NAWJ Monthly Update January 2016

Written by National Association of Women Judges|January 01, 2016|Monthly Update Archive

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January 2016

In This Issue:

National Association of Women Judges
The Honorable Lisa Walsh
NAWJ President

Happy New Year to the Membership of NAWJ!

The New Year typically inspires us to set goals and intentions for the coming year. We are at our most optimistic and most ambitious, and it is no different at NAWJ. We look forward with anticipation to the promise of the New Year for NAWJ. Thank you to all who generously donated to NAWJ in response to its end of year appeal. To ensure that we may continue to be sustainable and provide the breadth of programs, conferences and projects which we all expect, NAWJ relies upon the generosity of its donors, and we are very grateful for your support.

We also reflect upon those who are no longer with us and grieve that they will not share this year with us. Sadly, we learned of the passing of Judge Judith Kaye, the first woman judge to serve on New York's highest court and the first woman to serve as Chief Justice of the State of New York. Judge Kaye was beloved by all of NAWJ. She was the recipient of the Joan Dempsey Klein award at our annual conference in Newark and most recently, was a member of our Resource Board. This newsletter contains a more detailed obituary of Judge Kaye, and she will be dearly missed by all. In memory of Judge Kaye, the Judith S. Kaye Scholarship has been established to support youth in foster care who are attending college. To make a donation, please send a check or money order payable to PJCJC Fund, Inc. and send it to PJCJC Fund, Inc. at 150 State Street, Albany, NY 12207.

There is much good news to share about NAWJ's wonderful projects, events, and even its infrastructure. Committee membership is complete and the Membership Directory for 2016 will soon be mailed to you. Thank you to all who have generously volunteered their time to serve or lead an NAWJ committee. Without our committee membership, we could not accomplish the many directives, programs, and projects we work on every year.

I am proud and delighted to report that the American Bar Association Judicial Division has bestowed the Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award to NAWJ for its Informed Voters Project. This award is given to an organization for making a significant, positive impact on public understanding of the role of the judiciary. NAWJ is grateful for the efforts of Hon. Cara Lee Neville, Hon. Diana Eagon and Hon. Renee Worke for their efforts nominating NAWJ. Justice Joan Irion will accompany me to the breakfast award ceremony on Friday, February 5, 2016 at 7:30 am to accept this prestigious award. I encourage all members of the Judicial Division of the ABA to attend. Members of the Judicial Division may attend without cost but must order their tickets in advance and may not attend without a ticket. Please secure your space today.

Landmark Sponsors

We are proud to welcome JAMS as a new Landmark Sponsor. Chris Poole, CEO and President of JAMS will join NAWJ's Resource Board in 2016, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with JAMS and the many exceptional firms and companies which support the mission of NAWJ. NAWJ has created an Infrastructure Committee on the Resource Board to determine the different ways its members can work together with NAWJ and a process to tap the unique talents of our Resource Board members for NAWJ's benefit.


Our Website Project Manager, Judge Karen Donohue has been working daily with Efelle, in developing our website, soon to launch. The sub-pages are in development and the project should be completed soon. The functions of the new website will greatly benefit membership, districts, programming and fundraising. We encourage members to email testimonials about their involvement in NAWJ for use on the web pages to

Annual Conferences

Our 2016 Seattle Conference, themed "Faces of Justice," focused upon the core mission goal of diversity, is well underway. The planning committee, led by Conference Chair Justice Susan Owens and her exceptional co-chairs and conference committee, is working hard. Highlights of the conference include a session on campus sexual violence, and a plenary session on elder law and issues addressing an aging population. I will attend two kickoff receptions promoting the conference in both Seattle and Spokane, Washington on January 21 and 22, 2016. I would love to see you there. For more details, please contact NAWJ at

Our 2017 Atlanta Conference is also well underway. Under the leadership of Justice Carol Hunstein and Judge Sarah Doyle, the conference will explore an access to justice theme. We have contracted with the Atlanta Sheraton hotel.

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.

IAWJ Biennial Conference

Our Biennial Conference has planned its education panels, and confirmed attendance and participation by many Supreme Court Justices from around the world, including NAWJ members, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Thus far, close to 300 international judges and accompanying persons have registered to attend. For a video President's message about the Biennial, please click here. As the host nation for this conference, it is imperative that the United States have a strong showing at the Biennial in order to showcase our exceptional judiciary and our country. Please register online by clicking here.

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 soon to implement a plan. Current highlights include retaining a grant writer and introducing paying conference vendors which are compatible with our conferences.

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!

E-Blast Newsletter Template

First created by former District Four Director Judge Claudia Barber in 2012, current VP of Districts Judge Tamila Ipema continued the use of an email newsletter to communication news to fellow district members. Judge Ipema's 'e-blast' is an excellent way to keep members apprised of the programs and news from the district and raise the profile (and hopefully the membership) of NAWJ in the process. She shared her template and instructions for creating an e-blast with all district directors. Now, District 14 Director Judge Anita Santos has also created a lovely, professional newsletter that she sends monthly to district members. For a template to craft your own 'e-blast' or any other questions, please contact Judge Ipema.

NAWJ Staff and Infrastructure

Marie Komisar and her staff tirelessly work to streamline the management of NAWJ and to develop its funding stream. 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.

Happy New Year to all. I hope that this year brings you health and happiness.

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Walsh, President
11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade, Florida

January 21 - Kickoff reception in Seattle, Washington for 2016 Annual Conference

January 22 -Kickoff reception in Spokane, Washington for 2016 Annual Conference

January 30-February 3 - Conference of Chief Justices in Monterrey, California

February 3 - February 6 - ABA Midyear Meeting Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, California

New York State's First Female Chief Judge, Judith S. Kaye,
A Pioneering Jurist

(Caption: Judith Kaye (center, holding flowers) flanked by a delegation of New York judges after receiving
NAWJ's Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year award in 2011.)

NAWJ was saddened to learn of the death of long-term member the Honorable Judith S. Kay was the first woman on New York's Court of Appeals, and the state's longest-serving chief judge. She authored many groundbreaking decisions whose subjects include state accountability to provide basic education for all; advancing gay rights in the form of allowing partners to adopt their each other's children; and turning the tide away form capital punishment by striking down provisions of a death penalty statute.

Judge Kaye also will be remembered for reforms and innovations to New York's court system: the repeal of automatic exemptions from jury service; improvements in court facilities; a separate commercial division devoted to business litigation; and specialized problem-solving courts to better handle domestic violence and nonviolent drug offenders. Judge Kaye endeared herself to many by fighting for increases in judicial compensation as well as for significant expansion in the number of family court judges.

A mentor to many NWJ members in New York, Judge Kaye joined NAWJ in 1983. In 2011, she was recognized as a pioneer and for her leadership. NAWJ saluted her many accomplishments by naming her the Justice Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year. The Historical Society of New York Courts narrates in detail Judge Kaye's life and legal accomplishments here. The site also holds a video of personal recollections in honor of Judge Kaye upon her retirement from the bench of the Court of Appeals in 2009.

In memory of Judge Kaye the Judith S. Kaye Scholarship has been established to support youth in foster care who are attending college. To make a donation, please send a check or money order payable to PJCJC Fund, Inc. and send it to PJCJC Fund, Inc. at 150 State Street, Albany, NY 12207.

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

(Click here)

$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, or Hon. Jane Craney at

National Association of Women Judges
recipient of the
ABA Judicial Division's Lawyers Conference
2016 Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award

The Lawyers Conference has honored the National Association of Women Judges as the 2016 recipient of the Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award. The Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award is given each year to a person or organization that has made a significant positive impact on public understanding of the role of the judiciary in a democratic society and its importance to the rule of law. The Honorable Cara Lee Neville nominated NAWJ for this award in the fall. Judge Neville, now retired, was NAWJ's president in 1991-92, and is currently chair of the American Bar Foundation's Fellows. (Click here for more information.)

The Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award was established to recognize individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting increased public awareness of the need for a fair and impartial judiciary. The Award is named in honor of the late Hawaii attorney Burnham "Hod" Greeley. He was a dedicated leader within the American Bar Association and was committed to promoting public trust and confidence in our justice system. Last year's recipient was NAWJ member Judge Karen Arnold Burger, Kansas City Court of Appeals.

The 10th annual presentation of the Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award will take place during the Judicial Division's Welcome Breakfast at the 2016 ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Link to all our events at the ABA's Midyear:

Alaska Court System Announces Promotional Video for NAWJ
Color of Justice Programs in conjunction with 2016 Color of Justice
High School Programs in Anchorage, February 25-26

Workshops on Law & Legal Careers Taught by Northwest Law School Professors and Alaskan Judges and Attorneys
Thursday - Friday, February 25-26, 2016
2:30 - 6:30 pm Thursday at CIRI (725 E. Fireweed Lane, Anchorage, Alaska)
9:00 am - 4:00 pm Friday at the Anchorage Courthouses

For more information, and to obtain a registration form, please visit their website,
VIDEO: Designed to promote Color of Justice and motivate rural Alaska students to come to Anchorage to participate in this year's program, Cook Inlet Region Inc. (an Alaska Native Corporation) produced a wonderful video which is has been placed on You Tube. The video is viewable here:

Landmark Sponsor GEICO

Part of NAWJ and GEICO's partnership provides 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.

Calendar of Programs and Events

Kickoff receptions for the 2016 Annual Conference will take place on January 21, 2016 in Seattle, Washington, and January 22, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.

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 37th Annual Conference will take place in Seattle, Washington from October 5-9, 2016 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

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