NAWJ Monthly Update July 2017

Written by National Association of Women Judges|July 11, 2017|Monthly Update Archive

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Monthly Update Banner
July 2017

In This Issue:

National Association of Women Judges
The Honorable Diana Becton
NAWJ President



Summer has arrived, school is out, the weather is warm, and it's time to relax and recharge.

Once again, thank you to all of you who were able to attend and participate in our Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference in Beverly Hills, California. Our conference convened for strategic planning, as we examined the best strategies to guide NAWJ into the future.

Our educational sessions included leading thinkers on the topics of elder drug safety, entertainment, and the media intersection with the Internet Age, and diversity in the entertainment industry. Chief Justice of the State of California, Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye provided inspirational remarks, law students joined us to 'Meet the Judges,' and we purchased beautiful dolls, dressed in regal judicial robes, to benefit travel abroad for young girls.

Our gathering officially opened with a lovely welcome reception featuring new judges and first-time attendees. Turn the page, and our fabulous Gala Reception included a red carpet entrance, where we were pleased to honor California Law School Deans. The inaugural Lady Justice Awards Dinner personified the spirit of celebrating and uplifting outstanding professionals who promote justice, fairness and equality.

NAWJ is extremely grateful for the generous support of our sponsors and our Resource Board members. Without your commitment and care, this special occasion would not have been possible. Thank you to the Friends Committee, Midyear Planning Committee, and NAWJ staff for your hard work and support.

Kudos to our outstanding members:

Past President, Justice Dana Fabe, former Alaska Supreme Court Chief has been named recipient of the 2017 Sandra Day O'Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education, presented by the National Center for State Courts.

Judge Marguerite D. Downing received the California Women Lawyers, Joan Dempsey Klein Award.

Past President and Judge Bernice Bouie Donald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Memphis will be honored at the ABA 27th Annual Margaret Brent Awards Luncheon - August 13th - New York.

Past President and Judge Gladys Kessler, U.S. District of Columbia, Official Portrait Unveiling Ceremony on June 9, 2017

President-Elect Tanya R. Kennedy, received the Kobak Award from the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) for the CLE program "A Practical Guide to Empowering Baby Boomers to Live."

President Diana Becton will receive the National Bar Association Judicial Council Thurgood Marshall Award in Toronto in August 2017.

Past President and Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, will receive the NBA Judicial Council's Raymond Pace Alexander Award in Toronto.

I look forward to seeing you at the NAWJ 39th Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from October 11-15, 2017 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.


Judge Diana Becton
Contra Costa Superior Court
President, National Association of Women Judges

President and First Lady Jimmy Carter, Sally Yates
Access to Justice: Past, Present and Future
NAWJ 39th Annual Conference
October 11-15, 2017
Sheraton Atlanta Hotel

The 39th NAWJ Conference in Atlanta, Georgia will feature vibrant and interactive programs. Our theme, Access to Justice: Past, Present, and Future, will allow attendees to explore historical lessons about justice from the Civil Rights movement; discuss present justice changes such as criminal justice reform, and envision justice initiatives for years to come.

$525 for members who are First-Time Attendees until July 31, 2017
$595 for NAWJ Members until July 31, 2017
$695 for Non-Member Attendees

Register online here, or download and mail this registration form.

The conference host hotel is the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Call (866) 716-8134 • NAWJ Rate: $199/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy.

For more information, contact: Anne Mercer,

New Judges and First-time Attendees Meeting International Judges Meeting
Welcome Reception
Labor Trafficking Criminal Justice Reform
Conversation with President and First Lady Jimmy Carter
A View from Georgia's Federal Judges International Tea and Ethics
Reception at the Elbert P. Tuttle U.S. Court of Appeals Building
Judicial Ethics and Implicit Bias Immigration Law in the LBGTQ Community
Emerging Issues in Elder Law Judge Patricia Banks
Sally Yates Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement for Today's Judges
Bar Associations Reception
Professionalism for Judges and Attorneys Law School Incubator Project
Attorney Ethics Trauma Informed Courts
Optional Tours: Local Jail Facility, Civil Rights, Carter Presidential Library
Annual NAWJ Banquet
Lisa Foster

Explore optional social activities such as a Dine Around, a civil rights tour, excursions to the Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and a visit to a local jail or prison. Visit the conference page here.

Call for Nominations for
2017-2018 NAWJ Board of Directors Positions
Deadline July 31, 2017

The Nominating Committee of the National Association of Women Judges seeks nominees for
the following positions for the 2017 - 2018 term:

Vice President for Districts
Vice President for Publications
ABA Liaison


The duties of the above positions are set out in the NAWJ Bylaws at:
           Article. X (Duties of Officers) and
           Article. VIII (Representatives to Other Organizations.)

Article. IX provides:
           §1: "Only voting members of the organization in good standing shall be eligible to hold office."
           §2(b) "The Nominating Committee shall present at least one (l) nominee for each officer's position. A nomination for each officer's position also may be submitted in writing to the Nominating Committee by petition of no less than nine (9) voting members of the organization at least sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting. The list of nominees for each position designated by the Nominating Committee and by petition shall be circulated to the voting membership at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting. Nominations for all officer positions may also be made by voting members from the floor at the Annual Meeting provided such nominees' names have previously been submitted to the Nominating Committee and the Nominating Committee has failed to endorse their candidacy."

Article. XI, §7 provides:
      "The Nominating Committee, chaired by the Immediate Past President, shall consist of no less than nine (9) members selected to afford fair representation to all regions of the country. Names of the members of the Nominating Committee shall be circulated by the President to the voting members not less than ninety (90) days prior to the Annual Meeting."

* * *

We invite you to nominate yourself or another member (with consent) for any of these offices.

Only voting members, current members who are either sitting or retired member judges, in good standing are eligible to hold office and remain subject to the canons of judicial conduct.

Please submit a letter stating the roles the nominee has played in NAWJ activities, including particular accomplishments you wish to bring to the committee's attention, and the nominee's curriculum vita. The letter also should include a paragraph on the strengths the nominee would bring to the leadership of the organization, such as, for example, past financial experience for the position of treasurer. Current officers seeking a different office must submit a letter of nomination. The President-Elect must have served a term as Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer, or, as Chair of the Projects Committee or the Finance Committee. Candidates for the position of President-Elect should also address their plans to continue and build on NAWJ's existing projects and programs and to implement NAWJ's Strategic Plan which can be found at NAWJ's website here.

Individual nominations, nominations by petition and letters of support must be submitted to the Nominating Committee via and

Mail nominations to:
National Association of Women Judges
ATTN: Hon. Lisa Walsh, Chair, Nominating Committee
1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 1138
Washington, D.C. 20036

Committee Chair: Hon. Lisa S. Walsh,
Members: Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby Hon. Joan Churchill Hon. Bernice Donald
Hon. Nan Duffly Hon. Dana Fabe Hon. Julie Frantz Hon. Jennifer Gee
Hon. Marcella Holland Hon. Gladys Kessler Hon. Brenda Loftin Hon. Judith McConnell
Hon. Amy Nechtem Hon. Vanessa Ruiz Hon. Bea Ann Smith

NAWJ Awards Committee Seeks Nominations
for Annual Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award
and Florence K. Murray Award

NAWJ Executive Committee and President to Consider Candidates for
Mattie Belle Davis Award and Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award

Deadline: August 4, 2017

The NAWJ Awards Committee requests nominations for the Honorable Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award and for the Florence K. Murray Award. To assist you in nominating candidates for these two awards, click here for application guidelines for the KLEIN Award, and here for the MURRAY Award.

A list of all past awardees may be found here.

In addition, the Executive Committee and the President will respectively select 2017 honorees for the Mattie Belle Davis Award and the Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award. Click here to review guidelines for the Mattie Belle Davis and Justice Vaino Spencer Awards, and share nominees whose achievements fit those NAWJ seeks to recognize.

Descriptions of all awards may be found here.
Committee Chair: Hon. Amy Nechtem,
Members: Hon. Diana Becton Hon. Diana Eagon Hon. Dana Fabe
Hon. Brenda Loftin Hon. Vanessa Ruiz Hon. Anita Santos Hon. Barbara Ann Zúñiga
Hon. Barbara Madsen

Please submit completed nominations by August 4, 2017. Email to and

National Association of Women Judges
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1138
Washington, D.C. 20036

National Conference of Women's Bar Associations
2017 Women's Bar Leadership Summit:
New York City • August 10-11, 2017

The National Conference of Women's Bar Associations is hosting its 2017 Women's Bar Leadership Summit: Succeeding with Strength and Savvy, to be held in the heart of New York City on August 10 and 11. The program will include: a screening of the documentary Balancing the Scales, a film featuring candid interviews with a wide range of women attorneys and judges who will share their career perspectives; Women in the White House - A Conversation with Kathy and Kim, featuring Kathryn Ruemmler, former Chief Counsel to President Obama, and Kimberley Harris, former Deputy Counsel to President Obama; Career Tools: Integrating Mentoring, Sponsorship, Coaching, and Networking for Maximum Effect; a keynote by Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who known for her successful litigation of cases involving Title IX, the sharing economy and same-sex marriage; and GOOD Guys 101: Engaging Men in Our Success. Registration is open.

Georgetown Law's Center on Poverty and Inequality
"Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls' Childhood"

The Georgetown Law's Center report (download here: View Full Report Here) reveals for the first time, data showing that adults view Black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers, especially in the age range of 5-14. The study builds on similar studies looking at adult perceptions of Black boys.

Some excerpts from the Executive Summary
"Compared to white girls of the same age, survey participants perceive that:
• Black girls need less nurturing
• Black girls need less protection
• Black girls need to be supported less
• Black girls need to be comforted less
• Black girls are more independent
• Black girls know more about adult topics
• Black girls know more about sex"

Findings reveal a potential contributing factor to the disproportionate rates of punitive treatment in the education and juvenile justice systems for Black Girls:

"In the Juvenile Justice System - Given established discrepancies in law enforcement and juvenile court practices that disproportionately affect Black girls, the perception of Black girls as less innocent and more adult-like may contribute to more punitive exercise of discretion by those in positions of authority, greater use of force, and harsher penalties."


Click here to view the photo galleries of the NAWJ Midyear. Click here for the conference page.

From June 7-8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California NAWJ joined to honor eight of their highest achieving heroes, and thirteen of California's most stalwart Law School Deans. Below, NAWJ recognizes, and graciously thanks everyone who made those two wonderful days of memories possible:

NAWJ President Diana Becton


Hon. Marcella A. Holland

Hon. Lee Smalley Edmon

Drucilla S. Ramey • Cathy Winter

Hon. Marguerite Denise Downing

Hon. Anita Santos

Hon. Marguerite Denise Downing
Hon. Bobbi Tillmon

Hon. Jamoa A. Moberly
Hon. June Calondra McKinney

Hon. Diana Becton • Hon. Bobbi Tillmon

Hon. Marguerite Denise Downing
Hon. Bobbi Tillmon

Dana Adame, Esq., • Hon. Patricia Banks • Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby • Sharon Brown, Esq.
• Cynthia Cannady • Hon. Judith C. Chirlin • Hon. Toni Clarke • Wendy Coats, Esq.
• Hon. Karen Matson Donohue • Hon. Danielle K. Douglas • Hon. Bernadette G. D’Souza
• Hon. Dana Fabe • Alisha Fall • Amber S. Finch, Esq.• Hon. Julie E. Frantz
, • Hon. Holly Fujie • Shirley Henderson, Esq. • Hon. Tamila E. Ipema •
Hon. Samantha P. Jessner • Michelle L. Kazadi, Esq. • .Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy •
Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein • Renée Welze Livingston, Esq. • April Madison-Ramsey, Esq.
• Edith Matthai, Esq. • Debra Brown Maxie • Hon. Judith McConnell • Donna Melby, Esq. •
Beth Mora, Esq. • Hon. Amy L. Nechtem • Hon. Beverly O’Connell • Robin Pearson, Esq.,
• April Ramsey, Esq., •  Linda Rosbrough, Esq. • Danielle Scott • Summer Cyd Selleck, Esq.
• Tiffany Thomas, Esq. • Hon. Lisa S. Walsh


Regina and Charles Cheever • CourtCall LLC • Pfizer • State Justice Institute
Cynthia Cannady • Fisher Phillips LLP • Josh Lobel • Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP •The Simon Law Group
Comcast | NBCUniversal • GEICO • Hilaire McGriff PC • JAMS • MAXIMUS Foundation • Mora Employment Law and Ferber Law PC
New York Community Trust • Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters • Paul Hastings LLP
Robie & Matthai PC
Association of California Law Schools Deans • Golden Gate University School of Law
Loyola Law School • Pacific Coast University Law School • Pepperdine University School of Law
Southwestern Law School • University of California, Los Angeles Law School
University of Southern California Gould School of Law
Buckley Sandler LLP • CalibreCPA • Judith S. Chirlin • Jackie Gardina • Eric Halvorson • India Jewel • Hersh Mannis • Arline Pacht • Michael Winick

NAWJ Meeting on Capitol Hill to Discuss Elder Issues, Drugs
September 7, 2017

Since 2006, NAW has met with members of the Congressional Women's Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. This year's meeting is planned for September 7, 2017. Programming details are moving to completion, but will revolve around the current issues of elder care and drugs. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Marie Komisar at

Vice President of Publications Judge Jane Craney
Calls for Submissions for the Next Issue of Counterbalance
Deadline: July 31, 2017

Counterbalance informs and connects our members around the country by featuring news and information which highlights NAWJ's educational programs and activities. Consider sharing news from your jurisdiction with fellow colleagues in the newsletter. If you know of women judges in your state who have been recently elected, appointed, promoted or honored, let us know. If you have articles, announcements, book reviews, or events that you would like included in Counterbalance, please pass them along as well. NAWJ will also publish essays and articles of interest which are in accord with our mission.

The deadline for submitting information for the next issue of Counterbalance is JULY 31, 2017. Look for the spring issue to arrive in your mail boxes soon if it hasn't already. Those interested in submitting material should do so by emailing all text and picture files to Lavinia Cousin at

IAWJ 14th Biennial International Conference
"Building Bridges between Women Judges of the World"
2nd - 6th May, 2018 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

IAWJ would like to invite you to attend its 14th Biennial Conference, and meet once again with women judges from around the world to exchange knowledge, experiences, jurisprudence, and wisdom, as well as to strengthen ties of friendship. In addition to the educational program and social events, we intend to give each participant the chance to get to know the City, visit its museums and shopping malls and take part in a typical "Milonga Porteña." Every afternoon, at the end of the educational sessions, you will have the chance to take free tango lessons!!! So, pack your bag, don´t forget your dancing shoes and be ready to open your heart to the sights and sounds of a City and a country that awaits you with open arms.

Over the next few months, IAWJ will be reaching out to all members with updates on conference activities. If you have any questions, we encourage you send an email to the IAWJ at the following addresses:

Conference Website: The Planning Committee has launched the official conference website. Please visit 2018 Biennal Conference for more information about this amazing conference.

Early Bird Registration is Now Open!

Register early and save. The early bird rate is $650.00 USD and provides access to all conference activities. This special rate ends on December 31, 2017 at midnight. Effective January 1, 2018 the rate will be $850 USD. To register, please visit us at IAWJ.

In order to register, you must be an IAWJ member in good standing. To access the IAWJ website online registration system, you will need your IAWJ user name and password. If you require assistance, please email the IAWJ at


In order to allow you to begin planning your flights and accommodations, the Planning Committee has provided the following conference daily program outline.

Tuesday, May 1
2016-2018 IAWJ Board Meeting • Tango lesson

Wednesday, May 2
Registration Opens • 2016-2018 IAWJ Board Meeting  • Visit to the Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina • Welcome Reception and Cocktail at the Colón Theatre • Tango Lesson

Thursday, May 3
Full day of Programming • Visits to Museums • Tango Lesson

Friday, May 4
Full Day of Programming • Visit to Embassies/Optional: Visit to a Tango Ballroom/Milonga Porteña

Saturday, May 5
Half day of Programming (Morning) • Shopping and Visit to Galerías Pacífico (Afternoon)
Tango Lesson • Closing Dinner in National Costumes

Sunday, May 6
Closing Ceremony • 2018-2020 IAWJ Board Meeting • City Tour in Buenos Aires

Landmark Sponsor GEICO

Part of NAWJ and GEICO's partnership provides insurance discounts to NAWJ members. Contact GEICO for a free quote on auto insurance to see how much you could be saving. And, don't forget to mention your NAWJ affiliation; you could qualify for an exclusive member savings opportunity. Visit (special portal here) or call 1-800-368-2734 for your free rate quote. GEICO can also help you find great rates on homeowners, renters, motorcycle insurance, and more.

Calendar of Events
Pierce County, Washington Presents Color of Justice, August 17, 2017 in Tacoma. This is a one-day event to encourage minority girls between the ages of 11-18 to consider legal and judicial careers by bringing them together with woman judges. This event will feature networking and empowerment panels on the law and the legal profession and why diversity and minority perspectives matter. The event will educate and empower young minority girls who desire to understand how the justice system works.

On September 7, 2017, NAWJ meets on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues in elder law and drug safety with members of the Congressional Women's Caucus.

NAWJ Idaho and the Idaho Legal History Society will host a reception on September 14, 2017. The program will include a panel discussion as part of the inaugural History in the Making event for the Idaho Legal History Society. The theme of the program is Women of the Idaho Supreme Court. Until this year, Idaho lacked a woman on its Supreme Court for nine years. Though Idahoans now have the privilege of Justice Robyn Brody's service, she has become only the third woman to have ever served on the Court in over 100 years. All three, Linda Trout, Cathy Silak, and Robyn Brody will share their stories.

NAWJ 39th Annual Conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia from October 11-15, 2017 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.

NAWJ 40th Annual Conference will take place in San Antonio, Texas from October 3-7, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk.

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