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Rule 3-403. Judicial branch education.


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 andcourt staff, including provisions for funding and accreditation for educationalprograms.

To ensure that education programs, including opportunities for joborientation, skill and knowledge acquisition, and professional and personaldevelopment, are available to all members of the judicial branch and that suchprograms utilize the principles of adult education and focus on participativelearning.

To emphasize the importance of participation by all judicialbranch employees in education and training as an essential component inmaintaining the quality of justice in the Utah courts.


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

Statement of the Rule:

(1) Organization.

(1)(A) Judicial branch education committee. The Judicial BranchEducation Committee shall submit to the Council for approval proposed policies,standards, guidelines, and procedures applicable to all judicial brancheducation activities. It shall evaluate and monitor the quality of educationalprograms and make changes where appropriate within the approved guidelines forfunding, attendance, and accreditation.

(1)(B) Responsibilities of members. Committee members shallpropose policies and procedures for developing, implementing, and evaluatingorientation, continuing skill development, and career enhancement educationopportunities for all judicial branch employees; formulate an annual educationplan and calendar consistent with the judicial branch education budget; andserve as advocates for judicial branch education, including educating thejudiciary about the purpose and functions of the Committee.

(1)(C) Committee meetings.

(1)(C)(i) The Committee shall meet twice a year. Additional meetingsmay be called as necessary. A majority of voting members in attendance isrequired for official Committee action.

(1)(C)(ii) Thechairperson may recommend to the Council that a Committee member be replaced ifthat member is absent without excuse from two consecutive Committee meetings orfails to meet the responsibilities of membership as outlined in paragraph(1)(B).

(2) Administration. Judicial Education Officer.The Judicial Education Officer, under the direction of the Court Administrator,shall serve as staff to the Committee and be responsible for the administrationof the judicial education program consistent with this rule.

(3) Standards for judges and court commissioners.

(3)(A) Program requirements. All judges and court commissionersshall participate in the first designated orientation program offered after thedate the judge is administered the oath of office, unless attendance is excusedfor good cause by the Management Committee. All judges, court commissioners,active senior judges, and active senior justice court judges shall complete 30hours of pre-approved education annually, to be implemented on a schedulecoordinated by the Committee. Judges of courts of record and courtcommissioners may attend a combination of approved local, state, or nationalprograms. Active and inactive senior judges and retired judges may attendapproved local or state programs and the annual Utah Judicial Conference, butan inactive senior judge or retired judge must pay all expenses.

(3)(A)(i) Active senior judge. If an active senior judge appliesto be reappointed and will have completed at least 60 total education hours inthe two years preceding the effective date of reappointment, the ManagementCommittee may, for good cause shown, excuse the judge from having to completethe annual 30 hour education requirement.

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

(3)(A)(ii)(a) less than three years haspassed since he or she last complied with the continuing education requirementsof an active senior judge;

(3)(A)(ii)(b) he or she has complied withthe MCLE requirements of the Utah State Bar for at least three years before theapplication;

(3)(A)(ii)(c) he or she has attended 30hours of approved judicial education within one year before the application; or

(3)(A)(ii)(d) he or she has attended thenew judge orientation for judges of the courts of record within one year beforethe application. (3)(B)(i) Program components. Education programs for judgesand court commissioners shall include: a mandatory new judge orientationprogram; a variety of programs addressing substantive and procedural lawtopics, aimed at skill and knowledge acquisition; and programs geared toprofessional and personal development, to meet the continuing needs of judgesand court commissioners over the long term.(3)(B) Annual conferences. Justicecourt judges and active senior justice court judges shall attend the annualjustice court conference unless excused by the Management Committee for goodcause. Because the annual judicial conference represents the only opportunityfor judges to meet and interact as a group and to elect their representatives,judges, active senior judges and court commissioners of the courts of recordare strongly encouraged to attend that conference.

(4) Standards for court staff.

(4)(A) State employees.

(4)(A)(i) Program requirements. All court staff employed by thestate shall complete 20 hours of approved coursework annually.

(4)(A)(ii) Program components. Education programs for court staffemployed by the state shall include: on-the-job orientation for new employeesas well as semi-annual Orientation Academies; skill development programs thatteach technical and job-related competencies; and enhancement programs thatpromote personal and professional growth within the organization.

(4)(B) Local government employees.

(4)(B)(i) Program requirements. All court staff employed by thejustice courts shall complete 10 hours of approved coursework annually. Allother court staff employed by local government shall complete 20 hours ofapproved coursework annually.

(4)(B)(ii) Program components. Education programs for court staffemployed by local government shall include: annual training seminar; skilldevelopment programs that teach technical and job-related competencies; andenhancement programs that promote personal 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. Judicial education procedures shall include guidelinesfor determining which programs qualify as approved education within the meaningof these standards.

(7) Funding.

(7)(A) Budget. In preparing its annual request for legislativeappropriations, the Council shall receive and consider recommendations from theCommittee. The Committee?s annual education plan shall be based upon theCouncil?s actual budget allocation for judicial education.

(7)(B) In-state education programs. Judicial branch fundsallocated to in-state judicial education shall first be used to supportmandatory in-state orientation programs for all judicial branch employees andthen for other education priorities as established by the Committee with inputfrom the Boards of Judges and Administrative Office.

(7)(C) Out-of-state education programs. To provide for diverseeducational development, to take advantage of unique national opportunities,and to utilize education programs which cannot be offered in-state, the annualeducation plan shall include out-of-state education opportunities. TheCommittee shall approve national education providers and shall include in theeducation procedures, criteria to be applied by the Administrative Office toout-of-state education requests. Criteria shall include relevance to theattendee?s current assignment and attendance at in-state programs. Disagreementwith a decision to deny an out-of-state education request may be reviewed by aquorum of the Committee at the applicant?s request.

(7)(D) Tuition, fees, and travel. The Committee shall developpolicies and procedures for paying tuition, fees, per diem, and travel forapproved programs. State funds cannot be used to pay for discretionary socialactivities, recreation, or spouse participation. The Committee may setfinancial limits on reimbursement for attendance at elective programs, with theindividual participant personally making up the difference in cost when thecost exceeds program guidelines.


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