In This Issue:
REGISTER TODAY: IAWJ's 13th Biennial International Conference, Hosted by NAWJ in Washington, D.C., May 26-29, Omni Shoreham Hilton
Informed Voters Project Presents Successful Panel at Florida State University College of Law
Alternative Sentencing Key-Stakeholder Summit, Georgetown University Law Center, March 7-8, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Judicial Symposium on the Economics and Law of Public Pension Reform, March 20-22, 2016, Charleston, South Carolina
GEICO's New Year's Offer to Members
Calendar of Programs and Events
National Association of Women Judges
The Honorable Lisa Walsh
Greetings from NAWJ! This February marks Black History Month. The theme for this year's Black History Month,
"Hallowed Grounds - Sites of African American Memories," creates opportunities for each of us to explore our
communities to discover the places that mark history. For example, in my home town of Miami, just steps from
my courthouse lies the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, where Miami's first Black police officers
patrolled the streets in the pre-civil rights era. Having received no access to justice in Miami's courts,
the Black community created a parallel system until our police departments were unified in 1963. Today,
meaningful access to justice, our theme under Past-President Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, remains a live concern
that affects many populations, but especially the indigent. Many of our courthouses laudably celebrate
Black History Month. For ideas and templates for presentations that you may wish to use, please click
So much is happening this month in NAWJ.
IAWJ Biennial Conference May 26-29, 2016 - Register Now!
Over 300 judges from 34 countries have already registered for the 2016 Biennial Conference to be held at the
Omni Shoreham Hotel May 26-29, 2016. We expect to top 600 judges from all over the world. We are so honored
and grateful to have the participation and support of our Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia
Sotomayor. We will welcome many Supreme Court Justices from around the world, and Justices Lady Brenda Hale,
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Justice Elena I. Highton-Nolasco, Supreme Court of Argentina, current IAWJ
President, Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Supreme Court of the Philippines, and Justice Irene Mambilima,
Chief Justice of Zambia, will be participating in a speakers panel with Justice Sotomayor, led by Professor
Judith Resnik of Yale Law School.
As the host country and chapter, the United States should have a strong showing at the Biennial in order to
showcase our exceptional judiciary, NAWJ and our country. We have registered approximately 100 NAWJ members
to attend the IAWJ Conference. We should at the very least double that number for an event that will not recur
again in our country for many years to come. Please register online by clicking
Kickoff Receptions for Seattle Conference 2016
On January 21 and 22, I attended NAWJ kickoff receptions in Seattle and Spokane, Washington for the 2016
Seattle Conference. The receptions were held at the law firms of Perkins Coie in Seattle and Winston Cashatt in
Spokane and were hosted by our Friends Committee Co-Chairs, Ellen Dial and Nancy Isserlis. We are so grateful
for the generosity of our hosts and the law firms of Perkins Coie and Winston Cashatt in supporting our important
work to be carried to fruition in Seattle. Our conference Chair and Co-Chairs, Justice Susan Owens, Chief Justice
Barbara Madsen, Justice Mary Fairhurst, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Justice Debra Stephens, Judge Marilyn
Paja, Judge Karen Donohue, and Judge Maggie Ross attended with many judges and lawyers present. NAWJ and the
Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) awarded Equal Justice scholarships to two law students from
Gonzaga Law School, Angela Jones and Stephanie Faust.
Our education program for the Seattle Conference is robust. In addition to our many programs and initiatives
we have historically presented, we will be presenting on topics including access to justice, elder law and
aging populations, sexual abuse on campuses and quasi-judicial systems, and many more. For more information
and to register for the Seattle Conference, please click here.
Scenes from Annual Kick-Off from Spokane
Conference of Chief Justices January 30, 2016
January 30 through February 3, 2016, I attended the Conference of Chief Justices in Monterey, California on behalf of
NAWJ. NAWJ proudly counts many Chief Justices among our members, including Chief Justice Barbara Madsen of Washington,
co-chair of our Seattle Conference to be held in October, Past-President Dana Fabe of Alaska, Chief Justice Sharon Lee of
Tennessee, and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of California. We are so grateful to Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, who
has just agreed to serve as the Co-Chair of our Informed Voters Project. Many of our nation's Chief Justices were
interested and aware of NAWJ's programs, projects and conferences and we hope to welcome many to the IAWJ Biennial
Conference and our Annual Conference in Seattle.
ABA Midyear Conference February 3-6, 2016, Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award
On February 3-8, 2016, I attended the ABA Midyear Conference held in San Diego, California. Many of our members attended
and volunteered in the Judicial Division Clerkship program, where they worked side by side with participating law students
on research and writing projects over the span of several days. In addition to working with the students, our ABA Liaison,
Judge Toni Clarke, participated on a panel presented to the law students, judges and lawyers in attendance.
I attended the meeting for the Commission on Women in the Profession, in place of our delegate, Past-President
Anna Blackburne-Rigsby. The Commission discussed a plethora of issues including implementation of a program for young
women associates, as well as pending ABA Resolutions addressing employment discrimination. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby
provided a comprehensive report to the CWP on all NAWJ's programming and activities directed toward the advancement of women.
On February 5, 2016, NAWJ received the 2016 Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award. The award is given to individuals or
organizations for making a significant, positive impact on public understanding of the role of the judiciary. NAWJ
was nominated by Judge Cara Lee Neville, Past-President of NAWJ, Judge Diana Eagon, NAWJ District 5 Director, and
Judge Renee Worke, NAWJ member. While NAWJ was nominated for its many programs and initiatives, the Informed Voters
Project, created in 2013, made a particular positive impact upon the public's understanding of the rule of the
judiciary. In view of the enormous impact of the IVP, I invited Justice Joan Irion to join me in accepting the award.
Judge Irion spoke to a large audience of judges and lawyers about the importance of educating the public about the role
of the judiciary and the importance that the judiciary remain free of political influence. Mr. Greeley's daughter,
attorney Kimberly Ann Greeley, placed gorgeous leis from Hawai'i on Justice Irion and me. NAWJ should be so proud of
the impact it has had upon the bench and bar, an impact which is recognized throughout the ABA and around the country.
IVP Symposium at Florida State University - A Conversation with Justices
On February 3rd, Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice
Robin Hudson, and Washington Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens, participated in a Symposium at Florida State University
College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida. Entitled, "Preserving a Fair and Impartial Judiciary: A Conversation with State
Supreme Court Justices," the Justices spoke with a room full of law students, lawyers and judges, exploring the
principle that judges must be evaluated on their integrity, competence, and ethics, and not politics. This principle is
a pillar of our judicial system, and education on this principle is the keystone of IVP. A full write-up about the
symposium, photos and materials is included in this monthly Newsletter. Next month, please check your Newsletter for
links to materials as well as an IVP "Conference in a Box," so that NAWJ Members can easily replicate symposia in
Resource Board Initiatives
Welcome to new Resource Board Member Chris Poole from JAMS! JAMS is a natural partner with NAWJ, given the close relationship
between judges and alternative dispute resolution. We look forward to a long and happy relationship.
With the assistance of Resource Board Co-Chair, Harriet Wesig, we have received responses from a survey sent to all
Resource Board members on ways they wish to become more involved with the working of NAWJ. Many members may not realize
that our Resource Board members assist the organization in more ways than securing funding. For example, the Orrick Firm,
and attorneys Christina Sarchio, Amisha Patel and Emily Luken, have provided NAWJ with many pro bono hours per year of
work on NAWJ contracts and legal issues that arise from time to time. Elizabeth Hernandez, of the Akerman LLP firm,
and Linda Leali, of Linda Leali P.A., have taken on the additional roles as Miami Friends Chairs, supporting the IAWJ
Biennial and the NAWJ Annual Conference in Seattle. Cathy Winter and CourtCall have brainstormed on our sustainability
initiative, assisted NAWJ in obtaining conference vendors, and in securing additional Resource Board members.
Atlanta 2017 Annual Conference
The Atlanta Conference, led by Co-Chairs Justice Carol Hunstein and Judge Sara Doyle, have already begun meetings and planning.
San Antonio Annual Conference
Our 2018 Annual Conference in San Antonio is in its initial stages. Conference Chair Justice Rebeca Martinez met with our
contract conference staff visiting potential sites for the 2018 conference. We have contracted with the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio.
Our Website Project Manager, Hon. Karen Donohue has been working daily with Efelle, in developing our website, soon to
launch. Production is in the stage in which content is being added to all pages and subpages. This vital part of the
process will take several weeks to complete. Efelle, Judge Donohue and NAWJ staff are working together for a smooth
transition to the new platform. We encourage members to email testimonials about their involvement in NAWJ for use on the
web pages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future Funding Strategies and Sustainability Committee
To begin to tackle how to ensure our sustainability as an organization, NAWJ has convened the "Sustainability Committee,"
chaired by Past President Hon. Amy Nechtem, which will begin meeting this month. The two issues we must address are
organization income and responsible financial planning of the money we do secure to ensure liquidity into the future.
Current highlights include retaining a grant writer and introducing paying conference vendors which are compatible with
New Program Development
Always on the cutting edge of education and programming, NAWJ is currently exploring new areas for program development.
In addition to Strength in Diversity, directed at increasing diversity in the judiciary, we are developing programming
in the areas of Access to Justice, Sexual Assault on campuses, retirement and elder law, and a possible in-depth reentry
program. Kudos to Hon. Karen Donohue, Education Chair of the Seattle Annual Conference and Website Project Manager, for
introducing several of these new areas of programming and education in the Seattle Conference!
NAWJ Staff and Infrastructure
Marie Komisar and her staff tirelessly work to streamline the management of NAWJ and to develop its funding stream.
In particular, Marie Komisar has had a stellar month focusing upon raising funds for the Biennial Conference.
Together with Mary-Kathleen Todd, Lavinia Cousin, Sharon de Castro and the many support vendors of NAWJ, she leads a
team of hard working dedicated women and men to move NAWJ toward a strong and positive future.
Have a wonderful February, and I look forward to seeing you all the Biennial May 26-29, 2016.
Lisa Walsh, President
(L-R: Hon. Jennifer Bailey, ABA President Paulette Brown, Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye.)
11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade, Florida
January 30-February 3 - Conference of Chief Justices in Monterrey, California
February 3 - February 6 - ABA Midyear Meeting Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, California
IAWJ's 13th Biennial International Conference
"Women Judges and the Rule of Law: Assessing the Past, Anticipating the Future"
Hosted by the National Association of Women Judges
Washington DC, USA
May 26-29, 2016
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEES:
$895 for IAWJ Members* ($850 Early bird rate until December 31, 2015)
$500 Guest Rate I and $250 Guest Rate II
More information and registration here:
Omni Shoreham Hotel (202) 234-0700 • Conference Rate: $189/night, plus 14.5% tax
For More Information Contact:
Conference Chairs: Hon. Carolyn Temin at email@example.com
or Hon. Jane Craney at firstname.lastname@example.org
Informed Voters Project Panel at FSU College of Law A Great Success!
On February 3, 2016 Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, North Carolina
Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, and Washington Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens, participated
in a symposium at Florida State University (FSU) College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida. Justices Hudson
and Stephens met with students earlier in the day to discuss working in the courts, and they joined Justice
Pariente and Justice Quince for a panel discussion moderated by FSU Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Janeia
Ingram entitled "Preserving a Fair and Impartial Judiciary: A Conversation with State Supreme Court Justices."
The panel was presented in partnership with FSU School of Law and NAWJ's Informed Voters Fair Judges Project (IVP),
with support from the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Tallahassee Women Lawyers, and American Board
of Trial Advocates.
The principle that judges must be evaluated on their integrity, competence, and ethics, and not politics,
is a pillar of our judicial system, and education on this principle is the keystone of IVP. The esteemed
panel of state supreme court justices addressed a full room of law students, attorneys, and judges on this
topic. Each explained the system of judicial selection in their jurisdiction-ranging from partisan election
of judges at all levels to non-partisan appointment and merit-retention-and demonstrated the negative influence
of special interests when judges appear on the ballot, regardless of the selection system. Each Justice
showed vitriolic ads, political cartoons, and social media posts targeting them for what might be deemed
"unpopular" decisions by special interests, and then educated the audience about how those attacks, funded by
"dark money," illustrate a fundamental misunderstanding of our system. It is the duty of judges and lawyers
in all jurisdictions to educate voters and promote public understanding of the role of judges to dispense justice
without fear or favor. This panel presentation hopes to encourage more judges and lawyers to outreach into
their communities and make IVP presentations. View the related PowerPoint presentation
here. Learn more at
Co-Chairs of the Judicial Independence Committee Justice Barbara Pariente and Justice Robin Hudson
(Supreme Court of North Carolina), IVP Chair attorney Linda Leali, Florida Law Related Education Association
Executive Director Annette Boyd Pitts, and FSU Assistant Dean Ingram are recognized for their efforts in
organizing this successful IVP event!
Alternative Sentencing Key-Stakeholder Summit
Georgetown University Law Center
March 7-8, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
(Click here to visit the Summit's website.)
NAWJ President Lisa Walsh received an invitation from Judge Charles Renfrew (U.S. District Court,
Northern District of California) to the Alternative Sentencing Key-Stakeholder Summit (ASKS) taking
place at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. from March 7-8, 2016. Summit partners
include the Women's Prison Association, ABA Criminal Justice Section, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys,
Brennan Center for Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers amongst others.
Current confirmed speakers include NAWJ Members Judge Bernice Donald, United States Court of Appeals
for the Sixth Circuit and Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells, United States District Court for the District of Utah.
Complete program information and registration forms may be found in The Summit's website
(http://askssummit.com/). RSVP or make inquiries by email to
The Alternative Sentencing Key-Stakeholder Summit (ASKS) brings together all key stakeholders in
criminal justice to explore the application of alternative sentencing programs for reducing both
incarceration and recidivism. Panelists and attendees will share perspectives on the issues and identify
priorities regarding extending the use of alternative sentencing measures in practice and mitigating
concerns over their broadened use. We hope to present all sides, from efficacy to societal impact
and practical application. The ASKS Summit is outcomes oriented. Beyond sharing case studies, ASKS
aims to identify priorities for broadening the use of such programs including priorities for
alleviating present concerns of their use.
Much reform is already happening through current judicial and prosecutorial discretion as well as
through data-driven, forward-thinking corrections programs that are implementing alternative
sentencing practices. These efforts are continually evolving to find better ways to see justice
done, punishment delivered and rehabilitation realized. ASKS hopes to encourage continued discussion
among those who are currently implementing alternatives as well as those who wish to expand and
implement new programs.
Judicial Symposium on the Economics and Law
of Public Pension Reform
March 20 to 22, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina
The Judicial Symposium on the Economics and Law of Public Pension Reform
will discuss the looming financial and structural crisis facing state pensions systems across the nation.
With several dozen states adopting modest to major reforms, the economic impact on plan beneficiaries will
be substantial, and at least twenty-five jurisdictions are facing lawsuits due to the reforms adopted.
This symposium will comprehensively outline the underlying structure of pension systems, address the
differences between public and private pensions, and detail the unfunded liabilities and potential
bankruptcy issues arising from this crisis. It also will discuss the legal challenges to reform efforts
under state constitutions citing both the contracts clause and the takings clause.
The symposium is structured to allow ample time for participant dialogue with speakers and panelists.
Click here to visit the Symposium's webpage.
For more information, contact: Mason Judicial Education Program, 703.993.8008,
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Calendar of Programs and Events
The Alaska Court System presents 2016 Color of Justice programs for high schools students,
February 25-26, 2016 at the Cook Inlet Region Incorporated and Boney Courthouses in Anchorage.
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.
NAWJ San Diego will host its first Success Inside & Out Program for women nearing release from prison in June.
NAWJ 37th Annual Conference will take place in Seattle, Washington from October 5-9, 2016 at the
Sheraton Seattle Hotel.