NAWJ Monthly Update May 2012

Written by National Association of Women Judges|May 01, 2012|Monthly Update Archive

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May 2012
In This Issue:

Dear Friends,

Many of us are looking forward to being together with our sisters at the IAWJ Conference, Keeping Safe, Keeping Well, in London from May 2-5. There are over 80 NAWJ members joining hundreds globally for the very exciting educational and social events. Topics include: Judicial Leadership; Incarcerated Women; Women, Work and Health; Sexploitation; Women and Children as Armed Combatants; Human Trafficking; Violence and Problem Solving; and more. NAWJ is proud to partner with Canada and the UK in hosting a lovely reception on the evening of May 4th. I am honored and privileged to represent all of you, my extraordinary colleagues, who are unable to attend the conference and will provide a report to you upon my return.

I am pleased to report that NAWJ's Committees are in full swing and setting goals for this year. The Rural Courts Committee, chaired by Judge Nancy Whittenburg has many ideas as to how best assist and support judges in this area. The New Judges Committee, chaired by Judge Toni Leoni and Judge Jamoa Moberly, will be working with the Membership and Conference Committees' Chairs in Miami to create best practices going forward for our new judges, which will encompass a strong mentoring component. The Judicial Selection Committee, chaired by Justice Janis Holder, is identifying states where NAWJ can encourage appointing authorities to consider more women on the bench. I appreciate the effort, time and commitment of all the NAWJ Committee Chairs and members. You're amazing.

Counterbalance will be at your door soon as we are in the final stages of production. Thank you VP of Publications Judge Anna Blacksburne-Rigsby, Lavinia and Marie. It is an outstanding issue! Much appreciation goes to our tireless District Directors who are committed to excellent programming and membership in their home states, as you will read in this edition. Thank you VP Judge Tanya Kennedy for your many initiatives and leadership.

Please remember that it's not too late to give the gift of membership! We are continuing this drive until the next Board Meeting in November in Miami. Speaking of .... the "Meet Me In Miami" Annual Conference will be a fantastic combination of cutting edge education and social events that only Miami can pull off ! Our gratitude goes out to Chairs Judge Lisa Walsh and Judge Mimi Lehr, and the entire Miami Planning Committee who are working tirelessly to ensure its great success.

My best wishes and endless appreciation to all of you,



It is with sadness and regret that we inform you of the passing of NAWJ Past President Judge Marilyn Loftus.

Judge Loftus spearheaded the creation of the New Jersey Supreme Court task force on women and served as chair from 1982-1990. It became the serendipitous first of what would become many task forces throughout the country. She was a trailblazer serving as NAWJ President from 1988-89 and a recipient of numerous awards for her efforts to remove bias in the courts. This is just a brief reminder of her contributions and life's work.

She will be missed. More information to come.

"Meet Me In Miami"
NAWJ 34th Annual Conference

November 7 - 11, 2012
Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida

Register online or download the registration form to register.

Room Reservations: (800) 319-5354

NAWJ Rates: Standard Room $199/night, plus applicable taxes
Resort Tower Room $219/night, plus applicable taxes
Ocean Tower Room with Ocean View $229/night plus applicable taxes

Judge Lisa S. Walsh Judge Myriam Lehr
Education Committee
Chairs: Judge Laurel Isicoff • Judge Cindy Lederman
Members: Judge Rosemary Barkett • Judge Professor Donna Coker • Judge Jeri Beth Cohen
Edward Davis • Justice Dana Fabe • Judge Ellen Leesfield • Judge Chris McAliley
Judge Kathleen Mulligan • Professor Amy Ronner • Judge Mary Schroeder
Professor Tara Twomey

Finance Committee
Chair: Judge Gladys Perez • Member: Maureen Jaeger Walsh

Speakers Committee
Chair: Judge Gladys Perez • Member: Laura Morilla

International Judges Committee
Chair: Judge Mercedes Bach • Member: Judge Judy Chirlin

Social Events Committee
Chairs: Judge Nushin Sayfie • Judge Lourdes Simon •
Member: Amy Rosenberg

Volunteers Committee
Chair: Judge Marcia Caballero • Member: Judge Andrea Wolfson

Mentor-Mentee Committee
Chair: Judge Monica Gordo

Reception Host Committee
Chairs: Judge Joan A. Lenard • Assistant Dean Georgina Angones • Associate Dean Raquel Matas •
Members: Jacqueline Becerra • Bruce Lehr • LillyAnn Sanchez


Legal Friends Co-Chairs
Elizabeth Hernandez, Akerman Senterfitt
Linda M. Leali, White & Case LLP
Detra P. Shaw-Wilder, Koyzak Tropin & Throckmorton

Corporate Partners Good Government Alliance Chair
Mikki Canton, AsiaAmericana International LLC



Presenting Platinum Partners
United Automobile Insurance Company

Gold Partners
Baptist Health South Florida

Silver Partners
Leon Medical Centers
Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC
Piedra & Associates
The Thornton Family
TYLin International HJ Ross
Waste Management

Bronze Partners
All American Containers, Inc.
AT&T Florida
The Biltmore Hotel
Braman Automotive Group
Ambassador Paul Cejas, PLC Investments
CM Consulting Group Corp.
DYL Group
Esserman Motors
IBEW L.U. 349
Medina Capital Partners
Miami Marlins
Patino & Associates

Alliance Partners
Codina Partners
Gabriel S. Diaz-Samiento, CPA
Alan Eichenbaum, Esq.
Florida Power & Light

The Honorable Tomas Regalado and The City of Miami
Dr. Eduardo Padron, President, Miami Dade College
Mrs. Belinda Meruelo
A.J. Barranco, Jr.
Moet-Hennesy / Siboney Wine & Spirits
Chef Paella
Willy Bermello, BAP
Carrolton School of The Sacred Heart
Alvarez, Carbonell, Feltman, Jimenez & Gomez


Gold Sponsors
Akerman Senterfitt LLP

Silver Sponsors
Astigarraga Davis
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP
Broad and Cassel
Carlton Fields
Gray Robinson, P.A.
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Hunton & Williams LLP
Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A.
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth and Investment Management, The MAB Group
Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.
White & Case LLP

Bronze Sponsors
Avila, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Mena & Ferri LLP
Berger Singerman
Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP
Colson Hicks Eidson
The Ferraro Law Firm
Grossman Roth, P.A.
Higer, Lichter, Givner
Holland & Knight LLP
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.
Sabadell United Bank (USA)

Amigos Sponsors
Damian & Valori LLP
Elser Foster-Morales
Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions
Fabricant Morton & Company, PA
Gamba & Lombana, P.A.
GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group
Kubicki Draper
Robert Levy
Lott & Fischer
Meland Russin & Budwick, P.A.
Mestre Law
Pathman Lewis, LLP
Rivero Mestre, LLP
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Pastoriza, Cole & Boniske, P.L.

In-Kind Sponsors
Daily Business Review
Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant
Hon. Joan Lenard
Hon. Federico Moleno
University of Miami School of Law
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida


This panel will address: What are the problems facing independence of the judiciary? What can we do about it? What ARE we doing about it? What are effective strategies for judicial independence? What is happening in other countries?

What are the existing privacy laws? What are expectations of privacy? How do those existing privacy laws fit in with the current realities, cyberstalking and available remedies? How do the internet and social networking impact the judiciary and the ethics of judges or their clerks in researching information about cases, jury members, lawyers, etc.?

This panel will address what judges can do and should communicate with one another, formally and informally, regarding cross border issues or simultaneous proceedings. We will use Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code, which explicitly authorizes such communication, as a spring board for what could be used as a model in general business cases.

This panel will examine what is new and what is happening with respect to the use of human rights norms in the domestic (US) context.


These panels will address the far reaching impact of the economic crisis on individuals, institutions, and society at large.
Beyond banks and board rooms, the global economic downturn is having a profound effect on the everyday lives of people around the world. Societies, too, are being tested as the engines of economic growth sputter. This panel will explore the less visible consequences of the financial crisis and its impact on people and communities.
Equal justice is an idea that we have long striven for in American society. But, is the economic crisis, with its strained government budgets, court cutbacks and loss of legal aid funding, turning back the clock on the progress we've made in reaching the goal of equal justice for all? Join us for this panel in which we will discuss how the financial squeeze is impacting access to justice at the individual court level and in society in general.

We will have two authors discuss books they have recently written and sign books.
(i) Judith Resnick will speak about her book "Representing Justice".
(ii) Prof. Sally Kenney will discuss her book "Gender and Judging".

This panel will discuss issues relating to bankruptcy, immigration and other laws that may or will impact criminal, family and commercial cases.

This panel will look at the challenges that women lawyers and judges are facing as the world around them changes. We will address issues in the Middle and Far East as well as those issues much closer to home in the Caribbean and Venezuela.



Someone "in the business" will share the secret (and not so secret) guidance in what it takes to write a book and get it published.

A panel of doctors from the University of Miami School of Medicine will discuss the aging woman and the physical and psychological issues about which we should be aware.

A discussion about a new method for reducing stress and making us more effective judges.

We will start our day(s) the right way with a group class each morning.

The National Association of Women Judges International Judges' Scholarship program is funded by Robert M. Kaufman and The New York Community Trust. It makes available support for individuals who want to apply for an award to attend the NAWJ 34th Annual Conference. Consistent with NAWJ's guiding principles, the purpose of the International Judges' Scholarship is to bring together judicial officers from around the world to share knowledge and experiences to promote and ensure fairness and gender equality in the judicial systems of all nations.

Available Funding
Individuals may apply for an award to attend the NAWJ 34th Annual Conference. Allowable expenses include total economy (coach) airfare and lodging costs (shared rooms). Alternative funds may be available for registration fees if needed.

Judges from all countries, other than the United States, are eligible to apply for a scholarship.

Closing Date
The application deadline is June 15, 2012.

Submission Requirements
To apply, download and complete the application form. Send to:
Craig Evans
National Association of Women Judges
1341 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Fax: (202) 393-0125

Spring 2012 Issue of Counterbalance

The spring issue of NAWJ's newsletter, Counterbalance, will arrive in your mailboxes later this month. Click here to read or download it now.

ABA Board of Governors Program's Evaluation and Planning Committee Seeks Comments on ABA Activity Regarding Public Understanding About and Support for the Courts

The American Bar Association's Board of Governors Program's Evaluation and Planning Committee is holding convocation at the Annual Meeting on Public Understanding About and Support for the Courts -- a discussion of ABA efforts in this area. The Committee seeks suggestions, plans, concerns and perspectives on ABA activity regarding public understanding about and support for the courts. Please consider sharing your thoughts.

Please consider the following questions in providing your feedback:
  • What is your biggest priority regarding Public Understanding About and Support for the Courts?
  • What is not being done regarding Public Understanding About and Support for the Courts?
  • What resources are needed to maximize ABA effectiveness in this effort?
  • What best practices can you share with others to help support the courts?
  • Other topics, suggestions and concerns.
The ABA hopes outcomes from this meeting will include increased synergy among ABA entities on public understanding about and support for the courts; an overall increase in ABA activity in this area; development of "best practices;" and increased communication and collaboration.

Campaign for Fair Sentencing Seeks Support for Elimination of Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentencing

Please find the Statement from Ms. Jody Kent Lavy, Director and National Coordinator, Campaign for the Fair Sentencing, in support of the elimination of juvenile life without parole sentencing. Ms. Lavy is requesting individual names of judges and prosecutors in support of changing federal laws that address this issue.

The NAWJ Board, at the recent Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference in Cambridge, declined to support the Campaign's statement as an Association, as was first requested by Ms. Lavy. The NAWJ Ethics Committee unanimously agreed that it would be improper for NAWJ to support because, as judges, we are prohibited from taking public positions on issues that come before us, as it may impair public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary, and it would violate the separation of powers.

Members are invited by Ms. Lavy to support in their capacity as individuals, not as members of NAWJ. Contact Ms. Lavy at:

NAWJ Welcomes Craig Evans

Craig A. Evans joined the NAWJ staff in March 2012 bringing over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, he has lived in the Washington, DC metro area since graduating from American University where he earned a B.S. in Statistics and an M.B.A. in International Business. In 2011, Craig completed the Certified Management Accountant designation and is currently pursuing a C.P.A. His professional background includes stock market regulation, small business management and non-profit financial administration. At the NAWJ, Craig is responsible for all aspects of business operations and financial management. He lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife and young son.

NAWJ to Meet the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues on July 10th on Capitol Hill

For the seventh consecutive year, NAWJ will meet with members of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues on Capitol Hill, Tuesday July 10th at Noon. The meeting with the Congressional Women's Caucus represents an opportunity to continue collaboration between NAWJ and the Caucus, which began in 2006.

NAWJ President Judge Amy L. Nechtem, along with Meeting Co-Chair the Honorable Lauren Best Leeker, Retired U.S. Army Trial Judge and current Administrative Counsel to the Executive Committee of the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., will join Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Representative Gwen Moore (WI) in convening this year's meeting. Child welfare and human trafficking will be among the topics discussed. Click here to view a list of current Congressional Caucus Members, and Task Force Chairs.

All NAWJ members are invited to attend. RSVP to Lavinia Cousin at 202-393-0222 (or by July 1st. NAWJ will draw a block of rooms for $199/night at The Fairfax Hotel at Embassy Row for use by meeting attendees. Please inform Lavinia Cousin as soon as possible if you will need to make use of these accommodations. All attendees will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

Fulbright & Jaworksi L.L.P. to Host Special Welcome Reception

In a gracious extension of hospitality, Meeting Co-Chair Hon. Lauren Best Leeker and the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski will host a cocktail reception on the evening of July 9th, in the Fulbright Conference Center located at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The Conference Center includes lovely balcony views overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Archives, and the Navy Memorial.

International Association for Court Administration
7th International Conference
The Challenge of Developing and Maintaining Strong and Just Courts
in an Era of Uncertainty
June 13-15, 2012
The Hague, Netherlands

The International Association for Court Administration invites you to attend the seventh IACA international conference at the Conference Center of the Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands, from June 13-15, 2012. The Mayor of The Hague, Dutch Council for the Judiciary, UN Tribunals, Utrecht University and Carnegie Foundation are supporting our activities. The reception will be at the beautiful Peace Palace:

The conference theme, The Challenge of Developing and Maintaining Strong and Just Courts in an Era of Uncertainty, is a very important topic in times of global change. Speakers include senior judicial officials from a diverse array of countries.

The conference Gala Dinner will be held at The Nieuwe Kirk, It is one of the finest venues in the city. The registration fee includes the cost of all conference events and activities. Conference registration and hotel information is located at Requests for visa letters, if required, can be obtained by email at

New 2012 Forster-Long State Gender Ratio Statistics
Now Available from NAWJ's Website

From NAWJ's website you may now view state-level gender statistics from Forster-Long's most recent publication of THE AMERICAN BENCH, an annual comprehensive publication that profiles federal and state courts. In 2008, NAWJ joined with Forster-Long, publisher of THE AMERICAN BENCH and THE AMERICAN BAR, to share information it gathers for its publication and for NAWJ members to provide Forster-Long with biographical information and other data.

Click on the U.S. map reachable from NAWJ's homepage to find for each state: (1) the ratio of total women state court judges to total judges in that particular state (2) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's court of highest jurisdiction (3) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's intermediate appellate courts (4) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's trial courts of general jurisdiction, and (5) the ratio of women to total judges in the state's lower level trial courts of limited jurisdiction.

International Association of Women Judges 2012 Bi-Annual Conference will take place May 2 - 5 in London, United Kingdom.

Joint Reception with the ABA Commission on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will take place on May 3rd in Seattle, Washington. NAWJ will jointly sponsor the Commission's Spring Meeting and participate in the opening reception. The mission of this Commission is to present education for lawyers and judges on issues related to DV and Sexual Assault.

The Edna G. Parker Award Banquet and Reception to honor the 2012 award recipient, the Hon. Cathy Hollenberg Serrette, and new and recently elevated judges, will take place June 21, 2012 at The Tayloe House in Washington, D.C.

NAWJ's 34th Annual Conference will take place in Miami, Florida, November 7 - 11 at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.

NAWJ's 35th Annual Conference will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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

Mission Statement:

The National Association of Women Judges' mission is to: Promote the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership, fairness and equality in the courts, and equal access to justice.

About NAWJ:

Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has inspired and lead the American judiciary in achieving fairness and equality for vulnerable populations. Led by two visionary women - Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Justice Vaino Spencer - 100 brave and intrepid women judges met and formed an organization dedicated to the following ideals: ensuring equal justice and access to the courts for all including women, youth, the elderly, minorities, the underprivileged, and people with disabilities; providing judicial education on cutting-edge issues of importance; developing judicial leaders; increasing the number of women on the bench in order for the judiciary to more accurately reflect the role of women in a democratic society; and improving the administration of justice to provide gender-fair decisions for both male and female litigants.

From the day it was founded, NAWJ has been committed to diversity in our membership. Our organization welcomes both men and women. We include appellate, trial, tribal, administrative law judges, state and federal judges, and members from every state in the nation.

NAWJ takes pride in its accomplishments. We were at the forefront in the establishment and implementation of gender bias task forces in both federal and state courts. We have greatly advanced the administration of justice in areas of domestic violence, child support and child custody, and the treatment of women in the courts of America. We also are respected as a leader in educating judges on bioethics, elderly abuse, the sentencing of women offenders with substance abuse problems; improving conditions for women in prison; and the problems facing immigrants in our court system. Currently we are developing curricula on the effect of genetic advances on women and vulnerable populations, the impact of international law on state and federal courts, and cognitively disabled persons in criminal courts.

In addition to addressing these and other important issues, NAWJ provides an opportunity for judges to meet and discuss professional issues of mutual concern in a supportive atmosphere. Connecting with others with the same values, we laugh, enjoy life and mentor one another nationwide.

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