NAWJ Monthly Update September 2012

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

This message was sent to you because you are a member of the National Association of Women Judges. To ensure you receive future communications, please have your network administrator add to your approved sender list so that e-mails received from this domain are not sent to your junk mail folder.

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Monthly Update Banner
September 2012
In This Issue:

Dear Friends,

I hope you've had a wonderful, restful summer.

With September fast upon us, the momentum and excitement continues to build for NAWJ's Annual Conference in Miami November 7-11. By now, members have received the gorgeous invitation with the tempting blue and green waters of Miami splashed on the cover. The photo is a view from the Eden Roc Hotel...not to be missed!!! The Conference Planning Committee has planned exceptional educational sessions with renowned speakers nationally and internationally, as well as fun social events. Our continued appreciation goes out to Chairs Judges Lisa Walsh and Myriam Lehr, along with all of the other devoted, hard working committee members.

Please find here the invitation attached for your convenience.

In early August, I had the pleasure of attending the ABA Annual Conference in Chicago. District 8 Director Judge Ann Breen-Greco graciously hosted a lovely reception at the Westin Hotel in of honor of NAWJ. Many members, along with guests from the ABA Judicial Division, enjoyed an evening to share time with old friends and welcome new ones. Thank you Ann for a great NAWJ event.

It was my honor and privilege to attend the Margaret Brent Awards Luncheon sponsored by ABA's Commission on Women in the Profession while in Chicago. Our heartfelt congratulations to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California and NAWJ member, Justice Tani G.Cantil-Sakauye, as one of this year's winners of the prestigious Brent award.

The NAWJ staff, board and membership is hard at work enhancing NAWJ's growth within our organization. I have truly appreciated the time and commitment of each of our committees.

The New Judge Committee has been extremely active. You will be seeing shortly a dedicated section of our Counterbalance publication devoted specifically to the issues facing new judges to the bench and to NAWJ. Thank you to those who responded to the recent survey from this committee seeking guidance and input of the needs of our members. This survey will continue gathering information, which will be made available to all. Glaring in the responses is the need for mentoring, support and education. Thank you to Co-Chairs Judge Toni Leoni and Judge Jamoa Mobley, and this dynamic committee!

In addition, NAWJ will submit a proposal for a grant seeking to enhance NAWJ's website. Thank you to Projects Chair Judge Sheri Roman for her extraordinary effort in providing an overview and analysis of our website as it relates to programs and invaluable suggestions that Executive Director Marie Komisar used in drafting the proposal. The Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Committee has added new links to our existing website for members' ease of reference. Thank you to Sheri and Marie... great job!

The Executive Board has approved and cleared a path for the creation of the Strategic Planning Committee to update and advance the Long Range Strategic Plan for NAWJ that has been in effect since 2007 and due to expire at year's end 2012. You may view the comprehensive plan here crafted and adopted under the stellar leadership of Past President Judge Brenda Stith Loftin. Judge Loftin has kindly agreed to Chair this Committee that will drive our vision forward for the next five years using the existing plan as our guide. The immediate Past President each year will serve as the liaison to this committee. Of course, the current president, resource board members, district directors and other interested members will comprise this committee to be appointed by the President. Our first meeting will be in November in Miami.

Thank you, Brenda, for your guidance and continued exceptional leadership.

Thank you all for your tremendous support and the outstanding work you do every day in your districts in the name of NAWJ.

With my best wishes,


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, California
Hon. Dana Fabe, Alaska Supreme Court, Alaska
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, Washington
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

National Association of Women Judges Announces
2012 Annual Awards Honorees

Justice Fernande (Nan) R. V. Duffly

The Honorable Fernande R.V. Duffly was President of NAWJ for the 2007-2008 year. She sits on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and has been an NAWJ member since 1996. Justice Duffly has served in many NAWJ offices and board positions, including District Director, Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice-President of Districts. She currently serves as NAWJ's delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA).

Roberta D. Liebenberg, Esq.

Roberta D. Liebenberg is a senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the Co-Chair of the very successful Friends Committee for NAWJ's 2007 Annual Conference in Philadelphia and collaborated with NAWJ on various projects during her three-year tenure as Chair of the ABA Commission of Women in the Profession. Ms. Liebenberg was also Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary 2006-07. Attorney Liebenberg has worked tirelessly at the local, state and national levels to promote gender equality and diversity in the legal profession.

Chief Justice Dana Fabe

The Honorable Dana Fabe was President of NAWJ for the 2009-2010 year. She is Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, and has been an NAWJ member since 1988. Justice Fabe has served in many NAWJ offices and board positions, including Vice-President of Projects Districts. Most recently, Justice Fabe has been active in promoting MentorJet, a networking program she created in 2010 to bring together experienced professionals from across a range of fields in the legal profession with young people interested in pursuing legal careers using a fun and lively 'speed mentoring' game. Since her year as President, Justice Fabe has remained active with NAWJ, serving in numerous committees.

Judge Sandra Robinson

The Honorable Sandra Robinson is an Administrative Law Judge for the State of New Jersey. She has served as District Director of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Virgin Islands for the past two years, and has been a tireless and enthusiastic promoter of the achievements of judges and attorneys in her district. Judge Robinson has been a member since 1997.

"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

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

International Judges Committee
Chairs: Judge Mercedes Bach • Judge Judy Chirlin (Retired)
Members: Judge Rosemary Barkett • Justice Ann Walsh Bradley • Judge Beverly Cutler (Retired) • Judge Beverly Sherman Nash • Judge Gladys Perez • Judge Geraldine Sparrow • Judge Carolyn Temin

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 • Judge Barbara Lagoa • Bruce Lehr • LillyAnn Sanchez

Security Committee
Chairs: Judge Spencer Multack • Judge Rodolfo "Rudy" Ruiz

Excursions Committee
Chairs: Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez • Judge Valerie Manno Schurr

Women in Prison Committee
Chair: Judge Simone Marstiller

Advisory Committee
Judge Amy L. Nechtem • Marie E. Komisar


Law Firm Partners 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
Codina Partners

Silver Partners
Leon Medical Centers
Piedra & Associates
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
The Thornton Family

Alliance 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


Premier Sponsors
Robert M. Kaufman, Esq.

Gold Sponsors
Akerman Senterfitt LLP

Silver Sponsors
American Society for International Law
Astigarraga Davis
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP
Broad & 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 & Investment Management, The MAB Group
Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.
Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.
White & Case LLP

Bronze Sponsors
Avila, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Mena & Ferri LLP
Berger Singerman
Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants
Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP
Colson Hicks Eidson
The Ferraro Law Firm
Grossman Roth, P.A.
Higer, Lichter, Givner
Holland & Knight LLP
JAMS, The Resolution Experts
Kaufman, Rossin & Co.
Kenny Nachwalter, P.A.
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Amigos Sponsors
Bankruptcy Bar Association
Damian & Valori LLP
Elser Foster-Morales
Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions
ESB Mediation Services
Fabricant Morton & Company, PA
Gamba & Lombana, P.A.
GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group
Kubicki Draper
Robert Levy
Lott & Fischer
McDonald Hopkins LLC
Meland Russin & Budwick, P.A.
Mestre Law
Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers
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 Moreno
Perry Ellis
University of Miami School of Law
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

(Continuing Legal Education credits for education programs are pending with the Florida Court Education Council and the Florida State Bar Association.)

Click here to read an expanded Schedule of Events on NAWJ's website.

2011-2012 NAWJ Board of Directors Meeting

for First-time Attendees and International Judges

Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Federal Courthouse for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Morning Yoga
(sign up with a $10 fee at the Registration Desk in Miami)

Conference Opening Welcome Remarks

Plenary Session - The Independence of the Judiciary

Lisa Bloom, author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World.


Set One

Judith Resnik on "Representing Justice"

Lawyering and Justice - Emerging Issues of Nations in Transition

Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

Set Two

Curbing Access to Justice in a Down Economy

Legal and Judicial Trends in Cuba

Sally Kenney on "Gender and Judging"

Hosted by University of Miami Law School and the Cuban American Bar Association "Noche de Salsa."

NAWJ District Breakfast Meetings

Plenary Session - Bringing Human Rights Home


Hidden Impact: The Unseen Consequences of the Economic Crisis

Women's Health

The Impact of Other Laws on Court Decisions

So You Think You Have a Book in You

A Conversation with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Plenary Session - The Power and Reach of the Internet

Optional Excursion Women in Prison Project to Homestead Correctional Institution with ArtSpring.

ArtSpring provides therapeutic programming and re-entry assistance to women in prison in Florida. They will be escorting our members on this optional excursion to Homestead Correctional Institution. Those wishing to attend must complete a form allowing a background check, and return to Artspring. Download form here. Space is limited to 40 attendees.

Morning Yoga
(sign up with a $10 fee at the Registration Desk in Miami)

NAWJ Committee Breakfast Meetings

NAWJ Annual Business Meeting and New Officer Investiture

Plenary Session -- Judging in an International Community

NAWJ Resource Board Meeting

2012-2013 NAWJ Board of Directors Meeting


Farewell Breakfast

Contribute to NAWJ's Amazon Wish List
for Florida's Women in Prison
In support of 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.

Color of Justice to Celebrate Ten-Year Anniversary
September 14, 2012
Beltrami County Courthouse in Bemidji, Minnesota

The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) will hold its Ten-Year Celebration of the Color of Justice Program at the Beltrami County Courthouse in Bemidji, Minnesota. The Color of Justice Program is NAWJ's most popular outreach to young women, and other disproportionally under-represented groups, which encourages pursuit of careers in the legal profession. On behalf of NAWJ, it is our honor to invite you to join us on Friday September 14th.

The program will join Minnesota judges and attorneys with national representatives of NAWJ to mentor students from White Earth, Red Lake and Leech Lake tribal communities. Students will engage in a mock trial, share lunch while hearing the life and career paths of a panel including judges, attorneys and law students, and query their mentors-for-the-day on what one does, and what it means to interpret and execute the law.

Additionally, we invite you to join us at our Welcome Reception the evening before Thursday September 13th at 5:30 pm at the beautiful Hampton Inn Bemidji. (Delta Airlines services Bemidji Airport.) Here, we will gather to greet each other, and honor NAWJ's Color of Justice Program creator, and Past President, Judge Brenda Stith Loftin, for initiating such a rewarding program. Please RSVP for both events by contacting Lavinia Cousin at

Submit Your News for the Fall 2012 Issue of Counterbalance

Those interested in submitting news should email Lavinia Cousin at

Jenny Yang Nominated by President Barack Obama for Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission

On August 2, President Barack Obama nominated NAWJ associate member, Jenny R. Yang to serve as a Commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If confirmed, Ms. Yang will fill the seat vacated by former Commissioner Stuart J. Ishimaru, who moved to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), and would serve on the EEOC through July 1, 2017. Read the White House's news release here.

"These individuals have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," President Obama said.

Currently, Ms. Yang chairs Cohen Milstein's hiring and diversity committee and is a member of the firm's civil rights and employment practice. She joined the firm in 2003. Ms. Yang represents employees in civil rights class actions and wage and hour collective actions. She served as second chair before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes gender bias case, and continues to represent current and former Wal-Mart workers in regional sex discrimination class actions. She also represents female sales employees in a class arbitration, Jock v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., and successfully resolved a multidistrict litigation suit accusing poultry company, Pilgrim's Pride Corp., of failing to pay overtime to more than 8,000 workers. Ms. Yang has also successfully represented thousands of female workers in a gender discrimination case against Boeing in federal court in Seattle.

Before Cohen Milstein, Ms. Yang served as a trial attorney and then a senior trial attorney at the Department of Justice. From 1998 to 2003, she worked in the employment ligation section of the DOJ's civil rights division, where she litigated pattern or practice and individual discrimination cases against state and local governments.

The EEOC is comprised of five presidentially appointed members who are supported by a general counsel. The commission now has one vacant slot. Its current members are Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien and Commissioners Constance S. Barker (also an NAWJ member), Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic.

Ms. Yang is the daughter of 2011 Annual Conference Chair, the Hon. Sue Pai Yang (Judge, Retired), who was also formerly NAWJ International Director.

2013 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference
May 2-4, 2013
Washington, D.C.

NAWJ President-Elect, the Honorable Joan V. Churchill, and a planning team will hold NAWJ's 2013 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. Highlights will include a joint meeting with members of Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, and a discussion forum and reception at the United States Supreme Court Building on Friday, May 3, 2013. The NAWJ Board of Directors will meet on Saturday, May 4, 2013. More information will follow.

NAWJ Reception on September 10th at the Texas Association for Court Administration (TACA) Annual Judicial Conference, Westin Galleria, Houston, TX.

Color of Justice Ten-Year Celebration will take place on September 14, 2012, at the Beltrami County Courthouse in Bemidji, Minnesota. The Welcome Reception will take place Thursday September 13th at 5:30 pm at the Hampton Inn Bemidji.

NAWJ Maryland Chapter's "Fall Fling" 2012 Leaders Forum, presented in association with the Women's Bar Association and Maryland Women Legislative Caucus, will take place on September 28 - 29 at the Rocky Gap Lodge and Resort in Cumberland, MD.

District Two's Conference, Fantastic Fall Weekend, will take place on Saturday, October 20 in Mystic Seaport.

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

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

NAWJ's 35th Annual Conference will take place October 9 - 13 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.

Connect With Us

Facebook Twitter