NAWJ Monthly Update July 2020

Written by National Association of Women Judges|July 06, 2020|Monthly Update Archive

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Monthly Update

July 6, 2020
Volume 18, Issue 6

Dear Members of NAWJ:

Despite the distance we have been forced to place between us, for the safety of ourselves, our families and friends, we have remained in touch.  Through technology we have proven that the bonds of NAWJ cannot be broken. Our mission was borne on a wave of resilience - pushing always forward for our voices, equality on the bench and setting an example to the world around us at all times.  While it has been quite challenging for me during these unprecedented times, I am even prouder, more driven and inspired by the way we have come together for a greater good.  The challenges of our time have been met with our resolve to continue our mission at NAWJ. 

Many of you have participated on Webinars that were offered.  Our upcoming webinar will address the tremendous impact of the pandemic on the civil courts. We will continue to bring you a webinar each month on topics that will discuss the challenges we face in our courtrooms and the innovative solutions that are implemented.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that leadership of NAWJ has extended our Interim Executive Director’s position through July 1, 2021. We are pleased to have Laurie Denham continue in this capacity for another year. 

With warm regards,
Hon. Bernadette D’Souza
Judge, Orleans Civil District Court
NAWJ President


Earlier this year, NAWJ collaborated with the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) on a public education pilot project in which NAWJ members and Fellows of the College will make public education presentations using IVP’s program protocol and educational materials developed specifically for the pilot project. The goal is to conduct public education presentations over Constitution Week, Law Week, and other designated times in multiple states throughout the next two years. Click here for more details.
Hon. Judy Bae, San Diego County Superior Court, San Diego, CA
Ms. Elizabeth Bransdorfer, Mika Meyers, PLC, Grand Rapids, MI
Hon. Lesley Briones, Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 4, Houston, TX
Ms. Deborah Cole, DGCole Law, Chicago, IL
Hon. Jennifer Cops, Los Angeles County - Long Beach Branch, Long Beach, CA
Hon. Lori Dumas, First Judicial District, Philadelphia, PA
Hon. Shauna Dunnings, Ingham County, Lansing, MI
Commissioner Candice Garcia-Rodrigo, Riverside Superior Court, Riverside, CA
Hon. Dianna Gibson, Third District Court, State of Utah, Tooele, UT
Hon. LaRonna Harris, Social Security's Office of Hearings & Operations, Greensboro, NC
Commissioner Jennifer Lee, Contra Costa County Superior Court, Alameda, CA
Hon. Marcella McLaughlin, San Diego Superior Court, San Diego, CA
Hon. Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Washington State Supreme Court, Olympia, WA
Hon. Susan Segal, Minnesota Court of Appeals, St. Paul, MN
Hon. Catherine Shaffer, King County Superior Court, Seattle, WA
Hon. Amy Yerkey, Los Angeles Superior Court, Long Beach, CA
Hon. Tracey Yokich, 16th Circuit Court for the County of Macomb, Mount Clemens, MI
Hon. Tacie Zelhart, Hays County Court at Law 3, San Marcos, TX


This section is to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of those in our NAWJ community, as well as keep our members apprised of notable news going on around the country. Please share any news from your district, yourself or a member within the NAWJ community on this form so that we can include in upcoming NAWJ communications. 

NAWJ Past President, The Honorable Tamila E. Ipema Recipient of the Lawyers Club of San Diego's 2020 Community Service Award - 
The Lawyers Club of San Diego is proud to recognize the Honorable Tamila E. Ipema as the first Iranian-American judge to receive its 2020 Community Service Award. The Lawyers Club established the Community Service Award in 1985 to honor a member whose service to the community improved the status of women and promoted equality. Click for more details.

NAWJ New York President The Honorable Marguerite Grays Named Administrative Judge for Civil Matters in New York's 11th Judicial District - NAWJ congratulates Honorable Marguerite Grays on her appointment as Administrative Judge for Civil Matters of the 11th Judicial District. Justice Grays membership with NAWJ began in 2008. She is currently President of NAWJ New York Chapter. Click here for more details.

The Honorable Cathy Hollenberg Serrette, A 2020 Maryland Pro Bono Service Award Recipient - On May 20, 2020, the Pro Bono Resource Center (PBRC) of Maryland named Judge Cathy Hollenberg Serrette a 2020 Maryland Pro Bono Service Award Recipient. Maryland Pro Bono Service Awards celebrate exemplary commitment to pro bono service and are awarded by the PBRC of Maryland. Click here for more details. 

NAWJ Member The Honorable Tamila E. Ipema and Former Member Attorney Jamie Beck Honored by San Diego's MOXIE Theatre for Grit and Determination - San Diego’s MOXIE Theatre will hold its Fourth Annual MOXIE Awards Gala on September 13, 2020 at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego. NAWJ member and Past President, the Honorable Tamila E. Ipema and former member Jamie Beck, President and Managing Attorney of Free to Thrive, are among this year’s honorees.  Click here for more details.

Commissioner Nadia Keilani Making Inroads on the San Diego County Superior Court - Congratulations to Commissioner Nadia Keilani for her recent appointment to the San Diego County Superior Court. Commissioner Nadia Keilani was a staff attorney for the San Diego County Superior Court prior to her appointment as a San Diego Superior Court Commissioner. Together, Judge Terrie Roberts and Commissioner Keilani co-chair the Success Inside and Out Program at the Las Colinas Women’s Reentry Center in San Diego. 

A Note on NAWJ President the Honorable Bernadette D’Souza Penchant for Removing Guns from Violent Offenders - An online news journal dedicated to gun violence recently turned its attention to the courts. Click here to read more on Judge D'Souza's view.

Military Families and Privatized Housing: Mold, Water and Other Hazards Not in the Service Member's Contract - Military and Veteran Judges Committee Co-Chair, Judge Linda Strite Murnane, Colonel, USAF, Ret., sheds light on health and safety issues at military installations in the United States. Click here to read her informative piece.

Center for Women in Law and National Association for Law Placement Foundation Research Study - Last month the Center for Women in Law (CWIL) and the National Association for Law Placement Foundation (NALP) released findings from its first-of-its-kind research to identify and detail disparities between the educational and social experiences of women of color and their peers during law school. Click here to read the study's highlights.
NAWJ would like to recognize and thank all of its 2020 Resource Board Members and Landmark Sponsors who have generously supported our organization.

Resource Board Members
Nicole Erb, Esq. (Co-Chair), White & Case LLP
Sarah London, Esq. (Co-Chair), Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Elizabeth Cabraser, Esq., Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Kelly Dermody, Esq., Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Andrea Bear Field, Esq., Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Patricia Hollenbeck, Esq., Duane Morris LLP
Jamie Zysk Isani, Esq., Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Robert Kaufman, Esq., Proskauer Rose LLP
Heather McDevitt, Esq., White & Case LLP
Diane McGimsey, Esq., Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
The Honorable Mary Becnel, Retired
Ron DaLessio, CourtCall
Dawn Jayma, The Killino Firm, PC
Linda Leali, Esq., Linda Leali, P.A.
Thomas Leighton, Thomson Reuters
Afsoon McClellan, LexisNexis
Donna Melby, Esq., Paul Hastings
Christopher Poole, JAMS
Cathy Winter-Palmer, Retired
Landmark Sponsors
The Honorable Mary Becnel
Robert Kaufman
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP
Thomson Reuters Corporation
White and Case

JAMS, Inc.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Updates on the ABA House of Delegates Virtual Meeting - ABA House of Delegates Chair's Message to the House of Delegates - Click here to read Chair William R. Bay's Message to the ABA House of Delegates regarding the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.


Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has inspired and led the American judiciary in achieving fairness and equality for vulnerable populations. 

NAWJ’s 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.

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