NAWJ Monthly Update December 2014

Written by National Association of Women Judges|December 01, 2014|Monthly Update Archive

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December 2014

In This Issue:


Since the conclusion of the phenomenal annual conference in San Diego, NAWJ staff, board of directors, members and partners have been deeply engaged in moving forward this year's agenda through planning a fabulous midyear board meeting and leadership conference in exciting Chicago, circulating committee memberships and designated chairs to jump start programs and projects through our District/State Chair infrastructure, and networking with partners and engaging leaders across our nation to further our mission's goals.

And now it is the time of year when we simultaneously scurry to get things done, in both our professional and personal lives, and gradually begin to make room for the warmth and joy of the holiday gatherings we share with friends and family. It is also a time for reflection.

From a professional perspective, I am reminded of the privilege that has been bestowed upon each of us to serve the public in a judicial capacity and of the responsibility with which we have been entrusted on a daily basis. As members of NAWJ, we have embraced a broader scope of responsibility that goes beyond presiding over the cases and addressing the parties in the matters that come before us. In furtherance of our mission-driven objectives, we have committed to permeating the infrastructure that governs appointments to enhance the opportunity for women and minorities to advance to the bench, reaching into schools - particularly in impoverished communities - to expose girls to the possibility of a legal and perhaps even judicial career, expanding the reach of civics education to raise the consciousness of the voting electorate to the vital necessity of an independent and impartial /'free and fair' judiciary, protecting the rights of our most vulnerable populations through our collective voice and action, striving to ensure equal and meaningful access to justice for all, and to mentoring on many levels the generations of young women who will assume leadership roles.

And, beyond the endeavors we undertake as active NAWJ members, I am proud to identify with an organization of women leaders who continuously demonstrate how deeply we care about communities every time we step off the bench, remove our black robes, and venture into the streets to work side by side with our neighbors and with those in need to improve the quality of life for the multitudes who daily struggle to survive and strain to be heard. I am very grateful for the opportunity to know and collaboratively work with so many dedicated women from across the country and from diverse backgrounds in this shared effort to keep the promise of making our communities a better place for all to live.

From a personal perspective, I am also very mindful that for some the holidays are riddled with the pain of loss, ill health, and unexpected challenging situations. Thus, it is also the time of year we remember the treasured gift of friendship, and provide support and strength to one another, and lift the spirits of those we know and those we don't through the giving of our time, compassion and resources.

With warm wishes to each of you and your families during this holiday season, and for peace in the coming year, I leave you with some inspiring and comforting excerpts from a timeless seasonal poem by Maya Angelou:

"Into this climate of fear and apprehension ... enters streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope. ... The world is encouraged to come away from rancor, Come the way of friendship.

Hope is born again in the faces of children. It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets. Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things. Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

We beckon this good season to wait a while with us. We, the Baptist, Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come, Peace. ... We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian, Implore you to stay awhile with us. So we may learn by your shimmering light how to look beyond complexion and see community.

We look at each other, then into ourselves, And say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, my Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace My Soul."
- Maya Angelou


November Meetings: NAWJ's President Judge Julie Frantz traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with staff at the new offices of NAWJ located at Farragut Square at K Street. The trip combined with President's Frantz's attendance at the Annual Rehnquist Dinner sponsored by the National Center for State Courts, and a meeting with Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady Michelle Obama, to discuss current issues in human trafficking and immigration, and NAWJ's upcoming Midyear Conference panels in Chicago.

December Tributes: NAWJ paid tribute to Co-Founder Justice Joan Dempsey Klein in a letter of recognition drafted by President Frantz and presented at a December 1, 2014 California Women Lawyers reception. Mayor of Miami Tomas Regalado held a reception honoring the selection of Judge Lisa Walsh as NAWJ President-Elect at which a letter of recognition drafted by President Frantz was presented. This week of December 17, Judge Frantz is notifying NAWJ chairs and members of assignments and encouraging chairs to set a brief initial organizational meeting before year's end.

January 14 Travel: Judge Frantz will join the 2015 Annual Conference Planning Committee Kick-off event in Salt Lake City, Utah to welcome the local legal community into the NAWJ community, and share ideas for next year's conference. Kickoff hosts Conference Co-Chairs Hon. Michele Christiansen (Utah Court of Appeals) and Hon. Sharon McCully (Third District Juvenile Court, Retired) will be joined by Friends Committee Chairs attorneys Tammy G. Georgelas, Esq. (Snow Christensen & Martineau) and Margaret N. McGann, Esq. (Parsons Behle & Latimer). Later in the month, from January 24 to 28, Judge will attend the Midyear Meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices in San Antonio, Texas.

Statement Submitted to Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution,
Civil Rights, and Human Rights
NAWJ Women in Prison Committee Continues Support with Yale's Liman
Program in Call for Robust National Agenda Addressing Needs
of Women in Detention

Download Liman's latest Statement to the Judiciary Subcommittee here: "The State of Civil and Human Rights in the United States: Hearing Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights December 9, 2014 - Women in Detention: The Need for a National Agenda. "

The report was submitted to the record on December 8, 2014 by the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School: Johanna Kalb, Director and Visiting Associate Professor of Law; NAWJ Member Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law; and Megan Quattlebaum, Senior Liman Fellow in Residence. The Statement is a reflection of many people additionally NAWJ Past Presidents Judge Brenda Murray, Chief Justice Dana Fabe, Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Judge Gladys Kessler and longtime members and friends Nan Aron, Hon. Nancy Gertner, and Hon. Patricia M. Wald.

** Background. On September 3, 2014, eleven U.S. Senators wrote to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director, Charles E. Samuels, Jr., raising concerns about BOP's plan to change the use of the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Danbury, Connecticut from a women-only facility to a facility devoted primarily to men. On November 6, 2013, Director Samuels called the Women in Prison Committee and informed NAWJ that there would continue to be a 200-bed secured facility at Danbury with all existing services and program; a new 50-bed facility in Brooklyn, New York; and a committee of wardens to advise on best practices for treating women.

Questions surfaced due to the lack of progress in keeping federal space in the northeast. In 2012, while following the conditions of women in prison, NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee learned of BOP's request for operating funds to create a new large women's prison in Aliceville, Alabama. The proposed isolated location would make family visits difficult for inmates outside of the region.

"Dislocation and Relocation: Women in the Federal Prison System and Repurposing FCI Danbury for Men," a report by Yale Law School Professor Judith Resnik and the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program details the important role that the Danbury facility plays in serving incarcerated women (and their families) who reside in the Northeast, and the benefits of services that promote successful re-entry back to their communities.

NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee followed the letter to BOP Director Samuels by making the case to more members of Congress, BOP administrators who oversee women offenders, and the Deputy Attorney General's Office.

Voices of Justice:
Keeping the Promise of the Rule of Law through Advancing Judicial Diversity
NAWJ Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference
April 23-25, 2015 • Chicago, Illinois
Palmer House Hilton Hotel

Conference Chair, Judge Julie Frantz, NAWJ President
Local Planning Chair, Judge Ann Breen-Greco, NAWJ Vice President for Districts
Friends Committee Chair, Gabrielle Buckley, Esq., Shareholder, Vedder Price

Laurel Bellows, Esq., Past President of the ABA, Principal, The Bellows Group

(Check back here after the beginning of the year for updates.)

Keynote Luncheon, Speaker Laurel Bellows
Afternoon Programming to be Announced
Evening Reception

Morning Programming To be Announced
Afternoon Programming to be announced
Architectural Boat Tour

NAWJ Resource Board Breakfast Meeting
NAWJ Board of Directors Meeting
NAWJ Board of Directors Lunch

$425 for NAWJ Members ($375 Early bird rate until February 13)
$525 for Non-Member Attendees ($475 Early bird rate until February 13)
$325 Guest Rate (spouse and children of attendees)

Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.

ROOM RESERVATIONS: Click here or call (877) 865-5321 NAWJ Rate: $195(1 bathroom) or $215 (2 bathroom)/night, plus applicable taxes.

For More Information Contact:
Conference Chair: Judge Julie Frantz at
Local Planning Chair Judge Ann Breen-Greco at
Conference Manager: Mary Kathleen Todd at

With Liberty and Justice for All
NAWJ 37th Annual Conference
October 7-11, 2015 • Salt Lake City, Utah
Grand America Hotel

Hon. Michele Christiansen, Utah Court of Appeals
Hon. Sharon McCully (Retired), 3rd District Juvenile Court

Peggy Hunt, Esq., Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Hon. Sandra Peuler, Third District Court, Utah
Hon. Kate Toomey, Utah Court of Appeals

Tammy G. Georgelas, Esq., Snow Christensen & Martineau
Margaret N. McGann, Esq., Parsons Behle & Latimer

Conference begins approximately 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 7 with a Welcome Reception and will run through until a Farewell Breakfast on Sunday, October 11. Check back here for updates.

$525 for Members who are First-Time Attendees
$595 for NAWJ Members ($550 Earlybird rate until April 25, 2015)
$695 for Non-Member Attendees
$575 Guest Rate for Spouse and Children of Attendees ($550 Earlybird rate until April 25, 2015)

Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.

Call (800) 304-8696 • NAWJ Rate: $189/night, plus applicable taxes

For More Information Contact:
Hon. Michele Christiansen at
Hon. Sharon McCully at
Conference Manager: Mary Kathleen Todd at

NAWJ Past President Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby Presides Over a Shakespearian
Mock Trial where NAWJ Resource Board Member Christina Sarchio Defends Lysistrata
at the Landsburgh Theatre

(Photo, left) The Judges, Advocates, and Trial Participants: (l-r): Pantelis Michalopoulos, Lori Alvino McGill, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Abbe D. Lowell, Christina Sarchio, William Karas, Justice Samuel Alito, Judge Anna Blackburn-Rigsby, Dr. Norman B. Sandridge, Stewart Baker. (Photo, right) Attorney Lori McGill defends Lysistrata before Justice Alito (center) and his two colleagues, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh and District Court of Appeals Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby. (Photos: Kevin Allen)

On November 24, 2014 NAWJ Past President Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, joined by fellow panel members Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, presided over an 'Athenian High Court' as part of the Shakespeare Theatre's annual Mock Trial. In a legal take on one of the most famous 'war of the sexes', Lysistrata is brought before the court to "answer for her crimes:"

"The procedural posture was a little odd: Lysistrata had already been acquitted, and the City of Athens' appeal appeared to be double jeopardy - a point her crack legal team, Christina Sarchio of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP and Lori McGill of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP touched upon lightly. (The applicability of the Bill of Rights was open to debate.) But the City of Athens' fierce team from Steptoe & Johnson - Stewart Baker and Pantelis Michalopoulos - insisted that the Magistrate had been illegally dragooned into giving an acquittal to charges of murder, treason, conspiracy, theft and conversion, thus making the appeal possible."

Read the rest on this very funny case here.

The Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby Authors Review Article:
Ensuring Access to Justice for All: Addressing the "Justice Gap"
Through Renewed Emphasis on Attorney Professionalism and Ethical Obligations
in the Classroom and Beyond

Download her Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics article here.

NAWJ 2014-2015 Board of Directors

Executive Committee
Hon. Julie E. Frantz
Multnomah County Circuit Court
Portland, Oregon

Hon. Lisa S. Walsh
Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Civil Division
Miami, Florida

Vice President, Districts
Hon. Ann Breen-Greco
Illinois State Board of Education
Chicago, Illinois

Vice President, Publications
Hon. Diana Becton
Contra Costa County Superior Court
Martinez, California

Immediate Past President
Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Washington, D.C.
Hon. Beverly Winslow Cutler
Alaska Court System, 3rd Judicial District
Palmer, Alaska

Hon. Ariane Vuono
Massachusetts Appeals Court
Boston, Massachusetts

Finance Committee Chair
Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy
New York State Supreme Court
New York, New York

Projects Committee Chair
Hon. Marcella A. Holland
Baltimore City Circuit Court (Retired)
Baltimore, Maryland

District Directors
District 1 (ME, MA, NH, PR, RI)
Hon. MaryLou Muirhead
Boston Housing Court
Boston, Massachusetts

District 2 (CT, NY, VT)
Hon. Betty Williams
New York State Supreme Court
Brooklyn, New York

District 3 (DE, NJ, PA, Virgin Islands)
Hon. Katherine Hens-Greco
Allegheny County Court of Pleas
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

District 4 (DC, MD, VA)
Hon. Toni E. Clarke
Circuit Court for Prince George's County
Upper Marlboro, Maryland

District 5 (FL, GA, NC, SC)
Hon. Diana Eagon
Hennepin County District Court
Nokomis, Florida

District 6 (AL, LA, MS, TN)
Hon. Joy Cossich Lobrano
Louisiana Court of Appeal, 4th Circuit
New Orleans, Louisiana

District 7 (MI, OH, WV)
Hon. Katherine L. Hansen
36th District Court
Detroit, Michigan
District 8 (IL, IN, KY)
Hon. Laninya A. Cason
20th District Circuit, St. Clair County
Belleville, Illinois

District 9 (IA, MO, WI)
Hon. Ellen Levy Siwak
State of Missouri, 21st Judicial Circuit
St. Louis, Missouri

District 10 (KS, MN, NE, ND, SD)
Hon. Debbie Kleven
Northeast Central Judicial District
Grand Forks, North Dakota

District 11 (AR, OK, TX)
Hon. Rebeca Martinez
Fourth Court of Appeals
San Antonio, Texas

District 12 (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY)
Hon. Terry Fox
Colorado Court of Appeals
Denver, Colorado

District 13 (AK, HI, ID, MT, WA, OR)
Hon. Marilyn G. Paja
Kitsap County District Court
Port Orchard, Washington

District 14 (CA, NV)
Hon. Tamila E. Ipema
San Diego County Superior Court
Carlsbad, California

Special Directors
International Director
Hon. Ann Walsh Bradley
Wisconsin Supreme Court
Madison, Wisconsin
ABA Delegate
Hon. Norma L. Shapiro
U.S. District Court, Eastern District
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

NAWJ Welcomes GEICO as our Newest Landmark Sponsor

Earlier this year GEICO joined NAWJ in sponsoring of the 2014 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. They are continuing their relationship with NAWJ as a Silver Landmark Sponsor.

Part of NAWJ and GEICO's partnership will provide insurance discounts to NAWJ members. Contact GEICO for a free quote on auto insurance to see how much you could be saving. And don't forget to mention your NAWJ affiliation; you could qualify for an exclusive member savings opportunity. Visit (special portal here) or call 1-800-368-2734 for your free rate quote. GEICO can also help you find great rates on homeowners, renters, motorcycle insurance, and more!

Retirement Celebration for
Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein

Hosted by: California Women Lawyers (CWL), Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA), Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (BWLLA), Latina Lawyers Bar Association (LLBA), Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA), National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), and the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ)

Special Guest Speakers:
• Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon, Division Three, Second District Court of Appeal (as of 1/5/2015)
• Presiding Justice Norman L. Epstein, Division Four, Second District Court of Appeal
• Administrative Presiding Justice Judith McConnell, Division One, Fourth District Court of Appeal
• Wendy Behan, President of California Women Lawyers

For more information and to register, please visit

Calendar of Programs and Events

California Womens Lawyers' Retirement Celebration for NAWJ Co-Founder Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein will be held January 22, 2015 at the Hilton Checkers in Los Angeles, California. For more information and to register, please visit

NAWJ will hold its 2015 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference from April 23-24, 2015 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

NAWJ will hold its 37th Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 8-11, 2015.


The International Association of Women Judges Biennial will be hosted in the United States by the National Association of Women Judges in Washington D.C. from May 26-29, 2016.

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