In This Issue:
NAWJ President Judge Amy Nechtem's Message
2012 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts - March 9-11th: Register
and Reserve Your Room Today!
Next Counterbalance Submission Deadline February 15, 2012
IAWJ London, May 2-5, 2012 Biennial Conference - Call for Presentations
Save the Date - 2012 Annual Conference in Miami, Florida, November 7-11, 2012
NAWJ Founder Justice Joan Dempsey Klein Recognized as Trailblazer of the Bar
NAWJ President-Elect Hon. Joan V. Churchill Profiled by Michigan Law School
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ramona See is serving as Chair of the ABA National Conference
of State Trial Judges through the 2012 ABA Annual in Chicago
The International Academy for Judges Offers Summer Workshop in Haifa, Israel, July 15-August 3, 2012
View Forster-Long's 2012 State Bench Gender Ratio Statistics from NAWJ's Homepage
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
I hope this finds you well. Here in Boston it feels a bit more like the close of a spring month rather than January!
NAWJ Committees are up and moving ahead with this year's challenges. Thank you to all who have generously
agreed to offer time and expertise in support of the diverse efforts of NAWJ.
I have already had a number of occasions to seek the wise counsel from our Ethics Committee, chaired by
Tam Nomoto Schumann; and to learn from our Membership Chair Jane Spencer Craney of her many initiatives
regarding our ever present goal of increased membership; to work with our chairs of the Judicial
Education Committee, Professors Judith Resnik and Vicki Jackson, both of whom are responsible for
planning an exciting afternoon panel discussion at our Midyear Meeting in Cambridge on March 9th,
Crisis in the Courts; just to name a few at this early date.
Not to exclude mention of any of the other dynamic committees or its members as each adds to the
strength and flourish of our beloved organization. It is my plan to work closely with all committees
this year and expand our outreach efforts and to meet our collective goals in respective areas. I will
keep you informed.
As you may know, legislation was recently introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick
Leahy (D-Vermont) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to reauthorize the Violence Against Women
Act (VAWA). First championed in the Committee by Vice President Biden in 1994, VAWA transformed
the nation's response to domestic violence and sexual assault. Executive Director, Marie Komisar
was instrumental in connecting NAWJ with Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against
Women, to determine how best we can support, as an organization, the reauthorization of VAWA. As
such, a letter of our support will be forthcoming on behalf of NAWJ. From there, our chairs of the
Domestic Violence Committee, Ellen Levy Siwak and Michele Christiansen are committed to advancing
further efforts as it pertains to access to justice and safety issues.
Our new Tribal Outreach Committee chaired by Dana Fabe and Arline Pacht are spanning the nation to
achieve inclusion of the many tribal judges to our membership. To honor Past President Brenda Loftin
and the 10th year anniversary of NAWJ's treasured program, The Color of Justice, this committee will
be searching for a location on or near a Native American reservation to present and celebrate the
importance of this program.
Cathy Serrette and I will be chairing the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Committee and report
soon as to the committee's initiatives and of its work with the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.
The 2012 Annual Conference Committee is hard at work and excitement is growing in anticipation
of yet another amazing conference to be held in sunny Miami, Florida!
Through the years the NAWJ Board of Directors has strived to keep registration fees for NAWJ events
as low as possible. However, the reality is that the world has become more expensive and the per
person cost of food and beverage at an Annual Conference has exceeded our registration fee for several
years. After much consideration, the Board has made the decision to increase the registration for
the conferences (future years registration fees will be set based on the relative cost of the city
where the conference is held).
This increase, while significant, still does not cover the per person food and beverage cost but it
considerably closes the gap. Our appreciation goes out to Jeff Groton our Chief Operating Officer,
for his thorough analysis and eye to every detail and constant vigilance. I trust you will understand
the need for this increase and that you will join us in Miami!
The deadline for submissions to the Counterbalance newsletter is February 15th. Please read further
in this Update for more information.
Lastly .... how's the song go? "Please come to Boston for the Springtime"... ok it's Cambridge and
March 9th ... think spring weather and join us ..!
On behalf of your Board and Staff ..thank you for all you do every day.
My warmest wishes,
2012 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference
March 9 - 11, 2012
The Charles Hotel
Room Reservations: 800-882-1818
NAWJ Rate: $239/night, plus applicable taxes
Deadline to Reserve: February 17, 2012
FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2012
KEYNOTE LUNCHEON: CHOICE FEMINISM AND THE REVOLUTION OF DECLINING EXPECTATIONS
Location: Harvard Law School
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Judge Nancy Gertner (Retired), U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
NAWJ members and guests will lunch at Harvard Law School and hear Judge Gertner addressing Choice Feminism and the Revolution of
A CONVERSATION WITH THE JUSTICE
Location: Harvard Law School
Time: 1:35 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Speaker: Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
Moderated by Dean Martha Minow, Harvard Law School
NAWJ members and guests will have the privilege of enlightening remarks and insight into life
as a member of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presentation of the NAWJ Justice Elena Kagan Scholarship Award
"COURTS IN TIMES OF FISCAL CRISIS-WHO NEEDS COURTS?"
Location: Harvard Law School
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Moderator: NAWJ Judicial Education Committee Chairs Professor
Vicki C. Jackson, Harvard Law School
Panelists: Professor Gillian K. Hadfield, Richard L. and Antoinette S. Kirtland Professor of
Law, University of Southern California Law School; Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the
State of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. and Professor
Judith Resnik, Yale Law School, NAWJ Judicial Education Committee Co-Chair.
Location: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
NAWJ members and guests will enjoy an evening reception at one of Boston's notable venues
and network with old and new friends.
SATURDAY MARCH 10, 2012
Location: The Charles Hotel
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
EDUCATION PROGRAM - CHILDREN & IMMIGRATION ISSUES - THE INTERSECTION IN JUDICIAL
Location: The Charles Hotel
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
FREE TIME TO EXPLORE BOSTON, CAMBRIDGE AND SURROUNDS
Free time for those not attending the NAWJ Board meeting to explore Boston, Cambridge and surrounds.
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
NAWJ 2012 MIDYEAR BOARD MEETING
Open to NAWJ Board members and NAWJ members that wish to attend.
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Schlesinger Library, Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Cambridge
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Presentation of the NAWJ Archives by Professor Nancy F. Cott, Pforzheimer Foundation, Director
of the Schlesinger Library.
SUNDAY MARCH 11, 2012
Location: The Charles Hotel
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Vice President of Publications Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
Calls for Submissions for the Next Issue of
Deadline February 15, 2012
Counterbalance informs and connects our members
around the country. It features news and information which highlights NAWJ's many
interesting educational programs and activities. Consider sharing news from your
jurisdiction with your fellow colleagues in the newsletter. If you know of women
judges in your state who have been recently appointed, or promoted or received an honor,
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
FEBRUARY 15, 2012. Look for the spring issue in April, 2012 after March's
Midyear in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Those submitting material should do so by emailing all text and picture files to Lavinia Cousin at
IAWJ 2012 CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
The IAWJ and the UKAWJ have been working on the Conference Program. Although some presenters
have already been identified and we have heard from some of you, IAWJ is issuing this Call for
Presentations so that all of you have a chance to let us know if you would like to submit a proposal
for one of the planned sessions.
IAWJ aims to have a diverse panel of three or four speakers for each session while also leaving
time for questions and comments from the floor. The theme of the Conference is
"keeping safe, keeping well" and we currently have the
following topics in mind, but if you have other ideas and suggestions, please do not hesitate
to mention them:
Thursday, 3 May: 9.30 - 11.00: Incarcerated Women [plenary]
Women are imprisoned all over the world by the criminal justice, mental health and immigration
systems. Dame Anne Owers, formerly Chief Inspector of Prisons in the United Kingdom, has broad
experience with the prison system in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. This is a subject of
deep concern to IAWJ members and we are looking for a judicial perspectives from other countries.
Thursday, 3 May: 11.30 - 1.00: Trafficking [plenary]
This panel will describe the IAWJ's two projects on trafficking, in Haiti and Argentina, but
opening them up to a broader discussion. In particular, we want to learn how trafficking
issues are presented (or absent from) courts around the world. We would like to hear stories
from our members about trafficking and related matters (such as, for example, cases involving
forced marriages, adoption abuses, mistreatment of street children, etc.). What is happening
in your courts?
The format of this panel will be "structured audience participation." That is, the moderator
will take stories submitted by you, and weave them into an overall discussion with more
speakers than can take part in a traditional "talking head" panel. We are not looking for
formal presentations, but only for stories from your courts.
Thursday, 3 May: 2.00 - 3.00: Sextortion [plenary]
Sex + Extortion = Sextortion. This hidden form of corruption identified by the IAWJ is pervasive
in societies. The IAWJ and its partner associations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Philippines
and Tanzania have just completed a 3-year program developing this concept. They introduced
and "named" sextortion for members at the IAWJ's conference in 2010. This session will
share the steps now taken by thousands of rural and urban women and men - judges, law
enforcement, media and others - who have joined together in multi-sectoral efforts to
raise awareness and fight this form of sexual exploitation and corruption.
Friday, 4 May: 9.30 - 11.00: Judicial Health and Safety [parallel session]
We are all concerned about safeguarding the health and safety of the judiciary, but perhaps,
as women judges often called upon to sit in less secure court rooms and given little protection
from those who find our decisions unpalatable, we have an added interest. We would like to hear
about the experiences and solutions found by IAWJ members around the world.
Friday, 4 May: 9.30 - 11.00: Women and Children as Armed Combatants [parallel session]
Child soldiers are commonly found in many conflict zones, because they are so useful to their
commanders, but they are scarcely true volunteers. To what extent is the same true of women
soldiers? We would like to hear about the dilemmas and the solutions found for them from
IAWJ members around the world.
Friday, 4 May: 11.30 - 1.00 Services for Victims of Sexual Violence [plenary]
Sexual violence takes may different forms - including, for example, female genital cutting as
well as rape and other sexual assaults. The legal system may make these acts a crime, but this
may have little effect unless victims are able to come forward, and be properly examined and
supported. Baroness Vivien Stern, former Secretary General of Penal Reform International and
Director of the National Association for the Care and Re-settlement of Offenders, has recently
looked at the handling of rape complaints in the United Kingdom. We need judicial perspective on
the problems from other countries.
Friday 4 May: 2.00 - 3.00: Women, Work and Health [parallel session]
Women's participation in the workforce can be the key to economic development, not only for the
individual women, but also for the whole society. Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health
and Work, can speak about this from a medical point of view, but we need to hear from IAWJ
members regarding their experiences of widening women's participation in the workforce.
Friday 4 May: 3.30 - 5.00: Violence and the Problem-Solving Court [parallel session]
Is judging just about resolving private disputes and punishing wrongdoers? Or is it also about
finding creative and positive solutions which may help people lead better lives in future? Nowhere
is this question more relevant than in the field of violence between family members, where it may
not be possible for the parties simply to walk away from one another. We need to hear from IAWJ
members on the solutions which they have found and how they see these solutions fitting in with
their judicial role.
Saturday: 9.30 - 11.00: Reproductive health [plenary]
The current plan is to discuss a "hypothetical" case study raising many of the issues in reproductive
health with a multi-disciplinary panel. We would like to hear from IAWJ members who have a particular
interest in the subject.
Please contact the program committee with proposals, comments and suggestions at
email the IAWJ at: email@example.com.
Please note that you will need to be a registered IAWJ member and conference attendee in order
to present at the IAWJ 2012 conference.
You may also see this call for Presentations online at:
"Meet Me In Miami"
NAWJ 34th Annual Conference
November 7 - 11, 2012
Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida
Register online or download the
registration form to register.
Room Reservations: (800) 319-5354
NAWJ Rate: $199/night, plus applicable taxes
INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY
Law Firm Partners Co-Chairs
Judge Lisa S. Walsh
Judge Myriam Lehr
Elizabeth Hernandez, Akerman Senterfitt
Linda M. Leali, White & Case LLP
Detra P. Shaw-Wilder, Koyzak Tropin & Throckmorton
Corporate Partners Chair
Mikki Canton, AsiaAmericana International LLC
ANNUAL CONFERENCE SPONSORS
Akerman Senterfitt LLP
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP
Broad and Cassel
Hunton & Williams LLP
Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A.
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth and Investment Management,
The MAB Group
Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.
White & Case LLP
Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Ferri LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Grossman Roth, P.A.
Holland & Knight LLP
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.
Damian & Valori LLP
GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group
Meland Russin & Budwick
The Law Office of Nicole E. Mestre, P.A.
Pathman Lewis, LLP
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L.
TENATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM OVERVIEW
This panel will address: What are the problems facing independence of the judiciary? What
can we do about it, what ARE we doing about it? What are effective strategies for judicial independenc? What is happening in other countries?
POWER AND REACH OF THE INTERNET AND THE AGE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING
What are the existing privacy laws? What are expectations of privacy? How do those existing
privacy laws fit in with the current realities, cyberstalking and available remedies? How does
the internet and social networking impact the judiciary and the ethics of judges or their clerks
using the internet to research information about cases, jury members, lawyers, etc.?
JUDGING IN AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY - CROSS BORDER COMMUNICATIONS AND COORDINATION
This panel will address what judges can, do and should communicate with one another, formally and
informally, regarding cross border issues or simultaneous proceedings. We will use Chapter 15 of
the US Bankruptcy Code, which explicitly authorizes such communication, as a spring board for what
could be used as a model in general business cases.
BRINGING HUMAN RIGHTS HOME
This panel will examine what is new and what is happening with respect to the use of Human Rights
Norms in the domestic (US) context.
THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
These panels will address the far reaching impact of the economic crisis on individuals, institutions,
and the society at large.
THE ECONOMIC CRISIS - HIDDEN IMPACT
PRESENTATIONS BY AUTHORS
Beyond banks and board rooms the global economic downturn is having a profound effect on the
everyday lives of people around the world. Societies, too, are being tested as the engines of
economic growth sputter forward. This panel will explore the less visible consequences of
the financial crisis and its impact on people and communities.
CURBING ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN A DOWN ECONOMY
Equal justice is an idea that we have long striven for in American society. But, is the economic
crisis, with its strained government budgets, court cutbacks and loss of legal aid funding,
turning back the clock on the progress we've made in reaching the goal of equal justice for
all? Join us for this panel in which we will discuss how the financial squeeze is impacting
access to justice at the individual court level and in society in general.
We will have two authors discuss books they have recently written and sign books.
(i) Judith Resnick will speak about her book "Representing Justice".
THE IMPACT OF OTHER LAWS ON COURT DECISIONS
(ii) Prof. Sally Kenney will discuss her book "Gender and Judging"
This panel will discuss issues relating to bankruptcy, immigration and other laws that may or
will impact criminal, family and commercial cases.
LAWYERING & JUSTICE: EMERGING ISSUES IN NATIONS IN TRANSITION
This panel will look at the challenges that women lawyers and judges are facing as the world around
them changes. We have issues in the Middle and Far East as well as much closer to home - the
Caribbean and Venezuela.
CUBA - A SPECIFIC STUDY IN TRANSITION ISSUES
SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A BOOK IN YOU
Someone "in the business" will share the secret (and not so secret) guidance in what it takes to write a
book and get it published.
WOMEN'S HEALTH PANEL
A panel of doctors from the University of Miami School of Medicine will discuss the aging woman
and the physical and psychological issues about which we should be aware.
MINDFULNESS AND STRESS REDUCTION
A discussion about a new method for reducing stress and making us more effective judges.
YOGA, PILATES, AND MEDITATION
We will start our day(s) the right way with a group class each morning.
International Organization for Judicial Training Welcomes
the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa on the Initiative of Establishing the
International Academy of Judges
and in cooperation with
Brandeis University International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life presents
Summer Workshops in Haifa, Israel
July 15-August 3, 2012
NAWJ Friend Professor Leigh Swigart announces judicial training opportunities in Haifa, Israel
to members of the National Association of Women Judges. They will run from 15 July to 3 August 2012.
Download the brochure
here which describes the program and how the courses can be credit-bearing for
judges wishing to eventually gain a degree. Brandeis University will hold a short judicial colloquium
as part of the program as well. Haifa is very eager to have judges from across the globe, and there
are scholarships available.
If you have questions not answerable from the workshop guide, contact Leigh Swigart, Ph.D., Director
of Programs in International Justice and Society International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public
Life Brandeis University Waltham MA 02454. Phone: (781) 736-2694.
New 2012 Forster-Long State Gender Ratio Statistics
Now Available from NAWJ's website
From NAWJ's website you may now view state level gender statistics from Forster-Long's most recent publication
of THE AMERICAN BENCH, an annual comprehensive publication that profiles federal and state
courts. In 2008, the National Association of Women Judges joined with Forster-Long, publisher of
THE AMERICAN BENCH and THE AMERICAN BAR, to share information it gathers
for its publication and for NAWJ members to provide Forster-Long with biographical information and other data.
Click on the U.S. map
reachable from NAWJ's homepage to find for each state:
(1) the ratio of total women state court judges to total judges in that particular state
(2) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's court of highest
jurisdiction (3) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's intermediate appellate courts (4) the ratio
of women to total judges in the state's trial courts of general jurisdiction, and (5) the ratio of women to
total judges in the state's lower level trial courts of limited jurisdiction.
NAWJ District III Luncheon Meeting Registration, February 25, 2012 at Noon, in the Four
Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
18th Annual Judge Irma S. Raker Meeting of NAWJ Maryland
Chapter and Women Legislators of Maryland Dinner. February 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm at
the Government House in Annapolis, MD.
NAWJ's Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference will take place March 9 - 11 in Cambridge,
Massachusetts at The Charles Hotel.
Pathways to the Bench. Sponsored by NAWJ and the D.C.
Women's Law Initiative will take place March 17 at Catholic University Columbus School of
Law, Washington, D.C.
National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary Mid-year Educational Conference in
Reno, Nevada from April 1-3, 2012.
Training Women Lawyers on the Judicial Selection Process,
Thursday, April 26, 2012 at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, Washington, D.C.
International Association of Women Judges 2012 Bi-Annual Conference
will take place May 2 - 5 in London, United Kingdom.
NAWJ's 34th Annual Conference will take place in Miami, Florida, November 7 - 11 at the
Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.
NAWJ's 35th Annual Conference will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The 2014 International Association of Women Judges Bi-Annual Conference will take place in Tanzania
May 6 - 9.
The National Association of Women Judges' mission is to:
Promote the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals
under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial
leadership, fairness and equality in the courts, and equal
access to justice.
Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has inspired and lead the
American judiciary in achieving fairness and equality for vulnerable
populations. Led by two visionary women - Justice Joan Dempsey Klein
and Justice Vaino Spencer - 100 brave and intrepid women judges met and
formed an organization dedicated to the following ideals: ensuring equal
justice and access to the courts for all including women, youth, the
elderly, minorities, the underprivileged, and people with disabilities;
providing judicial education on cutting-edge issues of importance;
developing judicial leaders; increasing the number of women on the bench
in order for the judiciary to more accurately reflect the role of women
in a democratic society; and improving the administration of justice to
provide gender-fair decisions for both male and female litigants.
From the day it was founded, NAWJ has been committed to diversity in
our membership. Our organization welcomes both men and women. We include
appellate, trial, tribal, administrative law judges, state and federal
judges, and members from every state in the nation.
NAWJ takes pride in its accomplishments. We were at the forefront in
the establishment and implementation of gender bias task forces in both
federal and state courts. We have greatly advanced the administration
of justice in areas of domestic violence, child support and child custody,
and the treatment of women in the courts of America. We also are
respected as a leader in educating judges on bioethics, elderly abuse,
the sentencing of women offenders with substance abuse problems; improving
conditions for women in prison; and the problems facing immigrants in our
court system. Currently we are developing curricula on the effect of
genetic advances on women and vulnerable populations, the impact of
international law on state and federal courts, and cognitively disabled
persons in criminal courts.
In addition to addressing these and other important issues, NAWJ
provides an opportunity for judges to meet and discuss professional issues
of mutual concern in a supportive atmosphere. Connecting with others with
the same values, we laugh, enjoy life and mentor one another nationwide.