NAWJ Monthly Update September 2015

Written by National Association of Women Judges|September 01, 2015|Monthly Update Archive

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September 2015

In This Issue:


The 2015 NAWJ Annual Conference and Meeting in beautiful Salt Lake City is just a month away. The expansive array of engaging educational programs, the quality of the keynote speakers, the range of cultural and natural activities specific to the area, and the cutting edge venues make this an exceptional conference - one not to miss. The jam packed four day agenda is readily available on the NAWJ website. Do not delay - the time to register is NOW!

Additionally, the Annual Conference is the time we pause for a few moments each year to recognize those amongst us who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the mission driven goals of NAWJ. We do so by presenting awards bearing the names of our organization's courageous and visionary founding 'mothers:' Justices Joan Dempsey Klein and Vaino Spencer, and in the names of three dedicated, inspiring and prominent women in the profession who have furthered the aspirational goals of NAWJ through unwavering perseverance: Mattie Belle Davis, Florence K. Murray and Norma Winkler. I will have the true honor and privilege at the October 10th gala dinner of presenting these awards to the following NAWJ notables:

Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year: Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Justice Abrahamson, the longstanding former Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and former Board Chair of the National Center for State Courts, has relentlessly and passionately over more than two decades championed with laser point focus the importance and necessity of an independent and diverse judiciary, dedicated to the rule of law, for the well-being of our society.

Justice Vaino Spencer Award: Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby, on the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, has actively demonstrated through outstanding leadership in her years as a board member and President a tireless commitment to advancing through action the core values of NAWJ, especially in the areas of promoting women and minorities in the judiciary, ensuring access to justice, and combatting the threat to fair and impartial courts, all the while raising our collective conscience to the evils of implicit bias.

Florence K. Murray Award: Karen Johnson-McKewan, Esq. Ms. Johnson-McKewan, a partner in the internationally recognized Orrick firm who specializes in complex civil litigation, collaborated with the NAWJ Board of Directors, along with co-chair Elaine Metlin, to restructure the Resource Board, and thus transformed it into a mutually beneficial liaison with lawyers and corporations who commit to supporting NAWJ through financial and volunteer contributions; Ms. McKewan has been instrumental in obtaining studies re: the status of women in the legal profession, critical in the early stages to the Informed Voters - Fair Judges project, and a lightning rod and mentor for the advancement of women in the profession, as evidenced by her dynamic NAWJ panel presentations.

Mattie Belle Davis Award: Cathy Winter. Ms. Winter, who is CourtCall's Director of Corporate Development, has devoted endless time and expertise to many NAWJ projects - most recently on our NAWJ Website Improvement Committee, participated in the making of the Fair Girls Video Training, and has attended and help fund through CourtCall key NAWJ events, including becoming the first corporate sponsor of the 2016 Biennial, as well as many annual conferences and this year's Congressional Women's Caucus Luncheon focusing on incarcerated women's issues; Ms. Winter is always a pitch perfect ambassador for NAWJ.

Excellence in Service Award (Norma Winkler): Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Bradley's sharp legal expertise, wise judgment and negotiating skills were instrumental in reaching an agreement with IAWJ for NAWJ to host the 2016 IAWJ Biennial in Washington D.C., as well as in crafting significant international and domestic resolutions for the NAWJ Board and membership, advancing the objectives of the Informed Voters-Fair Judges project, and in addressing ongoing issues as NAWJ's International Director - and always does so with such grace and grit.


Also, of significance at this annual meeting will be the discussion at the business meeting on the morning of October 10th of proposed amendments to three NAWJ Bylaws:

(1) Article III: Membership (clarification of the eligibility, rights and responsibilities of each member by category); (2) Article VI: Board of Directors (clarification of the eligibility to continue as a District Director if no longer a sitting judge); (3) Article VIII: Representatives to Other Organizations: (expansion of the eligibility to serve as the NAWJ delegate to the ABA House of Delegates; timing of the election and term of service.) See the proposed amendments to the NAWJ Bylaws published in this monthly update.

And, lastly, as we look forward with great anticipation to the truly incomparable 2016 IAWJ Biennial May 26-29 in Washington D.C., we will proudly administer the oath of office to our stellar slate of new officers (with the membership's approval) at the close of the business meeting, and gear up for what promises to be a most exciting and dynamic year under the leadership of our inspiring and energetic incoming NAWJ President, Judge Lisa Walsh.

See you at the kickoff in the stunning Grand Hotel in Salt Lake City Salt Lake City on October 7th!

Warm Regards,


Judge Julie E. Frantz

President's Calendar

September: Meeting in Seattle re: 2016 NAWJ Annual Conference
September 28: NAWJ-NCBJ Meeting in Miami Florida
October 7-11, 2015: NAWJ Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah

NAWJ to Offer Bylaw Revisions at the Annual Business Meeting in Salt Lake
City on Saturday, October 10, 2015 during the 2015 Annual Conference

NAWJ's Bylaws Committee has been meeting in discussions to propose amendments to sections of the bylaws. Current bylaws may be found here. Revised sections proposed include (language in brackets [ ] is the deleted language and the language in italics is the new language.):

Bylaws Committee Chair: Hon. Toni Clarke. Members: Hon. Ann Walsh Bradley, Hon. Julie Frantz, Hon. Ariane Vuono, and Hon. Barbara Ann Zúñiga.

Hon. Michele Christiansen, Utah Court of Appeals
Hon. Sharon McCully (Retired), 3rd District Juvenile Court
Education: Hon. Kate Toomey, Utah Court of Appeals
Tammy G. Georgelas, Esq., Parsons Behle & Latimer
Margaret N. McGann, Esq., Parsons Behle & Latimer

NAWJ 37th Annual Conference
October 7-11, 2015 • Salt Lake City, Utah
Grand America Hotel

(Download the conference brochure)

OPTIONAL MOUNTAIN HIKE: Twenty (20) attendees may attend this Dog Lake Trail, a 6 mile out and
back hike. Email to sign-up. Possible $15 shuttle fee.
Film Screening of Women Trailblazers in the Law: Utah's First 100 Women Lawyers
International Judges Reception
New Judges/First-Time Attendee Reception
Welcome Reception

Gender Bias: How Far Have We Come in 25 Years?
After Marriage: A Dialogue on LGBT Rights and Religious Liberties
Keynote Speaker: Professor Sujata Warrier
Impact of Media/Social Media on High Profile Cases
Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline
The Uneasy Intersection of Law And Medicine
Reception at the National History Museum

Erwin Chemerinsky
Immigration Issues Facing Local, State and Federal Courts
Human Trafficking: A Pro Bono Counsel's View of U.S. v. Adan
Friends Appreciation Luncheon
Evidentiary Issues Involving Magnetic Images of the Brain
Domestic Sex Trafficking: Overcoming the Barriers to Successful Prosecutions
Predictable Misjudgment: How Intuition Misleads Judges
Justice Reinvestment Initiative: A National Perspective
A Conversation with Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
Where Are We Almost 50 Years After In Re Gault?
Utah Women Lawyers Judicial Reception

Annual NAWJ Business Meeting
Mindfulness and Meditation
Personal Story - Born in Prison, A Woman Rises Against the Odds
Annual NAWJ Gala Banquet

OPTIONAL EXCURSION: "Music and the Spoken Word" performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Forty (40) attendees may attend the live performance. Please email if you want to attend.

$525 for Members who are First-Time Attendees
$595 for NAWJ Members ($550 Earlybird rate until April 25, 2015)
$695 for Non-Member Attendees
$575 Guest Rate for Spouse and Children of Attendees ($550 Earlybird rate until April 25, 2015)

Register online here, or download and fax this registration form.

Call (800) 304-8696 • NAWJ Rate: $189/night, plus applicable taxes

For More Information Contact:
Conference Manager: Mary Kathleen Todd at

Salt Lake City Conference Planners Join with Utah Department of Corrections
to Bring Needed Books and Resources to Women in Prison

Here is the link to the drive's Amazon wish list:

For the past six years, annual conference planners have looked to conference attendees, and members who could not attend, for support of local women in prison. There are currently 101 items on the list you can access through the link above. Take a moment and review the list assembled by Christie Jensen, Library Director of the Utah Department of Corrections. Buy a book, or several, that would brighten the minds and hearts of women looking to stay connected and knowledgeable of themselves and the larger world around them.

For those attending the conference in Salt Lake City, consider bringing personal books to donate. The information table will be happy to receive them.

Sign Up for Optional Excursions During the
NAWJ Salt Lake Annual Conference


WILDERNESS HIKE: Dog Lake Trail, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Wednesday, October 7 • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Twenty (20) attendees may attend this beautiful hike. Dog Lake Trail is a 6 mile out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Please email if you want to attend. Possible $15 shuttle fee.


OPTIONAL EXCURSION: "Music and the Spoken Word" performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choice
Sunday, October 11 • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Forty (40) attendees may attend the live performance of 'Music and the Spoken Word' featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The performance starts at 9:30 a.m. Guests must be seated by 9:15 a.m., when the doors are closed. The broadcast is 30 minutes long and ends at 10:00 a.m. Please email if you want to attend.

National Association of Women Judges Announces
Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award, Mattie Belle Davis Award
and Excellence in Service Award Recipients

Justice Anna Blackburne-Rigsby

Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby was sworn in as the 34th President of the National Association of Women Judges at its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, on October 12, 2013. During her installation ceremony, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby remarked that, "through education and outreach programs, NAWJ is poised for Ensuring Access to Justice for All." Judge Blackburne-Rigsby further remarked that she will expand partnerships and collaborations to ensure that the "important work of NAWJ will impact a wider audience." She is this year's recipient of NAWJ's Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award. Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby was nominated by President George W. Bush to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in August 2006. Prior to her appointment to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby was nominated by President William Jefferson Clinton to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and served from 2000-2006. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby previously served as a Magistrate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia from 1995-2000. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby chairs the District of Columbia Courts' Standing Committee on Fairness and Access, and serves as Co-Chair of the District of Columbia's Access to Justice Commission. In addition to her work with NAWJ, she also serves as Chair of the Board of Managerial Trustees for the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).

Cathy Winter

Cathy Winter is the Director of Corporate Development at CourtCall, LLC, located in Los Angeles. CourtCall is responsible for managing an innovative teleconferencing system, introduced in 1996, that facilitates non-evidentiary pretrial proceedings enabling attorneys to make such appearances remotely. The service is widely used today, servicing hundreds of State, Federal, Bankruptcy, and Provincial Courts across the United States and Canada. Cathy Winter became a member of NAWJ's Resource Board in 2012. Since that time she has been involved in numerous initiatives all of which have greatly benefitted the organization. Ms. Winter served on the Planning Committee for NAWJ's 36th Annual Conference in San Diego, is an active member of NAWJ's Website Committee, and was instrumental in realizing this year meeting with the Congressional Women's Caucus on Capitol Hill. Ms. Winter also serves on the Board of Directors of Western Justice Center, a non-profit organization that designs and implements programs aiming to promote effective conflict resolution in school and community settings.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley serves as International Director for NAWJ. She is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Judicial Academy and has served as an international lecturer for the Academy, the American Bar Association's Asia Law Initiative, and the U.S. Department of State. Currently she also serves as the state coordinator of iCivics, a civics education program founded by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and as the North American delegate to the Board of Directors of the International Women Judges Association. Justice Bradley was in private practice until becoming a circuit court judge in Marathon County in 1985. She was elected to the Supreme Court in 1995 and re-elected in 2005 and 2015. She has been an NAWJ member since 2007. Justice Bradley is an elected member of the American Law Institute as well as a member of the American Judicature Society, the State Bar Bench-Bar Committee, the Board of Visitors of the UW Law School, and the Federal-State Judicial Council. She is a past associate dean of the Wisconsin Judicial College and has formerly served as a Commissioner of the National Conference on Uniform Laws, Chair of the Wisconsin Rhodes Scholarship Committee, and a member of the Wisconsin Judicial Council. Justice Bradley is a native of Richland Center, Wisconsin. She was a high school teacher before entering the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she earned her law degree. She and her husband, Mark, live in Wausau where they raised their four children.

NAWJ member and Meeting Planning Committee member Judge Cara Lee Neville (4th Judicial District Court, MN), invites you to attend the ABA's Section of International Law's 2015 Fall Meeting in Montreal, Canada from October 20-24, 2015. Planners anticipate over 1,100 leading attorneys, corporate counsel, government officials, academics and NGO lawyers for three days of networking and programming on the latest international legal and ethics issues.

The 2015 Fall Meeting will offer you:

  • Over 65 cutting edge panel sessions examining this year's theme: Globalization and the Importance of Law, Language and Culture. Plus, an entire year's worth of U.S. CLE/Canadian CPD.
  • Interactive programming covering dispute resolution, legal and regulatory issues, business and finance, human rights, sports and entertainment, trade and the impact of culture on law and business.
  • Exclusive networking opportunities each day including twice daily networking breaks, a home hospitality night, receptions at Cirque Eloize, the Montreal Science Center- The Belvedere , a relaxed reception featuring Canadian cuisine and beer tasting, and a Friday night after-hours reception.

The full conference agenda is available online here. Please visit for more information and to register.

Register now and save! Discounted Early Bird rates expire September 8. Registration rates are further discounted for young lawyers (35 years and under), full time government and NGO employees, academics, law students, corporate counsel, solo / small practice and retired attorneys.

NAWJ 2015-2015 Board of Directors Nomination Slate

In accordance with the NAWJ Bylaws, the Nominating Committee presents the following Nomination Slate for the 2015-2016 Board of Directors:

Hon. Lisa S. Walsh, Civil Division, Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami, Florida
(automatically assumes office)

Hon. Diana Becton, Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County

Vice President, Districts
Hon. Tamila Ipema, Superior Court of California, San Diego County

Vice President, Publications
Hon. Beverly Winslow Cutler, Alaska Court System, 3rd Judicial District

Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, New York State Supreme Court, New York County

Hon. Joy Cossich Lobrano, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana

International Director
Hon. Lisette Shirdan-Harris, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania

The Nominating Committee includes:
Chair, Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Hon. Bernice Donald, U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Hon. Dana Fabe, Alaska Supreme Court
Hon. Jennifer Gee, U.S. Department of Labor, California
Hon. Marcella A. Holland, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland (Retired)
Hon. Gladys Kessler, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Hon. Brenda Stith Loftin, St. Louis County Circuit Court, Missouri (Retired)
Hon. Amy L. Nechtem, Administrative Office of the Juvenile Court, Massachusetts
Hon. Bea Ann Smith, Third Court of Appeals, Texas (Retired)
Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, District of Columbia Court of Appeals

National Association of Women Judges Announces
2015 Hon. Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year
and Florence K. Murray Award Recipients

Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson

Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Gov. Patrick Lucey in 1976. She was then the only woman to serve on the court. She won election to the court in 1979 and re-election in 1989, 1999, and 2009. Since August 1, 1996, she has been chief justice and, in that capacity, serves as the administrative leader of the Wisconsin court system.

Before joining the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Abrahamson was in private practice in Madison for 14 years and was a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is a past president of the National Conference of Chief Justices and past chair of the board of directors of the National Center for State Courts. She also has served as chair of the National Institute of Justice's National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. She is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, the New York University School of Law Institute of Judicial Administration. She also has served on the State Bar of Wisconsin's Commission on the Delivery of Legal Services, the American Bar Association's Coalition for Justice, and the National Academies' Science, Technology and Law panel.

Born and raised in New York City, Chief Justice Abrahamson received her bachelor's degrees from NYU in 1953, her law degree from Indiana University Law School in 1956, and a doctorate of law in American legal history in 1962 from the UW Law School. She is the recipient of 15 honorary doctor of laws degrees and the Distinguished Alumni Award of the UW-Madison. She is a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected member of the American Philosophical Society. In 2004, she received the American Judicature Society's Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence. In 2009 the National Center for State Courts awarded her the Harry L. Carrico Award for Judicial Innovation, for serving as a national leader in safeguarding judicial independence, improving inter-branch relations, and expanding outreach to the public.

Karen Johnson-McKewan, Esq.

Karen G. Johnson-McKewan, an Intellectual Property partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's San Francisco office, is a trial lawyer who concentrates her practice on complex intellectual property and commercial litigation for technology and consumer products companies. Ms. Johnson-McKewan has significant experience litigating and trying particularly intricate cases in which the translation of complex technology issues into plain English is invaluable. Her engagements have involved matters in technology, internet, financial, e-commerce, retail, software and gaming industries in a diverse set of courts and multiple arbitral bodies. She served as Orrick's San Francisco Office Leader from 2005 to 2008.

Ms. Johnson-McKewan joined the NAWJ Resource Board in 2005, and served as its co-chair from 2006 to 2009. Among her many accomplishments during that period, Ms. Johnson-McKewan secured Forster-Long, Inc.'s partnership in producing a statistical summary of gender ratios of the judiciary in every state of the country. In 2011, Ms. Johnson-McKewan assumed the responsibilities of co-chair of the Resource Board for a second time and together with Elaine Metlin has played a critical role in moving NAWJ forward. Ms. Johnson-McKewan also serves as vice-chair of NAWJ's California Coordinating Committee for the Informed Voters/Fair Judges Project (IVP). Orrick has been a substantial resource for the IVP. Its generous financial contributions and pro bono work of its attorneys have preserved NAWJ's tax-exempt status and the independence of IVP's intellectual property. Ms. Johnson-McKewan received her B.A. from the University of California, Davis and her law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law.

Economics Institutes for Judges' Upcoming Programs
at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA

The Economics Institutes for Judges is offering education program to be held Sunday, September 20 through Friday, September 25, 2015, and Sunday, November 8 through Friday, November 13, 2015, at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia.

Click here for more information on September's program.

Click here for more information on November's programs.

Please do not hesitate to contact the program's Judicial Education Program assistant, Cristina Minniti, us with any questions. She can be reached at or at (703) 993-8008.

Informed Voters (IVP) Produces Videos for Use in Fair Courts Presentations

Florida State Co-Chair Justice Barbara Pariente, along with another San Diego Conference panelist Annette Boyd Pitts, produced for the NAWJ's Informed Voters-Fair Judges Project the following video clips for use in members' fair courts presentations:

A Fair and Impartial Judiciary: Segment 1
A Fair and Impartial Judiciary: Segment 2
A Fair and Impartial Judiciary: Segment 3

Check them out by right-clicking on each segment for view. For more information contact:

Annette Boyd Pitts, Executive Director •
The Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc
2930 Kerry Forest Parkway, Suite 202
Tallahassee, Florida 32309 •

Landmark Sponsor GEICO

Part of NAWJ and GEICO's 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!

Calendar of Programs and Events

NAWJ District Two will celebrate the contributions of the federal judiciary by honoring Judge Ellen Bree Burns on September 26 at The Graduate Club in New Haven, CT. Contact: Judge Mary Sommer at

NAWJ-NCBL Liaison Committee will hold its Third Annual Breakfast during the 2015 National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Annual Meeting on Monday, September 28, 2017 at 7:30 am. At Cecconi's Restaurant in Miami. Contact: Judge Margaret McGariry for details,

NAWJ District One will honor Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and newly appointed and elevated judges on September 30 at the Social Law Library at the John Adams Courthouse, Boston. Contact: Judge Marylou Muirhead at or (617) 788-6501.

NAWJ's New York Chapter will present a panel on issues unique to women attorneys as part of launching a Career Clothes Closet Networking program on October 6 from 5:00-8:00 pm at the University of Buffalo Law School. Contact: Judge Shirley Troutman at

NAWJ will hold its 37th Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 8-11, 2015.

NAWJ District Four will hold its 2015 Leadership Conference to honor Hon. Barbara Keenan (U.S. Court of Appeals, Retired) with the Edna G. Parker Award, and highlight speaker Tonier Cain from October 30-31 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, MD. Contact: Judge Sherrie Krauser at


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.

NAWJ 37th Annual Conference will take place in Seattle, Washington from October 5-9, 2016 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

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