PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE, PRESIDENT'S CALENDAR
NAWJ is an organization comprised of exceptionally dedicated women who have excelled
in our chosen profession. But, moreover, it is an association of members whose deep
concern for those whose voices are not readily heard prompts endless hours of community
outreach through our committee and district structure, and who are collectively
committed to finding ways to create a more diverse judiciary of strong leaders.
NAWJ members work tirelessly to advance the mission-driven goals of our organization,
while balancing the daily demands of our jobs, families, and other volunteer commitments.
It is for these very reasons that we so respect one another, and form strong collegial
bonds and friendships that go far beyond simply meeting at an annual conference. NAWJ
is a unique organization, not just because it brings together women in the profession,
but because of the qualities our members possess, their shared desire to create
opportunity for historically disfavored groups in our society, and their commitment to
ensure for all access to justice and fairness in our courts under the rule of law.
Earlier this month I attended the annual conference of the American Bar Association.
It was while I was attending various meetings as a proud representative and ambassador
of NAWJ that I was struck by the high regard in which are members are held beyond the
NAWJ family. The most prestigious award a woman lawyer in our nation can receive is
the Margaret Brent Award given by the ABA Commission on Women. The honorees this
year included a U.S. Ambassador, a general in the Judge Advocate Corps (JAGC), a
ground breaking law school professor, a ceiling smashing, phenomenally successful
corporate counsel, and our very own exceptionally accomplished Massachusetts Supreme
Court Justice Fernande (Nan) Duffly, NAWJ president 2007 - 08. While each of these
legally trained women followed a different path to rise to the top of the profession,
they all shared a commitment and passion at an early point in their careers to
mentoring and supporting women and minorities, and to doggedly challenging and
reforming existing infrastructures that created unspoken barriers to equal
opportunity and meritorious advancement.
Justice Duffly, the daughter of a Dutch father and Chinese mother, moved to the
United States at age 5. Throughout her life, Nan has personally led and organized
others to create greater opportunities for women and minorities by providing
encouragement and support, by breaking down obstacles to admission and advancement,
and by gathering accurate information to reflect the true status of women and
minorities in the legal profession and judiciary. The introductory remarks at
the awards luncheon attended by nearly a thousand were as moving as Nan's remarks
were poignant. It was a very proud moment for NAWJ, as well as for Justice Duffly
and her family - a truly inspiring event.
It was at that moment that I took stock of the character and various
accomplishments of the NAWJ members seated at several tables who were present to
support and applaud Nan. The legacy of leadership and outreach, the importance of
mentoring and modeling in person, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor underscores in her
memoir My Beloved World, and the commitment to better outcomes are all are shared
passions upon which they act to enhance and improve the lives of girls and women,
minorities and the disenfranchised. The same could be said of most NAWJ members.
Although each would humbly prefer anonymity, I will note that this stellar
constellation of attendees included retired Judge Marcella Holland, who last
month was received the William H. Hastie Award - NBA Judicial Council's highest
award; former NAWJ president Amy Nechtem, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts
Juvenile Court; Immediate Past NAWJ President Court of Appeals
Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Chair of the District of Columbia's Standing
Committee on Fairness Access; Judge Toni Clarke, former Judicial Division
executive committee officer of the National Conference of State Court Trial
Judges and rising ABA star; retired immigration judge and former NAWJ President
Judge Joan Churchill; and Judge Ann Breen-Greco, who the previous day was elected
Vice-President of the ABA Judicial Division.
August 2, 2015 was another historic day in NAWJ history, just as it was several
years ago when former NAWJ president U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler
was honored at this same event. We all wore our NAWJ pins with great pride on
this day, as always. It is moments like this that reflect the vision of our
founding 'mothers' Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Judge Vaino Spencer, to whom
we are all eternally grateful.
Judge Julie E. Frantz
September: Possible meetings in Seattle re: 2016 NAWJ Annual Conference
October 7-11, 2015: NAWJ Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah
Hon. Michele Christiansen, Utah Court of Appeals
Hon. Sharon McCully (Retired), 3rd District Juvenile Court
Hon. Kate Toomey, Utah Court of Appeals
FRIENDS COMMITTEE CHAIRS
Tammy G. Georgelas, Esq., Parsons Behle & Latimer
Margaret N. McGann, Esq., Parsons Behle & Latimer
NAWJ 37th Annual Conference
October 7-11, 2015 • Salt Lake City, Utah
Grand America Hotel
(Download the conference brochure
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2015
OPTIONAL MOUNTAIN HIKE:
Twenty (20) attendees may attend this Dog Lake Trail, a 6 mile out and
back hike. Email email@example.com
to sign-up. Possible $15 shuttle fee.
Film Screening of Women Trailblazers in the Law: Utah's First 100 Women Lawyers
International Judges Reception
New Judges/First-Time Attendee Reception
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2015
Gender Bias: How Far Have We Come in 25 Years?
After Marriage: A Dialogue on LGBT Rights and Religious Liberties
Keynote Speaker: Professor Sujata Warrier
Impact of Media/Social Media on High Profile Cases
Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline
The Uneasy Intersection of Law And Medicine
Reception at the National History Museum
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
Immigration Issues Facing Local, State and Federal Courts
Human Trafficking: A Pro Bono Counsel's View of U.S. v. Adan
Friends Appreciation Luncheon
Evidentiary Issues Involving Magnetic Images of the Brain
Domestic Sex Trafficking: Overcoming the Barriers to Successful Prosecutions
Predictable Misjudgment: How Intuition Misleads Judges
Justice Reinvestment Initiative: A National Perspective
A Conversation with Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
Where Are We Almost 50 Years After In Re Gault
Utah Women Lawyers Judicial Reception
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2015
Annual NAWJ Business Meeting
Mindfulness and Meditation
Personal Story - Born in Prison, A Woman Rises Against the Odds
Annual NAWJ Gala Banquet
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: "Music and the Spoken Word" performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Forty (40) attendees may attend the live performance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
if you want to attend.
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEES:
$525 for Members who are First-Time Attendees
$595 for NAWJ Members ($550 Earlybird rate until April 25, 2015)
$695 for Non-Member Attendees
$575 Guest Rate for Spouse and Children of Attendees ($550 Earlybird rate until April 25, 2015)
or download and fax
this registration form.
Call (800) 304-8696 • NAWJ Rate: $189/night, plus applicable taxes
For More Information Contact:
Conference Manager: Mary Kathleen Todd at email@example.com
Sign Up for Optional Excursions During the
NAWJ Salt Lake Annual Conference
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2015
WILDERNESS HIKE: Dog Lake Trail, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Wednesday, October 7 • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Twenty (20) attendees may attend this beautiful hike. Dog Lake Trail is a 6 mile out
and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a lake and is rated as
moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to attend.
Possible $15 shuttle fee.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: "Music and the Spoken Word" performed by the
Mormon Tabernacle Choice
Sunday, October 11 • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Forty (40) attendees may attend the live performance of 'Music and the Spoken Word'
featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The performance starts at 9:30 a.m. Guests must
be seated by 9:15 a.m., when the doors are closed. The broadcast is 30 minutes long and
ends at 10:00 a.m. Please email email@example.com
if you want to attend.
NAWJ 2015-2015 Board of Directors Nomination Slate
In accordance with the NAWJ Bylaws, the Nominating Committee presents the following
Nomination Slate for the 2015-2016 Board of Directors:
Hon. Lisa S. Walsh, Civil Division, Circuit Court for the
Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami, Florida
(automatically assumes office)
Hon. Diana Becton, Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County
Vice President, Districts
Hon. Tamila Ipema, Superior Court of California, San Diego County
Vice President, Publications
Hon. Beverly Winslow Cutler, Alaska Court System, 3rd Judicial District
Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, New York State Supreme Court, New York County
Hon. Joy Cossich Lobrano, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana
Hon. Lisette Shirdan-Harris, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania
The Nominating Committee includes:
Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Hon. Bernice Donald, U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Hon. Dana Fabe, Alaska Supreme Court
Hon. Jennifer Gee, U.S. Department of Labor, California
Hon. Marcella A. Holland, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland (Retired)
Hon. Gladys Kessler, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Hon. Brenda Stith Loftin, St. Louis County Circuit Court, Missouri (Retired)
Hon. Amy L. Nechtem, Administrative Office of the Juvenile Court, Massachusetts
Hon. Bea Ann Smith, Third Court of Appeals, Texas (Retired)
Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
National Association of Women Judges Announces
2015 Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year
and Florence K. Murray Award Recipients
Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson
Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson
was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Gov. Patrick Lucey in 1976. She was
then the only woman to serve on the court. She won election to the court in 1979
and re-election in 1989, 1999, and 2009. Since August 1, 1996, she has been chief
justice and, in that capacity, serves as the administrative leader of the Wisconsin
Before joining the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Abrahamson was in private practice
in Madison for 14 years and was a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
She is a past president of the National Conference of Chief Justices and past
chair of the board of directors of the National Center for State Courts. She also
has served as chair of the National Institute of Justice's National Commission on
the Future of DNA Evidence. She is a member of the Council of the American Law
Institute, the New York University School of Law Institute of Judicial Administration.
She also has served on the State Bar of Wisconsin's Commission on the Delivery of
Legal Services, the American Bar Association's Coalition for Justice, and the National
Academies' Science, Technology and Law panel.
Born and raised in New York City, Chief Justice Abrahamson received her bachelor's
degrees from NYU in 1953, her law degree from Indiana University Law School in 1956,
and a doctorate of law in American legal history in 1962 from the UW Law School. She
is the recipient of 15 honorary doctor of laws degrees and the Distinguished Alumni
Award of the UW-Madison. She is a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences
and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected member of the American
Philosophical Society. In 2004, she received the American Judicature Society's
Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence. In 2009 the National Center for State
Courts awarded her the Harry L. Carrico Award for Judicial Innovation, for serving as a
national leader in safeguarding judicial independence, improving inter-branch relations,
and expanding outreach to the public.
2015 JUSTICE JOAN DEMPSEY KLEIN NAWJ HONOREE OF THE YEAR
Karen Johnson-McKewan, Esq.
2015 FLORENCE K. MURRAY AWARD
Karen G. Johnson-McKewan, an Intellectual
Property partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's San Francisco office, is a
trial lawyer who concentrates her practice on complex intellectual property and
commercial litigation for technology and consumer products companies. Ms.
Johnson-McKewan has significant experience litigating and trying particularly intricate
cases in which the translation of complex technology issues into plain English is
invaluable. Her engagements have involved matters in technology, internet, financial,
e-commerce, retail, software and gaming industries in a diverse set of courts and multiple
arbitral bodies. She served as Orrick's San Francisco Office Leader from 2005 to 2008.
Ms. Johnson-McKewan joined the NAWJ Resource Board in 2005, and served as its co-chair
from 2006 to 2009. Among her many accomplishments during that period, Ms.
Johnson-McKewan secured Forster-Long, Inc.'s partnership in producing a statistical
summary of gender ratios of the judiciary in every state of the country. In 2011,
Ms. Johnson-McKewan assumed the responsibilities of co-chair of the Resource Board
for a second time and together with Elaine Metlin has played a critical role in moving
NAWJ forward. Ms. Johnson-McKewan also serves as vice-chair of NAWJ's California
Coordinating Committee for the Informed Voters/Fair Judges Project (IVP). Orrick
has been a substantial resource for the IVP. Its generous financial contributions
and pro bono work of its attorneys have preserved NAWJ's tax-exempt status and the
independence of IVP's intellectual property. Ms. Johnson-McKewan received her B.A.
from the University of California, Davis and her law degree from the University of
California, Davis School of Law.
Member Spotlight: Justice Rebeca C. Martinez
The Honorable Rebeca C. Martinez has been a member of NAWJ since 2013, the same year she
was appointed to Texas' Fourth Court of Appeals (Jan, 2013). You may read her full bio
Last year, Justice Martinez was appointed NAWJ's District 11 Director for Oklahoma, Arkansas
and Texas. NAWJ decided to catch up with Justice Martinez and find out a little more about her.
Five Things You Don't Know About Justice Martinez
Between college and law school I…?
Between college and law school, I backpacked through Europe for six weeks with $250 in my pocket,
a Eurail pass, and a youth hostel pass. In my junior year in college, I'd reminded my parents of
their promise to send me to Europe when I graduated from college and, of course, they reminded me
that money didn't grow on trees. Not being one to give up, I waited tables my entire senior year
and saved up to purchase my airline ticket and passes. I arrived first in Rome, hoping to celebrate
mass with the Pope, only to find out he was in Australia. So much for the Let's Go Europe travel
book that claimed to know his schedule. This was well before the Internet, of course. Its advice
did help me survive through Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and France. I
stayed in hostels ranging between converted monasteries to renovated castles, the most memorable
hostel in Salzburg, Austria located near the castle used as the von Trapp family home seen in
"The Sound of Music" film. If you can picture young men wearing their respective collegiate
emblems, among them a few rivals, embracing, dancing and singing "The hills are alive," you can
imagine how I felt among them in that very moment. It couldn't get it any better.
My first job after graduating from college was…?
My first job after graduating from college was at a solo practitioner's firm. More interesting,
I met an appellate judge at a local bar and grill during a young lawyer social hour. He seemed
interested in my story as a Navy brat and how I got to law school, and I admitted to not enjoying
my job. He invited me to visit his court the next day. Arriving to what I thought was going to
be a courtesy courthouse tour, he took me to his staff attorney's office for what turned into a
job interview. I left with the judge's offer to join his chambers. I found out later that the judge
had already selected a replacement for his outgoing clerk earlier the same day I met the judge. To
this day, I haven't brought myself to ask Justice Hinojosa whose job I had just snared unknowingly.
By the way, he swore me in as Justice exactly twenty years later. I share this story with my law school
mentees to convey how important networking and being yourself is to their success and to opening doors
of opportunity. You never know what God has planned for you.
I have enjoyed, experienced, and endured more than I believe to deserve but certainly more than enough
to feel grateful. I've relished in the company I keep, and that's because I learned long ago, from
observing and listening to those I admire and respect, to treasure the time we have with those that make
our days brighter, toughen our resolve, and energize our spirit. That's why I've been drawn to certain
individuals along my path to the judiciary, for whom I'm truly grateful, and most recently with those
strong and brilliant women I've met in NAWJ, particularly my fellow board members and state chairs who
by example have nurtured my commitment as a female jurist to ensuring equal access and justice and
promoting diversity among the legal profession.
I am proud of…
I am the proud daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, Antonio, and his wife Manuela of almost 53 years. My
parents were born in Mexico and became U.S. citizens during his service with the Navy, from which he
retired as chief petty officer. I grew up in naval bases all over the country, always living near the
ocean and all too familiar with naval piers, having waited impatiently to see my dad step off a destroyer
or other war vessel after a long trip at sea. I was in a different school every year until the seventh
grade, moving to Texas and postponing my Quinceañera until my dad returned from a two-year sea duty to
retire after twenty years of service. He wore his full dress uniform, wearing it for the last time, so
he then thought. It was the first time I remember him crying, arriving just in time to dance with his
eldest daughter and marking my transition from childhood to young womanhood. The last time was holding
the bible on which I took the oath of office in 2012, wearing once again his full dress naval uniform …
with a few buttons moved over. I am deeply grateful to my dad for valuing my education and for my mom for
her unconditional love. My parents raised 5 college-educated children, including my sister the Yale grad.
You don't have enough time to read about my beautiful and brainy sister Leticia now living in Arlington,
Texas. Although they don't enjoy the precious joy of grandchildren, they have the love of their kids and
their only son-in-law, my husband David.
I was born in Roswell, New Mexico. I love the movie, E.T., but I will never again endure watching those
silly "reality" ghost stories on cable that my husband seems to be addicted to. I'm the shortest justice
on my court and still constantly asked how tall I am, to which I respond "4'12'." I have a no-pearl policy,
but I respect my fellow jurists who seem resolved to wear them by the strands. I wasn't born in Texas but
got here as soon as I could. God willing, I will retire in Hawaii and expire before my husband because
I can't live without him or his warm heart … and feet
Economics Institutes for Judges' Upcoming Programs
at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA
The Economics Institutes for Judges is offering education program to be held
Sunday, September 20 through Friday, September 25, 2015, and Sunday, November 8
through Friday, November 13, 2015, at George Mason University School of Law in
Click here for more information on September's program.
Click here for more information on November's programs.
Please do not hesitate to contact the program's Judicial Education Program assistant,
Cristina Minniti, us with any questions. She can be reached at
MasonJEP@gmu.edu or at (703) 993-8008.
Hon. Judge Karen Arnold-Burger Receives 2015 Phil Lewis Medal of
Distinction for work on Informing Voters on a Fair Judiciary
Request from the NAWJ Retired/Senior Judges Committee
NAWJ member Judge Karen Arnold-Burger (Kansas Court of Appeals) accepted the
2015 Phil Lewis Medal of Distinction on behalf of the Kansas NAWJ Informed Voters -
Fair Judges Project from Jerry Green, President of the Kansas Bar Association at its
Annual Meeting in Overland Park, Kansas. The award is reserved for individuals or
organizations in Kansas who have performed outstanding service and conspicuous
service at the state, nation or international level in the administration of
justice, science, the arts, government, philosophy, or any other filed offering
relief or enrichment to others.
"First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table."
ABA Commission on Women Announces Latest Report
From Barbara Leff at the ABA.
On behalf of Commission on Women Chair Michele
Coleman Mayes …
I am delighted to announce the publication of
the Commission's newest report, "First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table."
This study, a joint project of the Commission and the American Bar Foundation, is the first of
its kind to provide an empirical snapshot of the participation of women and men as lead counsel
and trial lawyers in civil and criminal litigation. In addition, the report identifies
characteristics of cases, law firms, and clients that impact the extent to which men and
women serve in lead counsel roles. The report can be downloaded from the Commission's website at
Using a random sample of all cases filed in 2013
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the data show that women are
consistently underrepresented in lead counsel positions and in the role of trial lawyer for all
but a few types of cases. In civil cases, men are three times more likely than women to appear
as lead counsel or as trial attorneys. In criminal cases, men are twice as likely as women to
appear as lead counsel and nearly four times more likely than women to appear as trial attorneys.
"First Chairs at Trial" also offers suggested
best practices/strategies to address these findings, including ways that law schools, law firms,
clients, judges, and individual lawyers can increase gender diversity among trial lawyers.
Our thanks to Stephanie Scharf and Bobbi
Liebenberg for their hard work in shepherding the research process and writing this important,
Thanks to NAWJ Past President Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby for passing this news along.
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR NAWJ MEMBERS IN SENIOR STATUS OR
WHO ARE RETIRED FROM THE BENCH
Request from the NAWJ Retired/Senior Judges Committee
The NAWJ Retired/Senior Judges Committee is conducting a survey of NAWJ members who are
retired from the bench or have senior status, in order to collect information on the variety
of activities in which they are engaged. The purpose of the questionnaire is to share this
information with each other, including those who are retired, and those who are contemplating
retirement/taking senior status.
Although a questionnaire was emailed to a list we hope included all retired/senior judges,
the Retired/Senior Judges Committee want to ensure sure it did not miss anyone, and we are
concerned that the list of retired/senior judges may not be up-to-date. If you are an
NAWJ member who is retired from the bench or who has senior status, and you did not receive an
email from Joan Churchill on July 9, 2015 enclosing the questionnaire, click
here to access the questionnaire, and return it completed to Hon.
Joan Churchill, Chair of the NAWJ Retired/Senior Judges Committee by email at:
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Contact GEICO for a free quote on auto insurance to see how much you could be saving.
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Calendar of Programs and Events
NAWJ District Two will celebrate the contributions of the federal judiciary by honoring
Judge Ellen Bree Burns on September 26 at The Graduate Club in New Haven, CT. Contact:
Judge Mary Sommer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAWJ-NCBL Liaison Committee will hold its Third Annual Breakfast during the 2015 National
Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Annual Meeting on Monday, September 28, 2017 at 7:30 am.
At Cecconi's Restaurant in Miami. Contact: Judge Margaret McGariry for details,
NAWJ District One will honor Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and newly appointed and
elevated judges on September 30 at the Social Law Library at the John Adams Courthouse,
Boston. Contact: Judge Marylou Muirhead at
or (617) 788-6501.
NAWJ's New York Chapter will present a panel on issues unique to women attorneys as part
of launching a Career Clothes Closet Networking program on October 6 from 5:00-8:00 pm at
the University of Buffalo Law School. Contact: Judge Shirley Troutman at
NAWJ will hold its 37th Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 8-11, 2015.
NAWJ District Four will hold its 2015 Leadership Conference to honor Hon. Barbara Keenan
(U.S. Court of Appeals, Retired) with the Edna G. Parker Award, and highlight speaker Tonier
Cain from October 30-31 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, MD. Contact:
Judge Sherrie Krauser at email@example.com.
The International Association of Women Judges Biennial will be hosted in the United States by the
National Association of Women Judges in Washington D.C. from May 26-29, 2016.
NAWJ 37th Annual Conference will take place in Seattle, Washington from October 5-9, 2016 at the
Sheraton Seattle Hotel.