NAWJ Monthly Update May 2019

Written by National Association of Women Judges|May 20, 2019|Monthly Update Archive

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May 2019

In This Issue:


The NAWJ San Diego 2019 Leadership Summit was a great success, attended by NAWJ board members, leaders, and former presidents who all came together during the 3-day strategic planning meeting to think about new ways of doing business to sustain our beloved organization moving forward.

Judges Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and Amy Nechtem, co-chairs of the newly combined Strategic Planning and Sustainability Committee led the event. With the help of our two expert facilitators, Cris Collie and Danell Scarborough, we were able to brainstorm, consider what is required for NAWJ to thrive, and set some important goals for our organization.

The attendees actively participated in various workgroups and tackled five pillars of action: Education, Membership, Organizational Excellence, Communication and Marketing, and Financial Sustainability. We ended the three-day event feeling energized, optimistic, and invigorated about the future of the NAWJ.

In the next three months, the Strategic planning committee will be working on the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan to finalize a specific plan of action, which we hope to start implementing sometime in August 2019. President-Elect, Judge Bernadette D'Souza is also very passionate about the NAWJ strategic plan. She intends to continue the efforts into her presidency and beyond to assure all of our action plans are carried forward and implemented in a timely manner.

Please see all the details about the NAWJ's historic 2019 Leadership Summit in the article that will be published in our upcoming Counterbalance magazine. You will also find NAWJ's new and improved Counterbalance magazine, filled with cutting-edge articles and news, absolutely amazing. So stay tuned!

Time is of the essence in registering and attending the NAWJ's Conference on "Global Judicial Leadership" on Human Rights of All Women which will be held in NYC on June 10 and 11, 2019. The registration fee for our members is only $175.00. We have amazing collaborators such as NAWJ member Sally Kader, President and Founder of International Federation for Peace and Justice, and Columbia University School of Law and School of Public International Affairs. The Center for Gender and Sexuality at the Columbia Law School is also supporting this monumental event. The first day of the conference will be held at the United Nations building on Monday, June 10th. The conference will start with a guided tour of the United Nations, followed by lunch. An afternoon program in a UN delegate room filled with amazing speakers, including UN officials and several ambassadors from various countries, will explore the issue of sexual harassment and assault within the UN and its peacekeeping forces and discuss solutions that have been proposed and are being implemented. You will also enjoy violin and flute music during the program on June 10th.

Day two of the conference, Tuesday, June 11th, will be held at the Columbia University Law School and will include a cutting-edge educational program on the human rights of all women. Topics will include human trafficking, US immigration policies effecting women, gender and nationality laws, elder abuse and assault on college campuses. Our amazing speakers, NAWJ judges, Columbia University professors along with other experts from around the country have planned an unforgettable conference for our members. Please join us in New York for this incredible conference and be reminded that space is limited. Please see our website for more details. I hope to see you there.

And, please continue encouraging your colleagues and friends to join NAWJ so that together we can change the world.

Tamila E. Ipema
Hon. Tamila Ebrahimi Ipema
Judge of California Superior Court, San Diego County


The Nominating Committee of the National Association of Women Judges seeks nominees for the following positions for the 2019-2020 term:

Vice President for Districts
Vice President for Publications
ABA Delegate
International Director


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 the open positions.

Only voting members in good standing are eligible to hold office and remain subject to the canons of judicial conduct. Voting members include sitting judges and retired judge members in good standing.

Please submit a letter describing the nominee's participation in NAWJ activities, including accomplishments you wish to bring to the committee's attention, and attach 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 (self-nomination or by another). 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 include a concise statement of their vision, address plans for continuing to build on NAWJ's existing projects and programs, and their approach to implementing NAWJ's Strategic Plan, which can be found at NAWJ's website.

Individual nominations, nominations by petition, and letters of support must be submitted to the Nominating Committee by the close of business on Monday, June 3, 2019.

Address letters to:
National Association of Women Judges
ATTN: Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, Chair, Nominating Committee
1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 1138
Washington, D.C. 20036
Email: and

NOMINATING COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Hon. Tanya R Kennedy, Supreme Court, New York County, Civil Term, Chair
Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Hon. Bernice Bouie Donald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Hon. Judith C. Chirlin, Western Justice Center, Los Angeles Superior Court (Ret.)
Hon. Fernande (Nan) R.V. Duffy, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Ret.)
Hon. Dana Fabe, Alaska Supreme Court (Ret.)
Hon. Julie E. Frantz, Multnomah County Circuit Court (Ret.)
Hon. Brenda Stith Loftin, St. Louis County Circuit Court (Ret.)
Hon. Judith McConnell, California Court of Appeal, Fourth District
Hon. Amy Nechtem, Massachusetts Juvenile Court
Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Hon. Bea Ann Smith, Texas Court of Appeals (Ret.) Hon. Lisa S. Walsh, Florida Circuit Court, Civil Division

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

The NAWJ Awards Committee requests nominations for this year's Honorable Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award and Florence K. Murray Award. Nominations will be accepted until the deadline of July 15, 2019. To assist you in nominating candidates for these two awards, click here for nomination guidelines for the KLEIN Award, and here for the MURRAY Award.

In addition, the Executive Committee and President will respectively select 2019 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.

Awards will be given out during the 41st Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California.

Please submit completed nominations no later than JULY 15, 2019 by mail, or via email to Awards Committee Co-Chairs Hon. Cindy Davis and Hon. Ariane Vuono, and NAWJ staff member Lavinia Cousin: Cindy.Davis@SDCourt.CA.Gov;; and

National Association of Women Judges
Attn: Hon. Ariana Vuono and Hon. Cindy Davis
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1138
Washington, D.C. 20036

Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigby
Hon. Judith Chirlin
Hon. Cindy Davis, Co-Chair
Hon. Dana Fabe
Hon. Julie Franz
Hon. Holly Fujie
Hon. Debra James
Hon. Elizabeth Lee
Hon. Brenda Loftin
Hon. Jamoa Moberly
Hon. Vanessa Ruiz
Hon. Ariane Vuono, Co-Chair
Hon. Lisa Walsh


In April, longtime NAWJ member Teresa Guerrero-Daley passed away. A frequent NAWJ conference attendee, she joined NAWJ in 2011 and served on several committees including Judicial Exchanges, International Courts and Domestic Violence.

Judge Guerrero was a pioneer in becoming the first independent auditor of the San Jose Police Department, leading the new office from 1993-2005. In a 1996 article in Silicon Valley's Metro newspaper describing her early police undercover work, we learned Judge Guerrero "eloped with her boyfriend [at 15], eager to escape the tight control of her parents. She got pregnant immediately after the marriage. Three children later, at 24, she returned to school, first high school and then college, and separated from her abusive husband. At 29 she became the first female DEA agent in the agency's San Jose office..."

"Colleagues say Guerrero-Daley brought that same ethos to the bench, serving as a trial court judge from 2005 until her retirement in 2017. In 2011, inspired by her own struggles as a teenager and moved by the difficulties she saw youth facing in juvenile dependency court, she founded the nation's first middle school education court, a program designed to improve academic outcomes for foster kids."

Her professional and community achievements were numerous, including co-founding the Silicon Valley Hispanic Bar Association and the San Mateo County La Raza Lawyers Association, and teaching as a Professor at Lincoln Law School where she graduated. Terry won many awards for her commitment to public service, including "Woman of Achievement," "Portraits of Success," and "Breaking the Glass Ceiling" awarded by the National Center for Women & Policing. Terry was dedicated to community leadership and was active in the Executive Board of La Raza, Silicon Valley Latina Coalition, Advisory Board Member to the Publisher of the Mercury News, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Child Care Coordinated Council. Terry was also a member of the California Women Lawyers, the Santa Clara County Bar Association Board of Trustees and various SCCBA Committees.

NAWJ Secretary Judge Elizabeth K. Lee, who sits on a California Superior Court jurisdiction (San Mateo County) bordering the Santa Clara County jurisdiction Judge Guerrero-Daley served, remembers Judge Guerrero-Daley as "a wonderful judge, a compassionate colleague, and inspirational leader who did so much for the community." Judge Lee goes on to share that she saw Judge Guerrero-Daley about a year ago in 2018 when she came to her juvenile court to promote a teen mom program which Judge Guerrero-Daley helped found. "Being a teen mom herself, she was well aware of the struggles of trying to finish high school and be [sic] a single mom. She wanted to help these young moms and built a program that provided them with support, education, mentorship, and resources." says Judge Lee, who frequently shared time with Judge Guerrero-Daley and her husband Frank during many NAWJ Midyear and Annual conferences.

In a 2013 interview with The Recorder, Judge Guerrero-Daley said she loved the challenge of being a judge, and the breadth of opportunity it offered, which led to her working a broad range of assignments. Her favorite, at least at the time, was doing felony trials. "This is the assignment I was waiting for," she said. "I really enjoy interacting with the public and this gives me the opportunity to interact with the public. The courtroom drama, I think it's really exciting. Plus, the attorneys at this level are very experienced, very skilled, just a real pleasure to work with."

Judge Guerrero-Daly and her husband, Frank Daley, are the parents of four boys.


Take a moment view Texas' heartwarming, five-minute video filmed on their Women Judges Day, April 8, 2019.

Back on April 13, 2015, Texas State Senators Royce West and Joan Huffman welcomed more than 150 women judges to the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. The legislators honored the judges for their service, and each chamber, Senate and House, adopted a resolution to this cause. A few excerpts:

WHEREAS, Today, more than 1,000 women preside over courts throughout the state; they exemplify the highest standards of judicial conduct, and their dedication to public service is truly an inspiration to us all; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas, 84th Legislature, hereby commend the women judges of Texas for their service and their commitment to equal justice under the law and extend to them best wishes for a memorable Texas Female Judges' Day at the State Capitol; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be prepared in honor of this special occasion.

Global Judicial Leadership Conference
An NAWJ, International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development, Columbia Law School and
Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Collaborative on Human Rights of All Women

This event is co-supported by the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.

JUNE 10-11, 2019 | NEW YORK CITY
(View a detailed conference agenda here.)

Superior Court of California, County of San Diego;
President of the National Association of Women Judges
Founder and President of the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development
11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida; NAWJ Past President (2015-2016)
11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida;
NAWJ State Chair; Co-Chair, NAWJ 2012 Annual Conference

A collaboration of NAWJ and the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development
• A Tour of the United Nations (The conference's UN tour has reached capacity. It is closed.)
• Opening Ceremony and Welcome Remarks from Conference Program Chairs and UN Ambassadors
• Plenary Panel Discussion on Human Rights for all Women: Sexual Harassment and Violence Against

A collaboration of NAWJ, Columbia Law School and Columbia School of International and Public Affairs
• Welcome Remarks from the Deans and Conference Program Chairs
• Immigration and US Policies Affecting Immigrant Women
• Human Trafficking and Related Issues Including Surrogacy
• Realizing Women's Equal Citizenship: Ending Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws and the Role of Judges in Advancing Equality
• Sexual Assault on College Campuses: Lessons Learned for the Judicial System
• Elder Abuse

NAWJ Member Rate: $175

Non-NAWJ Member Rate: $195

* Fee includes tour, entry to sessions, breakfast (Tuesday), lunch (Monday and Tuesday).
* Registrants who cancel before May 27 will receive a refund, subject to a $50 processing fee.
* No refunds on or after May 27.


On May 2, 2019, the San Diego County Superior Court presented its Third Biennial Court-Clergy Conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego. NAWJ member and the Co-Chair of the NAWJ Ethics Committee, Judge Laura Halgren chaired this amazing conference that has made a huge difference in the San Diego Community.

Eighty-four clergy members attended, representing a wide variety of faiths, including Buddhist, Christian Science, Catholic, Islam, Jewish, Pentecostal, Protestant, non-denominational and many others. Thirty-one judges and commissioners from San Diego County Superior Court participated, either as speakers or lunchtime table discussion leaders.

"We reached out to clergy members who are called upon to minister to parishioners in times of legal crises. These troubles could be caused by marital discord, domestic violence, aging, immigration issues, crime, addiction, or child abuse and neglect. For example, when a parishioner has concerns about a child who has been arrested, or fears an elder is unable to care for him or herself, or has been a victim of domestic violence, the clergy member often has no idea of what to do or what will happen. Our goal was for the clergy to leave our conference feeling better equipped to assist and support the members of their faith community and also come away with ideas of how they could work together with the courts to improve justice in our community." Judge Laura Halgren.

The Program received enthusiastic reviews from the attendees who found the information helpful and enjoyed the opportunity to exchange ideas with judges and fellow faith leaders.


In March, NAWJ New York's Women in Prison Committee members celebrated final passage of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA). The bill allowed for judicial discretion when sentencing survivors of domestic violence who have been convicted of crimes directly related to abuse. The DVSJA is now law because of the incredible community of advocates, DV survivors, judges, legislators and organizations that stayed committed to bring about this necessary change.

Jaya Vasandani and Tamar Kraft-Stolar, Co-Directors of the Women & Justice Project will hold an event on Saturday, May 18 from 4-6pm in Times Square (1460 Broadway, 17th Fl., NYC) to celebrate the DVSJA's enactment and to honor the powerful community who made this victory possible. At the event, the group will recognize Judge Betty Williams, Judge Marcy Kahn, Judge Cheryl Gonzales and Judge Debra James, DVSJA sponsors Assembly member Jeffrion Aubry, Senator Roxanne Persaud and former Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, STEPS to End Family Violence, NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the formerly incarcerated survivor-advocates who helped lead the campaign.


On April 12, 2019, NAWJ members Commissioner Pennie McLaughlin and Judge Michael Washington rolled out a new event for NAWJ that combines civic education elements found in our Informed Voter-Fair Judges Project with real-world knowledge from the unique perspective of judges in a mentoring segment composed of small groups of five students per judge. Justice Judith McConnell, one of NAWJ's founding members, spoke to the large group of college students from Palomar College about the importance of an independent judiciary. Justice McConnell showed two videos on the Informed Voter Project that captured the students' interest. NAWJ President Ipema and San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge Peter Deddeh were on hand to welcome the students and serve with a group of fifteen judicial mentors.

This program was coordinated with Palomar College's "The Pathway to Law" program that aims to create a clear pathway to California's top law schools for traditionally underrepresented students. After the program, the college professors had the students fill out evaluations and many indicated that they would research judicial candidates in the future to better exercise their votes. We considered this program a success, as we could not ask for more than that! The additional bonus was the small group mentoring where several students expressed interest in pursuing a career in law.


On April 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, the Iranian American Women Foundation recognized Judge Tamila E. Ipema as a Women of Influence in Law and Justice amongst their 15 women honored in various professions. Founded in 2012, the foundation provides a platform for empowerment and networking among Iranian American Women to provide mentorship to younger generations of Iranians locally and globally.

Take advantage of early bird registration today!
Don't miss out!

(Developing, as of April 3)

Linda Greenhouse, Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
Erwin Chemerinsky – Dean, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Elder Issues
Sexual Harassment and Me Too
Orange is the New Black – LGBTQ Issues
Restorative Justice
Challenging Times for the Independence of the Judiciary – Administrative Judiciary
The Innocence Project
The Play, Sisters in Law
Independent Voters Project
Sex Trafficking
Science for Judges: Unique Concerns in DNA Testing
Judicial Security
Military Sexual Trauma . . . Women Assaulted in the Military – Recourse
Western Justice Center – A Play

Registration fees include keynotes, education sessions, receptions, meals, transportation to events listed in the program and use of the hospitality suite.


(through 7/16/2019)  


(after 9/16/2019)

NAWJ Member








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.

Click here to register online. Or, download and complete this registration form and email to Mail completed form to:

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

Follow this link to reserve your room at The Omni Hotel Los Angeles California Plaza. Rooms have been guaranteed at the rate of $249 per night, plus state and local taxes and fees, single or double occupancy. Conference attendees may also call 1.800.THE.OMNI (843-6664) and reference the National Association of Women Judges room block.

The negotiated rate is available through Monday, September 23, 2019, or until all rooms are booked within the block, whichever comes first.

May 1, 2019. District 11 is sponsoring a Color of Justice program at the University of Texas Law School. A slate of judges and lawyers will speak to middle schoolers from the city. Contact District Director Judge Brandy Mueller at

May 5-12, 2019. NAWJ Cruise on the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg on the AmaCerto with Amawaterways Cruise Line.

May 14, 2019: NAWJ collaborates with White & Case LLP to present Color of Justice for seventh and eighth grade students at the Washington School for Girls in Washington, D.C.

June 3-7, 2019. 16th African Regional Conference of the of the International Association of Women Judges will be held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

June 10-11, 2019. Global Judicial Leadership Conference: An NAWJ, United Nations, and Columbia University Collaboration on Human Rights of All Women. New York City. Contact Judge Tamila E. Ipema, NAWJ President at

August 2, 2019. NAWJ San Diego will conduct a re-entry program for women in prison, Success Inside and Out, at the Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility in San Diego. Chairs include San Diego Commissioner Terrie Roberts and San Diego Superior Court Research Attorney Nadia Keilani.

October 15-19, 2019. NAWJ 41st Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California at the Omni at California Plaza. Contact Conference Chair Judge Anne Elizabeth White at

October 26, 2019. NAWJ New Jersey will hold another Color of Justice program at Rutgers Law School in Newark. Program Chairs include Judge Siobhan Teare and Judge Sue Pai Yang.

May 7-10, 2020. IAWJ's 15th Biennial Conference: "Celebrating Diversity" hosted by the New Zealand Association of Women Judges in Auckland, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

October 12-16, 2020. NAWJ 42nd Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

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