NAWJ Monthly Update April 2013

Written by National Association of Women Judges|April 01, 2013|Monthly Update Archive

This message was sent to you because you are a member of the National Association of Women Judges. To ensure you receive future communications, please have your network administrator add to your approved sender list so that e-mails received from this domain are not sent to your junk mail folder.

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Monthly Update Banner
April 2013
In This Issue:

Collaborative Relationships

Building collaborative relationships with other justice and women's organizations is one of NAWJ's key strategic goals. I am pleased to announce that we are heavily involved with building relationships with a number of organizations. I have designated numerous NAWJ members to be liaisons or representatives to meetings of many other organizations. We have been involved with joint programs and your president has attended or agreed to participate in the meetings of several partner organizations.

This has been a busy month for building and strengthening our collaborative relationships.


  • American Bar Association [ABA] President Laurel Bellows has accepted our invitation to speak to us during our Midyear Conference. She will be the Keynote Speaker at the Congressional lunch on May 2.
  • The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession has announced that it has selected NAWJ Past President and founding member Judge Gladys Kessler as one of its prestigious Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award recipients for 2013. The award will be presented to her at a luncheon on Sunday, August 11, 2013, during the ABA annual conference in San Francisco. NAWJ members are strongly encouraged to attend the luncheon. Tickets are $100 each. Please let us know if you plan to attend. We would like to organize an NAWJ table in support of Judge Kessler, a devoted stalwart member.
  • Past President Justice Nan Duffly serves as a member of the Commission on Women in the Profession. We are grateful to her and the other members of the Commission for traveling to the meeting in Chicago this month despite a winter storm, to take part in the Margaret Brent Award deliberations.

We were well represented this month at meetings of a number of organizations.

March 14: Hon. Cathy Serrette served on a side panel on "Laws on Violence Against Women and Girls presented by Women Judges" sponsored by the U.S. Federation for Middle East Peace at this year's meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

March 15&16: NAWJ was officially represented by our members Judges Toni Clarke, Cheryl Cesario and Past President Sophia Hall at the ABA Judicial Division Summit on Perceptions of Justice, in Chicago. NAWJ member Judge William Missouri chairs the ABA Judicial Division, which hosted the Summit. Judge Norma Shapiro serves on the Steering Committee of the Summit.

March 20-23: Judge Sue Yang (Ret.) was NAWJ liaison to the March conference of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts, and gave greetings from NAWJ at the start of the conference. Program Chair for the conference is our own President-Elect Anna Blackburne-Rigsby.

Judge Kathy Braeman (Ret.) has been designated our Liaison to the American Association of University Women and to the Women's National History Museum, -- which NAWJ joined as a member of the coalition last year. To view an interesting talk she gave on "Women's Rights in the United States" at an AAUW program recently, click here and view via YouTube:

At the March Executive Committee meeting the Board agreed to co-sponsor a human trafficking program with the ABA at its Annual meeting next August.

Also at the March Executive Committee meeting, the Board adopted a new project entitled "Judicial Elections: the Smart Voter Committee" designed to be a joint project with the League of Women Voters. Conversations were begun with staff at Justice at Stake regarding how they can help.

The above March list is just a sampling of the many collaborative relationships with which NAWJ is involved.

April 1, 2013
Joan Churchill, President, NAWJ

2013 Midyear Leadership Conference
& Annual Meeting with Congress

May 2-4, 2013
The Washington Court Hotel
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

Click here to register online. Or, download this registration form.
Conference registration fees:
$375 for NAWJ Members
$475 for Non-Members
$325 for Spouses/Children of Attendees

Room Reservations: (800) 321-3010 or (202) 628-2100
NAWJ Rate: $179/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy.


Hon. Joan V. Churchill, Chair
Hon. Claudia Barber
Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
Hon. Gladys Kessler
Hon. Noel Kramer
Hon. Vanessa Ruiz

Nicole Erb, Esq., White and Case, LLP
Elaine Metlin, Esq., Dickstein Shapiro LLP

David Dorsen, Esq., Sedgwick LLP
Tia Fenton, Esq., Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P.
Lisa Horowitz, Esq., McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Hon. Lauren Best Leeker, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Christina Sarchio, Esq., Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP
Amy Wigmore, Esq., Wilmer Hale

Click here to download the conference invitation.


Registration Desk
Time: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Executive Suite, Lower Lobby Level, Washington Court Hotel


NAWJ Annual Meeting with Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room B339

Welcome Opening
Judge Joan V. Churchill, NAWJ President, Immigration Court, Ret.
Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD), Co-Chair Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues

Remarks by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia

Keynote Speaker American Bar Association President Laurel Bellows

Importance of New VAWA Provisions Regarding Jurisdiction of Tribal Courts and Special Vulnerability of Native Americans to Becoming Victims of Human Trafficking
Speaker: Hilary Tompkins, Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior

Maryland's Role in the Genesis of the Annual Joint NAWJ/Women Legislators Meetings
Speaker: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Lt. Governor of Maryland

Status of Federal Judicial Appointments and Court Funding
Speaker: Margaret Whitney, Senior Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Majority's Office

Free time on your own. See suggested optional tours below.
(Organization and signup independent of NAWJ.)

Botanical Beauty of the National Mall
A custom walking tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden, Bartholdi Park, Smithsonian Castle gardens, and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

The First Ladies of Washington
A guided tour through the First Ladies exhibit of the National Museum of American History.


Welcome Reception at Law Offices of Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P.
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Joint Program with the Shakespeare Theater Bard Association on Henry V, Salic Law, and Rights of Women to Confer Benefits On Men

Reading from Shakespeare's Henry V, Act I, Scene 2
Reading the part of Henry V - David Dorsen, Esq.
Reading the part of the Archbishop of Canterbury - Anthony Churchill
Review of the history of Salic Law - Drew Lichtenburg, Dramaturge at the Shakespeare Theatre Company

Discussion of the Rights of Women to Confer Benefits on Men in Modern Times
Administrative Appeals Judge Micki Aronson, Social Security Administration, Ret.
Colonel Lauren Best Leeker, Administrative Counsel to the Executive Committee, Fulbright & Jaworski
Judge Coral Pietsch, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Colonel Denise Vowell Special Master, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Chief Trial Judge, U.S. Army, Ret.


Continental Breakfast/ District Directors Breakfast Meeting
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

2013 NAWJ Board of Directors Meeting

Free time on your own. See suggested optional tours below.
(Organization and signup independent of NAWJ.)

Women and Espionage on the Hill
Walking tour of Capitol Hill led by an expert guide on Women in Politics and Espionage.

An Epicurean Escapade through Penn Quarter
Guided culinary and Historical Walking Tour through Washington, D.C.'s Penn Quarter Neighborhood, to include a multi-course progressive meal held at critically-acclaimed local restaurants.


Tour of the United States Supreme Court
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Review of Recent Supreme Court Immigration Cases
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Honorable Juan Osuna, Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice Judge Paul Schmidt, Immigration Court, Arlington, VA


Judicial Independence in Administering the Law: Administrative Judges, Specialized or "Adjunct" Judges, and Judges of Courts of More General Jurisdiction in the State and Federal Systems

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Moderator: Professor Vicki Jackson, Harvard Law School
Panelists: Judge Ann Breen-Greco, ALJ/Hearing Officer, Illinois State Board of Education
  Judge Dana Marks, Immigration Court, San Francisco, CA
  Judge Pauline Newman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  Judge Michael Ponsor, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  Chief Judge Eric Washington, District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Reception at the Supreme Court with Greetings from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Continental Breakfast
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Location: Executive Suite Foyer, Lower Lobby Level Washington Court Hotel


All Day Training on Prevention of Human Trafficking - What Judges Can Do
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Judge Joan Churchill, President, NAWJ

Overview of Training Objectives for the Day
Judge Elizabeth Lee, San Mateo County Superior Court

Professor Louise Shelley, Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center George Mason University
Catherine Chen, Humanity United
Ellen J. Rosenthal, Vice President and Asst General Counsel, Chief Counsel, Pfizer Legal Alliance
Judge Virginia Kendall, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Jose Hidalgo, M.D.

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Springwood Room

Afternoon Sessions
Speakers: Agnieszka Fryszman, Esq., Partner, Cohen Milstein
Hon. Alice Hill, Senior Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Judge Elizabeth Lee, San Mateo County Superior Court
Karima Maloney, Deputy Chief, Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Judge Dana Marks, Judge, Immigration Court, San Francisco, CA
John Martin, Director, Center for Public Policy Studies
Martina E. Vandenberg, Founder and President, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center
Steve Weller, Senior Consultant, Center for Public Policy Studies

NAWJ President Joan Churchill Remarks in a U.S. Courts Article
on the Growth of Women Judges

In a March 28, 2013 Third Branch News article reviewing the history of women on the bench, Decades After O'Connor, Role of Women Judges Still Growing, NAWJ President Joan Churchill is quoted, adding her perspective. Third Branch News is an online publication of the U.S. Courts. Women's History Month is celebrated in March.

Past President Judge Gladys Kessler Honored
with the ABA Margaret Brent Award

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Gladys Kessler, one of NAWJ's earliest presidents (1982-83) who perennially embodies NAWJ's mission, was honored last month with being named a Margaret Brent Award Honoree by the American Bar Association. The 2013 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards will be presented on Sunday, August 11, 2013 in San Francisco during the ABA Annual Meeting.

Judge Kessler was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in July 1994. She received a B.A. from Cornell University and an L.L.B. from Harvard Law School. Following graduation, Judge Kessler was employed by the National Labor Relations Board, served as Legislative Assistant to a U.S. Senator and a U.S. Congressman, worked for the New York City Board of Education, and then opened a public interest law firm. In June 1977, she was appointed Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. From 1981 to 1985, Judge Kessler served as Presiding Judge of the Family Division and was a major architect of one of the nation's first Multi-Door Courthouses. She served as President of the National Association of Women Judges from 1982 to 1983, served on the Executive Committee and as Vice President of the ABA's Conference of Federal Trial Judges, and on the U.S. Judicial Conference's Committee on Court Administration and Management for six years. She now serves on the Judicial Conference's Committee on Federal Defender Services. Judge Kessler co-chaired the Committee of the National Academy of Sciences which, in 2011, produced the Third Edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence of the Federal Judicial Center. She is vice-chairperson of the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure.

The award will be presented to her at a luncheon on Sunday, August 11, 2013, during the ABA Annual Conference in San Francisco. NAWJ members are strongly encouraged to attend the luncheon. Tickets are $100 each. Please let us know if you plan to attend. We would like to organize an NAWJ table in support of Judge Kessler, a devoted stalwart member.

Judge Jan R. Jurden to Lead NAWJ Delaware's
Sisters in Success: A Conference for and about Women
at the Baylor Women's Correctional Institution

The Delaware Chapter of National Association will co-sponsor Sisters in Success Conference, a day-long conference led by NAWJ member Judge Jan R. Jurden on May 13, 2013 at the Baylor Women's Correctional Institution. Delaware Superior Court Judge Jurden will bring together a team of professional women from the local community to offer a series of workshops designed to provide women currently in prison with the tools necessary to make a successful transition back into the community. Delaware's First Lady, Carla Markell, will present the keynote address. Following First Lady Markell's address, participants may choose to attend a variety of workshops moderated by various Delaware experts on topics focusing on emotional and behavioral changes critical for success. Workshops will explore issues related to personal growth and health awareness, intimate partner violence, grief and loss, educational needs of children, positive relationships, employment skills, emotional development, and re-entry services.

For more information contact Amy Quinlan, Delaware's Administrative Office of the Courts, Tel: 302-255-0098
NAWJ Member Judge Eileen A. Olds Pens Fresh Guide to Successful Child-Rearing

In a book entitled Twin Expectations: Raising the Bar, Raising Expectations, Raising Children, published by iUniverse, Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Eileen Olds advocates that parents, and all of those concerned about future generations, use "love, care and concern" to develop young people into resilient human beings. Combining life-lessons learned from her mother along with her own experiences as a juvenile and family court judge, Judge Olds provides both wisdom and practical advice to readers for children-rearing. Her personal stories, told in an inviting, conversational tone, provide direction to parents for helping children gain the confidence to make wise choices, mind their manners, and learn to value their families. "When Judge Olds throws her book at you, it is one you will want to catch!"

The book is available at, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

Judge Eileen A. Olds has been a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge for more than 17 years. She is past President of the American Judges Association. Judge Olds earned a B.A. degree with distinction from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctorate from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Judge Olds lives in Chesapeake, Va.
Thousands March on Washington to
Commemorate Women's Suffrage Movement

Food for thought this month which is the 100th Anniversary of the Women Suffrage Procession.

Approximately 5,000-8,000 women from every state and 13 countries, as well as the newly founded African-American women's sorority Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, commemorated the march in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 2013.

How many of the Smithsonian's 19 museums are dedicated exclusively to women's history? Zero.

The National Women's History Museum is online only. The organization has been lobbying Congress for 15 years to get a plot of land to build an actual museum.

Click here to continue reading Jess Miller's account of the March 3rd Washington, D.C. commemoration.

Last month, NAWJ acknowledged NAWJ members who contributed to our annual year end donation drive. This month we gratefully recognize the additional generous contributions to last year's donation appeal from the Hon. Dana Fabe, the Hon. Ron Garvin and the Hon. Vanessa Ruiz.
Needed - Virtual Judges for
ConSource-Harlan Institute Virtual Supreme Court Competition
Final Round

During the October 2012 Supreme Court term, ConSource and the Harlan Institute kicked off our inaugural Virtual Supreme Court Competition. Students were asked to answer the fundamental constitutional question: "Is the Fourteenth Amendment Color-Blind?" Talented students from across the country have submitted appellate briefs and are now preparing to participate in the oral argument round of the competition. During this phase of the competition, students will participate in oral arguments via Google+ Video Hangouts. We are currently looking for appellate attorneys interested in judging the final round. No travel is required; the competition is virtual and will take place via Google Hangout. The grand prize for the top two high school students is an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend ConSource's Constitution Day Celebration on September 16, 2013.

If you are interested in serving as a judge, please email ConSource Executive Director Julie Silverbrook at ConSource, Inc. 1700 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006.
October 9-13, 2013
The Ritz-Carlton
New Orleans, Louisiana

Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.
Conference registration fees:
$595 for NAWJ members ($550 before May 6)
$525 for members who are first-time attendees
$625 for non-members

Room Reservations: (504) 524-1331 or (800) 542-8680
NAWJ Rate: $245/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy

Judge Mary Hotard Becnel • Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson

Education Co-Chairs
Judicial: Judge Phyllis Keaty, Third Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana
Judge Laurie White, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court
Academic: Professor Kathryn Venturatos Lorio, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Professor Sally J. Kenney, Executive Director, Newcomb College Institute

Social Events Co-Chairs
Judge Rosemary Ledet, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana
Judge Laurie White, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, Louisiana

Finance Chair
Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana

Volunteers Co-Chairs
Judge Ethel Simms Julien, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Louisiana
Judge Bernadette G. D'Souza, Orleans Parish Civil District Court (Family) Louisiana

Registration Co-Chairs
Judge June Berry Darensburg, 24th Judicial District Court, Louisiana
Judge Tiffany Chase, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Louisiana

Kim M. Boyle, Esq., Phelps Dunbar LLP
Matthew Moreland, Esq., Becnel Law Firm LLC
Kara Hadican Samuels, Esq., Sangisetty


The impact of immigration issues pervading all aspects of state and federal courts.

Innovations in sentencing that reduce recidivism and costs, such as alternative sentencing, re-entry programs, diversionary programs, and featuring the NAWJ Women in Prison Project.

How science, technology and nontraditional unions raise new legal issues in the areas of reproduction and custody.

An examination of the role of gender in the judicial selection process, state judicial races, and the treatment of women judges; judicial history of women judges.

The recognition and impact of this international issue in our federal and state courts.

Discussion of conflicts between the roles of the judge and the public servant; judicial outreach initiatives, and public service opportunities post-retirement.

Examination of progress made regarding sexual assault cases and a discussion of the need for Veterans specialty courts.

Vice President of Publications Judge Tanya R. Kennedy
Calls for Submissions for the Next Issue of Counterbalance
Issue Theme: Celebrating the History of Women in the Law
Deadline: May 1, 2013

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 MAY 1, 2013. Look for the spring issue in June 2013 after May's Midyear in Washington, D.C. Those interested in submitting material should do so by emailing all text and picture files to Lavinia Cousin at
NAWJ District 4 will present Let Freedom Ring, a play in six scenes about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s emergence as a civil rights leader during the Montgomery bus boycott, featuring a cast of judges and politicians written by Judge Paul Handy. The production will take place at Howard University School of Law's Moot Court Room, Tuesday April 9, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Seating is limited. Email to RSVP or for more information.

A MentorJet program is planned for April 16, 2013 at the University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Contact Judge Katherine Hansen at for more information.

NAWJ Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference will take place May 2-4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The host hotel is the Washington Court Hotel.

IAWJ Regional Conference Asia/Pacific Region will take place May 9-12, 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand.

White & Case LLP and NAWJ will present Color of Justice for Washington Middle School for Girls on May 22 in the firm's Washington, D.C. offices. Contact Lavinia at for more information.

NAWJ Districts 3, 4 and its Maryland Chapter will join for a Beach Brunch on Sunday July 14, 2013 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Contact District 3 Director Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper at for more information.

NAWJ 35th Annual Conference will take place October 9-13, 2013 at The Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The International Association of Women Judges Bi-Annual Conference will take place May 6-9, 2014 in Tanzania. Click here for more conference details.

NAWJ 36th Annual Conference will take place October 15-19, 2014 at Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, California.

Connect With Us

Facebook Twitter