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Rule 3-403. Judicialbranch education.

 

Intent:

 

To establish the Judicial Branch Education Committee?sresponsibility to develop and evaluate a comprehensive education program forall judges, commissioners and court staff.

 

To establish education standards for judges,commissioners and court staff, including provisions for funding andaccreditation for educational programs.

 

To ensure that education programs, includingopportunities for job orientation, skill and knowledge acquisition, andprofessional and personal development, are available to all members of thejudicial branch and that such programs utilize the principles of adulteducation and focus on participative learning.

 

To emphasize theimportance of participation by all judicial branch employees in education andtraining as an essential component in maintaining the quality of justice in theUtah courts.

 

Applicability:

 

This rule shall apply to all judges,commissioners and court staff, except seasonal employees and law clerks.

 

Statement of the Rule:

 

(1) Organization.

 

(1)(A) Judicial branch education committee.The Judicial Branch Education Committee shall submit to the Council forapproval proposed policies, standards, guidelines, and procedures applicable toall judicial branch education activities. It shall evaluate and monitor thequality of educational programs and make changes where appropriate within theapproved guidelines for funding, attendance, and accreditation.

 

(1)(B) Responsibilities of members. Committeemembers shall propose policies and procedures for developing, implementing, andevaluating orientation, continuing skill development, and career enhancementeducation opportunities for all judicial branch employees; formulate an annualeducation plan and calendar consistent with the judicial branch educationbudget; and serve as advocates for judicial branch education, includingeducating the judiciary about the purpose and functions of the Committee.

 

(1)(C) Committee meetings.

 

(1)(C)(i) The Committee shall meet twice a year. Additionalmeetings may be called as necessary. A majority of voting members in attendanceis required for official Committee action.

 

(1)(C)(ii) The chairperson may recommend to the Council that aCommittee member be replaced if that member is absent without excuse from twoconsecutive Committee meetings or fails to meet the responsibilities ofmembership as outlined in paragraph (1)(B).

 

(2) Administration. 

 

Judicial EducationOfficer. The JudicialEducation Officer, under the direction of the Court Administrator, shall serveas staff to the Committee and be responsible for the administration of thejudicial education program consistent with this rule.

 

(3) Standards for judges and court commissioners.

 

(3)(A) Programrequirements. All judges and court commissioners shall participate in thefirst designated orientation program offered after the date the judge isadministered the oath of office, unless attendance is excused for good cause bythe Management Committee. All judges, court commissioners, active seniorjudges, and active senior justice court judges shall complete 30 hours ofpre-approved education annually, to be implemented on a schedule coordinated bythe Committee. Judges of courts of record and court commissioners may attend acombination of approved local, state, or national programs. Active and inactivesenior judges and retired judges may attend approved local or state programsand the annual Utah Judicial Conference, but an inactive senior judge orretired judge must pay all expenses.

 

(3)(A)(i) Active seniorjudge. If an active senior judge applies to be reappointed and will havecompleted at least 60 total education hours in the two years preceding theeffective date of reappointment, the Management Committee may, for good causeshown, excuse the judge from having to complete the annual 30 hour educationrequirement.

 

(3)(A)(ii) Inactive seniorjudges and retired judges. If an inactive senior judge or a retired judgeapplies to be an active senior judge, the judge shall demonstrate that:

 

(3)(A)(ii)(a) less than threeyears has passed since he or she last complied with the continuing educationrequirements of an active senior judge;

 

(3)(A)(ii)(b) he or she hascomplied with the MCLE requirements of the Utah State Bar for at least threeyears before the application;

 

(3)(A)(ii)(c) he or she hasattended 30 hours of approved judicial education within one year before theapplication; or

 

(3)(A)(ii)(d) he or she hasattended the new judge orientation for judges of the courts of record withinone year before the application.

 

(3)(B) Program components.Education programs for judges and court commissioners shall include: amandatory new judge orientation program; a variety of programs addressingsubstantive and procedural law topics, aimed at skill and knowledgeacquisition; and programs geared to professional and personal development, tomeet the continuing needs of judges and court commissioners over the long term.

 

(3)(C) Annual conferences.Justice court judges and active senior justice court judges shall attend theannual justice court conference unless excused by the Board of Justice CourtJudges for good cause. Because the annual judicial conference represents theonly opportunity for judges to meet and interact as a group and to elect theirrepresentatives, judges, active senior judges and court commissioners of thecourts of record are strongly encouraged to attend that conference.

 

(4) Standards for court staff.

 

(4)(A) State employees.

 

(4)(A)(i) Programrequirements. All court staff employed by the state shall complete 20 hoursof approved coursework annually.

 

(4)(A)(ii) Programcomponents. Education programs for court staff employed by the state shallinclude: on-the-job orientation for new employees as well as semi-annualOrientation Academies; skill development programs that teach technical andjob-related competencies; and enhancement programs that promote personal andprofessional growth within the organization.

 

(4)(B) Local government employees.

 

(4)(B)(i) Programrequirements. All court staff employed by the justice courts shall complete10 hours of approved coursework annually. All other court staff employed bylocal government shall complete 20 hours of approved coursework annually.

 

(4)(B)(ii) Programcomponents. Education programs for court staff employed by local governmentshall include: annual training seminar; skill development programs that teachtechnical and job-related competencies; and enhancement programs that promotepersonal and professional growth.

 

(5) Reporting.

 

(5)(A) Judges, commissioners and court staff governed by thesestandards shall report participation in education programs on a form developedby the Committee.

 

(5)(B) For court staff, compliance with judicial branch educationstandards shall be a performance criterion in the evaluation of all staff.

 

(5)(B)(i) Supervisory personnel are responsible to ensure that allstaff have an opportunity to participate inthe required education. Failure of a supervisor to meet the minimum educationstandards or to provide staff with the opportunity to meet minimum educationstandards will result in an unsatisfactory performance evaluation in theeducation criterion.

 

(5)(B)(ii) Failure of staff to meet the minimum educationrequirements will result in an unsatisfactory evaluation on the educationcriterion unless the employee provides documented reasons that the employee?sfailure to meet the education standards is due to reasons beyond the employee?scontrol.

 

(6) Credit. Judicialeducation procedures shall include guidelines for determining which programsqualify as approved education within the meaning of these standards.

 

(7) Funding.

 

(7)(A) Budget. Inpreparing its annual request for legislative appropriations, the Council shallreceive and consider recommendations from the Committee. The Committee?s annualeducation plan shall be based upon the Council?s actual budget allocation forjudicial education.

 

(7)(B) In-state educationprograms. Judicial branch funds allocated to in-state judicial educationshall first be used to support mandatory in-state orientation programs for alljudicial branch employees and then for other education priorities asestablished by the Committee with input from the Boards of Judges andAdministrative Office.

 

(7)(C) Out-of-stateeducation programs. To provide for diverse educational development, to takeadvantage of unique national opportunities, and to utilize education programswhich cannot be offered in-state, the annual education plan shall includeout-of-state education opportunities. The Committee shall approve nationaleducation providers and shall include in the education procedures, criteria tobe applied by the Administrative Office to out-of-state education requests. Criteriashall include relevance to the attendee?s current assignment and attendance atin-state programs. Disagreement with a decision to deny an out-of-stateeducation request may be reviewed by a quorum of the Committee at theapplicant?s request.

 

(7)(D) Tuition, fees, andtravel. The Committee shall develop policies and procedures for payingtuition, fees, per diem, and travel for approved programs. State funds cannotbe used to pay for discretionary social activities, recreation, or spouseparticipation. The Committee may set financial limits on reimbursement forattendance at elective programs, with the individual participant personallymaking up the difference in cost when the cost exceeds program guidelines.

 

????? (8) Mentoring.

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(8)(A)Within seven business days after a new district or juvenile judge has beensworn in, the Presiding Judge shall appoint a mentor to the new judge.

 

(8)(B) Within fourteen business daysafter a new district or juvenile judge has been sworn in, the mentor and thenew judge shall meet and review the Judicial Mentoring Guidelines and BestPractices Recommendations, complete the Mentors' Checklist contained thereinand the mentor, within that same fourteen business day period, shall providethe completed Mentor?s Checklist to the Judicial Education Officer.

 

 

Effective November 1, 2020