NAWJ Monthly Update September 2019

Written by National Association of Women Judges|September 24, 2019|Monthly Update Archive

NAWJ September 2019 Monthly Update 
  • President's Message 
  • NAWJ Board of Directors 2019-2020 Nominations Slate
  • VIDEO: Project Access - Judge Michelle M. Rick Announces Traveling Expungement Clinic Initiative
  • Nashville Conference Friends Committee Chair, Hon. Lynda Jones, Elected Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan General Sessions Court of Nashville and Davidson Counties
  • Ruth Abrams 1930-2019: First Woman on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Immigration Judge Mimi Tsankov to Become President of the Federal Bar Association’s Southern District of New York Chapter
  • NAWJ-Federal Bar Association (FBA) Program Honored with FBA's President's Award
  • Judge Claudia Caputi Speaks in Argentina on Judicial Decision-Making with a Gender Perspective
  • Delegation of Women Judges from the Republic of Georgia Visits New York
  • Register Today for "City of Dreams, City of Angels," NAWJ's 2019 Annual Conference
Dear Members,
Our annual conference in beautiful Los Angeles is only three weeks away. We will be celebrating NAWJ’s 40 th Birthday, and one of our founding mothers, Justice Joan Dempsey Kline, will also join us. Do not miss your chance to get together with your NAWJ colleagues and friends to experience all of the cutting-edge educational programs and wonderful festivities Judge Elizabeth Allen White, Chair of the Los Angeles Conference, and her amazing planning team have put together. 
Please also join us at the important Annual Business Meeting open to and for all NAWJ members. Here, NAWJ's Board of Directors shares all the important work we have accomplished in 2018-2019, and what is planned for the road ahead.  We need your input at this meeting so we may learn how to better serve all of you and sustain the organization so it may thrive. We will also celebrate incoming officers, board members and our incredible incoming president, Judge Bernadette D’Souza. Come join us in celebrating these amazing people who volunteer their time to serve NAWJ and its important mission. 
I will see you all in Los Angeles!
Tamila E. Ipema
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Register for the Annual Conference!
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.
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.
Nashville Conference Friends Committee Chair, Hon. Lynda Jones, Elected Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan General Sessions Court of Nashville and Davidson Counties
On September 1, 2019, Hon. Lynda Jones, became Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County General Sessions Court . She was elected by the judges of the Court. Judge Jones was elected to General Sessions Court Division 1X in 2014. Before her election, she practiced law in middle Tennessee for 22 years prior to becoming a judge. She has one child and is widowed.
She received her Bachelors of Science in Communication with honors from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Her law degree is from the University of Memphis School Of Law where she received the American Jurisprudence Award for Trial Advocacy.
She is currently a member of the Nashville Bar Association, President Elect of Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference, fellow of the Inns of Court, and the National Association of Women Judges. She is a former Chair of the General Sessions Court Committee for the Nashville Bar Association and Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation. Judge Jones is also an Alumni of Young Leaders Council, Tennessee Leadership, Leadership Donelson Hermitage, and Leadership Middle Tennessee as well as a two time Athena nominee.
Judge Jones said that she was “honored” to be elected by her peers to manage the court’s business function. “I appreciate their confidence and trust. I look forward to working with all Metro colleagues and departments to ensure justice for all people, no matter their race, religion, orientation or gender.”
Ruth Abrams 1930-2019:
First Woman on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
The Honorable Ruth Abrams, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, died on September 12, 2019. Justice Abrams was 88 years old.
She was a graduate of Radcliffe College, Class of 1953, and Harvard Law School, Class of 1956. From 1957 to 1960, she entered private practice with her father, Samuel Abrams, and her brother, George. In 1961, she became the only woman serving as an Assistant District Attorney in the state, serving in the Middlesex District Attorney's office until 1969 when she became Chief of the Appellate Section of the Attorney General's office. In 1971, she became Special Counsel to the Supreme Judicial Court and two years later, Governor Francis Sargent appointed her to serve on the Massachusetts Superior Court. She was the second woman to serve on that court. In 1977, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed Judge Abrams to the Supreme Judicial Court, the first woman since its founding in 1692. She served on the court for 23 years, during which time she wrote 501 opinions and served on 10 special legal and bar committees.
Justice Abrams wrote landmark decisions covering family law, gender equality, criminal law and minority rights. She was known for encouraging and mentoring women in the field of law and fought for more women to be appointed to judicial positions.
Justice Abrams is survived by her brother, George S. Abrams, of Newton; her sister, Susan Medalie and her husband, Richard J. Medalie, of Hull, formerly of Washington, DC; two nephews, two nieces, and two grandnephews and one grandniece. The New York Times .
More on Justice Abrams in the Boston Globe here .  
(Justice Abrams is shown in a 2018 photo with (L-R) NAWJ Past Presidents, Justices La Tia Martin and Fernande (Nan) Duffly, Suffolk University Law School student Matilda Mutanguha, Justice Ruth Abrams far right. The photo was taken in the Social Law Library of the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, where NAWJ held its 2018 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference. Ms. Mutanguha was the recipient of the $5,000 NAWJ Social Law Library Justice Ruth Abrams Scholarsh ip.)
Immigration Judge Mimi Tsankov to Become President of the Federal Bar Association’s Southern District of New York Chapter
On October 2, 2019 Immigration Judge Mimi Tsankov will be sworn in as President of the Southern District of New York Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. The ceremony will take place at 5:30 pm in Courtroom 24A of the Daniel P. Moynihan United States Courthouse, located at 500 Pearl Street in New York City.
Click here for the announcement’s details.
NAWJ-Federal Bar Association Program Honored with the
Federal Bar Association's President's Award
(Photo: (L to R) Wylie Stecklow, FBA SDNY Chapter President Outgoing; Olivera Medenica, Second Circuit Vice President; Judge Mimi Tsankov, SDNY Chapter President Incoming; Ray Dowd.)
On September 7, 2019, a joint NAWJ-Federal Bar Association (FBA) program was honored with the prestigious FBA President's Award, delivered at the FBA National Convention in Tampa, Florida. NAWJ District Two Member, Hon. Mimi Tsankov accepted the award that honors the partnership of multiple organizations on the occasion of their work in connection with educating the public about International Women's Day. 
The program took place March 11, 2019, at which time the NAWJ, Federal Bar Association (FBA) Southern District of New York (SDNY) Chapter, FBA International Law Section, and the FBA Judicial Division joined as co-sponsors of Fordham University’s Second Annual International Women's Day Event -- A Student-Moderated Evening of Discussion. This program provided the opportunity for NAWJ leadership to advance the conversation about the degree to which existing laws support gender balance, where we need to improve, and what we have succeeded in doing thus far. We plan to expand this program next year during International Women's Day 2020, at which time we plan to examine "Challenges to Judicial Independence and the Gender Perspective." This program will be part of the United Nations Convention on the Status of Women (CSW) 64th Session which is scheduled to take place in New York during March, 2020. 
Judge Claudia Caputi Speaks on Judicial Decision-Making with
a Gender Perspective in Argentina
Judge Claudia Caputi, an NAWJ member in Argentina, spoke about “Judicial Decision-Making with a Gender Perspective” in a special activity within the “Course for the Judiciary” organized by the Judicial Education and Training Center at the Supreme Court of Justice of the Province of Santa Fe, in the City of Santa Fe, Argentina, on Friday, August 2nd, 2019. In her lecture, Professor Caputi analyzed several court decisions, showing how to focus on cases and reason under a gender perspective, and also how to better rule with this approach.
Delegation of Women Judges from the Republic of Georgia
Visits New York
The New York Chapter of NAWJ, through organizer Justice Marguerite Grays, hosted a visit of judges from the Republic of Georgia this summer. The conversation proved invaluable and productive for all. Both delegations spoke about the importance of an independent judiciary, and the support of organizations like NAWJ and IAWJ. Discussions include the variety of different types of courts and their jurisdictions, and how effective they can be to resolve cases. Judge Marsha Hirsh led a discussion on the effectiveness of dedicated court, e.g. Drug Court, to help communities at large. Justice Carmen Velasquez spoke about the need to support each other as justices and promoted the need of forums that can assist the justices. There was also discussion on elected and appointed judges, and the different authorities that govern judges, i.e.. Mayor or Governor. Each of the judges introduced themselves and gave a small history about who they are and what they do. The judges from the Republic of Georgia were invited to set up a local chapter themselves, and become members of IAWJ. 
The State Department provided interpreters for the visiting delegation. All the judges from The Republic of Georgia were appointed by parliament and for different amount of years. A highlight, for both the visiting delegation and the local New York Chapter judges was the ability to engage other judges and experience positive interactions within and across delegations. 
  • 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 Califorina Judges Assocaition
  • 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 .

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