NAWJ Monthly Update October 2019

Written by National Association of Women Judges|October 08, 2019|Monthly Update Archive

NAWJ October 2019 Monthly Update 
  • President's Message 
  • NAWJ Board of Directors 2019-2020 Nominations Slate
  • NAWJ Annual Award Honorees
  • Judicial Appointment News from San Diego
  • VIDEO: Project Access - Judge Michelle M. Rick Announces Traveling Expungement Clinic Initiative
  • Register Today for "City of Dreams, City of Angels," NAWJ's 2019 Annual Conference
  • Upcoming Events
Dear Members,
It has been such an honor to lead this incredible organization for the past year. And it is with special warmth and gratitude that I thank you for your enduring commitment to NAWJ’s overarching mission, and for the overwhelming support and encouragement that has inspired me and the leaders of our organization every day of this wonderful year. 
NAWJ and its amazing board of directors have made great strides this year. I am thankful for the support of the NAWJ board and the former presidents who guided and advised me in the past year in our attempt to lead NAWJ in the next steps to an even brighter future. I express my heart-felt gratitude to all of you amazing women.
This year, our members actively fulfilled the theme of Global Judicial Leadership by reaching out and participating in international outreach programs training foreign judges, attorneys and police departments in various countries including Armenia, Bangladesh, and Ukraine, on important topics such as human trafficking and domestic violence. I believe judges have to lead by example and it is our duty to be global leaders in promoting and protecting meaningful and equal access to justice for all in conformity with the rule of law and NAWJ’s mission.
This year, NAWJ also collaborated with the United Nations and Columbia University Law School and School of International Public Affairs to provide our members with a two-day educational summit on human rights for all women. The focus of NAWJ’s conference, which was held inside the UN through collaboration and leadership of Mrs. Salwa “Sally” Kader, the president and founder of International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development, was sexual harassment and assault within the UN, within its peacekeeping forces around the world, and what the UN is doing to address this troubling issue. 
At Columbia University Law School, we collaborated with expert professors on issues involving human trafficking, international surrogacy, and elder abuse issues, sexual assault on school campuses, and immigration and refugee issues. We discussed solutions and best practices that would provide meaningful and equal access to justice for all.   
Furthermore, in fulfilling this year’s theme of Global Judicial Leadership, ten NAWJ members, who were invited by His Holiness Pope Francis, presented in their areas of expertise at a two-day Pan American Summit on social rights at the Vatican in June, 2019. We spoke on important topics such as judicial ethics and discipline, equal access to justice for all, implicit bias, judicial independence, collaborative courts (homeless courts, Veterans courts, drug courts and re-entry courts and mental health courts, as well as human trafficking collaborative courts for juveniles.) The NAWJ delegation at the Vatican spoke about how judges could become “agents of change” in justice systems all around the world and, as such, make a difference in reforming justice systems everywhere to provide equal access to justice for all and train and treat instead of punishing people who are accused of committing crimes stemming from drug addition, childhood trauma and abuse or mental health.
This year, I had the honor of being appointed by Pope Francis as one of six judges to his newly created Pan American Commission on social justice, fairness and access for a period of two years. The other members of commission are judges from Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Columbia. As part of the “commission,” I have also been invited to present in Porto Alegre, Brazil (November, 2019), Peru (December, 2019), and in Columbia and the Vatican academy in 2020. We hope to become agents of change in reforming our justice systems in Pan America countries and make a difference in promoting equal access to justice for all. 
In September, 2019 Pope Francis also invited the members of the “commission” to present at this year’s two-day Human Trafficking Summit in December, 2019 at the Vatican, where more than 60 other women judges from African Countries have been invited to participate. 
Importantly, NAWJ board members, former presidents and other leaders joined together and held a historic leadership summit in San Diego in April 2019 to come up with a five-year strategic plan that would sustain our beloved NAWJ into the future. 
NAWJ’s Board has worked tirelessly in the past year alongside the Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeal, Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, and the Chief Judge of Massachusetts Juvenile Court, Hon. Amy L. Nechtem, co-chairs of NAWJ’s Strategic and Sustainability Committee, and the two experts we hired to assist us with the NAWJ’s five-year Strategic Plan of action to accomplish that goal. I am pleased that our strategic plan is now complete and we have already started implementing it. 
Furthermore, NAWJ has hired an outstanding Executive Director with a great vision, Priya Purandare who will commence work on December 2, 2019; we are confident she will take NAWJ to new heights in 2020 and beyond. NAWJ is in great hands. I leave this office knowing that all of you share my certainty that the best yet lies ahead, for NAWJ and for our system of justice. And I extend my best wishes to our amazing incoming President, Judge Bernadette D’Souza, for a great year ahead. 
NAWJ will celebrate its 40th anniversary in style at the Walt Disney Concert Hall under the leadership of the NAWJ’s incredible 41st Annual Conference Chair, Judge Elizabeth Allen White, and her great planning team. This conference promises to be the best NAWJ conference ever. Our special gratitude to Judge White and her incredible conference planning team; and our conference planner Nikiesha Cosby. We hope to see you all there. You still have time to register. 
In closing, I would also like to take a moment and give special thanks to Lavinia Cousin, Kira Tucker and our amazing Interim Executive Director, Laurie Denham, for all their hard work, commitment and dedication to our beloved organization. Thank you all. 
With warm regards and gratitude,
Tamila E. Ipema
Judge for the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
President of National Association of Women Judges
NAWJ Board of Directors 2019-2020 Nominations Slate
In accordance with the NAWJ Bylaws, the Nominating Committee presents the following Nomination Slate for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors:
Pr esident
Hon. Bernadette D’Souza
Orleans Civil District Court, New Orleans, Louisiana
(automatically assumes office)
Hon. Karen M. Donohue
King County Superior Court, Washington
Vice President of Districts
Hon. Elizabeth A. White
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Vice President for Publications
Hon. Heidi M. Pasichow
Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Hon. Orlinda L. Naranjo
419th District Court (Retired), Austin, Texas
Hon. Elizabeth K. Lee
Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo
International Director
Hon. Lisa S. Walsh
11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Miami
ABA Delegate
Hon. Vivian L. Medinilla
 Superior Court of Delaware, Wilmington
The election of officers shall be held during the Annual Business Meeting which will take place Friday, October 18, 2019 at NAWJ's 41st Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California, October 15-19, 2019.
NAWJ Annual Award Honorees
The National Association of Women Judges congratulates the recipients of this year's annual and special awards. Honorees recognized are leaders in a variety of professions - jurist, attorney, educator, business person - celebrated for their achievements in line with NAWJ's mission.
Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award
The Honorable Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, is this year's recipient of NAWJ's Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award. She is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as California’s Chief Justice. As Chief Justice of California, she also chairs the Judicial Council of California, the administrative policymaking body of state courts, and the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year
The Honorable Holly J. Fujie, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, is the 2019 recipient of the Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award. Judge Fujie has been very active in the promotion and selection of women and minority candidates for the bench. She has been a firm advocate for a diverse bench. Recently, she offered testimony before a California State Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing on Diversity in the Legal Profession (May 14, 2019). As State Bar of California President (2008-2009), she created and spoke on programs held at 16 law schools on the retention and advancement of women lawyers entitled “You Can Do It! Successful Women Lawyers Discuss Combining Families and Careers.”
Florence K. Murray Award
Jerrilyn Malana is an accomplished attorney and community leader in and around San Diego, California, and is 2019 recipient of NAWJ's Florence K. Murray Award. Ms. Malana is being recognized for doing more for the community of San Diego than all but San Diego’s treasured servants. In addition, she has an established record of commitment to the “honorable, ethical, and compassionate practice of law, and a commitment to supporting women in the law and judiciary, and the mission of NAWJ.” She is known to work tirelessly to improve the legal profession through her leadership, educational efforts and mentorship. She formally and informally mentors countless young lawyers and young people aspiring to be lawyers
Mattie Belle Davis Award
Shibani Malhotra, Senior Justice Advisor in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), is the 2019 recipient of the NAWJ'S Mattie Belle Davis Award. Ms. Malhotra successfully organized the educational and professional development of international judges at NAWJ annual conferences for over ten years. Over four hundred judges from countries of every continent in the world have taken advantage of the opportunity to learn best practices from America’s leading jurists, and develop networks to help conquer challenges in their home countries.
Norma Wikler Excellence in Service Award
Annette Boyd Pitts, a nationally recognized law education and civic learning advocate, will be honored by NAWJ with its Norma Wikler Excellence in Service Award. She is Director of the Justice Teaching Center for Civic Learning at Florida Southern College, and is the principal author of The Florida Bar Benchmarks Adult Civic Education Program. Ms. Pitts has dedicated her professional life to educating the public about the judicial branch and its unique role in our constitutional structure. She has created a wide range of award-winning K-12 civics and law programs, instructional resources, and academic competitions for students. She assisted in the development of the inaugural Florida Supreme Court Teacher Institute, a multi-day training program for Florida teachers established under the leadership of Chief Justice Gerald Kogan. All seven Florida Supreme Court Justices serve as faculty for the institute using a case study approach. The program continues today and serves as a national model. She has worked with various committees within The Florida Bar and the Florida Department of Education to assist in the development of state education standards in civics and government.
Lady Justice Award
Kathy Ireland, who commands a global lifestyle brand, will be honored by NAWJ with the Lady Justice Award. She is publishing her first novel, Fashion Jungle , based on true stories that include painful aspects of her life the modeling industry.
Judicial Appointment News from San Diego
Judge Lorna Alksne (photo left), a long time NAWJ member and the third woman presiding judge in San Diego Superior Court, will take office in January, 2020. Judge Alksne appointed NAWJ Treasurer, Judge Randa Trapp as Supervisor for the Civil Court.  Judge Trapp, is the first African American Supervisor for the San Diego County Superior Court. 
In addition, long time NAWJ member Judge Katherine Bacal was appointed Assistant Supervisor to the Civil Court. NAWJ congratulates them on their accomplishments, and wish them well in their road ahead.
Judge Michelle M. Rick Announces Traveling Expungement Clinic Initiative for Rural Communities
On July 29, 2019, NAWJ member Michelle M. Rick spoke at a Michigan Hall of Justice press conference about the development of her inspired creation, Project Access . Chief Justice Bridget McCormack (recent NAWJ member), Judge Rick, Detroit Mercy Law School and other organizations – Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan State Bar and Legal Services Corporation - partnered to host traveling expungement clinics this summer. Project Access brings "civil justice relief" to eight counties in rural Michigan. Judge Rick recounts the experience for all involved was extraordinary, and that Detroit Mercy Law School received inquiries about bringing Project Access to additional communities.
Project Access will hold another clinic at the Hall of Justice on October 22, 2019 , partnering with Clinton, Ingham, and Eaton counties, Michigan Supreme Court, and the Lansing Mayor’s Office. Judge Rick expects to host a community fair that includes service providers.
“Expungement relief is vital for those who have committed errors but have demonstrated they have their life back on track. It opens so many doors: better jobs, access to public benefits, student loans and grants, and it restores dignity. Expungements are restorative,” Judge Rick.
  • International Judges Tour of Court
  • First-time Attendees/New Member Mentor/Mentee Meeting
  • International Judges Reception
  • Welcome Reception, with Greetings from Hon. Tam Nomoto Schumann, President of the California Judges Association
  • Opening Ceremonies
  • Science for Judges: Unique Concerns in DNA Testing
  • The Border Crisis and Beyond: Hot Topics in U.S. Immigration Policy
  • In Conversation with the Chief Justice of California
  • Transcending Traditional Roles: Tackling Homelessness in the Courtroom and Beyond
  • Protecting our Elders: Problems and Solutions for Elder Abuse
  • Judicial Security: from the Personal to the Virtual
  • Asian Pacific Islander Women Judges Reception sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance of Southern California
  • Reception of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges
  • Reception at the Disney Hall: Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Century of Women's Progress
  • Film Screening: Skid Row Marathon, A Documentary
  • The Book of Ruth, The Song of Sandra: Staging Law Stories
  • Restorative Justice and Successful Reentry: Unconventional Strategies from the Bench
  • Challenging Times for Judicial Independence - Administrative to Appellate
  • Culture Change:  Perspectives on the Future of Work In the World of “MeToo"
  • Linda Greenhouse
  • Repairing Justice: Innocence Projects, Conviction Integrity Units and Exonerating the Wrongfully Convicted
  • International Tea and Ethics
  • Piper Kerman
  • NAWJ-International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges Reception
  • JAMS International Judges Reception
  • Dine Around
  • Nashville Annual Conference Planning Committee Hosts the Hospitality Suite
  • NAWJ Annual Business Meeting and Investiture of New Officers
  • Courts in the Crosshairs in 2019: Political Environment, Potential Threats, and Practical Approaches to Preserving our Impartial Judiciary
  • Human Trafficking: A Discussion of Interventions that Work in the United States and Internationally
  • HORIZON LINE - A Play about Hate Crimes by The Western Justice Center
  • Sexual Assaults in the Military and Their Civilian Aftermath
  • Women Judges and Leadership: Overcoming Challenges and Breaking New Ground
  • Judicial Tools for Creating a Bias-Free Courtroom for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People
  • Erwin Chemerinsky
  • NAWJ Annual Awards Banquet
  • Farewell Breakfast
Registration fees include keynotes, education sessions, receptions, meals, transportation to events listed in the program and use of the hospitality suite:
NAWJ Member $745
Non-members $800
Cancellation policy: 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.
Follow this link to reserve you room at The Omni Hotel Los Angeles California Plaza. THE NAWJ ROOM BLOC IS FULL .
October 2, 2019 
Wayne State Law School MentorJet Program. Contact: Diane H. Fears, J.D., Director of the Office of Career & Professional Development.
October 15-19, 2019
NAWJ 41 st Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California at the Omni at California Plaza. Contact Conference Chair Judge 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.
NAWJ Washington holds 10th Annual Color of Justice and MentorJet programs in the Hall of Justice in San Diego, co-chaired by Judge Tamila E. Ipema and Commissioner Terrie Roberts.
November 15, 2019
NAWJ Washington holds Annual Law Student and Judicial Officer Reception and presentation of student scholarship in Spokane, WA.
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 42 nd Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee at the D oubleTree by Hilton Hotel .

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