NAWJ Monthly Update January 2015

Written by National Association of Women Judges|January 01, 2015|Monthly Update Archive

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January 2015

In This Issue:

Welcome to 2015!

January is a time of renewed energy. The month is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of new beginnings and transitions. It is derived from the Latin word 'ianua' which means 'the door.' For NAWJ, it is a time to pause for a moment to reflect, to take stock, and then focus on what tasks lie ahead to further our mission driven objectives, and in so doing identify the toolkits we have assembled and the strategies in place to walk through those doors.

It is an exciting time. Committees are in place and have already begun meeting, the fourteen districts through the leadership of their directors and the recently instituted state chairs have events and projects planned, and our greatly valued Resource Board members are promoting our mission's goals and participating as program panelists. A robust Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference set for April in Chicago, a city which resonates with the kinetic energy of the times, is well underway, and the planning for the 2016 IAWJ Biennial Conference in Washington, D.C. being hosted by NAWJ is in full gear. The growth in projects, the breadth and depth of cutting-edge substantive programming, and the expansion in the conference offerings that NAWJ has taken on during my time on the board is impressive, exciting, impactful, and accordingly creates a full agenda for our staff and the membership who are actively engaged.

NAWJ has much of which to be proud. In addition to our signature project, Color of Justice, the FairGirls program was introduced last year, and even more recently, the Diamond in the Rough project, all programs which are designed to expose and engage girls of all ages, particularly in impoverished areas, to the possibility of becoming members and leaders in our legal profession. Human Trafficking, a national and global issue affecting an array of vulnerable populations, and now a stand-alone committee alongside Immigration, continues as a mainstay at NAWJ conferences which garners significant partner and corporate sponsorship. The Informed Voters/Fair Judges Project, which began last year, impresses upon the voting electorate the importance of informed decision making to ensure fair and impartial courts, and broadens the work of NAWJ under the umbrella of the Judicial Independence committee.

One of the highly touted presentations from our 2014 Annual Conference in San Diego, presented by NAWJ leaders and prominent Resource Board members, was devoted to developing a strategic approach to permeating the composition of our legal bodies, which have appointment power, to broaden the efforts to increase the number of women and minorities in law related and judicial leadership positions. Exploration of issues through multimedia and performance presentations, such as examining bias and intolerance through the compelling one act play, Anne and Emmett, is another significant endeavor NAWJ will continue this year. And then there is the ongoing vital work of the Women in Prison Committee, the Success Inside and Out, Storybook, MentorJet and History Book projects, and the all-important Web Redesign Committee ... and the list (totaling 22 committees and projects) goes on and on ...

January is the month to get in gear and take action, as the year has a way of all too quickly evaporating as spring rolls into summer, and the early October Annual Conference in beautiful Salt Lake City will be upon us. Thanks to all of you who agreed to chair a committee or project this year, and to all who comprise the membership of those committees.

And, in January, as we exercise daily our judgment and apply the rule of law to ensure equality in our courts which we strive to make accessible to all, we are reminded in these challenging times of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birth we honor this month, that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

• Kickoff event on January 14 for the 2015 Annual Conference in Salt Lake City
• Attending the Conference of Chief Justices January 25-28. 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
Download the brochure here and share with friends.

Conference Chair, Judge Julie Frantz, NAWJ President
Local Planning Chair, Judge Ann Breen-Greco, NAWJ Vice President for Districts

Gabrielle Buckley, Esq., Shareholder, Vedder Price P.C.
Angela R. Elbert, Esq., Partner, Gerber, Einsenberg LLP
Elizabeth Herrington, Esq., Partner, McDermott Will Emery LLP
Margo Wolf O'Donnell, Esq., Shareholder, Vedder Price P.C.

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
Evening Reception

Morning Programming
Afternoon Programming
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 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 New York and the New York Women's Bar Association will hold a MentorJet networking session at New York University on March 9, 2015.

White and Case will present Color of Justice to the Washington Middle School of Girls in its Washington, D.C. law offices on March 25, 2015.

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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