Please read this important message and consider my plea!
Let me first start by wishing you all the best of happiness and health during this holiday season. While we
celebrate the holidays, we must also think of all those who were victims of the recent earthquake in Alaska
and the fires in California that took many lives and destroyed numerous homes. Our hearts go out to all of you,
your families, and communities who have been affected by those natural disasters. We hope that you are able
to rebuild your homes soon and heal your wounds by the help of your loved ones and friends. Our thoughts
are prayers are with all of you.
On Dec. 10, 2018, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70 years old and we celebrated the
International Human Rights Day everywhere in the world. Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the greatest women in
American History was the chairperson of the drafting committee of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
But, she was not alone; there were two other influential female delegates to the Human Rights Commission to
the UN in NY who also played significant roles shaping this awesome document. These women were Minerva
Bernadino of Dominican Republic and Anna Figueroa of Chile. We celebrate all these great women. While the
promise of this document is yet to be fully realized, the fact that it has withstood the test of time tells
us of the global values of equal dignity of human beings and the universal justice that we all stand up for.
NAWJ, the leading voice of women in judiciary, with its mission of equal access to justice for all, will
continue to educate the masses on the importance of human rights, and will stand up for all those who cannot
stand up for themselves.
With this important mission in mind, we need you to assist us to increase our membership in order to be more
effective and make a bigger impact. In the next few months, I am going to urge each of you to bring one
member into NAWJ to join our team and work with us. We have a whole host of new judges appointed to the
bench across the country in the last few weeks. Please meet your new colleagues, both men and women, and
invite them to join NAWJ at the introductory membership rate of $130.00. Alternatively, give a gift of membership
to your new colleague during this season of giving. It might be the best gift you ever give a just-minded
colleague who is determined to make a difference in this world. Please also remember that NAWJ welcomes
attorneys and law professors, who are equally passionate about the NAWJ mission, to join our organization
as a non-voting member and join hands with us to make a difference together. Please help us to reach our
goal of doubling our membership in 2019.
Tamila E. Ipema
Hon. Tamila Ebrahimi Ipema
Judge of California Superior Court, San Diego County
VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLICATIONS JUDGE KAREN DONOHUE
CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR THE NEXT ISSUE OF COUNTERBALANCE
Members and District Directors, what is happening in your districts? Have you and/or your fellow district members
sponsored an NAWJ program recently? Are you active duty military or a military veteran? Are you traveling to a
foreign jurisdiction to teach about the rule of law? Are you a new member? Have any women judges in your state
been recently appointed, elected or honored? Have you run your fourth - or your first - marathon? Have you
experienced any issues in court as a new mother?
We want to hear all this, and more, from you!
Counterbalance informs and connects our members around the country by featuring news and information that
highlight NAWJ's activities and members' accomplishments. Our conferences are always packed with cutting edge
legal education. Our publications should be as well. This year, Counterbalance will be published in March,
July and November. We will include some new features along with essays and articles which are in accord with our mission.
If you have articles, ideas for articles, announcements, book reviews or events that you would like included in
Counterbalance, please pass them along. The deadline for submitting information for the next issue of
Counterbalance is FEBRUARY 1, 2019.
Please email text and picture files to Lavinia Cousin at email@example.com
and to Judge Donohue at
INFORMED VOTERS PROGRAM JOINS JOURNALISM VOICES ON
DEMOCRACY IN A JUDICIAL ROUNDTABLE AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
NAWJ Informed Voters Project national Co-Chair Chief
Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court, and Judicial Independence Committee
Co-Chairs Justice Barbara Pariente of Florida and Justice Robin Hudson of North Carolina, will
participate in a Judicial Roundtable at The National Press Club on December 13, 2018. The presentation
is part of a national symposium offered by the National Judicial College, and will bring together
the country's most prominent members of the judiciary and the media. Discussions will address recent
attacks on judicial independence and freedom of the press, as well as their potential consequences
for American democracy. Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent, National Public Radio will also
participate in the program along with other journalists and judges from throughout the country. The
NAWJ Informed Voters, Fair Judges Project will have an exhibit on display during the event.
The symposium entitled "Undermining the Courts and the Media: The Consequences for American Democracy,"
will be held December 13, 2018 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
The link below will provide additional information including a draft agenda and registration details.
For information, click here, or visit
The event is inspired by, and the discussion will revolve around, the findings and lessons from the
2018 bestseller "How Democracies Die" by Harvard researchers Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.
DISTRICT CHIEF JUDGE JENNIFER GEE HONORED BY
THE NATIONAL JUDICIAL COLLEGE WITH ITS V. ROBERT PAYANT
AWARD FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE
The President of the National Judicial College (NJC), Judge Benes Z. Aldana (Ret.), attended NAWJ's 2018
Annual Conference in San Antonio to present longtime NAWJ member, the Honorable Jennifer Gee with the
NJC's V. Robert Payant Award for Faculty Excellence (photo). President Aldana selected Judge Gee to
receive the NJC's highest faculty recognition based upon a nomination by NJC's
Faculty Council. Chief Judge Gee serves as Secretary on the Faculty Council. She is currently
serving her second term on the Faculty Council representing Administrative Law jurisdiction. She has
served as faculty for the National Judicial College since 1994.
Judge Gee has been a member of NAWJ since 1985. She currently serves as District Chief Judge with
the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges in San Francisco, California,
presiding over formal hearings under 80 diverse, labor-related statutes. For many years Judge Gee
served as Chair of NAWJ's Annual Conference Site Selection Committee. She developed NAWJ's Conference
Planning Manual in 2001, and has overseen its updates since then.
You can learn more about Judge Gee in her bio on the NJC's
Faculty Council webpage.
US DOJ'S OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL ISSUES REVIEW OF
THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISON'S MANAGEMENT OF ITS FEMALE
The Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice (IG) released its report on the Bureau
of Prisons' management of its female prisoners in September, 2018. Download
In summary of the DOJ's report, Women in Prison Committee Co-Chair Judge Brenda Murray: In September 2016,
BOP had 10,567 women in custody, representing seven percent of the sentenced population of 146,084 persons.
The 44-page IG report echoes the findings and recommendations that NAWJ's Women in Prison committee has
been making to BOP officials for many years. The IG report repeats the findings of NAWJ's Women in Prison
Committee who visited the Metropolitan Detention Center, a high rise building in Brooklyn in 2015 and
2016, to see the conditions of women prisoners shipped there "temporarily" from Danbury, Connecticut, and
the IG interviewed three NAWJ members. Id. at 39, 46. The IG Report is critical in almost all respects
but it has a more subdued tone about BOP's deficiencies than NAWJ has expressed on the same subjects.
This report contains a comprehensive report of the Office of the Inspector General's review and findings,
conclusions, recommendations, a map of BOP institutions around the country, and BOP's response to the
OIG's draft report. For a short status report that includes the OIG's recommendations, a point by point
response by BOP, and the OIG's point by point analysis of BOP's response, click
Download the full report, Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Management of Its Female Inmate Population,
FOREVER CHANGING, ALWAYS EVOLVING
WASHINGTON HOLDS 10TH ANNUAL WOMEN'S SUCCESS INSIDE
AND OUT CONFERENCE AT MISSION CREEK
The 10th Annual Women's Success Inside and Out Conference at Mission Creek Correctional Facility took
place on October 11 - 12, 2018. This event was in partnership with NAWJ, The Washington State Supreme
Court Gender and Justice Commission, Tacoma Community College and the Washington State Department of
Corrections. Nearly 160 offenders attended the two-day conference. Justice Sheryl Gordon-McCloud and
Judges Lisa Paglisotti, Tam Bui, Marilyn Paja, Kristin Richardson, Cathy Moore, Judith Ramseyer, Johanna
Bender and Laurel Gibson participated in the event. This year's theme, chosen by the offenders, was
"Forever Changing, Always Evolving."
ATTORNEY RENEE STACKHOUSE CO-CHAIRS NEW NAWJ
COMMITTEE 'MOTHERS IN COURT'
Renee Stackhouse, Esq. is the founder of Stackhouse, APC, where she focuses on plaintiff personal injury, and
military and criminal defense in San Diego, California. She will co-chair the newly formed NAWJ "Mothers in Court"
Committee. The Committee will identify issues mothers face in the courtroom, from the bench to counsel table,
courtroom staff and jurors. The committee seeks to raise awareness, provide education, and offer methods of
addressing issues mothers in court face across the nation. Ms. Stackhouse encountered some of these hurdles
while pregnant with her now 22-month old son Gabriel during her first trial after his birth when he was only
a few weeks old. She has spoken about her experiences on attorney accommodations at judicial conferences in
order to champion her colleagues who have experienced similar conditions.
Attorney Stackhouse will also become a member of NAWJ's Publications Committee. She will interview mothers
about their experiences in the courtroom and share her findings. If you are a judge or lawyer interested in
being interviewed, please contact Ms. Stackhouse via email at
Renee@StackhouseAPC.com. In addition to her
practice and commitment to NAWJ, Ms. Stackhouse is active in the legal community as Immediate Past President
of California Women Lawyers (CWL), President of the CWL Foundation, Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Section
of California Lawyers Association, and as a Director on the San Diego County Bar Association. She is also
the Founder of MSheLE, a new company she is launching that is a webinar resource geared towards supporting
women lawyers in California.
ALASKA COURT SYSTEM'S COLOR OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS
GARNER NATIONAL RECOGNITION AS A CLEO EDGE HONOREE
(Photos: left, Judge Pamela Washington; right; Judge Washington
with NAWJ member Judge Denise Owens, Fifth Chancery Court,
On November 15, 2018 in Washington, D.C., the Alaska Court System's Color of Justice Programs received
national recognition as a CLEO Edge Honoree in the field of diversity. Anchorage District Court Judge
Pamela Washington, NAWJ District 13 Director and Chair of the Color of Justice Program in Anchorage, Alaska,
attended the CLEO Edge Gala on behalf of the Alaska Court System. NAWJ Past President Senior Justice Dana
Fabe of the Alaska Supreme Court, and Retired Superior Court Judge Stephanie Joannides brought creative
innovations to NAWJ's Color of Justice program, and have been sharing their version of the program across
the state of Alaska for over 10 years ago. The Color of Justice Program is available to students through
partnerships with the LSAC (Law School Admissions Council), CLEO (Council on Legal Education Opportunity,
Inc), Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Justice Center, Anchorage School District, Alaska Bar
Association and the Seattle, Gonzaga, and University of Washington Law Schools.
Mississippi. Judge Owens is a member
of the CLEO Board of Directors.)
NAWJ STALWART JUDGE JUDITH CHIRLIN RETIRES FROM THE
WESTERN JUSTICE CENTER
The Hon. Judith Chirlin recently retired as Executive Director of the Western Justice Center. She was
honored by the Center at its Annual Justice Awards Gala on Nov 17, 2018 as a recipient of its 2018
Champion of Justice Award. The Gala was co-chaired by former NAWJ Resource Co-Chair Cathy Winter,
who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Justice Center. Judge Chirlin served
on the Board of Directors for the Center for many years, and upon retiring from the bench (Los Angeles
Superior Court), she became the Western Justice Center's Executive Director. The Champion of Justice
Award was presented to Judge Chirlin by the Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Nelson was honored by NAWJ at its 2017 Midyear Meeting and Lady Justice Awards Gala in
Beverly Hills, California in June, 2017.
NAWJ VICE PRESIDENT OF DISTRICTS JUDGE ORLINDA NARANJO
RETIRES FROM THE BENCH
On November 15, the Austin Bar Association hosted an event "In Honor of Retiring Judge Orlinda
Naranjo, 419th District Court." Over 300 lawyers and judges attended the evening reception to
celebrate the career of the Honorable Orlinda Naranjo who retired from the 419th Travis County
Civil District Court. The event also raised over $100,000 to be split between the Austin Bar
Foundation and Volunteer Legal Services. Volunteer Legal Services will use its proceeds to
fund a "Judge Orlinda Naranjo Fellowship."
(Judge Karen Sage (299th District Court), and former NAWJ
District 11 Director presenting Judge Orlinda Naranjo
a bouquet of flowers, and the framed
letter on behalf of NAWJ.)
STANFORD LAW SCHOOL LIBRARY HOSTS ABA WOMEN
TRAILBLAZERS PROJECT, A REPOSITORY OF ORAL HISTORIES
Stanford Law School has a new oral history collection profiling the inspiring stories of nearly 100
pioneering women lawyers called Women Trailblazers in the Law: Our Visions, Our Voices
Several NAWJ members, including NAWJ co-founder Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein, are included in the collection,
which previously resided on the ABA's website. The site contains digitized audio interviews, photographs
and metadata for anyone interested in the careers that made so many of ours possible.
NAWJ ABA DELEGATE JUDGE TONI CLARKE TO REPRESENT NAWJ
ON THE ABA DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION ADVISORY COUNCIL
NAWJ President Judge Tamila Ipema recently appointed NAWJ's ABA Delegate Judge Toni Clarke to serve as
NAWJ's representative on the ABA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. This entity, which
includes representatives from various ABA entities, national affinity bars, and other groups,
focuses on diversity and inclusion initiatives.
JUDICIAL RECEPTION FOR NAWJ'S ANGELS KICKS OFF
LOS ANGELES 2019
A reception was held on October 16, 2018 at the offices of Paul Hastings in downtown Los Angeles to kick off planning for NAWJ's 2019 Annual Conference.
The reception, held on the 25th floor, provided spectacular views of the City of Angels. Among the 33 bench
officers in attendance were judges from the Los Angeles Superior Court, Court of Appeal, and local Administrative
Courts. Attorney Donna Melby,
Chair of the "Angels" Committee (also referred to as "Friends") invited lawyers and legal service providers from
the local legal community of whom 50 attended. The gathering celebrated the kickoff by honoring the conference's
Planning Committee and Sponsors. Ms. Melby greeted guests and invited participation by encouraging attendees to
"become her Angels." Judge Tamila Ipema, NAWJ President explained the meaning of NAWJ's continued relevance.
Judge Elizabeth Allen White, Conference Chair, expounded on the theme "City of Angels, City of Dreams: A Century
of Women's Progress," and the need to focus on how far NAWJ has come in order to look with optimism to the future.
The excitement for the conference was palpable, and for NAWJ's Angels too. (Photo R-L: NAWJ Executive Director
Connie Pillich, NAWJ President Judge Tamila E. Ipema, 2019 Annual Conference Chair Judge Elizabeth Anne White;
2019 Annual Conference Angels Chair Attorney Donna Melby.)
Take advantage of early bird registration today!
Don't miss out!
Member and Non-Member registration fees include educational sessions, receptions, meals, transportation to
events listed in the program and use of the hospitality suite. Three days of cutting edge CLE are
included in the registration fee.
Registrants may cancel until September 15, 2019. All cancellations are subject to a $50 processing fee.
Requests for cancellation on or after September 16, 2019 will not receive a refund. All third-party payments
are subject to the same policy.
HOW TO REGISTER
to register online. Or, download and complete
this registration form
and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail completed form to:
National Association of Women Judges
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1138
Washington, D.C. 20036
LANDMARK SPONSOR GEICO
The partnership between NAWJ and GEICO provides insurance discounts to NAWJ members. Contact GEICO
for a free quote on auto insurance to see how much you could be saving. Remember to mention your
NAWJ affiliation since you could qualify for an exclusive member savings opportunity. Visit
here) or call 1-800-368-2734 for your free rate quote. GEICO also can help you find great
rates on homeowners, renters, motorcycle insurance, and more.
END OF YEAR GIVING
Please remember NAWJ in your end of the year charitable giving. Click
here to securely donate online, and designate your gift to NAWJ Annual Drive.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
December 13, 2018: "Undermining the Courts and the Media: The Consequences for American Democracy"
from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Featuring California
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente,
North Carolina Justice Robin Hudson, and Nina Totenberg with National Public Radio.
The NAWJ Informed Voters-Fair Judges Project will have an exhibit on display throughout the event. Click
here for review the full agenda, entire
participant list, and registration information.
March 21, 2019: NAWJ joins with California Women's Legislative Caucus to host NAWJ Day in Sacramento.
May 5-12, 2019: NAWJ Cruise on the Danube for seven nights from Budapest to Nuremberg on the AmaCerto with Amawaterways Cruise Line.