NAWJ Monthly Update January 2014

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

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January 2014

In This Issue:

Happy New Year! I hope that you had a safe and restful holiday. As we usher in the New Year, I know that many of you have made resolutions and set goals for 2014. Like you, I have once again made some of the usual resolutions such as exercising more, and eating less. However, the death of Nelson Mandela in December 2013 and the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday later this month, inspired me to resolve to strengthen my commitment to continue work to ensure access to justice for all. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals' Historic Courthouse building, bears the inscription of a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere... ." As judges we are uniquely able to do the important work to ensure that the law is applied fairly and impartially in each case and to ensure that our nation's courts are open and accessible to all. A strong, independent judiciary is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.

The NAWJ is ringing in the New Year with the launch of the NAWJ Informed Voters-Fair Judges Project. The Project is a civic education project designed to educate the public on the role of the judiciary. One of the educational tools is a short film narrated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, titled "Fair and Free," which will premiere in a "virtual" on-line opening hosted by LexisNexis on January 15, 2014. Stay tuned for the details.

The NAWJ Midyear Leadership Conference is fast approaching and will be held from March 13-15, 2014 at The Westin Georgetown in Washington, D.C. The theme for the conference is "Ensuring Access to Justice for All" and the conference features some exciting and informative programs on human trafficking, federal regulatory issues, the Affordable Care Act. Special events will include a reception at the Supreme Court hosted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and a luncheon meeting on Capitol Hill. Download the Conference brochure. Please Register Now!

As a result of the efforts of the NAWJ Women in Prison Committee, NAWJ was invited to be part of U.S. Department of Justice's nationwide Working Group on issues impacting women in prison. NAWJ's involvement in the Working Group is an important part of our work to ensure access to justice for incarcerated women and their families.

Again, Happy New Year and I hope that one of your resolutions this year is to continue or renew your commitment to and involvement in the important work of NAWJ!

Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby

Midyear Conference logo

National Association of Women Judges
2014 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference
March 12-15, 2014

Register online here or download and complete the registration form here.
Conference registration fees:
$425 for NAWJ Members ($375 before February 13)
$525 for Non-Members Judges ($475 before February 13)
$375 Guest Rate (Guests are spouses and children of conference attendees.)

Room Reservations: Click here or call (202) 429-0100.
NAWJ Rate*: $199/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy, available until February 24, 2014
* The NAWJ block usually sells out. Reserve today to ensure reservation.

Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby


Barbara L. Johnson, Esq., Partner, Paul Hastings LLC
Beverly L. Perry, Esq. Pepco Holdings, Inc (Retired)
Grace E. Speights, Esq., Managing Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Congressional Women's Caucus Luncheon Meeting on Capitol Hill

Evening Reception at Venable, LLP

Plenary on Federal Regulatory Issues

Plenary on the Affordable Care Act

Friends Luncheon

Sessions at the U.S. Supreme Court:
A Theatrical Reading of Janet Langhart-Cohen's play "Anne & Emmett"
Based on the story of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl, killed during the Holocaust, and Emmett Till, a young African-American boy
killed in the American South during segregation and the "Jim Crow" era;
Implicit Bias and Access to Justice Issues
The play will be followed by a conversation with the author and other experts on Implicit Bias and Access to Justice.

Reception at the Supreme Court Hosted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Human Trafficking Training Day

NAWJ Board of Directors Meeting

Informal Reception

* This schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Informed Voters - Fair Judges
Project Launches Website, Facebook and Twitter
Dedicated to Educating Voters
(Click here to reach site.)

The Project's website is now up and running!! Please visit and view "Fair and Free," a terrific video highlighting the Project's goals which features U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The website provides general information about the project, upcoming events, Project donors and sponsors, contact information for visitors with questions, and links to resources for those implementing the Project. Consistent with the Project's objectives, the website provides educational materials for voters wishing to learn more about how to evaluate judges seeking retention or election. NAWJ and the Project does not, however, advocate for or against any particular candidate and will not comment on any particular election campaign. Follow the Project on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, mark your calendars for the upcoming virtual video premier on January 15, 2014. The virtual opening will be hosted by LexisNexis. Details about this exciting event, including how to participate directly, will be forthcoming.


Dear Membership,
Happy New Year! We wish to thank the following NAWJ members who participated in the NAWJ year-end solicitation by sending in additional unrestricted funding that helps to support our many important programs. This supplemental funding is critical to receive as it helps to pay for the rising cost of doing business. Our many thanks and best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Marie Komisar

Hon. Leslie Alden
Hon. Diana Becton
Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
Dean Frances Bouchoux
Hon. Ann Walsh Bradley
Hon. Bobbe Bridge
Hon. Eileen Burlison
Hon. Judith Chirlin
Hon. Joan Churchill
Hon. Bonita Joyce Dancy
Hon. Fernande Duffly
Hon. Julie Frantz
Hon. Janice Gradwohl
Hon. Mary Ann Grilli
Hon. Teresa Guerrero-Daley
Hon. Sophia Hall
Hon. Marcia Hirsh
Hon. Marcia Holland
Mr. Robert Kaufman
Hon. Tanya Kennedy
Hon. Leila Kern
Hon. Carol King
Hon. Carolyn King
Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein
Hon. Noel Kramer
Hon. Sherrie Krauser
Hon. Cindy Lederman
Hon. Roberta Liebenberg
Hon. Joy Lobrano
Hon. Brenda Stith Loftin
Hon. Cheryl Long
Hon. Sharon B. Majors-Lewis
Hon. Karla Moskowitz
Hon. Linda Strite Murnane
Hon. Amy Nechtem
Hon. Arline Pacht
Hon. Rosalyn Richter
Hon. Mary Schroeder
Hon. Norma Shapiro
Hon. Sheila Sonenshine
Hon. Wenda Travers
Hon. Ariane Vuono
Hon. Denise Vowell
Hon. Lisa Walsh
Hon. Bonnie Wheaton
Mr. Thomas S. Williamson, Jr. in honor
of Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
Hon. Sue Pai Yang


2014 IAWJ Conference Tour Offerings-Private Tours

Post Conference Offering

May 10-16, 2014 (6 nights/7 days)
Click here to download the Small World Travelers brochure.

Pre Conference Offering

Safari and Conference Package in Kenya & Tanzania: April 27-May 9, 2014
Tanzania only: May 2-9, 2014. Click here to read the package of information. Contact Judge Diana Becton at for more information.

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.

Justice Tanya R. Kennedy Named Supervising Judge
of Civil Court in New York County, New York

NAWJ Finance Committee Chair, Justice Tanya R. Kennedy, was named Supervising Judge of Civil Court, New York County, on December 23, 2013. She will assume her position on January 27, 2014. Upon her election to the bench in 2005, Justice Kennedy has presided in the Criminal and Civil Courts of the City of New York, the Family Court of the State of New York, and the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Prior to joining the judiciary, Justice Kennedy served as Principal Law Clerk to former Associate Justice Barry A. Cozier in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. She also served as Principal Law Clerk to Justice Cozier in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. Justice Kennedy commenced her legal career at the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she worked in both the Bronx Family Court and Bronx Tort Divisions and was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief while assigned to the Tort Division.

Justice Kennedy received her BA degree from Penn State University and her Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She has served as NAWJ New Judges' Committee Chair, Secretary, VP of Districts and VP of Publications.

Vice President of Publications Justice Ariane Vuono
Calls for Submissions for the Next Issue of Counterbalance
Deadline: March 10, 2014

NAWJ's Winter 2013 issue of Counterbalance is available now and will be mailed this month. You can download the issue here.

Counterbalance informs and connects our members around the country by featuring news and information highlighting NAWJ's educational programs and activities. Consider sharing news from your District for publication in Counterbalance. 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 MARCH 10, 2014. Those interested in submitting material should do so by emailing all text and picture files to Lavinia Cousin at

A Gridlocked Congress Prevents Courts from Functioning
and Sending More Women and Minority Men to the Bench

Tulane University Professor Sally Kenney reminds fellow NAWJ members there is more work to do in filling judicial vacancies:

As sitting judges, NAWJ members have enormous sway with their senators and in their communities to advocate for filling judicial vacancies. Tell your senators to provide names of candidates to the president and return blue slips. Federal judges make decisions that affect our lives - from hearing cases impacting the environment, health care, Social Security benefits and immigration - to having the final say in determining who we can marry, whether our speech is protected or how we can vote. Federal judges are appointed for life and their decisions have an impact long after the President who appointed them leaves office.

Click here to read Professor Kenney's full article. Click here to reach the Why Courts Matter website tracking judicial vacancies around the country.

NAWJ 36th Annual Conference
Protecting and Advancing Meaningful Access to Justice
October 15-19, 2014 • San Diego, CA
The Westin Gaslamp Quarter

Keynote Speaker:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.
Conference registration fees:
$595 for NAWJ Members ($550 before March 15)
$525 for Members who are First-Time Attendees
$695 for Non-Members Judges
$575 Guest Rate

Room Reservations: Click here or call (619) 239-2200.
NAWJ Rate: $219/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy

Hon. Tamila E. Ipema • Hon. Margie G. Woods

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Keynote Speaker at NAWJ's Gala Banquet Saturday, October 18, will also address attendees in a breakfast plenary session Sunday, October 19.

Click here to reach the conference webpage. Judges Tamila E. Ipema and Margie G. Woods of the San Diego County Superior Court will be your hosts as Conference Co-Chairs. Contact them at and

For more information, please contact Mary Kathleen Todd in Washington, D.C. by phone (202) 393-0222 or email

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
to host the Family Law Institute for Judges and Lawyers
March 2-5, 2014 in Monterey, California

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is hosting the Family Law Institute for Judges and Lawyers on March 2-5, 2014 in Monterey, California. The Family Law Institute for Judges and Lawyers will feature wide ranging topics including plenary sessions on the effects of psychotropic medications in children and adults; e-discovery and ethics; how to stay happy and productive; and the return of Professor Joe Hoffman, who will once again update attendees on U.S. Supreme Court activity. The conference will present faculty from organizations such as The National Judicial College, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, among others. This year, the Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit organization from Ft. Hood, Texas serving military families, will discuss issues of children in the military. Also of note, will be sessions on child sexual abuse, cyberstalking, interviewing children, child toxic stress in high-conflict divorce, and parentage in the test tube era. The topics of marriage and divorce in a post-DOMA world, trauma-informed courts, virtual contact visitation plans, and judicial health and wellness will also be offered.

For a complete program schedule and to register for the Family Law Institute for Judges and Lawyers, click here.

by the National Center for State Courts

In November, the National Center for State Courts released its report 'Courthouse Violence in 2010 - 2012 Lessons Learned.' Click here to read their four lessons learned and four recommendations.

A snapshot follows from the Center's conclusions:

This publication demonstrates that judges, court administrators, and law enforcement officials "on the ground" firmly believe there is a critical need to improve security in state and local courthouses throughout the country. Representing six courthouses that have experienced serious acts of violence, they have documented "lessons learned" and have offered suggestions of how to improve security at state and local courts. All of the representatives made it clear that they have a heightened sense of security awareness now after experiencing violent incidents in their courthouse. They further emphasized that if this sort of heightened sense of awareness had been present at the same level before the violent incident occurred, they would have been better able to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to the incident. Although it is apparent there is not one simple answer or solution, there are directions that can be taken to improve court security in this country. These directions include: (1) accepting the challenge that doing nothing is not an option; (2) obtaining additional funding to improve staffing and equipment; and (3) coordinating and supporting court security programs.

Pew Research Center on Women in the Workplace

In December, the Pew Research Center released "10 Findings about Women in the Workplace," a summary of findings from a new larger survey and analysis of Census data that explores the views, values and economic realities of women and men in the workplace. Click here to read their latest report.

NAWJ's 2014 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. at The Westin Georgetown from March 12-15, 2014.

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 in the United States by the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) in Washington D.C. from May 26-29, 2016.

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