NAWJ Monthly Update April 2012

Written by National Association of Women Judges|April 01, 2012|Monthly Update Archive

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April 2012
In This Issue:

Happy Spring!

I have to say I am breathing a bit easier with the passage of March and the already spring like weather we enjoyed here during the recent Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference. Thank you all for joining me, your Board of Directors and your District One host Planning Committee in Cambridge, Massachusetts. What an exciting few days of events! Our deepest gratitude goes out to Dean Martha Minow, Harvard Law School Dean for her generous support and partnering with NAWJ in hosting our Friends Luncheon at the stunning new Law School. And to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan for honoring us with her presence and for her warm remarks about her experience on the US Supreme Court. We all felt as if we were right there in the "conversation". Judge Nancy Gertner is always engaging when sharing her views. Congratulations, Judge Gertner, on your wonderful book. And how was that Boston "chowda" at the magnificent JFK Presidential Library? For those of you who were not able to attend, we will have photos in our next Counterbalance issue which is just about ready to go to press and on our website. Thank you to all for making Midyear 2012 so outstanding!

I recently had the opportunity to join District 12 NAWJ members for a lovely dinner hosted by Judge Terry Fox and her colleagues on the Appeals Court in Denver. We were also honored to have retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey in attendence and celebrated her recent induction into the Colorado's Women Hall of Fame (read more below). Congratulations Mary!! The NCSC funded my visit to Denver as a member of a Project Advisory Committee to assist the NCSC with a recently awarded grant to study and develop best practices for courthouse security in this country.

Late March on behalf of NAWJ, I had the good fortune to meet in Atlanta with educators, clinicians, and physicians at a meeting sponsored by the Cochrane Collaboration College of Policy, George Mason University, to discuss healthcare issues surrounding juveniles and adults in our criminal justice system. Much effort is focused on prevention, education and best treatment practices for inmates to insure maximum public health upon reentry.

Many of you are looking forward to the IAWJ conference in London May 2-5. I am awaiting a list from IAWJ of USA attendees and will share that with you once received. I am proud to say that NAWJ along with Canada and Argentina will be sponsoring a Reception for the Americas on Friday evening, May 4th, in London, more information will follow once we have it. The opening session is scheduled for 4:30 on Wednesday, May 2nd. The topics for this ambitious and exciting conference include, Judicial Leadership; Trafficking and Forced Marriages; Judicial Health and Safety; Women and Children as Armed Combatants; Sexual Violence issues; Feminist Judgment-writing Project and Human Rights.

Many more local events are on the horizon in each of our districts. Thank you to our hard working District Directors and to all of you for your constant support of our beloved NAWJ!

This Thursday, April 5th, we say a very, very fond farewell to COO and friend Jeff Groton. Thank you again and again for all you've done for NAWJ. He will be around the corner with our sisters at IAWJ.

A hearty, warm welcome to Craig Evans who is already on the job and training with Jeff and Marie. Much appreciation and respect goes out to Marie Komisar, our ED, for this seamless, smooth transition. Thank you.

Welcome, Craig. We love ya, Jeff!!

See you in London,


Dynamic, Joyous and Inspirational 2012 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference

The National Association of Women Judges returned to Boston, Massachusetts for its 2012 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference March 9-11. After more than a year of thoughtful planning and leadership, NAWJ President Judge Amy L. Nechtem of Massachusetts's Juvenile Court welcomed over 300 members of the legal community of judges, attorneys, and academics in Cambridge for an dynamic meeting covering the topics of feminism, the United States Supreme Court, the role of courts in preserving democracy, and immigration. Attendees enjoyed the lovely Charles Hotel in Cambridge and later were welcomed at Harvard Law School, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and the Schlesinger Library of Women's History in America. Time was also spent in Cambridge exploring the interesting nooks of the historic city. This amazing weekend of activities would not have been possible without the additional energy and dedication of the Conference Planning Committee including members NAWJ President Hon. Amy L. Nechtem, NAWJ Past President Hon. Fernande (Nan) R.V. Duffly, NAWJ District One Director Hon. Ariane Vuono, NAWJ District One Deputy Director Hon. MaryLou Muirhead, Hon. Martine Carroll, Hon. Cynthia Cohen, Hon. Terry M. Craven, Hon. Leslie Donahue, Hon. Ellen Flatley, Hon. Patricia A. Flynn, Hon. Martha P. Grace, Hon. Patricia Hurst, Hon. Bonnie H. MacLeod-Mancuso, Hon. Antoinette E. McLean Leoney, Hon. Sally F. Padden, Hon. Mary Lou Rup, Hon. Karyn Scheier, Hon. Kathe M. Tuttman, Hon. Mary Dacey White, and the Hon. Gabrielle Wolohojian.

The exciting programs, speakers and activities would not have been possible without the devoted commitment of the NAWJ Friends Committee Co-Chairs Karen Green, partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and Susan Alexander, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Biogen IDEC. Approximately 50 law firms, corporations, universities, and individual contributors supported this year's Midyear Conference. Thank you all for your support of the 2012 Midyear Leadership Conference and the National Association of Women Judges.

Gold Sponsors: Bingham McCutchen; Biogen Idec Inc.; Choate Hall & Stewart LLP; EMC Corporation; Foley Hoag LLP; Goodwin Procter LLP; Harvard Law School; Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.; Ropes & Gray LLP; State Street Corporation; Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and WilmerHale.

Silver Sponsors: Burns & Levinson LLP; Chartis; CRA International; Mass Mutual; Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Partners HealthCare; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; and West, a Thomson Reuters Business.

Bronze Sponsors: Boston University School of Law; Cabot Corporation; Charles River Associates; Collora LLP; Cooley Manion Jones LLP; Fidelity Investments; Fletcher Tilton PC; Goulston & Storrs; Lena Goldberg; Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP; Proskauer Rose LLP; Sherin and Lodgen LLP; Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.; Todd & Weld LLP; and Waters Corporation.

With additional support from: Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.; Boston College Law School; Boston Scientific Corporation; Cetrulo & Capone LLP; Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP; H.C. Starck Inc.; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP; Justine H. Brousseau, Kimball Brousseau LLP; Nina Joan Kimball, Kimball Brousseau LLP; Hon. Karyn Scheier; Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP; Suffolk University Law School; Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP; Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.; Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan LLP and the Woman's Bar Association of Massachusetts.

"Meet Me In Miami"
NAWJ 34th Annual Conference

November 7 - 11, 2012
Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida

Register online or download the registration form to register.

Room Reservations: (800) 319-5354

NAWJ Rates: Standard Room $199/night, plus applicable taxes
Resort Tower Room $219/night, plus applicable taxes
Ocean Tower Room with Ocean View $229/night plus applicable taxes

Judge Lisa S. Walsh Judge Myriam Lehr
Education Committee
Chairs: Judge Laurel Isicoff • Judge Cindy Lederman
Members: Judge Rosemary Barkett • Judge Professor Donna Coker • Judge Jeri Beth Cohen
Judge Edward Davis • Judge Justice Dana Fabe • Judge Ellen Leesfield • Judge Chris McAliley
Judge Kathleen Mulligan • Judge Professor Amy Ronner • Judge Mary Schroeder
Professor Tara Twomey

Finance Committee
Chair: Judge Gladys Perez • Member: Maureen Jaeger Walsh

Speakers Committee
Chair: Judge Gladys Perez • Member: Laura Morilla

International Judges Committee
Chair: Judge Mercedes Bach • Member: Judge Judy Chirlin

Social Events Committee
Chairs: Judge Nushin Sayfie and Judge and Lourdes Simon • Member: Amy Rosenberg

Volunteers Committee
Chair: Judge Marcia Caballero • Member: Judge Andrea Wolfson

Mentor-Mentee Committee
Chair: Judge Monica Gordo


Law Firm Partners Co-Chairs
Elizabeth Hernandez, Akerman Senterfitt
Linda M. Leali, White & Case LLP
Detra P. Shaw-Wilder, Koyzak Tropin & Throckmorton

Corporate Partners Chair
Mikki Canton, AsiaAmericana International LLC


Akerman Senterfitt LLP

Astigarraga Davis
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP
Broad and Cassel
Carlton Fields
GrayRobinson, P.A.
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Hogan Lovells
Hunton & Williams LLP
Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A.
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth and Investment Management, The MAB Group
Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.
White & Case LLP

Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Ferri LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Grossman Roth, P.A.
Holland & Knight LLP
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.

Damian & Valori LLP
Elser Foster-Morales
GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group
Meland Russin & Budwick
The Law Office of Nicole E. Mestre, P.A.
Pathman Lewis, LLP
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L.


This panel will address: What are the problems facing independence of the judiciary? What can we do about it? What ARE we doing about it? What are effective strategies for judicial independence? What is happening in other countries?

What are the existing privacy laws? What are expectations of privacy? How do those existing privacy laws fit in with the current realities, cyberstalking and available remedies? How does the internet and social networking impact the judiciary and the ethics of judges or their clerks using the internet to research information about cases, jury members, lawyers, etc.?

This panel will address what judges can do and should communicate with one another, formally and informally, regarding cross border issues or simultaneous proceedings. We will use Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code, which explicitly authorizes such communication, as a spring board for what could be used as a model in general business cases.

This panel will examine what is new and what is happening with respect to the use of human rights norms in the domestic (US) context.


These panels will address the far reaching impact of the economic crisis on individuals, institutions, and society at large.
Beyond banks and board rooms, the global economic downturn is having a profound effect on the everyday lives of people around the world. Societies, too, are being tested as the engines of economic growth sputter forward. This panel will explore the less visible consequences of the financial crisis and its impact on people and communities.
Equal justice is an idea that we have long striven for in American society. But, is the economic crisis, with its strained government budgets, court cutbacks and loss of legal aid funding, turning back the clock on the progress we've made in reaching the goal of equal justice for all? Join us for this panel in which we will discuss how the financial squeeze is impacting access to justice at the individual court level and in society in general.

We will have two authors discuss books they have recently written and sign books.
(i) Judith Resnick will speak about her book "Representing Justice".
(ii) Prof. Sally Kenney will discuss her book "Gender and Judging".

This panel will discuss issues relating to bankruptcy, immigration and other laws that may or will impact criminal, family and commercial cases.

This panel will look at the challenges that women lawyers and judges are facing as the world around them changes. We have issues in the Middle and Far East as well as those issues much closer to home in the Caribbean and Venezuela.



Someone "in the business" will share the secret (and not so secret) guidance in what it takes to write a book and get it published.

A panel of doctors from the University of Miami School of Medicine will discuss the aging woman and the physical and psychological issues about which we should be aware.

A discussion about a new method for reducing stress and making us more effective judges.

We will start our day(s) the right way with a group class each morning.

Chief Justice Mary J. Mullarkey (Retired) Inducted into Colorado's Women Hall of Fame

NAWJ member the Honorable Mar J. Mullarkey was the first female Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice and the longest serving Chief Justice in Colorado history. She spent her early career years in Washington, D.C., in the Office of the Solicitor, Department of the Interior, handling water and environmental law cases. She then handled discrimination and employment discrimination at the Equal Employment Opportunity commission in Denver. Chief Justice Mullarkey was appointed as Colorado Solicitor General at a very young age. During her tenure on the Colorado Supreme Court, she increased the number of judges in Colorado by 27 percent. Chief Justice Mullarkey key also established the Judicial Executive Development Institute to train court clerks, probation officers, and district administrators. She brought in extensive technological system for courts, a prototype for other states. During her tenure, all new court buildings had to have childcare. Colorado's new judicial complex and Colorado History Museum have come to fruition thanks to Justice Mullarkey's leadership and vision.

The 2012 Induction Gala took place March 8, 2012 at the Denver Marriott City Center.

NAWJ to Meet the Congressional Women's Caucus July 10th on Capitol Hill

For the seventh consecutive year NAWJ will meet with members of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues on Capitol Hill Tuesday July 10th at noon. The Meeting with the Congressional Women's Caucus represents an opportunity to continue collaboration between NAWJ and the Caucus that began in 2006.

NAWJ President Judge Amy L. Nechtem along with Meeting Co-Chair the Honorable Lauren Best Leeker, Retired U.S. Army Trial Judge and current Administrative Counsel to the Executive Committee of the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., will join Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Representative Gwen Moore (WI) in convening this year's Meeting. Child welfare and human trafficking will be among the topics discussed. Click here to view a list of current Congressional Caucus Members, and Task Force Chairs.

All NAWJ members are invited to attend. RSVP to Lavinia Cousin at 202-393-0222 (or by July 1st. NAWJ will draw a block of rooms for $199/night at The Fairfax Hotel at Embassy Row for use by meeting attendees. Please inform Lavinia Cousin as soon as possible if you will need to make use of these accommodations. All attendees will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

Fulbright & Jaworksi L.L.P. to Host Special Welcome Reception
In a gracious extension of hospitality, Meeting Co-Chair Hon. Lauren Best Leeker and the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski will host a cocktail reception on Monday evening, July 9th in the Fulbright Conference Center located at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The Conference Center includes lovely balcony views overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Archives and the Navy Memorial.

International Association for Court Administration
7th International Conference
The Challenge of Developing and Maintaining Strong and Just Courts
in an Era of Uncertainty
June 13-15, 2012
The Hague, Netherlands

The International Association for Court Administration invites you to attend the seventh IACA international conference at the Conference Center of the Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands, from June 13-15, 2012. The Mayor of The Hague, Dutch Council for the Judiciary, UN Tribunals, Utrecht University and Carnegie Foundation are supporting our activities. The reception will be at the beautiful Peace Palace:

The conference theme, The Challenge of Developing and Maintaining Strong and Just Courts in an Era of Uncertainty, is a very important topic in times of global change. Speakers include senior judicial officials from a diverse array of countries. IACA has previously held conferences in Ljubljana, Verona, Dublin, Trinidad, Indonesia, and Istanbul.

The conference Gala Dinner will be held at The Nieuwe Kirk, It is one of the finest venues in the city. The registration fee includes the cost of all conference events and activities. Conference registration and hotel information is located at The conference invitation can be downloaded here. Requests for visa letters, if required, can be obtained by email at

New 2012 Forster-Long State Gender Ratio Statistics
Now Available from NAWJ's Website

From NAWJ's website you may now view state-level gender statistics from Forster-Long's most recent publication of THE AMERICAN BENCH, an annual comprehensive publication that profiles federal and state courts. In 2008, NAWJ joined with Forster-Long, publisher of THE AMERICAN BENCH and THE AMERICAN BAR, to share information it gathers for its publication and for NAWJ members to provide Forster-Long with biographical information and other data.

Click on the U.S. map reachable from NAWJ's homepage to find for each state: (1) the ratio of total women state court judges to total judges in that particular state (2) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's court of highest jurisdiction (3) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's intermediate appellate courts (4) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's trial courts of general jurisdiction, and (5) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's lower level trial courts of limited jurisdiction.

National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary Midyear Educational Conference in Reno, Nevada from April 1-3, 2012.

District 13 Judicial Reception. NAWJ, Washington State Gender and Justice Commission, and the Women's Law Caucus of the University of Washington Law School and Seattle University Law School. April 12, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.

District 11 Reception. NAWJ, University of Texas School of Law and Travis County Women Lawyer's Association. April 18, 2012 in Travis County, Texas.

International Association of Women Judges 2012 Bi-Annual Conference will take place May 2 - 5 in London, United Kingdom.

Joint Reception with the ABA Commission on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. NAWJ will jointly sponsor the Commission's Spring Meeting and participate in the opening reception. The mission of this Commission is to present education for lawyers and judges on issues related to DV and Sexual Assault, May 3rd in Seattle, Washington.

NAWJ's 34th Annual Conference will take place in Miami, Florida, November 7 - 11 at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.

NAWJ's 35th Annual Conference will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The 2014 International Association of Women Judges Bi-Annual Conference will take place in Tanzania May 6 - 9.

Mission Statement:

The National Association of Women Judges' mission is to: Promote the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership, fairness and equality in the courts, and equal access to justice.

About NAWJ:

Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has inspired and lead the American judiciary in achieving fairness and equality for vulnerable populations. Led by two visionary women - Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Justice Vaino Spencer - 100 brave and intrepid women judges met and formed an organization dedicated to the following ideals: ensuring equal justice and access to the courts for all including women, youth, the elderly, minorities, the underprivileged, and people with disabilities; providing judicial education on cutting-edge issues of importance; developing judicial leaders; increasing the number of women on the bench in order for the judiciary to more accurately reflect the role of women in a democratic society; and improving the administration of justice to provide gender-fair decisions for both male and female litigants.

From the day it was founded, NAWJ has been committed to diversity in our membership. Our organization welcomes both men and women. We include appellate, trial, tribal, administrative law judges, state and federal judges, and members from every state in the nation.

NAWJ takes pride in its accomplishments. We were at the forefront in the establishment and implementation of gender bias task forces in both federal and state courts. We have greatly advanced the administration of justice in areas of domestic violence, child support and child custody, and the treatment of women in the courts of America. We also are respected as a leader in educating judges on bioethics, elderly abuse, the sentencing of women offenders with substance abuse problems; improving conditions for women in prison; and the problems facing immigrants in our court system. Currently we are developing curricula on the effect of genetic advances on women and vulnerable populations, the impact of international law on state and federal courts, and cognitively disabled persons in criminal courts.

In addition to addressing these and other important issues, NAWJ provides an opportunity for judges to meet and discuss professional issues of mutual concern in a supportive atmosphere. Connecting with others with the same values, we laugh, enjoy life and mentor one another nationwide.

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