Bill Text: CA AB242 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Courts: attorneys: implicit bias: training.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-12 - From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to Com. on JUD. Read second time and amended. [AB242 Detail]

Download: California-2019-AB242-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 242


Introduced by Assembly Member Kamlager-Dove
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Levine)
(Coauthors: Senators Mitchell and Wiener)

January 18, 2019


An act to add Section 6070.5 to the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Section 68088 of the Government Code, relating to courts. implicit bias.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 242, as amended, Kamlager-Dove. Courts: attorneys: implicit bias: training.

Existing

(1) Existing law authorizes the Judicial Council to provide by rule of court for racial, ethnic, and gender bias, and sexual harassment training and training for any other bias based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation for judges, commissioners, and referees.

This bill would require the Judicial Council to develop training for all judges, commissioners, referees, clerks, bailiffs, and all attorneys appearing before a court, on implicit bias with respect to these characteristics. The bill would require these individuals to take 8 hours of mandatory training every 2 years.

This bill would authorize the Judicial Council to develop training on implicit bias with respect to these characteristics. The bill would require training for all judges and subordinate judicial officers include training on implicit bias and would require all trial court administrative and operations services employees to complete 2 hours of mandatory training every 2 years on implicit bias. The bill would require the Judicial Council to adopt a rule of court, effective January 1, 2022, to implement these requirements.
(2) Existing law requires the State Bar to request the California Supreme Court to adopt a rule of court authorizing the State Bar to establish and administer a mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) program.
This bill would require the State Bar to adopt regulations to require the continuing education curriculum to include training on implicit bias and the promotion of bias-reducing strategies, as specified. The bill would require a licensee of the State Bar to meet the requirements for each MCLE compliance period ending February 1, 2023, or later.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1)All persons possess implicit biases, which are the positive or negative perceptions, feelings, and stereotypes that affect their beliefs, attitudes, and actions towards other people.

(1) All persons possess implicit biases, defined as positive or negative associations that affect their beliefs, attitudes, and actions towards other people.
(2) Those biases develop during the course of a lifetime, beginning at an early age, through exposure to messages about groups of people that are socially advantaged or disadvantaged.
(3) In the United States, studies show that most people have an implicit bias that disfavors African Americans and favors Caucasian Americans, resulting from a long history of subjugations subjugation and exploitation of people of African descent.
(4) People also have negative biases toward members of other socially stigmatized groups, such as Native Americans, immigrants, women, the disabled, people with disabilities, Muslims, and members of the LGBTQ community.

(5)Judges and lawyers harbor the same kinds of implicit biases as others. Studies have shown that Black men receive federal prison sentences that are, on average, nearly 20 percent longer than sentences received by white men who commit the same crimes.

(5) Judges and lawyers harbor the same kinds of implicit biases as others. Studies have shown that, in California, Black defendants are held in pretrial custody 62 percent longer than White defendants and that Black defendants receive 28 percent longer sentences than White defendants convicted of the same crimes.
(6) Research shows individuals can reduce the negative impact of their implicit biases by becoming aware of the biases they hold and taking affirmative steps to alter behavioral responses to and override biases.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to ameliorate bias-based injustice in the courtroom.
SEC. 2.Section 68088 of the Government Code is amended to read:
68088.

(a)The Judicial Council may provide by rule of court for racial, ethnic, and gender bias, and sexual harassment training and training for any other bias based on any characteristic listed or defined in Section 11135 for judges, commissioners, and referees.

(b)(1)The Judicial Council shall develop training for all judges, commissioners, referees, clerks, bailiffs, and all attorneys appearing before a court, on implicit bias with respect to the characteristics listed or defined in Section 11135. The course shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(A)The difference between implicit bias and explicit bias and how these aspects of bias relate to each other.

(B)The terminology used to identify and describe implicit bias.

(C)How to create an inclusive workplace within the court that counteracts implicit bias.

(D)Important moments in history related to implicit bias and the courts.

(E)The taking of an implicit-association test to test implicit bias relating to the characteristics listed or defined in Section 11135.

(2)All judges, commissioners, referees, clerks, bailiffs, and all attorneys appearing before a court, shall complete eight hours of mandatory training pursuant to this subdivision every two years. Training shall include implicit association testing before and after the training, the results of which are for self-understanding only and shall be disclosed only to the person taking the test.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6070.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

6070.5.
 The State Bar shall adopt regulations to require that, on and after January 1, 2022, the continuing education curriculum for all licensees under this chapter includes training on implicit bias and the promotion of bias-reducing strategies to address how unintended biases regarding race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics undermine confidence in the legal system. A licensee shall meet the requirements of this section for each MCLE compliance period ending February 1, 2023, or later.

SEC. 3.

 Section 68088 of the Government Code is amended to read:

68088.
 (a) The Judicial Council may provide by rule of court for racial, ethnic, and gender bias, and sexual harassment training and training for any other bias based on any characteristic listed or defined in Section 11135 for judges, commissioners, and referees.
(b) (1) The Judicial Council may also develop training on implicit bias with respect to the characteristics listed or defined in Section 11135. The course shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) A survey of the social science on implicit bias, unconscious bias, and systemic implicit bias, including the ways that bias affects institutional policies and practices.
(B) A discussion of the historical reasons for, and the present consequences of, the implicit biases that people hold based on the characteristics listed in Section 11135.
(C) Examples of how implicit bias affects the perceptions, judgments, and actions of judges, commissioners, referees, and other court staff, resulting in unacceptable disparities in access to justice.
(D) The taking of implicit association tests to become aware of one’s biases based on the characteristics listed in Section 11135.
(E) The teaching and practice of strategies for reducing the impact of implicit bias on parties before the court, members of the public, and court staff.
(F) Inquiry into how judges can disrupt the effects of juror implicit bias on the outcome of cases by, for instance, providing comprehensive implicit bias jury instructions and informational videos to juries.
(2) Training provided pursuant to subdivision (a) for all judges and subordinate judicial officers shall include training on implicit bias with respect to the characteristics listed or defined in Section 11135.
(3) All trial court administrative and operational services employees shall complete two hours of mandatory training pursuant to this subdivision every two years.
(4) The Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court, effective January 1, 2022, to implement this subdivision.

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