Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/22/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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03:18:26 PM Start
03:19:03 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
04:36:22 PM HB104
04:57:05 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 15 Minutes Following LAW --
+ Confirmation Hearing: Attorney General, TELECONFERENCED
Jahna Lindemuth
*+ HB 104 REPEAL COLLECTION OF CIVIL LITIG. INFO TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 104 Out of Committee
+ HB 69 REPEAL WORKERS' COMP APPEALS COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 22, 2017                                                                                        
                           3:18 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Matt Claman, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Zach Fansler, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Lora Reinbold                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Charisse Millett (alternate)                                                                                     
Representative Louise Stutes (alternate)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Attorney General                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Jahna Lindemuth     -    Anchorage                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     -  CONFIRMATION (S) ADVANCED                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                              
"An   Act  relating   to  collecting   information  about   civil                                                               
litigation  by  the  Alaska   Judicial  Council;  repealing  Rule                                                               
41(a)(3), Alaska Rules  of Civil Procedure, and  Rules 511(c) and                                                               
(e), Alaska  Rules of Appellate  Procedure; and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 104 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 69                                                                                                               
"An Act  repealing the Workers' Compensation  Appeals Commission;                                                               
relating  to decisions  and orders  of the  Workers' Compensation                                                               
Appeals Commission; relating to  superior court jurisdiction over                                                               
appeals  from  Alaska   Workers'  Compensation  Board  decisions;                                                               
repealing  Rules  201.1,  401.1,   and  501.1,  Alaska  Rules  of                                                               
Appellate  Procedure, and  amending Rules  202(a), 204(a)  - (c),                                                               
210(e), 601(b), and 603(a), Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure;                                                                
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 104                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL COLLECTION OF CIVIL LITIG. INFO                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/03/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/03/17       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/22/17       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JAHNA LINDEMUTH, Appointee                                                                                                      
Alaska Attorney General                                                                                                         
Alaska Department of Law                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the position of                                                                 
Attorney General, Alaska Department of Law.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LIZZIE KUBITZ, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 104 on behalf of the House                                                                   
Judiciary Standing Committee, sponsor by request, chaired by                                                                    
Representative Claman.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SUSANNE DiPETRO, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: During the hearing of HB 104, answered                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KEN JACOBUS, Attorney                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: During the hearing of HB 104, spoke in                                                                    
support of the legislation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SARAH BADTEN, Attorney                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  During  the  hearing  of  HB  104,  offered                                                             
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:18:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MATT  CLAMAN called the House  Judiciary Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to  order at 3:18  p.m. Representatives  Fansler, LeDoux,                                                               
Eastman,  and  Claman   were  present  at  the   call  to  order.                                                               
Representatives Kreiss-Tomkins  and Kopp  arrived as  the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
                    Alaska Attorney General                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:19:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
the  confirmation  hearing  regarding the  governor's  appointee,                                                               
Jahna  Lindemuth, to  the position  of  Attorney General,  Alaska                                                               
Department of  Law.   He advised that  members have  received the                                                               
appointee's application and resume,  and the appointee is present                                                               
and will testify.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:19:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAHNA  LINDEMUTH,  Appointee,  Alaska  Attorney  General,  Alaska                                                               
Department of  Law, advised  that she was  born on  Elmendorf Air                                                               
Force  Base [currently  Joint  Base Elmendorf-Richardson  (JBER)]                                                               
and raised in  Anchorage, Alaska.  She offered  that she attended                                                               
West  High  School,  and  Drew  University  in  New  Jersey,  and                                                               
returned to Alaska working in the  field of social services for a                                                               
few  years  before deciding  to  go  to  law  school.   She  then                                                               
attended the  University of  California, Berkeley,  and graduated                                                               
in 1997,  Order of Coif, the  top 10 percent of  that law school.                                                               
Upon  her  return  to  Alaska, she  clerked  for  Justice  Robert                                                               
Eastaugh on  the Alaska  Supreme Court, and  then joined  the law                                                               
firm of  Bogle & Gates  which became  Dorsey & Whitney  where she                                                               
has  spent  her  entire  career.     Attorney  General  Lindemuth                                                               
explained  she started  as an  associate  and worked  her way  to                                                               
managing partner  of 8  to 18 attorneys  in the  firm's Anchorage                                                               
office, and explained  that the law firm  is international having                                                               
more than 500 attorneys.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH advised that  in 2015 she was involved                                                               
with the Fairbanks  Four pro bono case and spent  more than 1,000                                                               
hours on pro bono work that  year when the public service bug hit                                                               
her.   In October  2015, Alaska Supreme  Court Justice  Dana Fabe                                                               
announced   her  retirement   and   Attorney  General   Lindemuth                                                               
submitted her application.  She  explained that going through the                                                               
Alaska  Judicial  Council  process   is  fairly  complicated  and                                                               
intense, taking  approximately six  months.  The  Alaska Judicial                                                               
Council submitted her  name on the short list  of applicants, and                                                               
subsequent  her  interview  with Governor  Bill  Walker,  Justice                                                               
Susan M.  Carney was appointed to  the Alaska Supreme Court.   In                                                               
June 2016, she  received word from the governor's  office to meet                                                               
with  him, he  asked  her to  be the  attorney  general, and  she                                                               
decided  it would  be an  honor and  a privilege  to accept  this                                                               
position.   She related that  she has  had no regrets  and enjoys                                                               
all of the people at the Department  of Law working on all of the                                                               
important issues for the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:24:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD   expressed  appreciation   to  Attorney                                                               
General Lindemuth  for the  entire day she  spent in  Eagle River                                                               
listening to  Representative Reinbold's heart-felt  concerns, and                                                               
her  advocacy toward  abused women  and  children in  particular.                                                               
She stressed that the position of  attorney general is one of the                                                               
most  important jobs  in the  state and  this is  the committee's                                                               
opportunity to  give the people  of Alaska a light  into Attorney                                                               
General Lindemuth and  what she believes is the  role of attorney                                                               
general.  She turned to  the fiscal crisis noting that Department                                                               
of Law  (DOL) has  grown 40  percent in the  last seven  to eight                                                               
years,  and asked  what Attorney  General Lindemuth  is doing  to                                                               
help the legislature close the fiscal gap.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:25:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH agreed  the  state  is in  a  fiscal                                                               
crisis and that  she fully supports the  legislature's efforts in                                                               
trying  to solve  the  budget  concerns.   She  related, the  big                                                               
picture is  that the  department, over the  last four  years, has                                                               
taken significant  cuts "23  percent since  2014, and  28 percent                                                               
since  FY2012," and  it also  lost many  positions.   She related                                                               
that  she joined  the department  with  fresh eyes  and with  her                                                               
management  experience met  with all  of the  sections to  really                                                               
understand  what the  department is  doing, what  services it  is                                                               
providing, and whether  it is providing the best  services to the                                                               
state.   In looking at  the budget, she stated,  the department's                                                               
budget  has been  cut  too far  and  it has  cut  into the  bone,                                                               
thereby, impacting core services  such as, criminal prosecutions,                                                               
child  protection,  pursuing  state   rights  in  fighting  state                                                               
sovereignty issues  with the  federal government,  and collecting                                                               
taxes  and  other   types  of  revenues  for  the   state.    The                                                               
department's  general  fund dollars  are  focused  on those  main                                                               
issues,  and as  part  of  the governor's  budget  this year  the                                                               
department recommended a  fairly flat budget to  the governor and                                                               
to  this legislature.    Recognizing that  times  are tough,  she                                                               
commented, the department's  goal is to stay even  and not suffer                                                               
further cuts moving forward as  its part for the fiscal certainty                                                               
and budget.   In the  event this legislature does  achieve fiscal                                                               
certainty and the  pieces of the pie are put  together in how the                                                               
state will  move forward into  the future fiscally, she  said she                                                               
would like  to revisit the  Department's budget to  consider what                                                               
is best for  the state regarding cost benefit  analysis on public                                                               
safety issues and  cost benefit analysis on  pursuing other types                                                               
of state resources.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:28:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  said the  bottom  line  with regard  to                                                               
agency  operations,  including  unrestricted general  fund  (UGF,                                                               
designated general  fund (DGF), other, and  federal funds, Alaska                                                               
is spending 7.5 billion.   The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates                                                               
that amount  is approximately three  times the  national average,                                                               
if  the  permanent fund  is  backed  out,  and according  to  the                                                               
Department of Law's (DOL) figures,  since 2008 the department has                                                               
gone up 40 percent, and in the  last ten years the state has gone                                                               
down  from roughly  $10  billion  to $1  billion  with regard  to                                                               
revenues.   She  then  acknowledged she  was  generalizing.   She                                                               
advised that  she needs  Attorney General  Lindemuth to  help the                                                               
legislature  reduce the  budget.   She  paraphrased Senator  Lisa                                                               
Murkowski as follows: "Not only are  we in a recession, but we're                                                               
the  number one,  I believe  she  said, for  unemployment."   The                                                               
decisions  of  Attorney  General Lindemuth  impacts  the  private                                                               
sector and  whether Alaska  is a friendly  place to  do business.                                                               
She asked Attorney  General Lindemuth to consider  the impacts on                                                               
the private sector and economy with the department's decisions.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH  responded that she views  her role as                                                               
the attorney  for all Alaskans  and that she  seriously considers                                                               
what  is  best for  Alaskans  and  the state  as  a  whole.   She                                                               
stressed  that   the  department   will  continue   making  legal                                                               
decisions with that  in mind and not focus solely  on the private                                                               
sector or the public sector.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:30:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked who she represents,  what she sees                                                               
as her  role as  attorney general, and  the most  important thing                                                               
she does.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:30:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH referred  to  her  role as  attorney                                                               
general and advised  it falls into three buckets.   She explained                                                               
that, currently, the department has  455 filled positions and she                                                               
is  managing the  largest  law  firm in  Alaska  with almost  300                                                               
attorneys,  and paralegals  and staff  to support  the attorneys.                                                               
The second  bucket is that  being the  top lawyer for  the state,                                                               
she  is involved  in  the  major legal  decisions  of the  state.                                                               
There  is no  doubt, she  related  that she  has great  attorneys                                                               
helping her with expertise in  various issues, and explained that                                                               
a few of the issues rising up to  her level are whether to take a                                                               
course  of action,  initiate litigation,  or settle  a big  case.                                                               
Her  staff briefs  her and  they usually  collectively come  to a                                                               
decision.   Although, when it comes  down to it, "the  buck stops                                                               
here" and she  is the one responsible for  those legal decisions.                                                               
She  explained that  with the  third bucket,  it is  important to                                                               
have a lawyer on the cabinet  to offer advice on legal issues the                                                               
state  faces at  that high  policy cabinet  level.   She stressed                                                               
that all  of her roles  are important and she  certainly realizes                                                               
the  seriousness and  import of  the attorney  general's role  in                                                               
those issues for all Alaskans.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:32:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD asked  what  Attorney General  Lindemuth                                                               
thinks about right-to-life,  gay marriage, and "what  will you do                                                               
if, you  know, an opinion comes  out from the courts  versus when                                                               
you  swear to  uphold  and ...  not only  uphold  but defend  the                                                               
Constitution  of the  State of  Alaska for  right-to-life issues,                                                               
for  a marriage  between one  man  and one  woman.   I know  some                                                               
lawyer,  you  know,  federal,  you  know,  basically  decided  to                                                               
overrule  us and  our constitution,  but  I swear  to uphold  our                                                               
constitution."   She asked  when push comes  to shove,  where she                                                               
would lean and  whether Attorney General Lindemuth  would lean to                                                               
defend and uphold  Alaska's constitution or yield  to the opinion                                                               
of a lawyer.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:33:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  answered that  the role  of the  top                                                               
lawyer  in the  state is  to  focus on  the  rule of  law on  any                                                               
particular issue.   The Constitution  of the State of  Alaska and                                                               
the  Constitution of  the United  States are  the most  important                                                               
guiding  principles,  and  then   there  are  the  statutes  this                                                               
legislature passes.  On any  particular issue, the most important                                                               
thing  is to  follow the  law and  uphold that  rule of  law, and                                                               
noted that  her opinion  on any  particular issue  really doesn't                                                               
matter because at the end of the day she follows the law.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD followed  up  that  as the  constitution                                                               
clearly states, it  is the supreme law of the  land, and that she                                                               
swears  to  uphold and  defend  the  Constitution of  the  United                                                               
States and  the Constitution  of the State  of Alaska,  and asked                                                               
whether that will be her tallest order.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  replied that  that is  the oath  she                                                               
took and she takes it seriously.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  surmised that Attorney  General Lindemuth                                                               
represents the  executive branch, but  she does not  solely serve                                                               
the executive  branch, and that to  a certain extent she  is part                                                               
of the  interplay between all  three branches of government.   He                                                               
offered  a  scenario of  the  judiciary  branch overstepping  its                                                               
bounds and  usurping the  legislature's authority  by legislating                                                               
from the  bench, and  asked what  her role  would be  as attorney                                                               
general in that situation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:35:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH explained  that the  attorney general                                                               
needs to step in where the  constitution is being violated, or on                                                               
any  particular  issue.   Again,  she  said, she  represents  the                                                               
entire state  and often that  is the executive branch,  and there                                                               
are  times  the  Department  of  Law (DOL)  can  be  involved  in                                                               
defending and  representing the court  system.  The  Alaska Court                                                               
System has its  own attorneys advising on  particular issues, and                                                               
Legislative   Legal   and   Research  Services   represents   the                                                               
legislative  branch.   Although,  there may  be  times where  the                                                               
attorney general's  office becomes involved in  representation of                                                               
a particular matter, she said.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL   LINDEMUTH,  in  response   to  Representative                                                               
Eastman's scenario, advised  that the issue would  be first dealt                                                               
with within the court system in  the event a superior court judge                                                               
made a decision  that did not follow the rule  of law, but rather                                                               
was  implementing policies,  such  as a  "judicial activist  type                                                               
judge."   Which, she  continued, is why  appellate courts  are in                                                               
place, to  help review  the issue and  address those  concern and                                                               
the  Alaska Supreme  Court is  there to  help interpret  the law,                                                               
including the constitution and its  principles.  In the event the                                                               
legislative  branch believes  the interpretation  doesn't reflect                                                               
the  law  it  enacted  or what  the  constitution  reflects,  the                                                               
legislature has the  ability to enact policy,  laws, and statutes                                                               
addressing its policy concerns in a particular case.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:37:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   offered  a   scenario  where   a  judge                                                               
overstepped  its bounds,  and "as  an attorney  one might  expect                                                               
Attorney General Lindemuth to give  a certain amount of deference                                                               
to the  Alaska Supreme  Court on  any number of  issues."   As an                                                               
attorney general, he asked whether  there are things she would do                                                               
if  she believes  an Alaska  Supreme Court  decision was  decided                                                               
improperly.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH answered that obviously  the attorney                                                               
general's office  participates in many  court cases heard  in the                                                               
state's  court system.   Whether  a party  or not,  if there  are                                                               
constitutional issues raised  in a court case,  the department is                                                               
notified   and   has   the   ability   to   weigh   in   on   the                                                               
constitutionality of  any particular statute.   In the  event the                                                               
Alaska  Supreme Court  decided a  case  the department  disagrees                                                               
with and there  are issues of federal constitutional  law, it can                                                               
decide whether to appeal to  United States Supreme Court.  Again,                                                               
she reiterated,  the Alaska Supreme  Court is  the constitutional                                                               
interpreter  of  Alaska  law  as   the  final  arbiter,  and  the                                                               
department has  to defer to  it.  The issue  can then go  back to                                                               
the  legislature  and if  it  disagrees  with the  policy  issues                                                               
addressed in any  particular case the legislature  can change the                                                               
policy, she pointed out.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:40:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN surmised  that  once  the Alaska  Supreme                                                               
Court makes a decision, she will defer to that judgment.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  reiterated, in  the event  it is  an                                                               
Alaska  constitutional  issue  or  an  Alaskan  law,  the  Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court is the final arbiter  of interpreting that law.  In                                                               
the  event  it is  a  federal  constitutional issue,  the  United                                                               
States Supreme Court could be the final arbiter, she said.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:40:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP commented  that  Attorney General  Lindemuth                                                               
certainly has the  demeanor "we're looking for,"  and pointed out                                                               
that  the  legislature  has struggled  over  the  years  deciding                                                               
whether  to  pass  legislation   to  separate  out  the  attorney                                                               
general's  office  from  the  executive  branch.    He  said  his                                                               
observation has  been that the  legislature gets  frustrated when                                                               
it  passes   legislation  that  possibly  the   executive  branch                                                               
"doesn't  want to  go  to  bat" to  support  the lawfully  passed                                                               
legislation.    He  related  that,  "We  who  support  the  whole                                                               
definition of  marriage as between  a man  and a woman,  the fact                                                               
that  Attorney  General  Richards   filed  an  amicus  brief  and                                                               
Governor Walker  let him do it,  'said, I'm stayin out  of it, he                                                               
can file  a brief supporting  the state's position on  this issue                                                               
which was in our constitution.'"   Regardless of how it all plays                                                               
out, he said, it gives the  people of Alaska confidence when they                                                               
see the attorney general looking at  what the people want and the                                                               
legislature passed, that the attorney  general would argue it and                                                               
go to  bat for  the people regardless  of the  attorney general's                                                               
personal  opinion.    He said  he  anticipates  Attorney  General                                                               
Lindemuth  will face  situations where  she  is on  the hot  seat                                                               
deciding whether to advocate for  what the legislature passed, or                                                               
not.    He  warned  that  there  can  be  political  pressure  by                                                               
particular  groups,  and  asked how  Attorney  General  Lindemuth                                                               
would approach those situations.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:43:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH related  that  having  been in  this                                                               
position for  six months  it gives her  some experience  to speak                                                               
from that  she may  not have had  if only a  month into  the job.                                                               
She expressed  that she  appreciates the  role the  Department of                                                               
Law   (DOL)  plays   in  how   legislation   moves  through   the                                                               
legislature, and  that it tries  to weigh in early  when concerns                                                               
are raised  in a bill  that may  have constitutional issues.   By                                                               
doing so, when  the bill gets to  the end of the  process and the                                                               
legislation is passed, the department  must write a letter to the                                                               
governor as to whether the governor  should sign it into law, and                                                               
at   that  point   the   department  can   advise   that  it   is                                                               
constitutional  and that  the department  has no  concerns.   She                                                               
explained that  the process  is in place  for the  legislature to                                                               
pass constitutional laws which works  and is a functional system.                                                               
In the  event a law passes,  the department reviewed it,  and the                                                               
governor signed  off, yet there is  a lawsuit down the  road, the                                                               
department  certainly should  be defending  the constitutionality                                                               
of any  validly passed legislation  reflecting a  policy decision                                                               
by the legislature.   Even if it is something  she personally has                                                               
issues  with  or would  have  decided  differently, her  role  as                                                               
attorney  general  is  to defend  the  constitutionality  of  any                                                               
validly passed legislation, she stated.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:44:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP noted that recently  the Alaska Supreme Court                                                               
struck down the parental notification  initiative, with a vote of                                                               
4 to 1, and he strongly  agrees with Chief Justice Craig Stowers'                                                               
dissent.  He  then paraphrased Chief Justice  Stowers as follows:                                                               
"we've told  the people of Alaska  that there is no  way they can                                                               
pass  any  prolife  legislation   protecting  the  unborn."    He                                                               
acknowledged  that he  is picking  extremely emotionally  charged                                                               
subjects or  politically charged  because he  would like  to know                                                               
whether she is  comfortable supporting a law and  arguing for its                                                               
merits in court.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH said, "Absolutely, that's  what we're                                                               
here  for."   She continued  that part  of Representative  Kopp's                                                               
premise  was that  even though  it might  be difficult  with this                                                               
court,  if there  is a  constitutional defense,  the role  of the                                                               
attorney  general  is to  defend  the  constitutionality of  that                                                               
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether  the role  of the  attorney                                                               
general is  to represent  the governor or  the people,  and noted                                                               
that  she  supports  the  idea of  an  elected  attorney  general                                                               
because it makes clear that  the attorney general's client is the                                                               
electorate.   She  added  that she  always  thought the  governor                                                               
called  the  shots as  to  what  positions the  attorney  general                                                               
takes,   although  Attorney   General   Craig  Richards   thought                                                               
differently  during   his  confirmation  hearings.     She  asked                                                               
Attorney General Lindemuth's philosophy as  to how she would deal                                                               
with something she thought was a  winnable case for the people of                                                               
Alaska  and the  governor thought  differently -  to whom  is her                                                               
obligation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:48:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH said  she  does  not tie  those  two                                                               
things together in  her mind.  The attorney general  in Alaska is                                                               
appointed  by the  governor and  serves  at the  pleasure of  the                                                               
governor,  and she  continued  that  she does  not  think of  the                                                               
governor  as her  client  because  her client  is  the people  of                                                               
Alaska.    She  said  she wears  different  hats  and  represents                                                               
different clients  representing the  people, such  as all  of the                                                               
different  departments of  the state,  the different  boards, and                                                               
the Board of Game, for example,  is a client of the Department of                                                               
Law  (DOL).    Oftentimes,  there   could  be  conflicts  between                                                               
clients, such that the Department  of Natural Resources (DNR) and                                                               
Department  of   Transportation  (TRA)  may  look   at  something                                                               
differently whether there is an  easement through a property, for                                                               
example, and different attorneys are  appointed.  The governor is                                                               
just  one of  those clients,  although  the governor  is the  top                                                               
elected official  and as such with  the vote of Alaskans  he does                                                               
make the final policy call when policy  calls are to be made.  As                                                               
far as making  the call on the  law and what the law  is, that is                                                               
the  role  of  the  attorney   general.    Again,  she  said  she                                                               
approaches  this  job in  a  traditional  framework after  twenty                                                               
years  in private  practice advising  clients and  explaining the                                                               
legal framework of a particular issue.   Since she is not elected                                                               
and  there  are people  who  are  elected,  the policy  with  any                                                               
particular issue  should be  made by  elected officials.   Again,                                                               
she said, there are instances where  there are no policy calls to                                                               
be  made and  the  attorney  general is  actually  a more  direct                                                               
representative of  the people.   For instance, in  the regulatory                                                               
affairs world with the Regulatory  Commission of Alaska (RCA), by                                                               
statute and  definition the department  represents the  people in                                                               
those proceedings.   Within any particular issue she  has to look                                                               
at  who the  client  is  and who  is  the  final decision  maker.                                                               
Constitutional issues  are the purview of  the attorney general's                                                               
office  and validly  passed legislation  needs to  be pursued  in                                                               
defense of  that statute even  if it is something  the governor's                                                               
office may not want to pursue.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH related  that  it  is a  complicated                                                               
issue and her role and experience  in private practice led her to                                                               
understand  those  issues.    She  noted  that  within  her  sub-                                                               
specialties,  she  has been  involved  in  fiduciary duty  cases,                                                               
different corporate government-type cases  where a board has been                                                               
challenged, an executive officer  has been challenged, there have                                                               
been fraud  cases, and issues  of self-dealing of  any particular                                                               
person or board  who have been deemed to  represent their people,                                                               
shareholders, or government  and the lawyer needs  to advise they                                                               
acted outside of their fiduciary  duties, and such.  The attorney                                                               
general does need  to keep those things in mind  and make certain                                                               
the  different representatives  of  the state  are obeying  their                                                               
fiduciary duties  as the attorney  general advises the  state and                                                               
its different representatives, she explained.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  referred to the topic  of immigration and                                                               
sanctuary,  and  asked  whether,  as attorney  general,  she  can                                                               
decline to enforce laws she  disagrees with without violating her                                                               
oath.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:52:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY   GENERAL  LINDEMUTH   pointed  out   that  that   is  a                                                               
complicated question and  she would need more  context to answer.                                                               
She opined  that Representative Eastman was  referring to Senator                                                               
Lisa  Murkowski's comments  to the  legislature this  morning and                                                               
questions asked about the Administrative  Order received from the                                                               
current  administration yesterday.    She advised  that when  she                                                               
heard  Senator Murkowski's  comments, she  immediately asked  her                                                               
folks to look  at the order, evaluate whether  there is something                                                               
there the state  needs to evaluate, whether it  comports with the                                                               
law,  what the  state will  be  asked to  do, and  whether it  is                                                               
legal.   At this  point she does  not yet know  the answer.   She                                                               
pointed  out  that  Alaska  needs to  pay  close  attention  when                                                               
looking at  directives from the federal  government and determine                                                               
whether  it falls  within the  purview of  the federal  and state                                                               
constitutions  and the  frameworks given.   In  that regard,  the                                                               
state can decide  whether it objects to that  prerogative or not,                                                               
but she does not know what the final answer will be.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:54:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  offered the  scenario of a  law requiring                                                               
the governor to  present a balance budget to  the legislature and                                                               
the governor declines  to do so.  He asked,  as attorney general,                                                               
how she would  approach the tension between  her understanding of                                                               
the  law  and  her  observation  that the  governor  was  not  in                                                               
compliance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH stated that  is one of  the positives                                                               
of the attorney general being  part of the governor's cabinet and                                                               
being part of the close advisory  group of the governor.  In that                                                               
regard, these concerns  can be addressed early on and  she can be                                                               
part of  a privileged  conversation with  the governor  and offer                                                               
advice on the issues he needs  to address, and that her advice as                                                               
the top  lawyer would  be to X,  Y, or Z,  on whatever  the issue                                                               
was.   She  described a  good process  is when  that kind  of top                                                               
legal advice  is available for  the administration  while working                                                               
through  issues, thereby,  having  less  problems going  forward.                                                               
Attorney General Lindemuth  commented that the flip  side of that                                                               
is that she  recently met some elected attorneys  general and one                                                               
fellow advised  that within the  two years  of his tenure  he had                                                               
already sued  his governor  four times.   She described,  that is                                                               
not a  functional system and,  possibly, that's not the  best way                                                               
to address  concerns.  She  remarked that the soft  advice behind                                                               
the scenes  is the best  way to  keep the administration  on task                                                               
and within the rule of law.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:56:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  reiterated his previous  scenario wherein                                                               
the attorney general viewed a law  to say a certain thing and her                                                               
advice  the  executive  decided  to not  conform  behavior  to  a                                                               
statute.   He asked whether she  should wait for someone  else to                                                               
raise that kind of issue.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH said it  is hard to imagine where that                                                               
would come up  or how that would present itself,  and it would be                                                               
a  difficult situation  no  matter what.    The attorney  general                                                               
would have  to evaluate the options  at the time and  how best to                                                               
address it.   She pointed out  that in the event  she thought the                                                               
governor was going down a road  she believed was contrary to law,                                                               
she would take that seriously.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:56:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  turned to the  idea of whether or  not the                                                               
state has  an obligation  to enforce federal  laws, and  noted it                                                               
first  came  up in  the  marijuana  legislation.   In  the  event                                                               
attorneys  general have  an obligation  to support  federal laws,                                                               
the laws ignored by attorneys  general of probably more than one-                                                               
half  of the  states would  have to  be challenged.   She  opined                                                               
there  was  a  line  of  federal law  stating  that  the  federal                                                               
government could not  obligate a state to enforce  a federal law,                                                               
although,  possibly  at  the  loss   of  federal  dollars.    She                                                               
described  it as  a  separation  of powers  argument  in that  it                                                               
wasn't  unconstitutional  to  pass legislation  in  violation  of                                                               
federal  law   because  one  sovereign  couldn't   force  another                                                               
sovereign to do something.  She asked whether she was correct.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:58:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  opined  that the  principle may  not                                                               
apply in every  circumstance and it is necessary  to evaluate any                                                               
particular  issue  and decide  whether  the  federal law  is  the                                                               
controller  and  whether  there  is  a way  the  state  could  be                                                               
mandated to do  something.  She said it is  a complicated area of                                                               
law being  evaluated, and she does  not have the final  answer on                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:59:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP opined  that the  Alaska legislature  passed                                                               
possibly one  or two laws  directing the attorney general  to not                                                               
enforce  a  federal  law that  would  further  restrict  firearms                                                               
ownership.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  responded that she was  unsure whether the                                                               
entire legislature  passed it, but  the House  of Representatives                                                               
did pass it.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP determined  that it  is not  unheard of  for                                                               
this  body to  be fairly  prescriptive at  times, and  it may  be                                                               
something Attorney General Lindemuth could be faced with.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX remarked  that the law passed  in the House                                                               
of Representatives  obligated the state to  arrest federal agents                                                               
if they did something in violation of Alaska's gun laws.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  commented that gun  rights is a  fairly non-                                                               
partisan issue in this state.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:00:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD noted that  Attorney General Lindemuth is                                                               
on the  Criminal Justice  Commission and  asked whether  she sees                                                               
her  role  as  shaping  or   enforcing  policy.    She  said  the                                                               
commission  gave  specific  recommendations of  which  she  found                                                               
appalling with  regard to public  safety, and that  public safety                                                               
is the  legislature's most  important mandate.   She  opined that                                                               
there is a severe separation of  powers issue with judges and the                                                               
executive branch weighing in on  law.  The legislature "only gets                                                               
to do two things here, write  the law and budget," and she opined                                                               
it was  completely invaded with  judges and the  executive branch                                                               
and there  needs to be  a "much  bigger separation" of  this body                                                               
versus the executive branch versus the judicial branch.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH  answered  that said  she  sees  her                                                               
primary  role as  enforcing  the law  as  currently written,  and                                                               
there would  be a  small policy  role involved  because she  is a                                                               
commissioner on  the Alaska  Criminal Justice  Commission.   As a                                                               
commissioner, that  is a subset  of the role of  attorney general                                                               
as policy issues are addressed  on the commission.  She continued                                                               
that  when  there  are  legal  issues  or  changes  to  the  law,                                                               
especially those  that the department is  recommending, including                                                               
amendments to  Senate Bill 91,  Criminal Justice Reform,  that is                                                               
certainly a  policy issue the  department is advocating  so there                                                               
is a  small policy  role there.   She  stressed that  the primary                                                               
role of  attorney general is enforce  and to be certain  the laws                                                               
of the State of Alaska are compiled with and followed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:02:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  commented that some people  reviewed the                                                               
Criminal Justice Commission's  recommendations as gospel, whereas                                                               
she looked  at the recommendations as  a horror book.   She asked                                                               
whether there is a separation  of powers issue, and further asked                                                               
Attorney General Lindemuth to look  at "the other side," and help                                                               
the legislature make this law  better by keeping victims in mind,                                                               
and  that,  possible, the  legislature  went  too far  with  this                                                               
policy.   She reiterated whether Attorney  General Lindemuth sees                                                               
public safety  as one of  the most  important mandates in  law as                                                               
her role.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:03:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH stressed that  public safety is one of                                                               
the top  priorities of  the department  and of  Governor Walker's                                                               
administration.  She  explained that the way  laws are prosecuted                                                               
within  the   State  of  Alaska,   the  department   has  primary                                                               
prosecutorial  responsibility  which  is   a  huge  component  of                                                               
keeping the public safety.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LINEMUTH   turned  to  Representative   Reinbold's  original                                                               
question and advised  that the legislature has the  sole power on                                                               
legislation and that is not  something that should be deferred to                                                               
other   areas.      The    Criminal   Justice   Commission   made                                                               
recommendations,  and  the  legislature  could  then  take  those                                                               
recommendations and  determine what  is best  for the  state when                                                               
looking  at   the  policy   issues.     She  remarked   that  the                                                               
commission's  recommendations  are  certainly  helpful,  and  the                                                               
recent amendment  recommendations for  Senate Bill  91 do  not go                                                               
far enough in  the department's viewpoint.  She  pointed out that                                                               
both the Department  of Law and the Department  of Public Safety,                                                               
with  the   support  of  Governor  Walker,   are  advocating  for                                                               
additional  changes  to  the  laws   that  go  further  than  the                                                               
recommendations of the commission.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:05:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD queried  whether she  would support  the                                                               
attorney  general  being  elected  by going  through  an  intense                                                               
vetting  process  from  the public  and  truly  representing  the                                                               
people of Alaska                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH related  that  in  having looked  at                                                               
this, understanding that most other  states have elected attorney                                                               
general positions, she  expressed that this state  was blessed in                                                               
being  one  of  the  last  states  to  join  the  union,  with  a                                                               
constitutional  convention wherein  the delegates  could evaluate                                                               
the  results  of  the  actions  of  every  other  state.    Those                                                               
delegates  took  a long  hard  look  at  how  to put  this  state                                                               
together,  and   the  delegates   taking  politics  out   of  the                                                               
department  was actually  a good  thing.   She explained  that to                                                               
have an  elected attorney general  the state would have  a fourth                                                               
branch of  government in a  sense, and  then adding in  money and                                                               
politics to  the attorney  general position  complicates matters.                                                               
The  question   then  becomes,  she  pointed   out,  whether  the                                                               
corporations  contributing   money  to  the   attorney  general's                                                               
campaign  are  being  treated better  in  regulatory  issues  and                                                               
criminal  prosecution issues,  and  the like.   She  acknowledged                                                               
there are  pluses and minuses  to both systems, but  her personal                                                               
opinion is  that the delegates  got it right  and it is  best the                                                               
attorney general position be appointed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:07:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  commented that she does  not necessarily                                                               
think  its politics,  it's the  people vetting  who they  want in                                                               
that position,  and it's a  decent idea to  look at.   She stated                                                               
that  companies don't  vote -  people vote,  and the  legislature                                                               
could  decide  there  would  be  no  financial  contribution,  or                                                               
whatever,  or  have  tight  restrictions such  as  those  of  the                                                               
legislature.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:07:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN said  the attorney  general is  the chief                                                               
law enforcement official  for Alaska, and asked  whether she will                                                               
permit law enforcement  to break the law in order  to enforce it,                                                               
if not, what tools would she  consider using to prevent that from                                                               
taking place.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH expressed  that she does  not believe                                                               
law enforcement can  or does break the law in  enforcing the laws                                                               
and,  that  it is  not  an  issue  that  needs addressing.    She                                                               
commented, in the event there  is any particular officer breaking                                                               
the law, it would be dealt with in the legal processes in place.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:09:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KOPP   related   that  resource   and   resource                                                               
protection  is a  big deal,  and the  Alaska Supreme  Court ruled                                                               
that a fishery  cannot be managed from the ballot  box.  He asked                                                               
whether she is comfortable defending that position.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH  stated that she is  not familiar with                                                               
the court case ...                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  explained that  the  state  recently had  a                                                               
ballot  initiative precluding  setnetting in  Cook Inlet  wherein                                                               
the group of  fisherman who harvest fish in that  manner would be                                                               
prohibited,  and the  Alaska Supreme  Court  decided the  fishery                                                               
would not be managed in that manner.   He remarked there is a lot                                                               
of  politics in  fish  in  Alaska, and  asked  whether she  feels                                                               
strong enough to engage in the Alaska Supreme Court's decision.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:10:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH commented  that Representative Kopp is                                                               
returning  to the  theme previous  heard.   Again, if  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court has  spoken on an issue of Alaska  law, and whether                                                               
some  action can  be  taken  by ballot  initiative  or whether  a                                                               
statute  needs  to be  passed  by  the  legislature in  order  to                                                               
address  some  particular policy  issue,  the  Department of  Law                                                               
(DOL)  defers to  the  Alaska Supreme  Court  on that  particular                                                               
issue.   She said she  fully agrees  with the importance  of fish                                                               
and wildlife issues in Alaska  and the many legal issues involved                                                               
in that  particular endeavor.   She  advised that  the department                                                               
has  at least  one  person fully  dedicated  to representing  the                                                               
Department  of  Fish  &  Game  (ADF&G) and  those  issues.    The                                                               
Constitution of  the State of  Alaska has a  provision addressing                                                               
natural  resources  and fish  and  wildlife  in Alaska  and,  she                                                               
pointed  out,  it  is  important to  maintain  and  defend  those                                                               
principles.    She remarked  that  this  includes the  filing  of                                                               
litigation in early January against  the federal government, both                                                               
to  the  National   Park  Service  and  the   fish  and  wildlife                                                               
regulations  that  impacted the  state's  ability  to manage  its                                                               
resources, those issue  are in the forefront  of the Department's                                                               
agenda.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  advised that each  member can now ask  one question                                                               
because the members were asking  the same questions just a little                                                               
differently, and the answers were pretty much the same.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:12:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  referred  to  Article  IX,  Section  13,                                                               
Constitution of the State of Alaska, which read as follows:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     No money  shall be  withdrawn from the  treasury except                                                                    
     in  accordance  with  appropriations made  by  law.  No                                                                    
     obligation for  the payment of money  shall be incurred                                                                    
     except    as    authorized    by    law.    Unobligated                                                                    
     appropriations outstanding at the  end of the period of                                                                    
     time specified by law shall be void                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  commented that there have  been occasions                                                               
in recent years where the  Alaska Supreme Court has endeavored to                                                               
direct  the legislature  to fund  programs the  legislature chose                                                               
not  to  fund.    Considering that  the  constitution  gives  the                                                               
authority  to make  expenditures exclusively  to the  legislative                                                               
branch,  he   asked  how  the   courts  can  be   corrected  from                                                               
overstepping and impinging upon  a responsibility solely given to                                                               
another body of government.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:13:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH related  that she is  unfamiliar with                                                               
what particular court case  Representative Eastman was referring,                                                               
but again, the constitutional principle  that the legislature has                                                               
the power of appropriation is fundamental.   That is an issue the                                                               
department  keeps in  mind when  briefing constitutional  issues,                                                               
and it  is aware  of the  constitutional provisions  that govern.                                                               
She explained that part of the  process is making sure the issues                                                               
are properly  briefed to the  courts to  be certain Alaska  has a                                                               
good strong  constitutional analysis so  the courts can  make the                                                               
correct final  decision on those  particular issues.   She noted,                                                               
this includes pointing  out when there is an  unfunded mandate on                                                               
any particular issue in the  statutes, and then not appropriating                                                               
the money to fund it.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:14:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS  noted   that  Attorney   General                                                               
Lindemuth is  the chief  attorney in  Alaska's largest  law firm,                                                               
and  with   particularly  complex   pieces  of   legislation  and                                                               
especially  constitutionally complex  pieces of  legislation, the                                                               
expertise that  resides in the  department and  Legislative Legal                                                               
and Research  Services can't ably  be found elsewhere.   He asked                                                               
Attorney General  Lindemuth to  speak to  her perspective  on the                                                               
appropriateness of the collaboration  between the two branches in                                                               
advising or  offering a perspective  on crafting  legislation and                                                               
working with the legislative branch.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  pointed out  that the  Department of                                                               
Law (DOL)  does just that  on a  daily basis.   The legislature's                                                               
counsel  is   Legislative  Legal   and  Research   Services,  her                                                               
department assigns  an attorney to  each bill moving  through the                                                               
House of Representatives and that  attorney is available to offer                                                               
legal  analysis and  comment  while the  bill  moves through  the                                                               
legislative process.   The reason  being, she explained,  is that                                                               
the department  does not want  to get to  the end of  the process                                                               
wherein  a  bill  is  passed   that  the  department  decides  is                                                               
unconstitutional,  or that  there's  a problem.   The  department                                                               
prefers  to  raise  those  issues early  on  so  the  legislative                                                               
process works  as efficiently  and effectively  as possible.   In                                                               
the event a  legislator has questions on a  piece of legislation,                                                               
the department  is certainly happy  to be involved early  on and,                                                               
she  noted  that  she  put   that  offer  of  assistance  out  to                                                               
legislators at the beginning of this session.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:17:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD asked  whether she would be  able to work                                                               
with the current national administration.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:17:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL   LINDEMUTH  advised  that  working   with  any                                                               
administration,  including  the  federal  administration,  is  an                                                               
important  part of  being the  attorney general.   She  predicted                                                               
there could be issues wherein  the department disagrees or agrees                                                               
because  there were  issues  it disagreed  with  during the  past                                                               
administration; therefore,  an open  dialogue is important.   She                                                               
said her philosophy is that issues  need to be addressed early on                                                               
with  a   fruitful  discussion   when  there   is  an   issue  of                                                               
disagreement so that  litigation does not ensue.   She is hopeful                                                               
the incoming administration  will be more favorable  to Alaska on                                                               
natural resources  and the type of  issues the state has  been in                                                               
litigation with over the recent years.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:18:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD encouraged  Attorney General Lindemuth to                                                               
try to  work with this administration,  and she asked her  to try                                                               
to purge political  leanings out of the Department  of Law (DOL).                                                               
She noted that her constituents  have "called me pretty regularly                                                               
about concerns  they have  in your department,  even a  couple of                                                               
lawyers that  are concerned,  and staff."   She described  "it is                                                               
kind of hostile  for some conservatives in the  Department of Law                                                               
(DOL),"  and  she  asked her  to  try  to  make  it a  safe  work                                                               
environment for all political viewpoints.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:19:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH  stressed that she was  unaware of any                                                               
particular issues  of folks  not feeling  safe at  the department                                                               
and it would  really concern her if that were  true.  She further                                                               
stressed  that  she is  definitely  committed  to having  a  safe                                                               
workplace and  that folk's feel  their views are respected.   Her                                                               
personal  view,  she noted,  is  to  hear  all of  the  different                                                               
viewpoints  and thoughts  so  they are  fully  vetted before  she                                                               
actually makes a final decision.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD commented that  she has a constituent who                                                               
recently quit, and someone who  feels it is a hostile environment                                                               
for their  opinions.  She  stated that it  is an issue  and asked                                                               
that Attorney General  Lindemuth be aware because it  has come to                                                               
her attention too many times for her to not say something.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN,  after  ascertaining  no one  wished  to  testify,                                                               
closed public  testimony on the confirmation  of Attorney General                                                               
Lindemuth.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:21:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   REINBOLD  commented   that  one   of  the   most                                                               
progressive  ideals of  all time  is  the "inalienable  God-given                                                               
rights given to each American citizen."   She opined that some of                                                               
the  modern progressives  are progressing  America far  away from                                                               
those  most progressive  ideals  of all  time  and infringing  on                                                               
right-to-life,  and  many liberties.    She  asked that  Attorney                                                               
General  Lindemuth  not  look  to  the  modern  progressives  for                                                               
wisdom, and  to be grounded in  the mandate of public  safety and                                                               
protection  of these  inalienable rights.   She  also asked  that                                                               
Attorney General Lindemuth keep in  mind that some people are not                                                               
working and  are enjoying the fruits  of the labor of  those that                                                               
are working.  She then  asked that Attorney General Lindemuth not                                                               
look  so much  to  lawyers,  but rather  look  to  the wisdom  of                                                               
America's Founding  Fathers and the principles  that made America                                                               
one of  the most free  and prosperous nation  in the world.   She                                                               
thanked her for her service.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:23:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS thanked  Attorney General Lindemuth                                                               
for being  willing to serve,  especially given  the circumstances                                                               
of the  transition, and  pointed out that  public service  can be                                                               
significant in  ways financial, professional, and  otherwise.  He                                                               
commented that on a philosophical  note he appreciated her answer                                                               
to  the relationship  of  the attorney  general  relative to  the                                                               
governor, which  is the  perspective he has  followed.   He noted                                                               
that in  other states, the  attorney general often  is speculated                                                               
to be an aspiring governor, which  seems messy.  He noted that he                                                               
appreciates the  non-political nature of  the office and  that he                                                               
has  confidence Attorney  General  Lindemuth  will continue  that                                                               
tradition in Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP thanked Attorney  General Lindemuth for being                                                               
willing to do  this job because her two predecessors  paid a high                                                               
price  by nearly  working themselves  to death,  and he  is aware                                                               
this position is of great  personal sacrifice.  The Department of                                                               
Law  (DOL)  has   been  through  a  lot,  in  fact   one  of  the                                                               
department's attorneys,  Brian Sullivan, was killed  in Utqiagvik                                                               
three years  ago.  District attorneys  have a tough job  in tough                                                               
villages in  remote spots and  they need  a good leader,  and the                                                               
legislature  is counting  on  her  to be  that  person, he  said.                                                               
Attorney  General  Lindemuth has  a  good  heart for  people,  he                                                               
opined, and  he is  appreciative that  she is  willing to  be the                                                               
attorney general.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:26:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN,  in  remembrance of  Assistant  District                                                               
Attorney Brian Sullivan, advised that  he worked directly for ADA                                                               
Sullivan when he  was in the Army at Fort  Richardson, he was one                                                               
of the folks encouraging him to  become a lawyer and get involved                                                               
in  politics  because  he  had been  a  former  state  legislator                                                               
himself.  He asked Attorney  General Lindemuth to review the oath                                                               
she  took as  attorney general  because it  closely reflects  the                                                               
perspective of his  district.  As a captain in  the armed forces,                                                               
there  was no  question  that if  he  obeyed an  unconstitutional                                                               
order, no  matter what  happened to  his commanding  officers, it                                                               
would  fall  on him  personally.    The  defining issue  in  this                                                               
decision of  approving a  confirmation is  the balance  of powers                                                               
between the  three branches, and  specifically what it  means for                                                               
an attorney general to take the oath of office.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:28:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN opined  that he heard in  her testimony an                                                               
unwritten statement,  "The Constitution of the  United States and                                                               
the Constitution  of the  State of Alaska  as interpreted  by the                                                               
Alaska Supreme  Court."   He said he  believes that  language was                                                               
deliberately left  out when the  Founding Fathers  deliberated on                                                               
checks between the various branches  of government, and there was                                                               
not a desire for the United  States Supreme Court to be the final                                                               
arbiter of  the responsibilities  of public  officials.   He then                                                               
applauded  his  district on  Election  Day  because "My  district                                                               
voted down  every single judge.   The voters in my  district took                                                               
the time, which is amazing to  me in some respects, took the time                                                               
to individually  mark 'No' to  every single judge, and  there was                                                               
[sic] over 20  on the ballet in my district."   He commented that                                                               
it reflects a  level of dissatisfaction with  tension between the                                                               
branches  of government,  the  ability of  the  people through  a                                                               
ballot measure to pass a law,  such as parental notification.  He                                                               
continued  that a  part of  that might  be the  process by  which                                                               
individuals  are  selected  for  service on  the  Alaska  Supreme                                                               
Court.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN stopped Representative  Eastman and pointed out that                                                               
while  he understands  concerns  about  court appointments,  this                                                               
hearing  is not  about  a  court appointment  because  it is  the                                                               
attorney  general.   He remarked  that he  is confused  how court                                                               
appointments have anything to do with the attorney general.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:31:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  related that his discussion  is about the                                                               
attorney general  stating deference  to the Alaska  Supreme Court                                                               
with  little questioning.   He  said  Attorney General  Lindemuth                                                               
resolved some of  the tension between the  branches by deferring,                                                               
but the  Founding Fathers did not  intend for that tension  to be                                                               
resolved, which  is sometimes messy.   Deference is  first toward                                                               
the  Constitution of  the  State  of Alaska,  and  from there  to                                                               
resolve tensions  that can  be resolved and  "if you  can't, then                                                               
you  just can't."    He said  that  his district  and  he have  a                                                               
fundamental  philosophical   difference  with   Attorney  General                                                               
Lindemuth  and he  will  vote against  her  confirmation on  this                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:33:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN   then  explained   the  confirmation   process  to                                                               
Representative  Eastman  in  that the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee does  not make  a recommendation  because it  is simply                                                               
making a  decision to forward  the name  to the joint  session of                                                               
the Senate and House of  Representatives, and whether he approves                                                               
or does not approve, the opportunity  to vote is during the joint                                                               
session.   He further  explained that  there is  no vote  in this                                                               
committee as  to whether he  supports the nomination or  does not                                                               
support  the  nomination,  and that  Representative  Eastman  did                                                               
articulate his views.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN noted that Attorney  General Lindemuth, having never                                                               
met  Governor Walker  before, applied  for a  seat on  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme  Court.   He  explained  that  previously they  had  been                                                               
involved in  trial matters together,  either on the same  side or                                                               
on opposite  sides, and in that  regard he wrote a  letter to the                                                               
governor strongly  endorsing her  appointment.  He  stressed that                                                               
Attorney General  Lindemuth, more  than anything  else, maintains                                                               
the highest ethics  in the profession and that he  has the utmost                                                               
confidence she will  advocate on behalf of  the state's interests                                                               
in front of  the Alaska Supreme Court.  He  then thanked Attorney                                                               
General Lindemuth  for her service,  and said he  appreciates the                                                               
time they've gotten to know each other professionally.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:35:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER said  that the  House Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee  has  reviewed  the  qualification  of  the  governor's                                                               
appointee  and   recommends  that  the  name,   Jahna  Lindemuth,                                                               
Attorney General,  Alaska Department  of Law,  be forwarded  to a                                                               
joint  session of  the Senate  and House  of Representatives  for                                                               
consideration.   This  does  not  reflect intent  by  any of  the                                                               
members  to  vote  for  or against  this  individual  during  any                                                               
further sessions for the purposes of confirmation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN objected                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN said objection noted.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
         HB 104-REPEAL COLLECTION OF CIVIL LITIG. INFO                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:36:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 104, "An  Act relating to  collecting information                                                               
about civil litigation by the  Alaska Judicial Council; repealing                                                               
Rule 41(a)(3), Alaska Rules of  Civil Procedure, and Rules 511(c)                                                               
and (e), Alaska  Rules of Appellate Procedure;  and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  advised he  would  like  to  move  HB 104  out  of                                                               
committee  today,  in  part because  Susanne  DiPetro,  Executive                                                               
Director for the Alaska Judicial  Council is available to testify                                                               
today in person.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIZZIE KUBITZ,  Staff, Representative  Matt Claman,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,   read  for   the   record   as  follows   [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     For  the record,  my name  is  Lizzie Kubitz  and I  am                                                                    
     staff to  Chair Claman.  Thank you for  the opportunity                                                                    
     to testify.                                                                                                                
     House Bill  104 eliminates  the automatic  reporting of                                                                    
     information  about  civil  case  settlements  currently                                                                    
     required by  law. The  bill follows  the advice  of the                                                                    
     Alaska  Judicial Council,  which  has recommended  that                                                                    
     the legislature eliminate this requirement.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     To give  some historical  context: In  1997, responding                                                                    
     to public interest  in tort reform and the  work of the                                                                    
     Governor's Advisory  Task Force  on Civil  Justice, the                                                                    
     legislature  passed tort  reform legislation.  One part                                                                    
     of  the  legislation  responded  to  the  Task  Force's                                                                    
     recommendation that the  Alaska Judicial Council report                                                                    
     on closed civil cases,  using data from forms completed                                                                    
     by  attorneys and  parties in  the  cases. Since  then,                                                                    
     pursuant   to  statute,   the   Judicial  Council   has                                                                    
     collected data provided by  attorneys and litigants and                                                                    
     has produced  three reports.  However, much  more often                                                                    
     than  not,  attorneys  and  litigants  have  failed  to                                                                    
     comply with the reporting requirement.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In its most recent  report from November 2011, included                                                                    
     in  your  bill  packets, the  Alaska  Judicial  Council                                                                    
     reports that  from January 2001 through  December 2010,                                                                    
     88,873 cases  were resolved in the  Alaska Court system                                                                    
     that  were   subject  to  the   reporting  requirement.                                                                    
     Because  each  case  had  at  least  two  parties,  the                                                                    
     Council should  have received 177,746 or  more reports.                                                                    
     However,  the  Council  only received  23,257  reports.                                                                    
     This  represents  13%  of  the  Council's  conservative                                                                    
     estimate  of  the  number of  reports  it  should  have                                                                    
     received.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The low  rate of  reporting is  the reason  the Council                                                                    
     has not issued  a report since 2011.  An analysis based                                                                    
     on  13%  of potentially  available  data  would not  be                                                                    
     reliable.  Eliminating  the  requirement has  also  has                                                                    
     received  support from  attorneys and  civil litigants,                                                                    
     as the  reporting requirement is onerous  for those who                                                                    
     follow it and unenforceable for those who don't.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The  Alaska Judicial  Council lacks  the authority  and                                                                    
     resources to enforce this  outdated requirement and the                                                                    
     Council renews its  recommendation that the legislature                                                                    
     eliminate it.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     I'll  now provide  a brief  sectional  analysis of  the                                                                    
     bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  One repeals  Alaska Rules  of Civil  Procedure                                                                    
     Rule 41(a)(3)  and Alaska Rules of  Appellate Procedure                                                                    
     Rules 511(c) and (e).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  Two   repeals  AS  09.68.130   which  requires                                                                    
     reporting  of  civil   litigation  information  to  the                                                                    
     Alaska Judicial Council.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section   Three   provides    that   per   the   Alaska                                                                    
     Constitution, the Act will only  take effect if section                                                                    
     one of  the Act  receives the two-thirds  majority vote                                                                    
     of both bodies.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     And  finally, Section  Four provides  for an  effective                                                                    
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Copies of Rule 41(a)(3), Rules  511 (c) and (e), and AS                                                                    
     09.68.130 have all been included in your bill packets.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Before  I conclude,  I'll mention  for the  record that                                                                    
     Susanne DiPietro, the Executive  Director of the Alaska                                                                    
     Judicial Council,  is present  and available  to answer                                                                    
     questions.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you for the opportunity to testify on House Bill                                                                     
     104.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:40:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked whether  there has been  push back                                                               
with regard to this bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUBITZ advised that to her  knowledge there has not been push                                                               
back,  and  that this  bill  has  received support  from  various                                                               
attorneys.   She pointed out  that attorneys currently  must take                                                               
time out  of their  day to  complete and file  the form,  and the                                                               
client is  usually billed for  their time.   Due to the  fact the                                                               
Alaska  Judicial Council  is receiving  limited data,  it doesn't                                                               
see a purpose in continuing with this requirement, she advised.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:41:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  noted that  while  on  the Alaska  Judicial                                                               
Council in  2007-2008, the information  was seen as  outdated and                                                               
unutilized and  no one was  seeking or collating  the information                                                               
on the council.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:42:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN referred  to page 1, line 10  of the bill,                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CONDITIONAL EFFECT.  This Act takes effect only                                                                       
     if sec. 1 of this  Act receives the two-thirds majority                                                                    
     vote  of  each house  required  by  art. IV,  sec.  15,                                                                    
     Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN advised that he  is not familiar with this                                                               
portion of the constitution, and  asked whether it is Ms. Kubitz'                                                               
understanding that  the constitution  does not permit  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court  to make  amendments to these  rules, and  that the                                                               
prerogative belongs solely to the legislative branch.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:42:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUBITZ  turned to sec. 3,  page 1, lines 8-12,  which read as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 3.  The uncodified law of the State of                                                                         
     Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          CONDITIONAL EFFECT.  This Act takes effect only                                                                       
     if sec. 1 of this  Act receives the two-thirds majority                                                                    
     vote  of  each house  required  by  art. IV,  sec.  15,                                                                    
     Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUBITZ  explained that the Act  takes effect only if  the Act                                                               
receives two-thirds  of a majority  vote of each  house, required                                                               
by art. IV, sec. 15, which read as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Rule-Making Power                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          The supreme court shall make and promulgate rules                                                                     
     governing the  administration of  all courts.  It shall                                                                    
     make  and  promulgate   rules  governing  practice  and                                                                    
     procedure in  civil and criminal  cases in  all courts.                                                                    
     These rules may  be changed by the  legislature by two-                                                                    
     thirds   vote   of   the  members   elected   to   each                                                                    
     house.[1][2]                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:43:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN surmised  that the  Alaska Supreme  Court                                                               
cannot  do  anything without  the  legislature's  action in  this                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUBITZ deferred to Susanne DiPetro, Alaska Judicial Council.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:44:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSANNE  DiPETRO, Executive  Director,  Alaska Judicial  Council,                                                               
Alaska Court System,  in response to Chair Claman, said  she is a                                                               
member  of the  Alaska Bar  Association  (ABA).   In response  to                                                               
Representative Eastman,  she advised  that Alaska Rules  of Civil                                                               
Procedure 41(a)(3),  and the Alaska Rules  of Appellate Procedure                                                               
511(c)  and  (e)  were  promulgated in  order  to  implement  the                                                               
statute  the  legislature passed.    The  court system  has  rule                                                               
making  ability, and  the  Alaska Supreme  Court  can change  its                                                               
rules.   Although,  she explained,  these  particular rules  were                                                               
promulgated  in order  to implement  the statute  which does  not                                                               
provide a  mechanism for  the certification.   The  rule requires                                                               
certification of  attorneys settling a  case, and it is  not part                                                               
of the statute, it is part of the rules, she advised.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:45:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DiPETRO,  in response to  Representative Eastman  question as                                                               
to whether there  is action the Alaska Supreme Court  can take to                                                               
amend  Rule 41,  she speculated  that the  court could  amend the                                                               
rule.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked whether  it declined  to do  so and                                                               
that is the reason it is before the legislature.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. DiPETRO advised she was  unsure she could answer the question                                                               
except to say  that it is customary for the  legislature to do it                                                               
in this manner when a rule  and a statute travel together, or are                                                               
attempting to implement the same purpose.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP advised  that this court rule  is in response                                                               
to  the legislature's  legislation.   Naturally, he  pointed out,                                                               
the court would  want the legislature to pass the  bill to change                                                               
the rule.   He continued that the court would  not be inclined to                                                               
change  a rule  it  adopted  to a  statute  that the  legislature                                                               
passed, and  the court  would prefer  the legislature  go through                                                               
the process of changing the rules.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:47:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN agreed  with Representative  Kopp, and  referred to                                                               
Representative  Eastman's comment  about "activist  judges."   He                                                               
explained that one  could suggest that if there was  a statute on                                                               
the books and the court  actively decided to repeal the authority                                                               
to collect information, it would  be considered "activist judges"                                                               
by  ignoring  the  intent  of   the  legislature.    Whereas,  he                                                               
explained, if the  legislature both repeals the  rule and repeals                                                               
the statute  collecting the information,  there is  no suggestion                                                               
of activist judges  and the legislature is acting in  its role as                                                               
the legislature.   The bill  combines both repealing  the statute                                                               
and  repealing   the  rule  requiring  lawyers   to  provide  the                                                               
information asked for under the statute, he pointed out.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened public testimony on HB 104.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEN JACOBUS,  Attorney, advised that  he is  representing himself                                                               
and the Anchorage Bar Association.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:49:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JACOBUS continued  that he  discussed this  matter with  the                                                               
court  rules  attorney  and  was   advised  that  the  matter  of                                                               
repealing the  rules would  be presented  to the  Appellate Rules                                                               
Committee and to  the Civil Rules Committee, it  would then defer                                                               
to  the  legislature  because  the  rules  are  implementing  the                                                               
statute.  Therefore, the ball is  in the legislature's court.  He                                                               
commented that  the legislature should  look at the  2011 report,                                                               
in which  the data collected  is not meaningful.   Interestingly,                                                               
he noted, the civil section  of the attorney general's office has                                                               
had  civil  attorneys performing  work  required  to be  reported                                                               
because  AS  09.68.130 does  not  provide  an exception  for  the                                                               
attorney  general's  office.   Therefore,  he  said,  either  the                                                               
attorney  general's office  is not  reporting and  disobeying the                                                               
law,  or it  is  reporting  and wasting  a  lot  of public  money                                                               
providing  this  worthless  data  which  could  be  better  spent                                                               
enforcing the  laws.   He further  commented that  an experienced                                                               
probate attorney in his office  recently represented a civil case                                                               
and was  concerned she was  in trouble  because she did  not know                                                               
she was required to report,  illustrating that some attorneys are                                                               
not even aware  of their duty to report.   He described that this                                                               
statute has  many problems and  needs to  be repealed.   He added                                                               
that  he personally  reports and  considers it  an administrative                                                               
expense,  and that  many  attorneys bill  their  clients for  the                                                               
reporting time.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:53:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH BADTEN, Attorney,  said she has been  attorney in Anchorage                                                               
for approximately ten years,  practices contract enforcement, and                                                               
has  filled out  the forms  for ten  years.   She commented  that                                                               
reporting is a  complete waste of time, waste of  money, and that                                                               
she bills her time, which is  unfair.  The purpose of the statute                                                               
was to collect data based on  tort reform, and to the extent that                                                               
her  reporting does  anything,  which it  doesn't,  she said  she                                                               
skews  the data  because she  does not  practice tort  law.   She                                                               
opined that  the focus should not  be on the fact  that people do                                                               
not fill out  the form, but rather on  the completely unnecessary                                                               
information on the  form because no one is looking  at this data.                                                               
It is  archaic and  she strongly  hopes to  get it  repealed this                                                               
session, she said.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN,  after  ascertaining  no one  wished  to  testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on HB 104.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD commented  that  she  likes most  repeal                                                               
bills, and that she was thankful  that she asked in the past that                                                               
the legislature have  an entire session on repeal as  "there is a                                                               
lot of stuff that is not  applicable any longer."  She added that                                                               
she does  not object to Chair  Claman bringing this forward  as a                                                               
committee bill.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:56:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER  moved  to  report HB  104,  Version  30-                                                               
LS0393\D, out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being no objection, HB 104                                                               
moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:57:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 4:57 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Attorney General Appointment-Jahna Lindemuth Bio 2.22.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB069 ver O 2.18.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 3/20/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 69
HB069 Sponsor Statement 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 3/20/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 69
HB069 Summary of Changes ver O 2.24.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 3/20/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 69
HB069 Additional Documents - WCAC cases 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB069 Fiscal Note DOLWD-WCAC 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 3/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 69
HB069 Fiscal Note JUD-ACS 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 69
HB104 ver D 2.16.17.PDF HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Sponsor Statement 2.21.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Supporting Document-Alaska Civil Case Data 1999-2000 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Sectional Analysis 2.22.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Supporting Document-Alaska Civil Case Data 2001-2010 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Supporting Document-Civil Case Form 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Additional Document-AS Sec. 09.68.130. Collection of settlement information 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Additional Document-Rules of Appellate Procedure 511 (c) and (e) 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Additional Document-Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 41 (a)(3) 2.16.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Supporting Document-Letter Kenneth Jacobus 2.18.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Supporting Document-Letter Michael Schneider 2.22.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Fiscal Note JUD-AJC 2.17.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Fiscal Note LAW-CIV 2.17.17.pdf HJUD 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 104