NAWJ Monthly Update November 2012

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

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November 2012
In This Issue:

I hope this finds you all well and many of you preparing to join us next week in Miami for the 34th Annual Conference. Conference Chairs, Judge Walsh and Judge Lehr are busy putting the final fabulous touches to every detail ensuring another outstanding NAWJ conference.

The Committee has been hard at work for almost two years now to present cutting edge educational programs and fun "typically Miami" social events in a setting of paradise! We will welcome over 30 international judges to our conference. My appreciation and admiration to Lisa and Mimi and the entire Planning Committee. My sincere thank you to the dynamic Friends Chairs for their tireless efforts and generous support.

I concluded my official "on the road" duties in mid-October by participating in the sensational Color of Justice Program in New Orleans. Many thanks to Justice Bernette Johnson and her colleagues for their efforts and commitment to what proved to be an enlightening day for high school junior and seniors hosted by the Dillard University President and admissions staff. We were honored to have Past President Judge Brenda Loftin with us to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this remarkable Color of Justice event.

Congratulations to District Two Director Phyllis Flug and district members for the excellent program enjoyed during a recent late October weekend in beautiful Mystic, Connecticut. Attendees enjoyed a stunning fall weekend and a cutting edge panel on immigration issues. Thank you, District Two!

Another outstanding day!

Finally, it has been the utmost privilege and honor to serve as your President this year.

I am so very proud of the NAWJ and of all of you.

Thank you for this tremendous opportunity and your warm friendship and support. Thank you to our phenomenal staff, Marie, Craig, Lavinia and Mary-Kathleen.

Congratulations to President-elect Judge Joan Churchill.

Cheers to wonderful year ahead!
My best wishes,


"Meet Me In Miami"
NAWJ 34th Annual Conference

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

If you are able to join us, please register onsite at the NAWJ Registration Desk in Ocean Tower I inside the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.

Room Reservations may be limited or not available for some conference nights:
Telephone (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

Contribute to NAWJ's Amazon Wish List
for Florida's Women in Prison
In support of the Women in Prison Committee initiatives, NAWJ is organizing a book drive in conjunction with the 2012 Annual Conference to benefit the library at the Homestead Correctional Institution women's prison in South Florida. The book drive will continue through the end of November to give every NAWJ member a chance to participate. Our goal is to give the facility every book on its wish list. Please take a moment and join this effort.

Or, go to and find NAWJ in their Wish List registry and choose Florida Women in Prison - Homestead Correctional Institution.

In Memorial
NAWJ Member Honorable Betty Binns Fletcher, 1924-2012

U.S. Court of Appeals Senior Circuit Judge Betty Binns Fletcher died last Monday evening in Seattle with family members at her bedside. She was 89.

Judge Fletcher came onto the Court in 1979, appointed by President Carter. She served as an active judge until 1998, when she agreed to take senior status to resolve a conflict in the Senate over the appointment of her son, Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher.

Senior status had no effect on the elder Judge Fletcher, who continued to carry a full caseload. Last fiscal year, she sat on panels that decided more than 400 cases, including 182 involving oral argument. Over the course of her 33 years on the bench, Judge Fletcher authored important opinions in many areas of the law, notably tribal law, free speech, employment discrimination, environmental protection and water rights.

Judge Fletcher was a trailblazer for women in the law. The Tacoma native earned her undergraduate degree in 1943 at Stanford University, where she also completed approximately one year of law school. She moved east with her late husband, Robert L. Fletcher, who was assigned to a Navy anti-submarine station in New Jersey during World War II. Settling in the Pacific Northwest after the war, Judge Fletcher became a homemaker caring for her four children. She returned to law school at the University of Washington School of Law and graduated in 1956, finishing first in her class and graduating as a member of the Order of the Coif.

Although most Seattle law firms did not employ women lawyers at the time, Judge Fletcher was hired in 1956 by the law firm of Preston, Thorgrimson & Horowitz. She worked there for 23 years, becoming the first woman partner at a major Pacific Northwest law firm. Among her clients was Justice William O. Douglas. She was the first woman elected president of the Seattle-King County Bar Association and the first woman governor of the Washington State Bar Association. She also served as co-chair of the state committee that guided passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the state constitution.

In 2007, the King County Bar Association recognized Judge Fletcher with its William L. Dwyer Outstanding Jurist Award, and in 2009 she was honored at a University of Washington School of Law symposium focusing on her life in the law.

"Mom was a wonderful judge--always caring in her concern for fairness, and always careful in her legal analysis," Judge William Fletcher said of his mother. "She spoke truth to power, and just as important she spoke truth in exercising power. She has been my inspiration and model."

In addition to Judge William Fletcher, survivors include two daughters, Professor Susan French and Kathy Fletcher; another son, Dr. Paul Fletcher; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial will be held November 10 at noon in Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle, Washington.

For more information, contact Cathy Catterson or Dave Madden at the William K. Nakamura Courthouse in Seattle, Washington at 206-224-2200.

NAWJ 2012-2013 Board of Directors Nomination Slate

In accordance with the NAWJ Bylaws, the Nominating Committee presents the following Nomination Slate for the 2012-2013 Board of Directors:

Hon. Joan V. Churchill
(Automatically assumes office)
Immigration Court (Retired)
Chevy Chase, Maryland

Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Washington, D.C.

Vice President, Districts
Hon. Arian Vuono
Massachusetts Appeals Court
Boston, MA

Vice President, Publications
Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy
Civil Court
New York, NY

Hon. Lisa S. Walsh
Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit
Miami, FL

Hon. Julie E. Frantz
Multnomah County Circuit Court
Portland, OR

ABA Delegate
Hon. Norma L. Shapiro
U.S District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

The members of the Nominating Committee include:
Chair, Hon. Marjorie Laird Carter, California Superior Court, Orange County
Hon. Dana Fabe, Alaska Supreme Court
Hon. Bernice Donald, U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
Hon. Carol Feinman, New York City Civil Court, New York
Hon. Brenda Stith Loftin, St. Louis County Circuit Court, Missouri
Hon. Bea Ann Smith, Third Court of Appeals, Texas (Retired)
Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Hon. Barbara Madsen, Washington Supreme Court
Hon. Judith McConnell, Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate District, California
Hon. J.E. Sullivan, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, District of Columbia
Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Sign Up Now for 2012-2013 NAWJ Committees

All NAWJ members, regardless of membership category, are encouraged to participate in NAWJ Committees for the upcoming 2012-2013 year. Even if you were a committee member last year, you should reaffirm your continuing participation to ensure you are included in the 2013 Membership Directory listings. Please email Lavinia Cousin your list of NAWJ Committee commitments for the 2012-2013 year at Complete list of NAWJ Committees below:

Administrative Judiciary Committee
Amicus Committee
Audit & Compliance
Awards Committee
Bylaws Committee
Conference Site Selection Committee
Domestic Violence Committee
Ethics Committee
Fairness and Access Committee
Federal Judges Committee
Finance Committee
Human Trafficking Committee
IAWJ 2016 Biennial Proposal Special Committee
International Outreach Committee
International Courts Subcommittee
Judicial Exchanges/Visits Subcommittee
International Parental Abduction Liaison Network Committee
Judicial Academic Network/ Judicial Education Committee
Judicial Independence Committee
Judicial Selection Committee
Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Committee
Media and Public Relations Committee
Membership Outreach and Retention Committee
Data Review Subcommittee
Tribal Judges Outreach Subcommittee
Military Courts Committee
New Judges Committee
Nominations Committee
Personnel Committee
Projects Committee
Resolutions Committee
Retired/Senior Judges Committee
Rural Courts Committee
Web Site Improvements Special Task Force
Women in Prison Committee

Look out for your chance to Update Your
2013 Membership Directory Listing

Soon, NAWJ will be emailing our current listing of your contact information. When that email arrives in the next three weeks, please peruse the details we list in the body of the email, and let us know of any changes. We are gearing up to publish the next annual edition of NAWJ's Membership Directory in 2013.

If you know now of new information for NAWJ, for example, you are retiring at the end of the year, have a new telephone number or email address, or have been assigned to a new department or division, let us know by emailing your interests to Lavinia Cousin at or calling NAWJ at 202-393-0222. Updates may be mailed to NAWJ at 1341 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 4.2. Washington, D.C. 20036.

2013 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference with Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues
May 2-4, 2013

NAWJ's 2013 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference will be held May 2-4, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the annual joint meeting between NAWJ and the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. Highlights include a Forum at the Supreme Court examining judicial independence issues faced by special courts as compared with general courts, followed by a reception hosted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; a meeting with members of Congress; a reception hosted by the law firm Fulbright Jaworski L.L.P.; a joint program with The Shakespeare Theatre on Shakespeare and the Law; and a Train the Trainers day on Human Trafficking. The NAWJ Board of Directors will meet on the morning of Friday, May 3, 2013. The Train the Trainers day will be Saturday, May 4. More information will follow.

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

A kick-off reception will be held for the 2013 NAWJ Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. in The McDermott Building, 500 North Capitol Street, N.W., 9th Floor, Washington, D.C.

IAWJ Regional Conference: Latin America and Caribbean Region will take place from March 14 - 15, 2013 in Iguazu, Misiones, Argentina. All NAWJ members are members of IAWJ, and are invited to attend IAWJ conferences.

NAWJ Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference will take place May 2 - 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

IAWJ Regional Conference: Asia/Pacific Region will place May 9 - 12, 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand. All NAWJ members are members of IAWJ, and are invited to attend IAWJ conferences.

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

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

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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