

AOC shall publish a report with the names of all judicial officers who do not fulfill the requirements of sections (a) and (b) of GR26. The AOC report shall be disseminated by means that may include, but are not limited to, publishing on the Washington Courts Internet web site, publishing the information as part of any voter's guide produced by or under the direction of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and releasing the information in electronic or printed form to media organizations throughout Washington State.

The report will include the names of all judicial officers who fail to obtain the requisite number of education credits during their three-year reporting period, or the requirements of Judicial College attendance.

2. Three-Year Reporting Periods

Three-year reporting periods will be created as follows:

a) Group 1 are those judicial officers present as of January 1, 2003, and those who begin service every subsequent third year: 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2021, 2024, 2027, 2030, etc.;

b) Group 2 are those judicial officers who begin service in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022, 2025, 2028, 2031, etc.;

c) Group 3 are those judicial officers who begin service in 2005 and every subsequent third year: 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2020, 2023, 2026, 2029, 2032, etc.

The three-year reporting period for each new judicial officer begins on January 1 nearest their appointment or election.

3. Delinquency

Failure to comply with the requirements of this rule may be deemed a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct that would subject a judicial officer to sanction by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.


Section 6: Approval

These standards were approved by the Board for Court Education on ____________ and by Washington Supreme Court in Court Order __________ on___________.

Comments or suggestions regarding the application of the standards or revisions of the standards can be sent to the Manager of Judicial Education or the Chair of the BCE.

Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above material occurred in the copy filed by the State Supreme Court and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office