NAWJ Monthly Update March 2013

Written by National Association of Women Judges|March 01, 2013|Monthly Update Archive

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March 2013
In This Issue:

The 2013 Midyear Leadership Conference will be May 2-4, 2013 in Washington, D.C.


We are putting the finishing touches on the program for the 2013 Midyear Leadership Conference. It promises to be spectacular!

We kick off with lunch at the Capitol at noon on Thursday, May 2 for our annual meeting with the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues to discuss issues of mutual concern. Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and its provisions concerning jurisdiction of Tribal Courts will be on the agenda. For speakers, Hilary Tompkins, Solicitor of the U.S. Interior Department, is confirmed and Lynn Rosenthal, White House Adviser on Violence against Women, is tentative.

Thursday evening we shall be treated to a reception at the law offices of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., and a joint program with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. We shall have a panel on women's rights to confer benefits on men, inspired by the speech on Salic law in Shakespeare's Henry V. A would be thespian from our midst will read the speech, the Theatre's dramaturge Drew Lichtenburg will give an overview of Salic law, and a panel of our members will bring the concept forward to discuss cases in our lifetime re discriminatory treatment of claimants for social security and military housing benefits through women's service.

Friday May 3 will be Supreme Court Day, with a private tour, a panel on recent Supreme Court immigration cases (one of which, Chaidez, was announced this past week), a forum moderated by Harvard constitutional law Professor Vicki Jackson on judicial independence issues for special as compared with general courts, and an elegant reception at which Justice Ginsburg will give greetings.

Saturday we are devoting to all day training on Prevention of Human Trafficking - What Judges Can Do. We have a stellar faculty lined up, and an invitation pending with ABA President Bellows to be our keynote speaker at lunch.

So mark your calendars and make plans to attend. Registration is open to the entire membership. Click here to view the registration flyer.

February 23, 2013                                                                                           Joan Churchill, President, NAWJ

Violence Against Women Act Headed to the White House for Renewal

On February 28, 2013 the House passed legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. According to the New York Times "the measure passed the Senate last month with 78 votes - including those of every woman." Read the rest of the Times account of legislative activities here.

NAWJ has updated its position on VAWA Reauthorization below:


NAWJ is the nation's leading voice for women jurists dedicated to preserving judicial independence and ensuring equal justice and access to the courts for women, minorities, and other historically disfavored groups. In accordance with this mission, NAWJ supports reauthorization of VAWA Bill S47 which has been passed by the U.S. Congress, and urges that the President sign the bill to enact it into law.

Adopted by the Board of the National Association of Women Judges
By online vote on March 1, 2013

Joan V. Churchill
Honorable Joan V. Churchill
President, NAWJ

2013 Midyear Leadership Conference
& Annual Meeting with Congress

May 2-4, 2013
The Washington Court Hotel
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

Click here to register online. Or, download this registration form.
Conference registration fees:
$375 for NAWJ Members
$475 for Non-Members
$325 for Spouses/Children of Attendees

Room Reservations: (800) 321-3010 or (202) 628-2100
NAWJ Rate: $179/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy.


Hon. Joan V. Churchill, Chair
Hon. Claudia Barber
Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
Hon. Gladys Kessler
Hon. Noel Kramer
Hon. Vanessa Ruiz

Nicole Erb, Esq., White and Case, LLP
Elaine Metlin, Esq., Dickstein Shapiro LLP

David Dorsen, Esq., Sedgwick LLP
Tia Fenton, Esq., Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P.
Lisa Horowitz, Esq., McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Hon. Lauren Best Leeker, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Christina Sarchio, Esq., Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP
Amy Wigmore, Esq., Wilmer Hale

Click here to download the conference invitation.


Meeting with Congress Capitol Hill

Joint program with the Shakespeare Theatre Bard Association on Henry V
and Rights of Women to Confer Benefits on Men

Reception hosted by the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.


Private, behind the scenes tour of the United States Supreme Court

Panel Review of Recent Supreme Court Immigration Cases
Hon. Juan Osuna, Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice
Hon. Paul Schmidt, Immigration Judge for Arlington, VA

Forum examining Judicial Independence Issues faced by Special Courts compared
with General Courts
Moderator: Professor Vicki Jackson, Harvard Law School
Panelists: Hon. Ann Breen-Greco, Administrative Law Judge/Hearing Officer, IL State Board of Education
Hon. Dana Marks, Judge, Immigration Court, San Francisco, CA
Hon Pauline Newman, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Hon. Michael Ponsor, Judge, U.S. District Court (MA)
Hon. Eric Washington, Chief Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Reception at the Supreme Court with Greetings from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


All day training on Human Trafficking
Faculty (committed to date): Judge Virginia Kendall, U.S. District Court (IL), co-author of Trafficking: Examining the Global Challenges and the U.S. Responses
Judge Elizabeth Lee, San Mateo County Superior Court, CA
John Martin, Director of Center for Public Policy Studies Immigration Project
Nick Sensley, Humanity United
Louise Shelley, Professor, George Mason University School of Public Policy; Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime & Corruption Center; and author of Human Trafficking, a Global Perspective
Hon. Dana Marks, Judge, Immigration Court, San Francisco, CA

ABA Judges' Journal Dedicates Issue to Incarceration
Judge Brenda Murray on Women in Prison
Features include an Introduction by Judge Stephanie Domitrovich
An Interview with Judge Norma Shapiro
Judge Patti Saris on Sentencing

The American Bar Association dedicated its Fall 2012 issue to Incarceration. A host of NAWJ members are featured as writers, and in one case, the subject of a leadership spotlight.

Member Judge Stephanie Domitrovich leads off the issue with the introduction "To Incarcerate or Not to Incarcerate Is the Question: Our Judicial Role in Resolving the Mass Incarceration Dilemma," where she examines questions faced by sentencing judges as they determine the appropriateness of incarceration. Judge Domitrovich is on the editorial board of the Judges' Journal. She is also chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges.

In its Waymaker spotlight, Judge Domitrovich goes on to interview the ever active Judge Norma Shapiro. Both NAWJ Lifetime Members, Judge Domitrovich captures Judge Shapiro's many stellar accomplishments while serving as the first woman to be appointed to the Federal District Court in the Federal Third Circuit, the eighth female judge in the United States in 1978, and only the 12th female judge in the history of the United States, according to the Journal. Judge Shapiro has served NAWJ in many capacities, currently as NAWJ's ABA Delegate.

Federal District Court (Massachusetts) Judge Patti Saris explores trends in federal prisons capacity, conviction rates, and crime rates in her article "Proportionality, Disparity, and Recidivism." President Obama nominated Judge Saris to be a member and chair of the United States Sentencing Commission on April 28, 2010.

NAWJ Women in Prison Committee Co-Chair Judge Brenda Murray authors "We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us, or Move Over, Sisyphus," summarizing the development of NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee work in prisons since the committee's inception in 1991. Click here to read her entire article.

Also part of this issue, though unrelated to the subject of incarceration, NAWJ member and District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr. discusses the topic of cyber security. Judge Dixon is also presenting on iPad and iPad Apps for Judges, an NAWJ District event held in Washington, D.C. on March 5. Judge Dixon is the technology columnist for The Judges' Journal, co-chair of its Editorial Board, and a member of the ABA Journal Board of Editors.

NAWJ Women in Prison Committee Continues
Fight Against Shackling Pregnant Inmates

NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee joins the Maryland Chapter of NAWJ in support of proposed legislation, Maryland House Bill 829 Correctional Services - Pregnant Detainees and Inmates - Restraint Restrictions and Reporting, which, among other things, would prohibit shackling incarcerated pregnant females.

on Maryland House Bill 829 Pregnant Detainees and Inmates - Restraint Restrictions and Reporting

The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) was founded in 1979 to, among other things, ensure equal justice for women, protect the rights of individuals, and bring about improvements concerning matters of importance in improving the administration of justice. NAWJ's diverse membership includes women and men at all levels of the federal, state, trial, military and administrative judiciary from nearly every state in the nation.

In furtherance of our mission to improve the administration of justice, NAWJ has long advocated for basic fairness and equity for people who are incarcerated. In 1991, NAWJ adopted a resolution urging an end to discrimination against incarcerated women. For years, NAWJ members in Maryland have volunteered in correctional facilities to bring educational programming to women and girls in prison.

In 2009, in recognition that leading medical and legal authorities have documented significant risk of harm in shackling pregnant women, and the lack of risk of flight that women pose in such circumstances, NAWJ members voted to adopt a resolution formally opposing the practice of shackling pregnant women and urging action by its members wherever such practices exist.

In furtherance of that commitment, NAWJ supports HB 829, and in particular, the proposed restrictions on the use of restraints on pregnant incarcerated girls and women in transportation, labor, and childbirth.


We want to thank the following NAWJ members for their generous year end donations in 2012. The extra support is greatly appreciated and will be used to provide additional program opportunities in 2013.

Elizabeth Cabraser, Esq.
Hon. Joan Churchill
Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein
Hon. Judith Chirlin
Hon. Leslie Alden
Hon. Ann Walsh Bradley
Hon. Cindy Lederman
Hon. Denise Vowell
Hon. Judith McConnell
Hon. Sheila F. Pokras
Hon. Sofia Hall
Hon. Noel Kramer
Hon. Judith Dilday
Hon. Brenda Stith Loftin
Hon. Wenda Travers
Hon. Adelaide Edelson
Hon. Arline Pacht
Hon. Barbara Levenson
Hon. Beatrice Shainswit
Bob Kaufman, Esq.
Hon. Debbie Irwin
Hon. Diana Louise Anhalt
Hon. Donna Paulsen
Hon. Ellen Thomas
Hon. Fernande Duffly
Hon. Jennifer Gee
Hon. Kathryn Braeman
Hon. Leila Kern
Hon. Lesley Wells Clarke
Hon. Linda Murnane
Hon. Margaret Murphy
Hon. Marilyn Paja
Hon. Mary Darcey White
Hon. Mary Schroeder
Hon. Meredith Taylor
Hon. Miriam Mills
Hon. Norma Shapiro
Hon. Patricia Garcia
Hon. Gladys Kessler
Hon. Rosalyn Richter
Hon. Rosemary Denson
Hon. Ruby Sondock
Hon. Ruth McGregor
Hon. Sue Pai Yang
Hon. Susan Finlay
Hon. Theresa A. Nolan
Hon. Jo-Ann Chung
Hon. Merrilee Ehrlich
Hon. Tanya Kennedy
Hon. Teresa Beaudet
Hon. Theresa Timlin
Hon. Michelle McGovern
Hon. Dawn Scholz
Hon. Nancy Sherman
Hon. Mindy F. Solomon

Summary of Meeting of the International Courts and Rule of Law Committee Meeting
Saturday, February 9, 2013, Dallas, TX

During the Midyear Meeting of the American Bar Association, the International Courts and Rule of Law Committee met on Saturday, February 9, 2013. NAWJ Subcommittee Chair on International Courts shares a brief report here highlighting matters discussed by members of the committee in attendance.

NAWJ District 8 Director Judge Ann Breen-Greco Appointed Liaison to ABA' Human Trafficking Task Force

American Bar Association President Laurel Bellows joined the ABA's Human Trafficking Task Force Co-Chairs Jimmy Goodman and Linda Hayman while addressing the Task Force meeting at the ABA Midyear in Dallas. NAWJ District Eight Director, Judge Ann Breen-Greco, was in attendance. Judge Breen-Greco was appointed by President Bellows as the liaison to the Task Force from the National Association of Women Judges. NAWJ co-sponsored a panel on Human Trafficking at the ABA's Midyear, which was attended by over 60 people.
Hamline University School of Law Presents:
Healing Solutions for Our Tribal Communities
March 15, 2013
Annette K. Levine Moot Court Room
St Paul, Minnesota

Ending the Trafficking of Native Women Speaker: Professor Sarah Deer is an Associate Professor at William Mitchell College of Law and is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of tribal law and victims' rights.

Customary Adoptions
Speaker: Anita Fineday is the Managing Director of the Indian Child Welfare Program for the Casey Family Programs. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.

Addressing Tribal Human Rights Abuses
Speaker: Professor Wenona T. Singel is an Associate Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and the Associate Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center. She teaches courses in the fields of federal Indian law and natural resources law, and her research and publications address the development of tribal legal systems and tribal accountability for human rights.

The event is free and open to the public.

Contact: Deb Lange at or (651) 523-2122.
October 9-13, 2013
The Ritz-Carlton
New Orleans, Louisiana

Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.
Conference registration fees:
$595 for NAWJ members ($550 before May 6)
$525 for members who are first-time attendees
$625 for non-members

Room Reservations: (504) 524-1331 or (800) 542-8680
NAWJ Rate: $245/night, plus applicable taxes, single or double occupancy

Judge Mary Hotard Becnel • Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson

Education Co-Chairs
Judicial: Judge Phyllis Keaty, Third Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana
Judge Laurie White, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court
Academic: Professor Kathryn Venturatos Lorio, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Professor Sally J. Kenney, Executive Director, Newcomb College Institute

Social Events Co-Chairs
Judge Rosemary Ledet, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana
Judge Laurie White, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, Louisiana

Finance Chair
Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana

Volunteers Co-Chairs
Judge Ethel Simms Julien, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Louisiana
Judge Bernadette G. D'Souza, Orleans Parish Civil District Court (Family) Louisiana

Registration Co-Chairs
Judge June Berry Darensburg, 24th Judicial District Court, Louisiana
Judge Tiffany Chase, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Louisiana

Kim M. Boyle, Esq., Phelps Dunbar LLP
Matthew Moreland, Esq., Becnel Law Firm LLC
Kara Hadican Samuels, Esq., Sangisetty


The impact of immigration issues pervading all aspects of state and federal courts.

Innovations in sentencing that reduce recidivism and costs, such as alternative sentencing, re-entry programs, diversionary programs, and featuring the NAWJ Women in Prison Project.

How science, technology and nontraditional unions raise new legal issues in the areas of reproduction and custody.

An examination of the role of gender in the judicial selection process, state judicial races, and the treatment of women judges; judicial history of women judges.

The recognition and impact of this international issue in our federal and state courts.

Discussion of conflicts between the roles of the judge and the public servant; judicial outreach initiatives, and public service opportunities post-retirement.

Examination of progress made regarding sexual assault cases and a discussion of the need for Veterans specialty courts.

Vice President of Publications Judge Tanya R. Kennedy
Calls for Submissions for the Next Issue of Counterbalance
Issue Theme: Celebrating the History of Women in the Law
Deadline: May 1, 2013

Counterbalance informs and connects our members around the country by featuring news and information which highlights NAWJ's educational programs and activities. Consider sharing news from your jurisdiction with fellow colleagues in the newsletter. If you know of women judges in your state who have been recently elected, appointed, promoted or honored, let us know. If you have articles, announcements, book reviews, or events that you would like included in Counterbalance, please pass them along as well. 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 MAY 1, 2013. Look for the spring issue in June 2013 after May's Midyear in Washington, D.C. Those interested in submitting material should do so by emailing all text and picture files to Lavinia Cousin at
NAWJ District 4 District of Columbia Chapter will present iPad and iPad Apps for Judges on March 5, 2013 at the District of Columbia Superior Court. Event is free and open to all NAWJ members. Email to RSVP or for more information.

NAWJ San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charlene Padovani Kiesselbach will chair the Color of Justice on March 15, along with Queen's Bench and the California Women Lawyers, at the San Francisco Superior Court. Contact Lavinia at or Judge Kiesselbach at for more information.

IAWJ Regional Conference: Latin America and Caribbean Region will take place March 14-15, 2013 in Iguazu, Misiones, Argentina. All NAWJ members are members of IAWJ and are invited to attend IAWJ conferences. Contact IAWJ at 202-223-4455 for conference details.

NAWJ District 4 District of Columbia Chapter will present So You Think You Want to Write a Book on March 28, 2013 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Event is free and open to all NAWJ members. Email to RSVP or for more information.

NAWJ District 4 will present Let Freedom Ring, a play in six scenes about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s emergence as a civil rights leader during the Montgomery bus boycott, featuring a cast of judges and politicians written by Judge Paul Handy. The production will take place at Howard University School of Law's Moot Court Room, Tuesday April 9, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Seating is limited. Email to RSVP or for more information.

NAWJ Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference will take place May 2-4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The host hotel is the Washington Court Hotel.

IAWJ Regional Conference Asia/Pacific Region will take place May 9-12, 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand.

White & Case LLP and NAWJ will present Color of Justice for Washington Middle School for Girls on May 22 in the firm's Washington, D.C. offices. Contact Lavinia at for more information.

NAWJ 35th Annual Conference will take place October 9-13, 2013 at The Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The International Association of Women Judges Bi-Annual Conference will take place May 6-9, 2014 in 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.

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