NAWJ Monthly Update July 2014

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

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July 2014

In This Issue:

Dear Members and Friends!

The summer is in full swing and so, too, are NAWJ's exciting programs. I am very proud of the ongoing work of our members and partners to "Ensure Access to Justice for All". We also have a new feature for your benefit that I am thrilled to introduce to you.

• NAWJ Monthly Update's New Feature - Calendar of Events and Programs
For the first time, NAWJ's Monthly Update will feature a calendar of events and programs taking place throughout our 14 Districts across the country! This is an exciting new tool for sharing information about all of the important work and innovative programs that our members are engaged in on a regular basis. Thank you to our Vice President of Districts, Judge Lisa Walsh and our dedicated District Directors. Please share your updates with us through this new feature so we can stay abreast of your efforts! You can access the calendar here.

• NAWJ's Informed Voters/Fair Judges Project film "Fair and Free" wins Emmy Award!
The NAWJ Informed Voters/Fair Judges Project's (IVP) groundbreaking film "Fair and Free," featuring our very own Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, won an Emmy Award in the Public Service Announcement category! Through this film, Informed Voters/Fair Judges advances its civic education and outreach efforts about the role of the judiciary in a democratic society, and the importance of fair and impartial courts. Thank you to Justice Joan Irion, Chair of this dynamic project!

• National Constitution Center Symposium Features NAWJ Judicial Independence Panel
One June 9, 2014, NAWJ was featured on a panel hosted by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania entitled "A Judge's Perspective on Current Threats to a Fair and Impartial Judiciary." I was joined on the panel by former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Marsha Ternus, and Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente. This panel highlighted NAWJ's work in educating communities on the role of the courts in a democratic society, and the ongoing work of the Informed Voters Project. It also discussed how partisan politics compromise state judicial elections and its effect on ensuring judicial independence. You can watch the panel on C-SPAN on Friday, July 4 at 6:00pm. Click here.

Keep up the great work!

Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby


New Address:
National Association of Women Judges
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1138
Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: (202) 393-0222 • Fax: (202) 393-0125

Call for Nominations for
2014-2015 NAWJ Board of Directors Positions

The Nominating Committee of the National Association of Women Judges seeks nominees for the following positions for the 2014 - 2015 term:

Vice President for Districts
Vice President for Publications
ABA Delegate


The duties of the above positions are set out in the NAWJ Bylaws at:
Article. X (Duties of Officers) and
Article. VIII (Representatives to Other Organizations.)

Article. IX provides:

§1: "Only voting members of the organization in good standing shall be eligible to hold office." §2(b) "The Nominating Committee shall present at least one (l) nominee for each officer's position. A nomination for each officer's position also may be submitted in writing to the Nominating Committee by petition of no less than nine (9) voting members of the organization at least sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting. The list of nominees for each position designated by the Nominating Committee and by petition shall be circulated to the voting membership at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting. Nominations for all officer positions may also be made by voting members from the floor at the Annual Meeting provided such nominees' names have previously been submitted to the Nominating Committee and the Nominating Committee has failed to endorse their candidacy."

Article. XI, §7 provides:

"The Nominating Committee, chaired by the Immediate Past President, shall consist of no less than nine (9) members selected to afford fair representation to all regions of the country. Names of the members of the Nominating Committee shall be circulated by the President to the voting members not less than ninety (90) days prior to the Annual Meeting."

We invite you to nominate yourself or another member (with consent) for any of these offices.

Only voting members, current members who are either sitting or retired member judges, in good standing are eligible to hold office and remain subject to the canons of judicial conduct.

Please submit a letter stating the roles the nominee has played in NAWJ activities, including particular accomplishments you wish to bring to the committee's attention, and the nominee's curriculum vita. The letter also should include a paragraph on the strengths the nominee would bring to the leadership of the organization, such as, for example, past financial experience for the position of treasurer. Current officers seeking a different office must submit a letter of nomination. The President-Elect must have served a term as Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer, or, as Chair of the Projects Committee or the Finance Committee. Candidates for the position of President-Elect should also address their plans to continue and build on NAWJ's existing projects and programs and to implement NAWJ's Long-range Strategic Plan, which can be found at NAWJ's website.

Please address letters to:
National Association of Women Judges
ATTN: Hon. Joan Churchill, Chair, Nominating Committee
1341 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 4.2
Washington, D.C. 20036
Fax: (202) 393-0125 or email: or

Deadline: Friday, July 11, 2014 for receipt of all nominations and letters of support.

* * *


Judge Joan Churchill, United States Immigration Court for Arlington, Virginia (Retired), 5612 Western Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Tel: (301) 656-8629

Justice Carol Beier, Kansas Supreme Court
Judge Marjorie Carter, Superior Court of California, Orange County (Retired)
Judge Bernice Donald, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Judge Carol Feinman, New York City Civil Court, Kings County
Judge Katherine Hansen, 36th District Court, Michigan
Chief Justice Bernette Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court
Judge Gladys Kessler, United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Judge Brenda Loftin, St. Louis County Circuit Court, Missouri (Retired)
Presiding Justice Judith McConnell, Court of Appeal, California
Chief Judge Amy Nechtem, Massachusetts Juvenile Court
Judge Vanessa Ruiz, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Judge Norma Shapiro, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Judge Bea Ann Smith, Texas Court of Appeals (Retired)

NAWJ Awards Committee Seeks Nominations
for Annual Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award
and Florence K. Murray Award

NAWJ Executive Committee and President to Consider Candidates for Mattie Belle Davis Award and Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award

The NAWJ Awards Committee requests nominations for the Honorable Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year Award and for the Florence K. Murray Award. Nominations will be accepted until the deadline of August 8, 2014. To assist you in nominating candidates for these two awards, click here for application guidelines for the KLEIN Award, and here for the MURRAY Award.

In addition, the Executive Committee and the President will respectively select 2014 honorees for the Mattie Belle Davis Award and the Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award. Click here to review guidelines for the Mattie Belle Davis and Justice Vaino Spencer Awards.

Awards will be given out during the 36th Annual Conference in San Diego, California.

View a list of previous awardees here.

Please submit completed nominations no later than August 8 to by mail or fax to:

National Association of Women Judges
Attn: Hon. Barbara Madsen
1341 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-1834
Fax: 202-393-0125

Hon. Barbara Madsen, Washington Supreme Court, Chair
Hon. Diana Becton, Contra Costa County Superior Court, California
Hon. Marjorie Carter (Retired), California
Hon. Lisette Shirdan-Harris, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania
Hon. Bernette Johnson. Louisiana Supreme Court
Hon. Brenda Loftin (Retired), Missouri
Hon. Amy Nechtem, Massachusetts Juvenile Court

Judge Norma Shapiro, Your Voice in the ABA
Seeks Members for Group Discounts on ABA Membership
Judge Shapiro:
"If you are already an ABA member and/or leader, let me know so I will have the resources
to do my job in achieving a higher ABA profile!"

As a member of NAWJ, you have a direct voice in the governing body of the ABA House of Delegates. I am honored to have been chosen your delegate to the House this year where I will be able to speak about your concerns, offer resolutions if directed by our Executive Board, and co-sponsor resolutions of other groups with goals consistent with those of NAWJ. Policy decisions of the House direct the lobbying efforts of the Association.

Many of our members are already active important ABA leaders and I hope to provide their assistance to you in becoming active yourself. Of course, membership is an important part of ABA leadership and I can assist you with that also. Judges get a special discount and, even with the current dues increase, judges may join for $255 a year. The Judicial Division where we usually find our ABA home (in the Conferences of State Trial Judges, Federal Trial Judges, Appellate Court Judges, Special Court Judges, Administrative Law Judges and Lawyers) has a special bargain membership of $105 an individual for a package of five memberships, two of whom must be new members. A limited trial membership in the Judicial Division may also be available. Please call me for more procedural details. Benefits:
Judicial Division Member Benefits
• Complimentary CLE Webinar
• Complimentary Program at the ABA Annual Meeting
• Program Library
• Publications: The Judges Journal and JD Record

The ABA meets twice a year (in February and August) with an annual spring Law Day celebration in D.C. to allow contact with government officials, including your representatives in Congress. The 2014 Annual Meeting will be in Boston from August 7-9; the Judicial Division program will be filled with panel discussions helpful to our work, and the social events are memorable. A number of our members will certainly be honored. See you in Boston, I hope!

In the meantime, call me with any questions and I will find the answers for you, I promise!
Norma L. Shapiro,
NAWJ Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
Tel: (215) 597-9141
Fax: (215) 580-2146

P.S. If you are already an ABA member and/or leader, let me know so I will have the resources to do my job in achieving a higher ABA profile!

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

Download the Conference brochure here and share with friends.

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

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court
Janet Napolitano, President, University of California
Professor Anita F. Hill, Brandeis University
Professor Charles G. Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School

Tour of the International Border
Tour of an Unaccompanied Minor Children's Camp
Las Colinas Women's Detention Reentry Facility Tour
The San Diego Family Justice Center

Click here to review the Schedule of Events.

Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.
Conference registration fees:
$595 for NAWJ Members
$525 for Members who are First-Time Attendees
$695 for Non-Members Attendees
$575 Guest Rate (spouse and children of attendees)

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

For more information contact:
Conference Chairs: Judge Tamila E. Ipema by email
Judge Margie G. Woods by email
Conference Manager: Mary Kathleen Todd by email

California's Women in Prison Committee
invites you support in buying a book for the
California Institution for Women
(Click here to view the Amazon Wishlist.)

This drive has already received three book contributions. Donors - please let us know who you are so we can recognize you!

Please support the Women in Prison Committee's book drive created in conjunction with the 2014 Annual Conference. This drive will benefit the library of the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona. CIW needs 50 copies of each title - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby; Bad Childhood-Good Life, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger; and Raw & Naked, But Good, by Moesha McCaffe. The book drive will continue through the end of the year to give every NAWJ member a chance to participate. Click here and take a moment to buy a book and support this drive. The Warden and Public Information would like to thank NAWJ for its support thus far. Its first book reading was a success, and there is a waiting list of women wanting to sign up for the book club. Let us know if you have purchased a book to be sent to CIW, and we will recognize you on the San Diego Annual Conference web page.

Informed Voters wins Emmy Award,
Stakes Claim for an Impartial Judiciary in a Healthy Democracy
at National Constitution Center Forum

Informed Voters Garners an Emmy
On Saturday June 14, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter) awarded NAWJ an Emmy in the category of 'Single Spot' Community and Public Service Announcements. (Click here for a list of all award winners.) The event took place at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was the 56th Emmy Awards by the organization. Informed Voters/Fair Judges Project creator Justice Joan K. Irion was on hand to accept the Award on behalf of NAWJ. Also in attendance were NAWJ Past President Hon. Joan Churchill, and NAWJ Project Committee Chair Hon. Sue Pai Yang, who took the video snippet viewable here.

A Judge's Perspective on a Fair and Impartial Judiciary

(Caption: L-R : Mark Robinson, Jr. President, ABOTA; Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente; NAWJ President Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus (Retired); Jeffrey Rosen, President/CEO, National Constitution Center; Retired Judge Sue Pai Yang, NAWJ Projects Committee Chair.)

On June 9, 2014, Informed Voters/Fair Judges Project and the National Constitution Center held a 'Town Hall' forum at the Center's location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. View the event here. Each of NAWJ's participating members, President Anna Blackburne-Rigsby (District of Columbia Court of Appeals), Informed Voters' Florida State Co-Chair Justice Barbara J. Pariente (Florida Supreme Court), and former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus contributed important points to the discussion of the role of the courts in American democracy.

ABA Commission on Women in the Profession
2014 Margaret Brent Award Honorees
presented at
Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards Luncheon
Sunday, August 10th
Boston, Massachusetts
(ABA Annual Meeting)

Hon. Nancy Gertner: Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School; U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Retired);
Anastasia D. Kelly, Co-Managing Partner (Americas), DLA Piper; Washington, D.C.
Allie B. Latimer, Former General Counsel, General Services Administration; Washington, D.C.
Hon. Kathryn Doi Todd, California Court of Appeal, Second District (Retired), Los Angeles, CA
Marissa C. Wesely, Of Counsel, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, New York, NY

NAWJ's 2016 IAWJ Biennial Conference Chairs Seek Volunteers to Serve on Planning
Committee for the Conference in Washington, D.C. May 26-29, 2016

This spring NAWJ's 'IAWJ Biennial Selection Committee' announced the appointment of Judge Jane Spencer Craney (Morgan Superior Court, Indiana), and Senior Judge Carolyn Engel Temin (Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania, Retired) as Co-Chairs of IAWJ's 2016 Biennial Conference Planning Committee.

The conference will take place in Washington, D.C from May 26-29, 2016.

Anyone wishing to serve on the IAWJ Biennial Planning Committee may contact Marie Komisar at The Committee will work closely with the Biennial Advisory Council and NAWJ Executive Director Marie Komisar.

Women in the Law Conference
Federal Bar Association
July 11, 2014
Washington, D.C.

The Federal Bar Association's inaugural Women in the Law Conference will be held on Friday, July 11, 2014, at the George Washington University, Marvin Center in Washington, D.C. The inaugural conference will address the topic of women in the law broadly from both a historical perspective and how the law impacts women. In addition to a keynote address panel, topics include: History of Women in the Law, Development of Domestic Law as it Affects Women, and Breaking Barriers: The Glass Ceiling in the Legal Profession.

Click here to view list of keynote speakers and program panelist. Download the Conference brochure here.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)
to Host 77th Annual Conference in Chicago
July 13-16, 2014

The NCJFCJ's 77th Annual Conference, which is scheduled July 13-16, 2014 in Chicago, will feature a wide range of juvenile and family law topics including child abuse and neglect, trauma, custody and visitation, judicial leadership, juvenile justice, sex trafficking of minors, family violence, drug courts, psychotropic medications, children testifying in court, detention alternatives, substance abuse, and the adolescent brain. In addition, this year a pre-conference workshop, Special Consideration for Working with Adolescents with Substance Abuse Issues, designed for professionals working with juvenile justice involved youth who also have mental health, substance abuse, or trauma issues will be offered.

The Council is excited to welcome one of Time Magazine's "Time 100" honorees Withelma "T" Ortiz Walker Pettigrew as a co-speaker for our Keynote Address. Other select faculty includes Dolores Subia Bigfoot, Ph.D. from the Indian Country Child Trauma Center; Dr. Jordan Greenbaum of the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Robert L. Listenbee, JD, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and Dr. Laurence Steinberg, Distinguished University Professor, and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University.

For additional information and to register for the conference, please click here.

'The Future of Fair Courts: 2014 Elections and Beyond'
A Justice at Stake Conference on Fair Courts and the State

July 28-30, 2014

FHI Conference Center • Washington, D.C.
(Click here to reach conference site.)

Topics of Discussion:
  • The growth of political pressure on our courts and judges.
  • Trends in judicial elections and special interest spending.
  • Best practices for dealing with legislative and ballot measures that would open courts to more big-money pressure.
  • Communications strategies for protecting a fair courts agenda.

Click for registration and general information.

Calendar of Programs and Events

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. the Maryland Chapter of NAWJ will celebrate Bastille Day, and share ideas about upcoming projects - Color of Justice, Women Moving Forward Re-Entry Conference, Storybook Project - and new projects. The meeting will take place at Café de Paris is Columbia Maryland. Email Lorena Kushida at for more information.

On Monday, September 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the New York Chapter of NAWJ will screen a documentary on the life of Judge Constance Baker Motley (September 14, 1921 - September 28, 2005). The screening will coincide with the late judge's 93rd birthday. Location: U.S. Courthouse located at 500 Pearl Street in New York City, NY. Email District Two Director Justice Betty Williams ( for more information.

NAWJ's 36th Annual Conference will take place October 15-19, 2014 at Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, California.

On October 4, 2014, New Jersey members will present another Color of Justice program at Seton Hall Law School.


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 (NAWJ) in Washington D.C. from May 26-29, 2016.

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