NAWJ Monthly Update August 2013

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

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August 2013

In This Issue:
Joan Churchill - July 25, 2013

Late July and early August are known as the "lazy hazy days of summer." However, there is nothing lazy or hazy about NAWJ this summer. NAWJ is brimming with activity. A summary of our many activities this month follows.

Foremost are the preparations for the 2013 Annual Conference in magnificent New Orleans, October 9-13. If you haven't registered and plan to attend, don't delay. You can register using the link below. A major highlight of this exciting conference will be the panel featuring the Landrieu family's public service to Louisiana, including Senator Mary Landrieu, her father Moon, a former judge, legislator and Secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sister Madeline, a judge, brother Mitch, the Mayor of New Orleans, and his wife Cheryl, the Court clerk. The conference scholarship subcommittee of the International Outreach Committee has received a large number of applications, and is hard at work on the selection process.

BIG NEWS: IAWJ has selected NAWJ to host the 2016 Biennial Conference in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2016. See the announcement by Joan Winship, IAWJ Executive Director, copied below. The exact dates are not yet determined. Committees will need to be formed. Please contact Mary-Kathleen Todd at if you are interested in serving on a 2016 Biennial Planning Committee.

President-Elect Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, has announced that next year's Midyear will be held in Washington, D.C.

NAWJ 36th Annual Conference, San Diego, October 15-19, 2014

(Photo left to right: India Jewell, Co-Chair NAWJ Annual Conference Friends Committee; Hon. Karen Crawford, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California; Hon. Robert Longstrath, NAWJ member and Conference CLE Committee Chair; Hon Joan Churchill, NAWJ President and guest of honor; 2014 Annual Conference Co-Chairs Judge Margie G. Woods and Judge Tamila E. Ipema; Jon. James Atkins, NAWJ member and Conference Security Committee member; and Jerri Malana, Co-Chair NAWJ Annual Conference Friends Committee.)

The San Diego 2014 Conference Planning Committee held a kickoff reception on June 26 with a tour of the new federal court house in San Diego, graciously hosted by Hon. Irma Gonzalez, U.S. District Court Judge, who spearheaded the efforts to get it built. I was pleased to be able to attend and to feel the excitement all around for the San Diego conference. In photo left to right: Hon. Tamila E. Ipema. Hon Joan Churchill, U.S. Magistrate Judge; Hon. Irma Gonzalez, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, Hon. Karen Crawford.

We have confirmation this month that NAWJ's 2015 Annual Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Informed Voter. Fair Judges. Project is moving ahead with several active subcommittees working on educational messages about the role of judges designed to reach voters through various types of media, in states with judicial elections. Target states are Kansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin and Washington. Several organizations have expressed interest in helping us with this. The project template can be accessed here.

The Immigration & Human Trafficking Project will be the subject of sessions at the Annual Conference, which will include a site visit to Eden House, a shelter for survivors. We received word this month that the State Justice Institute has awarded NAWJ another grant for this year, a portion of which is designed to cover enhancements to our web site to include materials about human trafficking. The Human Trafficking subcommittee, under the chairmanship of Judge Elizabeth Lee, is moving ahead with plans to prepare a bench book type manual for judges. Our Executive Director Marie Komisar participated in the first meeting of the Human Trafficking consortium of which NAWJ is a part. She has also been working on coordinating our role with the Blue Campaign of the Homeland Security Department.


In addition to the committee activities mentioned above, numerous committees have been meeting this summer.

The Awards Committee is assembling nominations for the annual awards to be given out at our conference. Nominations are still being accepted, so be sure to nominate worthy candidates. See below for details. The Audit Committee has had numerous tasks to address this month, as the annual audit is completed, and other issues have surfaced. The Ethics Committee was called upon to give advice to the Board. The Membership Committee has been working on an updated membership brochure/application. The Nominating Committee is considering the nominations it has received for next year's slate of officers. The Tribal Judges Outreach subcommittee is very actively engaged in encouraging Tribal judges to attend the annual conference. The Website Improvement Task Force is very involved in the web site enhancements that are under discussion. The Women in Prison Committee has identified issues affecting women in the California prison system and in the federal system. See the article below for more detail.

Our Board Manual has been updated and revised. With recent updating of some of our policies, our updated Board Manual should be ready for distribution very shortly.

In addition to the August e-newsletter, the summer issue of Counterbalance is being finalized, and should be out soon. Many thanks to Hon. Tanya Kennedy, Vice President of Publications, and staff member Lavinia Cousin, for their thoughtful additions, attention and care.

In response to the issue about sterilizations of female inmates in California from 2006 to 2010, brought to our attention by the Women in Prison Committee, NAWJ has written to California Governor Brown to express our concern. Our letter is reprinted below. The Executive Committee has also been considering issues related to judicial disqualification relating to campaign contributions, which are the subject of proposed resolutions coming before the ABA House of Delegates. We have not taken a definite position, but are continuing to monitor developments concerning those resolutions. We voted to co-sponsor an ABA resolution calling for filling of federal vacancies that closely mirrors our own resolution on the subject earlier this year.

Another pending concern relates to the plans of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to relocate 1,100 women from Danbury, Connecticut near their families, to a remote location in Alabama. Our Women in Prison Committee is reviewing the problem. See the essay on the subject by Prof. Judith Resnik, at Click here to reach the site.


I have a heavy travel schedule the next couple weeks.

On July 25, 2013, Marie Komisar and I represented NAWJ at the Annual Award Luncheon of the National Association of Women Lawyers held in New York City. Our devoted member Professor Judith Resnik of Yale Law School received the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award for her role as a legal trail blazer. NAWJ was acknowledged several times, and my presence and that of NAWJ Past President Hon. Betty Ellerin was mentioned. NAWJ Past President Hon. LaTia Martin was also present. I met the new President of NAWL, Deb Froling, who was installed at the luncheon, and made plans to meet to discuss mutual activities.

I shall have the honor of representing NAWJ at the Annual Meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices in Vermont at the end of July. I shall be attending the ABA Margaret Brent Award Luncheon in San Francisco on August 11, at which our former President, founding member Hon. Gladys Kessler will receive the Margaret Brent Award. I look forward to the opportunity to be together with NAWJ members around the country at each of these events.

October 9-13, 2013
The Ritz-Carlton
New Orleans, Louisiana

Register Now!
Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.
Conference registration fees:
First Time NAWJ Member Attendee Rate: $525
NAWJ Member Attendee Rate: $595
Non-NAWJ Member Attendee Rate: $625
Guest Rate: $575 (Does not include education sessions)

The conference will be held at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans.
Click here to reach the hotel's online reservation system.
Room Reservations: (504) 524-1331 or (800) 542-8680
NAWJ Rate:
$245/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy

Click here to view the conference agenda.

NAWJ's International Judges Scholarship Committee Seeks Sponsors
to Increase Attendance of International Judges at our Annual
Conference in New Orleans

Those of you who have attended the Annual Meetings in the past know how much the participation of international judges enhance the value and the fun at the conferences! As in past years, we received a generous grant from our loyal supporter, Bob Kaufman, to bring 8 to 10 judges. But we have a BIG problem! Because our conferences are of such quality, and because of the outreach we have done, we received 110 applications!

The International Judges Scholarship Committee met and had the job of selecting the recipients. We found lots more judges who we want to invite to the Annual Conference in New Orleans, but we don't have the money! Many of them face difficulties most of us can only imagine; they are fighting the kind of gender-based challenges our founding mothers dealt with in the 50's and 60's. We've established a priority list of invitees and are trying to find alternative sources to fund judges from Turkey, South Africa, Armenia, Mongolia, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Nepal, The Congo, Botswana, Ghana, Peru and Chile.

So we are asking two things of NAWJ members:

1.) If you know any person (or entity) who might be interested in sponsoring one or more of the international judges, please contact me and give me the information so that I can follow up. The cost of sponsoring one judge ranges between $2,000 and $4,500, depending on the cost of air travel from the relevant country.

2.) If you are or your District is willing to help with expenses, we can combine contributions:
  • $525 would pay for the registration cost for an international judge;
  • $275 would pay for one night in the hotel; and
  • $1,200 to 2,500 would pay for airfare.

Contributions of any size will be welcome and "bundled" with other money raised.

Please help support International judges attendance at our conference!

Contact me at or by phone (626)-584-7494.

Judge Judy Chirlin

Pin/Pendant Designed Especially for the New Orleans Conference for Sale
by Dominique Giordano Jewelry

NAWJ Pin/Pendant


This new pin/pendant has been co-designed by New Orleans Annual Conference Co-Chair Judge Mary Hotard Becnel and jewelry designer Dominique Giordano. It is made of sterling silver with fresh water pearls. It also comes in a gold version for women lawyers.

The jewelry designer is graciously donating 10% of sales back to NAWJ. If you have questions or want to order email, download order form here or visit

in Washington, D.C.

NAWJ has been selected to host IAWJ's increasingly popular Biennial Conference in 2016. See IAWJ Executive Director Joan Winship's announcement below:

We are delighted to announce that at its May 2013 meeting, the IAWJ Board of Directors selected the host association and site for the IAWJ's 13th Biennial International Conference in 2016. It will be held in Washington, D.C. and hosted by the National Association of Women Judges. Dates are yet to be confirmed. It is exciting that the IAWJ will be coming back to the country of its birth. The IAWJ looks forward to working with NAWJ as we begin planning, even now, for 2016. So put this in your plans and join us in our home city of Washington!

NAWJ Member U.S. Circuit Judge Pauline Newman Honored
with the ABA Mark T. Banner Award

Judge Pauline Newman was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by President Reagan on January 30, 1984, and assumed the duties of such office on May 7, 1984. She received a B.A. degree from Vassar College in 1947, a M.A. degree in Pure Science from Columbia University in 1948, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Yale University in 1952. She received an L.L.B. degree from New York University School of Law in 1958.

Judge Newman was the Director of Patent, Trademark and Licensing at FMC Corporation at the time of her appointment to the bench. She also served as patent attorney and house counsel of FMC Corporation and as a research scientist at American Cyanamid Company. She worked for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a science policy specialist in the Department of Natural Resources. Judge Newman has served as an officer and director of several bar and scientific organizations. She has also served on several public advisory committees, including the Advisory Committee to the Domestic Policy Review of Industrial Innovation and the State Department Advisory Committee on International Intellectual Property. She was Special Adviser to the United States Delegation to the Diplomatic Conference on the Revision of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

The Mark T. Banner Award, in honor of the late Mark T. Banner, is presented to an individual or group that has an impact on intellectual property law and/or practice. Candidates will have expressed a clear passion and enthusiasm for, and advanced the practice, profession, and/or substance of IP law and through extraordinary contributions to, among, other things, teaching, scholarship, innovation, legislation, advocacy, bar or other association activities, or to the judiciary.

NAWJ Writes the Governor of California Expressing Concern about
Reports of Female Inmates Being Sterilized in California 2006-2010
Without Required State Approval

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) recently published a report on female inmates in California being sterilized without required state approval:

Lawsuits, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and public outrage over eugenics and similar sterilization abuses in Alabama and New York spawned new requirements in the 1970s for doctors to fully inform patients. Since then, it's been illegal to pressure anyone to be sterilized or ask for consent during labor or childbirth. Yet, Kimberly Jeffrey says she was pressured by a doctor while sedated and strapped to a surgical table for a C-section in 2010, during a stint at Valley State for a parole violation. Jeffrey, 43, was horrified, she said, and resisted. "He said, 'So we're going to be doing this tubal ligation, right?' " Jeffrey said. "I'm like, 'Tubal ligation? What are you talking about? I don't want any procedure. I just want to have my baby.' I went into a straight panic."

Click here to read the CIR report. Click here to read the author's follow-up article Lawmakers Call for Investigation into Sterilization of Female Inmates.

Read NAWJ's letter to Governor Jerry Brown below:

July 19, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Brown:

We write on behalf of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), Women in Prison Committee, regarding the reported sterilization of at least one hundred and forty eight incarcerated women between 2006 and 2010, by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Press reports are that the women were sterilized without the necessary required informed consent and state approval. On behalf of NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee, we recommend a thorough investigation to determine the accuracy of the press report. If the facts are confirmed, those responsible must be held accountable and safeguards must be put in place to prevent a repeat of this inhumane treatment of incarcerated women. If you have already initiated an inquiry, the Committee would welcome a report of the inquiry's finding.

NAWJ is a non-profit organization of more than 1,200 federal, state, administrative, tribal, and military judges from across the country. Founded in California in 1979, NAWJ has served as the nation's leading voice for jurists dedicated to preserving judicial independence and ensuring equal justice and access to the courts for women, people of color, and other marginalized groups. NAWJ has long pursued a Women in Prison Project to address the disparities in conditions of incarceration that have an adverse impact on women. The Committee is confident you will act to ensure the rights of incarcerated women are respected by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

Joan V. Churchill
President, National Association of Women Judges

In Memorial - Hon. Rosalie Wahl
First Woman to Serve on Minnesota's Supreme Court

From Minnesota Public Radio News online: "Rosalie Wahl grew from Quaker roots in Kansas, her early life punctuated by loss, to become the first woman to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court. She died July 22, 2013 at the age of 88. "She was very much instrumental in ensuring opportunity of access for women and people of color as judges, but also with her work on the committee that looked into gender bias and racial bias in our judicial system," Page (Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page) said. "She was all about ensuring fairness for everyone and access for everyone."

Click here to read or listen to the Public Radio full account, along with access (at bottom) to a video "Rosalie Wahl: A Vision for a Better World" created for a 2008 Minnesota Historical Society film competition based on the lives of Minnesota's "Greatest Generation."

Vice President of Publications Judge Tanya R. Kennedy
Calls for Submissions for the Next Issue of Counterbalance

Theme: "Children and the Law"
Deadline: October 1, 2013

NAWJ's Summer 2013 issue of Counterbalance, "Celebrating the History of Women in the Law," is available now, and will be mailed to members at the beginning of August. 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 OCTOBER 1, 2013. Look for the Winter issue in late November or early December 2013 with news on NAWJ's 2014 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 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 the Honorable Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award and for the Florence K. Murray Award. To assist you in nominating a deserving candidate, sample forms may be accessed by clicking the links below.

In addition, nominations are also being sought for the Mattie Belle Davis Award, which is selected by the President in consultation with the NAWJ Executive Committee, and the Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award, which is selected by the President.

Nominations are being accepted now. The deadline for submitting nominations for all awards is August 15, 2013.


The Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award
Honoring a judge who brings distinction to her office and to NAWJ as exemplified by our founding mother, Justice Joan Dempsey Klein. Click here for guidelines for the KLEIN Award.

The Florence K. Murray Award
Presented annually to a nominee who is not a judge, who has, by example or otherwise, influenced women to pursue legal careers, opened doors for women attorneys, or advanced opportunities for women within the legal profession. Click here for guidelines for the MURRAY Award.

The Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award
For outstanding leadership in promoting the vision, core values and mission of NAWJ.

The Mattie Belle Davis Award
This award is selected by the President in consultation with Executive Committee.
  • The awardee should be a member who has gone above and beyond his or her role as member and volunteer to help make a difference in the organization and furthered its mission, as the Honorable Mattie Belle Davis did.
  • The awardee should not be or have been a member of the Executive Committee of the NAWJ.
  • The awardee should be an individual dedicated to furthering and supporting women in the legal profession.

Awards will be given out during the 35th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Please submit completed nominations no later than August 15th to by mail or fax to:

National Association of Women Judges
Attn: Hon. Barbara Madsen
1341 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-1834
Fax: 202-393-0125

Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, Washington Supreme Court, Chair
Judge Claudia Barber, District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings
Presiding Judge Diana Becton, Contra Costa County Superior Court, California
Hon. Diana Eagon, Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota (Retired)
Justice Sheri Roman, New York State Appellate Division, 2nd Department

Join the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession for Its 23rd Annual
Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards Luncheon

Sunday, August 11, 2013

12:00 noon-2:00 p.m.

San Francisco, California
(During the ABA Annual Meeting)


Honorable Mazie K. Hirono, Senator, U.S. Congress, Honolulu, HI
Sara Holtz, Founder & CEO, ClientFocus, San Francisco, CA
Honorable Gladys Kessler, Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
Marygold Shire Melli, Voss-Bascom Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI
Therese M. Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney, City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Two tables have been reserved at the Margaret Brent Award Luncheon for NAWJ FRIENDS of JUDGE GLADYS KESSLER. If you have a ticket for the luncheon and would like to sit with other NAWJ Members, look for the tables labeled "National Association of Women Judges." First come, first served.

Individual tickets and tables may be ordered from the ABA by downloading the invitation here, or contacting Beverly Tate at 312-988-5668 or email

Individual tickets cost $125. Reserved tables seating 10 are available for $1,500. Table placement will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

ABA Section of International Law 2013 Fall Meeting
October 15 - 19, 2013
London Hilton on Park Lane Hotel
London, United Kingdom

The ABA Section of International Law (ABA International) invites our members to a very special 2013 Fall Meeting in London, United Kingdom, October 15-19, 2013. ABA International's Fall Meeting is one of the world's most important gatherings of international lawyers. Last year's Fall Meeting in Miami, Florida welcomed over 950 attendees from 52 countries. Fall Meeting attendees will include high-level practitioners with the largest and most respected global law firms; lawyers with the most prominent regional and national firms inside and outside the U.S.; small-firm and solo practitioners with significant international practices; corporate and in-house counsel; lawyers serving in government or with non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations; and academics.

Click here for registration and hotel information. Click here to download the registration form. Click here to share the flyer.

Pre 2014 IAWJ Conference Tour Offerings-Private Tours

NAWJ Past President and active member Hon. Carolyn Temin has collaborated with Premier Tours to create an exciting tour for IAWJ conference attendees. It will require 10 participants in order to keep the price as quoted. It will begin and end at a hotel in Arusha where you can stay for the entire conference; participants will be able to store their luggage at the hotel and not take it on the safari.

Land arrangements (including flights in Tanzania): $3755.00 per person sharing, approximate. This price is based on ten people traveling together. Should the number of participants decrease, Premier Tours reserves the right to adjust prices accordingly. Click here to read the complete announcement. If you have any questions please call Judge Temin at (267) 577-3401 or email her at

A South Africa trip designed for women judges on their way to Tanzania for the 2014 IAWJ Biennial Conference in Arusha is being planned by Judge Bev Cutler (U.S.) through Stanford University Educational Travel. If at least 10 travelers sign up, the trip will go forward. The approximate dates are April 26 - May 5. The tour guide will primarily speak English, and will focus on persons and places of interest to women judges. It will include a three-day safari. Click here to read the package of information. Contact Judge Cutler at for more information.

Please note that these will be private, non-NAWJ trips.

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

The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) will hold its 2013 National Tribal Judicial Conference and NAICJA Annual Meeting at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California on October 9-11, 2013. The theme for this year's conference is Renewing and Strengthening Tribal Justice System Foundations. The Conference is open to the public and will provide information, training and networking opportunities for judges, court personnel and other persons interested in American Indian & Alaska Native tribal justice systems. Click here for more information.

NAWJ's 2014 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. dates yet to be announced. The 2014 International Association of Women Judges Bi-Annual Conference will take place May 5-9, 2014 in Arusha, 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.

NAWJ will hold its 37th Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dates are yet to be determined.

The International Association of Women Judges Biennial will be hosted by the United States National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) in Washington D.C. Dates yet to be determined.

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