APPENDIX A

[Note: This proposal was suggested by an informal subcommittee created by the supreme court to review and revise the notice of appeal forms.]

Amend Supreme Court Rule 7 by deleting it and replacing it with the following:

Rule 7. APPEAL FROM LOWER COURT DECISION ON THE MERITS

(1) The supreme court may, in its discretion, decline to accept an appeal, or any question raised therein, from a lower court after a decision on the merits, or may summarily dispose of such an appeal, or any question raised therein, as provided in rule 25. Unless otherwise provided by law, such an appeal shall be by notice of appeal in the form of notice of appeal approved by the supreme court and appearing in the appendix to these rules, filed by the moving party within 30 days from the date on the clerk's written notice of the decision on the merits.

NOTE: The definition of "decision on the merits" in rule 3 includes decisions on motions made after an order, verdict, opinion, decree or sentence. A timely filed post-trial motion stays the running of the appeal period for all parties to the case in the lower court including those not filing the motion. Untimely filed post-trial motions will not stay the running of the appeal period unless the lower court waives the untimeliness within the appeal period. Successive post-trial motions will not stay the running of the appeal period. See Petition of Ellis, 138 N.H. 159 (1993).

In criminal appeals, the time for filing a notice of appeal shall be within 30 days from the date of sentencing or the date of the clerk's written notice of disposition of post-trial motions, whichever is later, provided, however, that the date of the clerk's written notice of disposition of post-trial motion shall not be used to calculate the time for filing a notice of appeal in criminal cases if the post-trial motion was filed more than 10 days after sentencing.

(2) An appeal shall be deemed filed when the original and 12 copies of the notice of appeal in proper form, together with the filing fee, are received by the clerk of this court within 30 days from the date on the clerk's written notice of the decision.

(3) An appeal permitted by law on a different form and by a different procedure shall be deemed timely filed when it is received by the clerk of this court on the form and by the procedure prescribed by law.

(4) All parties to the proceedings in the court from whose decision on the merits the appeal is being taken shall be deemed parties in this court, unless the moving party shall notify the clerk of this court in writing of his belief that one or more of the parties below has no interest in the outcome of the transfer. The moving party shall mail a copy of the letter first class, or give a copy, to each party in the proceeding below. A party thus designated as no longer interested may remain a party in this court by notifying the clerk of this court, with notice mailed first class or given to the other parties, that he has an interest in the transfer. Parties supporting the position of the moving party shall meet the time schedule provided for that party.

(5) If a timely notice of appeal is filed by a party, any other party may file a notice of cross-appeal within 10 days from the date on which the first notice of appeal was filed and shall pay a filing fee therewith.

(6) The appealing party shall attach to the notice of appeal the following documents in order: (a) a copy of the trial court decision or order from which the appealing party is appealing; (b) the clerk's notice of the decision or order below; (c) any court order deciding a timely post-trial motion; and (d) the clerk's notice of any order deciding a timely post-trial motion. The notice of appeal shall contain a table of contents. Other documents and pleadings that the appealing party believes the court needs to evaluate the issues raised on appeal or to determine whether the appeal is timely filed may be included in a separately bound Appendix, which must have a table of contents on the cover and sequentially numbered pages. Only 8 copies of any Appendix need be filed. Note: Also see Rule 26.

(7) If an issue on appeal is the legal sufficiency of the evidence, the statement of that issue in the appealing party's response to section 11 of the notice of appeal form shall contain a succinct statement of why the evidence is alleged to be insufficient as a matter of law.

APPENDIX B

[Note: This proposal was suggested by an informal subcommittee created by the supreme court to review and revise the notice of appeal forms.]

Amend Supreme Court Rule 10 by deleting it and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 10. APPEAL FROM ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY UNDER RSA 541

(1) The supreme court may, in its discretion, decline to accept an appeal, or any question raised therein, from an order of an administrative agency, or may summarily dispose of such an appeal, or any question raised therein, as provided in rule 25. Review of an order of an administrative agency, when authorized by law, shall be obtained by filing the original and 12 copies of an appeal under RSA 541 on the form of notice of appeal approved by the supreme court and appearing in the appendix to these rules, accompanied by the required entry fee within the time prescribed by law.

NOTE: To appeal to the supreme court from an administrative agency under RSA 541, the appealing party must have timely filed for a rehearing with the administrative agency. See RSA 541:4 and Appeal of White Mountains Education Association, 125 N.H. 771 (1984). The time period for the appeal does not begin to run until the administrative agency has acted upon the motion.

The appealing party shall attach to the notice of appeal the following documents in order: (a) a copy of the agency decision or order from which the appealing party is appealing; (b) the appealing party's motion for rehearing or reconsideration filed with the agency; and (c) the agency order deciding the motion for rehearing or reconsideration. The notice of appeal shall contain a table of contents. Other documents and pleadings that the appealing party believes the court needs to evaluate the issues raised on appeal or to determine whether the appeal is timely filed may be included in a separately bound Appendix, which must have a table of contents on the cover and sequentially numbered pages. Only 8 copies of any Appendix need be filed. Note: Also see Rule 26.

(2) The order sought to be reviewed or enforced, the findings and rulings, or the report on which the order is based, and the pleadings, evidence, and proceedings before the agency shall constitute the record on appeal.

(3) The administrative agency, complying with the provisions of rule 6(2) as to form, shall file the record with the clerk of the supreme court as early as possible within 60 days after it has received the supreme court's order of notice. The original papers in the agency proceeding or certified copies may be filed.

(4) The parties may designate by stipulation filed with the clerk of the supreme court that no part, or that only certain parts, of the record shall be filed with the court.

(5) If anything material to any party is omitted from the record by error or accident or is misstated in the record, the parties by stipulation may provide, or the supreme court on motion or on its own initiative may direct, that the omission or misstatement be corrected and, if necessary, that a supplemental record be prepared and filed.

(6) The entire record of the agency proceeding, whether filed with the supreme court or not, shall be a part of the record on appeal.

(7) In lieu of the record as defined in section (2) of this rule, the parties may prepare and sign a statement of the case showing how the questions of law transferred arose and were decided, and setting forth only so many of the facts as are essential to a decision of the questions presented.

(8) Notice by serving, delivering or mailing a copy of the appeal upon all parties or opponents below as well as the agency involved and the attorney general is the responsibility of the moving party.

(9) If a timely appeal is filed by a party appealing from an administrative agency under RSA 541, any other party may file a cross-appeal within 10 days from the date on which the appeal was docketed with this court, and shall pay a filing fee therewith, provided that the party filing the cross-appeal must have timely filed any required motion for rehearing with the administrative agency.

APPENDIX C

[Note: This proposal was suggested by an informal subcommittee created by the supreme court to review and revise the notice of appeal forms.]

Amend the Supreme Court Forms by: (1) deleting the "Outline of Petition Form"; and (2) by deleting the "Notice of Appeal" form and replacing it with the following form:

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE SUPREME COURT

NOTICE OF APPEAL

 

1. COMPLETE CASE TITLE IN TRIAL COURT OR AGENCY

 

 

 

 

2. COURT OR AGENCY APPEALING FROM INCLUDING NAME OF JUDGES AND DOCKET NUMBERS

 

 

3. NAME AND ADDRESS OF APPEALING PARTY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3A. NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF COUNSEL
4. NAME AND ADDRESS OF OPPOSING PARTY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4A. NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF COUNSEL
5. DATE OF CLERK’S NOTICE OF DECISION OR SENTENCING

 

 

 

6. CRIMINAL CASES: DEFENDANT’S SENTENCE AND BAIL STATUS
7. NAMES OF ALL OTHER PARTIES AND COUNSEL IN TRIAL COURT OR AGENCY

 

 

 

 

8. IS ANY PART OF CASE CONFIDENTIAL? IF SO, CITE AUTHORITY

 

 

9. IF ANY PARTY IS A CORPORATION, ATTACH A LIST OF THE NAMES OF PARENT, SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES

 

 

10. NATURE OF CASE AND RESULT (limit two pages double-spaced):

11. ISSUES ON APPEAL (limit eight pages double spaced):

The New Hampshire Supreme Court reviews each notice of appeal and decides, in its discretion, whether to accept the case, or some issues in the case, for full appellate review. The following acceptance criteria, while neither controlling nor fully describing the court’s discretion, indicate the character of the reasons that will be considered.

1. The case raises a question of first impression, a novel question of law, an issue of broad public interest, an important state or federal constitutional matter, or an issue on which there are conflicting decisions in New Hampshire courts.

2. The decision below conflicts with a statute or with prior decisions of this court.

3. The decision below is erroneous, illegal, unreasonable or was an abuse of discretion.

Separately number each issue you are appealing and for each issue: (a) state the issue; and (b) explain why the acceptance criteria listed above support acceptance of that issue.

Attach to this notice of appeal the following documents in order: (1) a copy of the trial court or agency decision or order from which you are appealing; (2) the clerk’s notice of the decision below; (3) any court or agency order deciding a timely post-trial motion (in agency appeals also attach your motion for rehearing); (4) the clerk’s notice of any order deciding a timely post-trial motion.

Do not attach any other documents to this notice of appeal. Other documents may be included in a separately bound Appendix, which must have a table of contents on the cover and consecutively numbered pages.

12. CERTIFICATIONS

I hereby certify that every issue specifically raised has been presented to the court/agency below and has been properly preserved for appellate review by a contemporaneous objection or, where appropriate, by a properly filed pleading.

                                                                                            _________________________________
                                                                                            Appealing Party or Counsel

I hereby certify that on or before the date below copies of this notice of appeal have been served on all parties to the case and have been filed with the clerk of the court/agency from which the appeal is taken in accordance with Rule 26(2).

___________________                                                     ________________________________
Date                                                                                     Appealing Party or Counsel

APPENDIX D

[Note: This proposal results from review of a temporary rule adopted by the Supreme Court.]

Adopt Supreme Court Rule 12, which was adopted on a temporary basis on June 27, 2001, as a permanent rule as follows:

SUPREME COURT RULE 12. REQUESTS FOR CONFIDENTIALITY

OF CASE RECORDS; ACCESS TO CASE RECORDS.

(1) Supreme Court Records Subject to Public Inspection.

(a) General Rule. In all cases in which relief is sought in the supreme court, all pleadings, docketed entries, and filings related thereto (hereinafter referred to as "case records") shall be available for public inspection unless otherwise ordered by the court in accordance with this rule.

(b) Exceptions. The following categories of case records are not available for public inspection:

(1) records of juvenile cases, including cases of delinquency, abuse or neglect, children in need of services, termination of parental rights, and adoption, which by statute are confidential;

(2) applications for a grand jury and grand jury records, which by statute and common law are confidential;

(3) records of other cases that are confidential by statute, administrative or court rule, or court order.

(c) Burden of Proof. In the absence of a statute or an administrative or court rule making a case record or particular information or documents confidential, the burden of proving that a case record or a portion of a case record should be confidential rests with the party or person seeking confidentiality.

(2) Procedure For Requesting Confidentiality of a Case Record or a Portion of a Case Record in a Supreme Court Case.

(a) Case Record or Portion of Case Record That Has Already Been Determined to be Confidential. The following procedure shall be followed when the case record or a portion of the case record was determined to be confidential by the trial court, administrative agency, or other tribunal:

(1) The appealing party shall indicate on the notice of appeal form or in the appeal document, e.g., appeal from administrative agency, that the case record or a portion of the case record was determined to be confidential by the trial court, administrative agency, or other tribunal, and shall cite the authority for confidentiality, e.g., the statute, administrative or court rule, or court order providing for confidentiality. Upon filing, the portion of the case record determined to be confidential by the trial court, administrative agency, or other tribunal shall remain confidential pending review by the supreme court.

(2) Within 30 days of the appeal being filed with the supreme court, a single justice of the supreme court shall review the case record or the portion of the case record determined to be confidential by the trial court, administrative agency, or other tribunal, and shall decide whether the case record or portion of the record in question shall remain confidential in the supreme court. The justice may refer the question to the full court for a ruling.

(3) Based on the review of the single justice or the court, an order will be issued which indicates whether the case record or a portion of the case record is confidential.

(b) Cases in Which There Has Been No Prior Determination of Confidentiality. The following procedure shall be followed when a party or other person with standing seeks to have the case record or a portion of the case record determined to be confidential by the supreme court:

(1) Any party or other person with standing who seeks a determination that a case record or a portion of a case record is confidential shall file a motion to seal the case record or the portion of the case record in question. The motion shall state the authority for confidentiality, i.e., the statute, administrative or court rule providing for confidentiality, or the privacy interest or circumstance that requires confidentiality. Upon filing of the motion to seal, the case record or the portion of the case record which is the subject of the motion shall be kept confidential pending a ruling on the motion.

(2) Within 30 days of filing, a motion to seal will be reviewed by a single justice of the court who shall determine whether the case record or the portion of the case record that is the subject of the motion shall be confidential or who may refer the motion to the full court for a ruling.

(3) An order will be issued setting forth the ruling on the motion to seal.

(c) Court Action When Confidentiality is Required.

(1) The failure of a party or other person with standing to request that a case record or a portion of a case record be confidential shall not preclude the court from determining on its own motion that a statute, administrative or court rule, or other compelling interest requires that a case record or a portion of a case record proceeding be kept confidential.

(2) Before sealing a case record or a portion of a case record, a single justice or the court must determine that there is a basis for keeping the case record confidential.

(3) If a single justice or the court determines that a case record or a portion of a case record should be confidential, an order will be issued setting forth the ruling.

(d) Access to Supreme Court Orders On Confidentiality.

Every order of the supreme court that a case record or a portion of a case record is confidential shall be available for public inspection. Information which would compromise the court's determination of confidentiality, e.g., the name of a juvenile, shall be redacted.

(3) Procedure For Seeking Access To Case Records That Have Been Determined to be Confidential.

(a) A person who is neither a party nor counsel in a case and who seeks access to a case record or portion of a case record that has been determined by the supreme court to be confidential shall file a petition with the court requesting access to the record in question.

(b) Upon receipt of the petition, an order of notice shall be issued to all parties and other persons with standing in the case.

(c) A single justice of the supreme court or a judicial referee appointed by the court shall examine the case record in question to determine whether there is a basis for nondisclosure.

(d) An order shall be issued setting forth the justice's or referee's ruling on the petition, which shall be made public. In the event that the justice or referee determines that the records are confidential, the order shall include findings of fact and rulings of law that support the decision of nondisclosure.

(e) Within 10 days of the date of the clerk's notice of the justice's or referee's decision, any party or person with standing aggrieved by the decision may file a motion for review by the full court.

APPENDIX E

[Note: This proposal was suggested by the advisory rules committee staff.]

Adopt new Supreme Court Rule 32-A as follows:

RULE 32-A. COUNSEL IN GUARDIANSHIP AND INVOLUNTARY ADMISSION CASES.

(1) Whether retained by the defendant or appointed by a lower court, trial counsel in a guardianship case commenced by the filing of a petition pursuant to RSA 464-A:4 or RSA 464-A:12 or in an involuntary admission case commenced by the filing of a petition pursuant to RSA 135-C:36 shall be responsible for representing the defendant in the supreme court unless the supreme court relieves counsel from this responsibility for good cause shown. When the defendant clearly indicates to counsel a desire to appeal, counsel shall be responsible for the filing of a notice of appeal. Provided, however, that if counsel concludes that the appeal is frivolous, counsel must first attempt to persuade the defendant not to appeal. If, however, the defendant insists on appealing, counsel shall file the notice of appeal. To avoid violating Professional Conduct Rule 3.1, the notice of appeal should be accompanied by a motion to withdraw indicating that counsel has forwarded a copy of the notice of appeal to the client and has advised the client of the right to file a supplement to the notice of appeal raising any additional issues. See In re Richard A., 146 N.H. ____ (decided April 18, 2001).

(2) A motion to withdraw as counsel on appeal in a guardianship case commenced by the filing of a petition pursuant to RSA 464-A:4 or RSA 464-A:12 or in an involuntary admission case commenced by the filing of a petition pursuant to RSA 135-C:36 must state reasons that would warrant the grant of leave to withdraw.

(3) Trial counsel shall continue to participate until and unless the motion to withdraw is approved by the supreme court.

(4) Indigent cases appealed to the supreme court must be accompanied by petitions for either initial assignment or continued assignment of counsel together with a current financial affidavit or a photocopy of same.

(5) Maximum counsel fee for appeals to the supreme court in assigned counsel cases shall be $1,500.00.

 

APPENDIX F

[Note: This proposal was drafted by the advisory rules committee in response to a suggestion from the supreme court.]

Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(10) by deleting it and replacing it with the following:

(10) Reciprocal Discipline:

(a) Upon being disciplined in another jurisdiction, an attorney admitted to practice in this State shall immediately notify the committee of the discipline. Upon notification from any source that an attorney admitted to practice in this State has been disciplined in another jurisdiction, the committee shall obtain a certified copy of the disciplinary order and shall file it with the court.

(b) Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order demonstrating that an attorney admitted to practice in this State has been disciplined in another jurisdiction, the court may enter a temporary order imposing the identical discipline or, in its discretion, suspending the attorney pending the imposition of final discipline. The court shall forthwith issue a notice directed to the attorney and to the committee containing:

(1) A copy of the order from the other jurisdiction; and

(2) An order directing that the attorney or committee inform the court, within thirty days from service of the notice, of any claim by the lawyer or committee predicated upon the grounds set forth in subparagraph (d), that the imposition of the identical discipline in this State would be unwarranted and the reasons for that claim.

(c) In the event the discipline imposed in the other jurisdiction has been stayed there, any reciprocal discipline imposed in this state shall be deferred until the stay expires.

(d) Upon the expiration of thirty days from service of the notice pursuant to subparagraph (b), the court issue an order of final discipline imposing the identical discipline unless the attorney or committee demonstrates, or the court finds that it clearly appears upon the face of the record from which the discipline is predicated, that:

(1) The procedure was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process; or

(2) The imposition of the same discipline by the court would result in grave injustice; or

(3) The misconduct established warrants substantially different discipline in this State.

If the court determines that any of those elements exists, it shall enter such other order as it deems appropriate. The burden is on the party seeking different discipline in this State to demonstrate that the imposition of identical discipline is not appropriate.

(e) In all other aspects, a final adjudication in another jurisdiction that an attorney has been guilty of misconduct shall establish conclusively the misconduct for purposes of a disciplinary proceeding in this State.

APPENDIX G

[Note: This proposal was suggested by the advisory rules committee.]

Amend Supreme Court Rule 50(1)A by adding the parenthetical, ("financial institution"), to the end of the first sentence of said subsection, so that said subsection as amended shall read as follows:

 

A. An interest-bearing trust account shall be established with any bank or savings and loan association authorized by federal or State law to do business in New Hampshire and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation ("financial institution"). Funds in each interest-bearing trust account shall be subject to withdrawal upon demand.

APPENDIX H

[Note: This proposal was drafted by the advisory rules committee in response to a suggestion from the supreme court.]

Amend Supreme Court Rule 50(2)B by deleting it and replacing it with the following:

B. All cash property of clients received by attorneys shall be deposited in one or more clearly designated trust accounts (separate from the attorney's own funds) in financial institutions. Any attorney depositing client funds into an out-of-state financial institution shall file a written authorization with the Clerk of the Supreme Court authorizing the Court or its agents to examine and copy such out-of-state account records. Under no circumstances may any attorney use out-of-state banks other than those located in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, or the state in which the attorney's office is situated, without obtaining prior written approval from the supreme court.

APPENDIX I

[Note: This proposal results from review of a temporary rule adopted by the Supreme Court.]

Amend Supreme Court Rule 56, adopted on a temporary basis on March 27, 2001, by amending subsection IV(B)(4), and adopting the rule, as amended, as a permanent rule as follows:

 

RULE 56. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF JUDGES

(I) Administration and Implementation of a Performance Evaluation Program

(A) The supreme court shall be responsible for the overall administration of a judicial performance evaluation program. On or before June 30 of each year, it shall prepare an annual report on the implementation and operation of the judicial performance evaluation program for public distribution and filing with the governor, the speaker of the house, the president of the senate and the chairpersons of the house and senate judiciary committees. The report shall include a summary of the number of evaluations performed by each court, the number of questionnaires distributed and returned, and, without identifying individual judges who were evaluated, a summary of the results of the evaluations.

(B) The administrative judges of the superior, district and probate courts shall be responsible for implementing the judicial performance evaluation program in those courts. They shall have the authority and the duty to:

(1) consult with the supreme court about the design of the questionnaires to be distributed to a representative selection of attorneys, parties, witnesses, jurors, court personnel and others who have appeared before the judge being evaluated, to assess whether the judge has met the applicable judicial performance standards during the evaluation period;

(2) consult with the supreme court about the adoption of written protocol setting forth the procedure for distributing the questionnaires described in subsection (1), including the number of questionnaires to be distributed, the process for selecting the persons who will be sent the questionnaires, the manner for distribution and return of the questionnaires and the process for compiling the results of the questionnaires;

(3) consult with the supreme court about the design of a self-evaluation form to be completed by each judge being evaluated, which attempts to assess whether the judge has met the applicable judicial performance standards during the evaluation period;

(4) consult with the supreme court about the judicial performance standards applicable to the judges of each court;

(5) consult with the supreme court about the development or identification of suitable programs to assist judges who have not met the applicable judicial performance standards to do so; and

(6) consult with the supreme court about the advisability of other administrative action to address the performance problems of any judge that are identified through the evaluation process or otherwise.

(II) Evaluation of Trial Court Judges

(A) Persons Performing Evaluations; Frequency of Evaluations

The administrative judge of the superior court, or the administrative judge’s designee, shall evaluate each justice of the superior court a minimum of once every three years.

The administrative judge of the district court, or the administrative judge’s designee, shall evaluate each full-time and part-time district court judge a minimum of once every three years.

The administrative judge of the probate court, or the administrative judge’s designee, shall evaluate each full-time and part-time probate court judge a minimum of once every three years.

A panel consisting of the chief justice of the supreme court and two associate justices of the supreme court shall evaluate the administrative judges of the superior, district and probate courts a minimum of once every three years.

(B) Components of Evaluation

The judicial evaluation process is intended to evaluate a judge’s performance in relation to the applicable judicial performance standards. The person performing the evaluation shall attempt to obtain balanced information from multiple sources to accurately assess the judge's performance during the evaluation period. The evaluation process of an individual judge shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps:

(1) review of complaints about the judge that have been docketed by the supreme court's committee on judicial conduct and that are public records under Rule 40;

(2) review of the results of the completed questionnaires sent to a representative sample of persons who appeared before the judge during the evaluation period;

(3) review of the self-evaluation form completed by the judge; and

(4) review of any complaints or inquiries about the judge received by the administrative judge or chief justice.

(C) Results of Evaluation and Meeting with Judge Who Has Been Evaluated

(1) The person performing the evaluation shall prepare a summary of the results of the evaluation, which describes the judge's performance in relation to the judicial performance standards, and which identifies any judicial performance standard that has not been met and sets forth the steps the judge must take to improve his or her performance.

(2) The person performing the evaluation shall meet with the judge who has been evaluated to discuss the results of the evaluation, to advise the judge whether the judge has met the applicable judicial performance standards, and, if not, to identify the steps that the judge must take to improve his or her performance.

(3) At the conclusion of the meeting, the judge who has been evaluated shall sign the evaluation summary, indicating that he or she has been informed of the results of the evaluation and has been given a copy of the evaluation summary.

(4) Within 30 days of the meeting, the judge who has been evaluated may submit a written response to the evaluation. The response shall be kept with the evaluation summary.

(D) Failure to Meet Judicial Performance Standards

(1) If the person performing the evaluation concludes that a judge has failed to meet a judicial performance standard, he or she shall prepare a written summary identifying the performance standard that has not been met and specifying the steps that the judge must take to improve his or her performance and the time in which the steps must be taken.

(2) If a judge has been determined not to have met a judicial performance standard, then the chief justice or the administrative judge of the court on which the evaluated judge serves shall, to the extent possible, assist the judge to comply with the steps set forth in the evaluation summary for improving the judge's performance.

(3) If a judge has failed to take the steps to improve his or her performance specified in the evaluation summary, the chief justice or the administrative judge of the court on which the judge serves may take steps to correct the non-compliance, including administrative discipline, and may take whatever other steps are necessary to ensure compliance and/or may report the failure to the committee on judicial conduct.

(III) Evaluation of Supreme Court Justices

The supreme court shall design a questionnaire to be distributed annually to a representative selection of attorneys and parties who appeared before the court to assess the performance of the court during the year.

The court will adopt relevant objective appellate court performance standards and regularly evaluate its performance according to such standards.

Each justice shall complete a self-evaluation form designed to assess whether the justice has met the applicable judicial performance standards during the evaluation period.

The justices shall meet annually to discuss the results of the questionnaires and to evaluate each other’s performance.

(IV) Confidentiality

(A) General Rule. Except as otherwise provided in this section, all records and information obtained and maintained during the judicial performance evaluation process shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed. The identity of persons who furnished information concerning judges under the program shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed.

(B) Exceptions to Confidentiality Requirement.

(1) Disclosure to Judge Being Evaluated. Information about the results of the questionnaires or other components of the evaluation process of an individual judge may be disclosed to the judge for the purpose of improving his or her judicial performance, except that the identity of persons furnishing information about the judge shall not be disclosed.

(2) Disclosure to Other Judges Assisting in Evaluation Process. The person performing the evaluation may share the results of the evaluation with other judges for the purpose of assisting in the evaluation process.

(3) If A Judge Fails to Meet Judicial Evaluation Standards or Purposely Fails to Complete Improvement Programs. If a judge fails to meet judicial performance standards for two consecutive performance evaluations, or if a judge purposely fails to complete the steps for improving his or her performance specified in the evaluation summary, the judge shall be deemed to have waived any right to confidentiality provided for by this rule, and the results of the judge's evaluations shall become public, with the exception of the identity of persons furnishing information about the judge.

(4) If A Judge Is Being Considered or Is Nominated for Another Judicial Position. If a judge is being considered for another judicial position, the judge may authorize the release of the results of his or her judicial performance evaluations to the governor and to any agency or commission authorized to investigate the qualifications of judicial candidates, provided that they shall be required to keep the contents of the evaluations in strict confidence. Upon nomination of a judge, the results of his or her judicial performance evaluations shall be made available to the governor and executive council upon request. The contents of such evaluations shall be kept in strict confidence by the governor and executive council.

(V) Retention of Records of Judicial Performance Evaluations

The judicial performance evaluation summaries of a judge shall be retained while the judge remains in state judicial service.

 

 

APPENDIX J

[Note: This proposal stems from a suggestion by Attorney Peter E. Hutchins.]

Amend Superior Court Rule 37 by amending the third paragraph of said rule, which begins with the words "The party serving the interrogatories," so that said paragraph as amended would state as follows:

The party serving the interrogatories shall furnish the answering party with an original and two copies of the interrogatories. The interrogatories shall be so arranged that after each separate question shall appear a blank space reasonably calculated to enable the answering party to have his answer typed in. The parties may agree to transmit interrogatories electronically or by computer disk, enabling the answering party to provide answers directly after each separate question using the party's available word processing technology. In the event of such an agreement, the requirement of providing space between each question sufficient to manually insert answers is obviated.