Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/12/2019 01:00 PM JUDICIARY

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01:12:17 PM Start
01:14:06 PM Confirmation Hearing: Commission on Judicial Conduct
01:29:47 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Commission on Judicial Conduct
-- Public Testimony --
Uniform Rule 23(a) Waived
*+ HB 124 ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS AND NOTARIZATION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony --
Uniform Rule 23(a) Waived
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 12, 2019                                                                                         
                           1:12 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Matt Claman, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING: COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 124                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the recording of documents; relating to                                                                     
notaries and notarization; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JANE MORES, Deputy Municipal Attorney                                                                                           
City and Borough of Juneau                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Commission on                                                              
Judicial Conduct.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:12:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MATT  CLAMAN called the House  Judiciary Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 1:12  p.m.  Representatives Shaw, LeDoux, and                                                               
Claman were present at the call to order.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearing: Commission on Judicial Conduct                                                                           
      Confirmation Hearing: Commission on Judicial Conduct                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
1:14:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a confirmation  hearing for Jane Mores,  the governor's appointee                                                               
to the Commission on Judicial Conduct.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:14:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened public testimony on Ms. Mores's appointment.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:14:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE  MORES,  Deputy  Municipal Attorney,  City  and  Borough  of                                                               
Juneau,  testified as  appointee  to the  Commission on  Judicial                                                               
Conduct.  She  paraphrased from a prepared  statement, which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you  very much for this  opportunity to introduce                                                                    
     myself, Jane  Mores, as the Governor's  appointee to an                                                                    
     attorney-seat  on  the  Alaska Commission  on  Judicial                                                                    
     Conduct.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I'd  like to  share a  little  bit of  my personal  and                                                                    
     professional  history with  you, before  turning to  my                                                                    
     service commitment,  should the legislature  confirm my                                                                    
     appointment to the Commission.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     My husband,  Peter (here  in the  audience), and  I are                                                                    
     semi-empty nesters, with  5 adult sons/stepsons between                                                                    
     us.    Our  last two  are in college--  one in  his 1st                                                                    
     year at UAS and the  other finishing his second year at                                                                    
     a community college in Oregon.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     I moved to Alaska from Ohio  with my family, as a young                                                                    
     teenager  in 1976.   We  joined  a Christian  Community                                                                    
     about 10 miles  outside of Hoonah, known  as Game Creek                                                                    
     or Mt.  Bether, where I lived  for the next 7  ? years.                                                                    
     Navigating  those  years  in  a  close  knit  community                                                                    
     taught me a lot about  hard work and human nature  life                                                                    
     lessons  I'll forever  value and  hold dear.   I  don't                                                                    
     milk cows,  bridle horses, chop wood,  can cauliflower,                                                                    
     dry greens, dig clams,  cheek halibut, pitch hay, hand-                                                                    
     crank a  tractor or hand-weed  endless rows  of carrots                                                                    
     much  anymore, but  that's  ok.    I  like  to think  I                                                                    
     gained  from my  years  at Game  Creek,  a work  ethic,                                                                    
     critical  thinking  skills,  relational  skills  and  a                                                                    
     personal  and professional  code of  conduct that  help                                                                    
     define who I am today.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In my early 20's, I went  from SE AK to the SEastern US                                                                    
     where  I obtained  my  bachelor's  degree in  secondary                                                                    
     education from  Auburn University.  Having  a classmate                                                                    
     named  Bo   Jackson  is  one  of   my  favorite  Auburn                                                                    
     memories.   Yup, 'Bo  Knows' (sort of, not really) ME!-                                                                    
     -- if sitting right behind me in a class, counts!                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     After  a  brief  teaching  stint in  rural  Alabama,  I                                                                    
     obtained my  law degree from Ohio  State University and                                                                    
     was admitted to the Alaska Bar in 1990.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Since  that  time,  I've  represented  individuals  and                                                                    
     business clients large and small,  first with a private                                                                    
     firm in  Anchorage and then  as a sole  practitioner in                                                                    
     Haines.   For the  past 12  years, I  have been  in the                                                                    
     public sectorand   had the pleasure of  working for the                                                                    
     City and Borough of Juneau Law Department.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     In my years of practice,  I've handled tort & contract,                                                                    
     insurance defense,  business & real  estate, employment                                                                    
     law  and probate  and estate  planning  matters.   I've                                                                    
     provided an  array of legal  services to  CBJ municipal                                                                    
     departments   and  handled   a  variety   of  hearings,                                                                    
     administrative  appeals  and general  civil  litigation                                                                    
     matters.    I've  advised   the  Assembly  and  various                                                                    
     municipal boards and commissions,  such as the Planning                                                                    
     Commission, the  Bartlett Regional Hospital  Board, the                                                                    
     Bid Review Board and the Board of Equalization.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Through  my municipal  work I've  conducted specialized                                                                    
     board  trainings  on  conflicts  of  interest  and  the                                                                    
     quasi-judicial role  of certain boards---that  of being                                                                    
     a fair and impartial  tribunal vested with authority to                                                                    
     make  decisions under  applicable  rules  of law,  much                                                                    
     like a judge.   Before  that I had the pleasure serving                                                                    
     6  years   on  the   Alaska  Bar   Association's  Ethic                                                                    
     Committee, a committee  responsible for researching and                                                                    
     writing ethics  opinions at the request  of Bar Counsel                                                                    
     and/or the Board of Governors.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     This  brings  me  to  my interest  in  serving  on  the                                                                    
     Commission,  and  the  commitment  I make  to  you,  as                                                                    
     legislators,  and   to  every  Alaskan,  should   I  be                                                                    
     confirmed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I believe,  and quote from  the Preamble of  the Alaska                                                                    
     Code of Judicial Conduct:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          The role  of the judiciary is  central to American                                                                    
          concepts  of  justice  and  the  rule  of  law....                                                                    
          Judges,   individually   and  collectively,   must                                                                    
          respect and honor the judicial  office as a public                                                                    
          trust   and  strive   to   enhance  and   maintain                                                                    
          confidence in our legal system.   The judge ... is                                                                    
          a highly  visible symbol  of government  under the                                                                    
          rule of law.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I believe  public trust and confidence  in our judicial                                                                    
     system  is  essential  to   the  effectiveness  of  the                                                                    
     system.  Public trust is  not built on blind trust, but                                                                    
     must   be   earned   and  maintained   through   public                                                                    
     accountability.    We   know  Judges  have  significant                                                                    
     authority  and make  decisions  every  day that  change                                                                    
     lives and  have far-reaching impacts.   Those entrusted                                                                    
     with such positions  must not only be  competent in the                                                                    
     law,  but must  conduct themselves  in and  out of  the                                                                    
     courtroom  in a  manner that  upholds the  integrity of                                                                    
     the office.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     As you know, the  Judicial Conduct Commission is tasked                                                                    
     with the  oversight of judicial conduct  through a fair                                                                    
     and   impartial   deliberative  review   process   that                                                                    
     investigates and appropriately  addresses complaints of                                                                    
     judicial misconduct  and disability.     This oversight                                                                    
     protects the public  and maintains public trust.   As a                                                                    
     member  of the  legal community,  both of  these things                                                                    
     are especially important to me.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I  also  respect  the  Constitutional  make-up  of  the                                                                    
     Commission---that  of  public citizen  members,  judge-                                                                    
     members and  attorney members.   I can assure  you that                                                                    
     in  carrying out  my Commission  responsibilities every                                                                    
     perspective  and voice  on the  Commission  will be  of                                                                    
     equal import to me.  I  think anyone who knows me would                                                                    
     vouch  for that  fact.      You have  my commitment  on                                                                    
     that.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I'm very honored by this  appointment from the Governor                                                                    
     & will undertake  my duties to the absolute  best of my                                                                    
     ability.   I also  want to acknowledge  & give  a shout                                                                    
     out to Juneau  atty & colleague Lael  Harrison, for her                                                                    
     integrity  & professionalismas   having been  appointed                                                                    
     to  this seat  last year  by the  prior administration.                                                                    
     Thank you  for your time  and consideration ---  I also                                                                    
     want  to thank  each  of  you for  your  hard work  and                                                                    
     dedication to the people of the state of Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:20:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked, Whos Bo Jackson?                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW  explained  that  Bo  Jackson  was  a  great                                                               
athlete who played both baseball and football professionally.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MORES added  that Bo  Jackson  was the  1985 Heisman  Trophy                                                               
winner.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW  informed  Representative  LeDoux  that  the                                                               
Heisman Trophy is a football award.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  said she knows  that.  She noted  that she                                                               
attended the University of Southern California (USC).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  commented  that  Bo Jackson  was  drafted  by  the                                                               
Oakland Raiders  and suffered  a hip  injury fairly  early during                                                               
his professional football  career.  He noted that  Bo Jackson was                                                               
among  the  first  to  have  a  well-publicized  hip  replacement                                                               
surgery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW noted that   the other Heisman Trophy winner                                                                
attended USC.   He  asked Representative LeDoux  if she  knows to                                                               
whom he is referring.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX answered  yes.    She said she attended USC                                                               
the same years that he was there.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN asked  Representative LeDoux  if O.J.  Simpson ever                                                               
had a class with her at USC.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX answered no.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:22:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN shared  his personal history working  with Ms. Mores                                                               
and spoke  highly of  her qualifications.   He remarked  that the                                                               
Commission on Judicial Conduct is  vital to the integrity and the                                                               
reputation of the Alaska Court System.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:23:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW  commented that  he supports  the appointment                                                               
because Ms. Mores  is well-spoken, and he can tell  she is highly                                                               
respected.  He added that he also grew up in Ohio.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:23:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX said  Ms.  Mores  is extremely  qualified.                                                               
She shared some of her own personal history with Ms. Mores.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN, after  ascertaining that no one  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on Ms. Mores's appointment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:25:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  stated that  the House  Judiciary Standing                                                               
Committee  has  reviewed  the qualifications  of  the  Governors                                                                
appointee and recommends that the  following name be forwarded to                                                               
a joint session  for consideration: Jane Mores  to the Commission                                                               
on  Judicial Conduct.   She  stated  that this  does not  reflect                                                               
intent  by  any of  the  members  to  vote  for or  against  this                                                               
individual  during  any  further  session  for  the  purposes  of                                                               
confirmation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:25:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:25 p.m. to 1:28 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:28:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  explained that  he  spoke  with Legislative  Legal                                                               
Services during  the at-ease and  was advised that  the committee                                                               
could  not  take action  on  Ms.  Moress  appointment  without  a                                                               
quorum.  He said the committee  would seek to forward her name to                                                               
the joint session during the next meeting.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:29:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Commission on Judicial Conduct Appointment-Jane Mores Resume 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124 v. A 4.12.2019.PDF HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Sponsor Statement 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124 Sectional Analysis ver A 4.12.19.PDF HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document-RON Process One - Pager 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document-RON Law State-by-State Graphic 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document-Why URPERA 4.12.19.PDF HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document - RULONA 2018 Summary 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document - Letters 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document - Quicken Loans Letter 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document - Alyeska Title Guaranty Agency Letter 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Supporting Document - Alaska Association of Realtors Letter 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Fiscal Note DNR-RO 4.12.19.pdf HJUD 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/15/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 124