NAWJ Monthly Update November 2014

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

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November 2014

In This Issue:

Voices of Justice: Keeping the Promise of the Rule of Law through Enhancing Judicial Diversity and Leadership

On Saturday, October 18, 2014 during the Gala Banquet, which took place near the end of NAWJ's 36th Annual Conference in San Diego, the Honorable Julie E. Frantz was sworn in as the 35th President of the National Association of Women Judges (click here for bio.) "Voices of Justice: Keeping the Promise of the Rule of Law through Enhancing Judicial Diversity and Leadership" is Judge Frantz's guiding theme for NAWJ this year. Her remarks begin below, and continue through the link available.

Remarks by the Hon. Julie E. Frantz upon being sworn in as President of NAWJ for 2014-15:

Thank you, Joan, for that very generous introduction.

And let me add my thanks to conference co-chairs Tamila Ipema and Margie Woods, your committee members, and the Friends committee for this absolutely phenomenal conference in the beautiful city of San Diego.

It is a truly an honor to be sworn in as president of this dynamic organization following the insightful and straight talk remarks of Justice Sotomayor, whose mere presence both inspires us, and underscores the importance and necessity of applying the rule of law to protect our most vulnerable populations.

It is also a great privilege to step up to this podium in the midst of the celebration of the 90th birthday of our revered founder, the Hon Joan Dempsey Klein. Twenty years ago when I first heard the name Joan Dempsey Klein, the word that spontaneously came to mind was 'fighter.' The arena is different, but the determination is the same. Time has revealed it was an apt word association. Through her efforts and those of Justice Vaino Spencer, and their governing board, the NAWJ was born and its mission created:

To promote the judicial role in protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed and diverse judicial leadership, fairness and equality in the courts, and equal access to justice.

The mission remains the same - true to its words - but the nature and scope of programming and projects has expanded many times over during these last 36 years due to the innovate thinking, dedication, and tireless leadership by numerous NAWJ members, and by our committed staff who, under our talented Executive Director, Marie Komisar, juggle all the balls we are constantly tossing from many angles in their direction. We thank you Craig, Lavinia and Mary-Kathleen, as well as Marie.

I want to take a moment to introduce my two children (pictured flanking Judge Frantz), who are the joys of my life, Kate and Kevin; and my two dear friends who are the sisters I wish I had: Ellen Rosenblum, whom many of you know, and who is the first woman Attorney General in Oregon and a former appellate court judge; and my college roommate, the first woman principal of St. Francis high school in northern California, and my Revered Elder - if only by several months - for the past 45 years. My husband's health prevents him from being present; I am very grateful to each of you for being here.

Click here to read the rest of her remarks.

NAWJ Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference
April 23-25, 2015 • Chicago, Illinois

Voices of Justice:
Keeping the Promise of the Rule of Law through Advancing Judicial Diversity

An engaging array of programs and events are slated for the 2015 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference in the beautiful Palmer House Hotel and adjacent venues for special events, as springtime blooms in the always exciting Chicago area.

Mark your calendar and register now: noon on Thursday, April 23 through Friday evening April 24th (note: NAWJ Board of Directors Meeting is Saturday morning, April 25th.) Details of programming and events will be posted soon on the website.

You are Cordially Invited
to a Retirement Celebration for
Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein

Hosted by: California Women Lawyers (CWL), Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA), Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (BWLLA), Latina Lawyers Bar Association (LLBA), Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA), National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), and the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ)

Special Guest Speakers:
• Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon, Division Three, Second District Court of Appeal (as of 1/5/2015)
• Presiding Justice Norman L. Epstein, Division Four, Second District Court of Appeal
• Administrative Presiding Justice Judith McConnell, Division One, Fourth District Court of Appeal
• Wendy Behan, President of California Women Lawyers

For more information and to register, please visit

NAWJ 2014-2015 Board of Directors

Executive Committee
Hon. Julie E. Frantz
Multnomah County Circuit Court
Portland, Oregon

Hon. Lisa S. Walsh
Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Civil Division
Miami, Florida

Vice President, Districts
Hon. Ann Breen-Greco
Illinois State Board of Education
Chicago, Illinois

Vice President, Publications
Hon. Diana Becton
Contra Costa County Superior Court
Martinez, California
Hon. Beverly Winslow Cutler
Alaska Court System, 3rd Judicial District
Palmer, Alaska

Hon. Ariane Vuono
Massachusetts Appeals Court
Boston, Massachusetts

Finance Committee Chair
Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy
New York State Supreme Court
New York, New York

Projects Committee Chair
Hon. Marcella A. Holland
Baltimore City Circuit Court (Retired)
Baltimore, Maryland

District Directors
District 1 (ME, MA, NH, PR, RI)
Hon. MaryLou Muirhead
Boston Housing Court
Boston, Massachusetts

District 2 (CT, NY, VT)
Hon. Hon. Betty Williams
New York State Supreme Court
Brooklyn, New York

District 3 (DE, NJ, PA, Virgin Islands)
Hon. Katherine Hens-Greco
Allegheny County Court of Pleas
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

District 4 (DC, MD, VA)
Hon. Hon. Toni E. Clarke
Circuit Court for Prince George's County
Upper Marlboro, Maryland

District 5 (FL, GA, NC, SC)
Hon. Diana Eagon
Hennepin County District Court
Nokomis, Florida

District 6 (AL, LA, MS, TN)
Hon. Joy Cossich Lobrano
Louisiana Court of Appeal, 4th Circuit
New Orleans, Louisiana

District 7 (MI, OH, WV)
Hon. Katherine L. Hansen
36th District Court
Detroit, Michigan
District 8 (IL, IN, KY)
Hon. Ann Breen-Greco
Illinois State Board of Education
Chicago, Illinois

District 9 (IA, MO, WI)
Hon. Ellen Levy Siwak
State of Missouri, 21st Judicial Circuit
St. Louis, Missouri

District 10 (KS, MN, NE, ND, SD)
Hon. Debbie Kleven
Northeast Central Judicial District
Grand Forks, North Dakota

District 11 (AR, OK, TX)
Hon. Rebeca Martinez
Fourth Court of Appeals
San Antonio, Texas

District 12 (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY)
Hon. Terry Fox
Colorado Court of Appeals
Denver, Colorado

District 13 (AK, HI, ID, MT, WA, OR)
Hon. Marilyn G. Paja
Kitsap County District Court
Port Orchard, Washington

District 14 (CA, NV)
Hon. Tamila E. Ipema
San Diego County Superior Court
Carlsbad, California

Special Directors
International Director
Hon. Ann Walsh Bradley
Wisconsin Supreme Court
Madison, Wisconsin
ABA Delegate
Hon. Norma L. Shapiro
U.S. District Court, Eastern District
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reminder: Sign up for Committees!
NAWJ Members - Judges and Resource Board Members!
Responses due November 20, 2014

NAWJ Members - Judges and Resource Board Members: Sign up for Committees! NAWJ derives its effectiveness from the collective voice of its membership. NAWJ needs your participation! Our success in furthering the mission of NAWJ begins with our committees. I strongly encourage new members to sign up as well as seasoned ones. Each year the leadership and members of the various established committees will be reconstituted to create balance and diversity, with some continuing on and some cycling off, and new members with fresh ideas being added to the mix. AS well as judge members, I am actively soliciting the involvement of our valued Resource Board members in this endeavor - your participation on committees, as well as on program panels, is vital to NAWJ. So, all, please take a moment, review the committee descriptions, and indicate your interest in being appointed to committee(s) that spark your interest and passion!

Responses due November 20, 2014.

Click here for committee descriptions.

San Diego Delivers a Conference to Remember
"Protecting and Advancing Meaningful Access to Justice for All"

After three years of hard work, and tireless research and preparation of a more than 60-member Planning Committee, Conference Co-Chairs Judges Tamila E. Ipema and Margie Woods, joined by the rest of the San Diego legal community welcomed near 500 members fellow members, guests, speaking participants and volunteers with unbounded grace, enthusiasm and energy. You must read Judge Ipema's account here. Program detail may still be found on the Conference website here.

Check out scenes from the Conference through the collections of photos below:
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014 Gala Awards Banquet
Sunday, October 19, 2014 -

A very special thank you to our many sponsors and donors. Without their generosity the conference could not have been possible. Friends Committee Co-Chairs attorneys Jerrilyn Malana and India Jewel worked tirelessly to ensure that all those in attendance left stimulated by the excellent programming and enriched by the total experience of interacting with your peers from around the country, and across the globe. A complete list of the donor partners they gathered may be found here.

We salute NAWJ's 36th Annual Conference Planning Committee on a job well done.

NAWJ Welcomes GEICO as our Newest Landmark Sponsor

Earlier this year GEICO joined NAWJ in sponsoring of the 2014 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. They are continuing their relationship with NAWJ as a Silver Landmark Sponsor.

Part of National Association of Women Judges and GEICO partnership will provide 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!

Judges: Play Fair An Informed Voters Lesson Plan for Students

"Judges: Play Fair" is a new mini lesson that examines the role of fair and impartial courts in American life. Students learn about how judges are selected and held accountable. It also shows that judges focus on the facts in order to keep things fair. "Judges: Play Fair" is a great outreach program for students in your area. Consider presenting the program this year. Resources may be found at

U.S. Senators Join Yale Law's Liman Program, NAWJ Women in Prison
Committee to Hold BOP Accountable on Promises to
Accommodate Women at Danbury

On September 3, 2014, eleven U.S. Senators wrote to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director, Charles E. Samuels, Jr., raising concerns about BOP's plan to change the use of the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Danbury, Connecticut from a women-only facility to a facility devoted primarily to men. On November 6, 2013, Director Samuels called the Women in Prison Committee and informed NAWJ that there would continue to be a 200-bed secured facility at Danbury with all existing services and program; a new 50-bed facility in Brooklyn, New York; and a committee of wardens to advise on best practices for treating women.

The letter follows the Senators' press release, and may be read here.

Questions are surfacing due to the lack of progress in keeping federal space in the northeast. In 2012, while following the conditions of women in prison, NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee learned of BOP's request for operating funds to create a new large women's prison in Aliceville, Alabama. The proposed isolated location would make family visits difficult for inmates outside of the region.

"Dislocation and Relocation: Women in the Federal Prison System and Repurposing FCI Danbury for Men," a report by Yale Law School Professor Judith Resnik and the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program details the important role that the Danbury facility plays in serving incarcerated women (and their families) who reside in the Northeast, and the benefits of services that promote successful re-entry back to their communities.

NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee is following-up the letter to BOP Director Samuels by making the case to more members of Congress, BOP administrators who oversee women offenders, and the Deputy Attorney General's Office.

Calendar of Programs and Events

California Womens Lawyers' Retirement Celebration for NAWJ Co-Founder Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein will be held January 22, 2015 at the Hilton Checkers in Los Angeles, California. For more information and to register, please visit

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

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