Update: Volume 1, Issue 1 - February 2016


In The News:

What is This?
District Two: Appellate Division Appointments in New York
District Five: Color of Justice and IVP in Florida, Georgia Ready's for 2017 Annual, North Carolina's Redistricting, South Carolina's Judicial Symposium on Public Pension Reform
District Six: New Orleans Hosts Multi-State Color of Justice and Judge Robin Giarrusso Receives Distinguished Jurist Award
District 11: NAWJ Co-Sponsors Texas Women Lawyers Conference in San Antonio, Plans Color of Justice, Equal Access to Justice Awards, 2018 NAWJ Annual
District 13: Washington Kick-Offs October's NAWJ Annual, Awards Equal Access to Justice Scholarship; Portland Plans Kickoff for Seattle Annual
District 14: California Makes Outreach with Color of Justice, Bar to Bench, Women in Prison Programs
Dear Members,
This email announces the inaugural issue of District News Monthly. District News will complement the Monthly Update with member news and announcements, sectioned by district. While members may easily scroll down and find out what is happening in their own district, members can also read and review what other members are doing around the country. Many of the programs mentioned are NAWJ programs whose descriptions may be found in your 2016 Membership Directory or online here.
Each district with news for the month will be identified above. All districts will list its District Director's name and contact information should you have something to relay to them for next month.
Hon. Tamila E. Ipema
Judge, San Diego Superior Court
NAWJ VP of Districts

District Director: Hon. Cheryl J. Gonzales Contact: cgonzale@courts.state.ny.us
New Appointments
Congratulations to the following judges who were appointed to the Appellate Division by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 18, 2016.
In the Appellate Division 1st Department: Honorable Ellen Gesmer; Honorable Marcy Kahn; and Honorable Troy Webber
In the Appellate Division 2nd Department: Honorable Francesca Connelly and Honorable Valerie Brathwaite Nelson
In the Appellate Division 3rd Department: Honorable Sharon Aarons
In the Appellate Division 4th Department: Honorable Shirley Troutman

District Director: Hon. Diana S. Eagon Contact: judgeeagon@hotmail.com
Preserving a Fair and Impartial Judiciary: A Conversation with State Supreme Court Justices
On February 3, 2016 Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson and Washington Supreme Court Justice Debra Stevens participated in a Symposium at Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida entitled "Preserving a Fair and Impartial Judiciary: A Conversation with State Supreme Court Justices." The justices spoke with a room full of law students, lawyers, and judges exploring the principle that judges must be evaluated on their integrity, competency, and ethics, not politics. The program was presented in conjunction with NAWJ's Informed Voters Fair Judges Project.
Color of Justice Program

On February 19, 2016, NAWJ State Chair, Myriam Lehr, along with Associate Administrative Judge Linda Singer Stein presented Color of Justice to the students from the Law Academy of the Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School. The Presidents of the Cuban American Bar Association, Anna Marie Hernandez, and the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Bar Association, Loreal Arscott, were featured as program speakers. Each presented personal stories describing their backgrounds and paths to a successful career in the law, highlighting the stories of African American and Hispanic women who paved the way for young attorneys. The engaged students asked many questions reflecting an inspiration to study law.
Professor Rebecca Davis is NAWJ's state chair for Georgia. A Color of Justice program is planned for Savannah in March. Justice Carol Hunstein and Judge Sara Doyle are busy with the planning of NAWJ's 2017 Annual Conference which will take place in Atlanta.
Congressional Redistricting and the Courts
Justice Antonin's Scalia's unexpected death has thrown a certain amount of uncertainty into pending redistricting matters. The day before he died a three-judge panel of federal judges declared North Carolina's congressional districts 1 and 12 unconstitutional, as racial gerrymanders. The North Carolina Supreme Court had previously ruled the new districts (state and congressional) were constitutional. Many observers expected the United States Supreme Court to take both cases and hopefully resolve the conflict. Now there is uncertainty as to the outcome.
Also, this year marked the first time North Carolina's Supreme Court election proceeded in a non-partisan vote, due to a legislative change in 2015. A three-judge panel of state court judges announced last week that it was going to find that election change unconstitutional under the state constitution. The order has not yet been entered. Only one justice is up in 2016, and that is Justice Robert Edmunds.
The state Court of Appeals elections in 2016 are still contested, with partisan labels again after being non-partisan for more than a decade. Judges Linda Stephens, Valerie Zachary, Robert Hunter, Jr., and Richard Dietz are up for re-election and all have opponents. The intersection of politics and the judiciary in North Carolina is very evident.
Judicial Symposium on Economics and Law of Public Pension Reform
A judicial Symposium on Economics and Law of Public Pension Reform will take place in Charleston on March 20 to 22. It will discuss looming financial and structural crisis facing state pension systems throughout the country. The program will outline underlying structure of pension systems, address differences public and private, and discuss unfunded liabilities and potential bankruptcy issues. Click here for more information.
** Please contact Judge Eagon, judgeeagon@hotmail.com, if you would like to serve as chair for South Carolina. Also, share with her any information you wish to be included in the e-newsletter next month.

District Director: Hon. Bernadette G. D'Souza Contact: bdsouza@orleanscdc.com
Color of Justice at Dillard University
On November 3, members of District Six met with students at Dillard University for a Color of Justice Program. Judges in attendance included Hon. Joy Cossich Lobrano of the LA 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Secretary of the NAWJ, Hon. Bernadette D'Souza of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Director of District 6, Hon. Sondra Jenkins of the LA 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Hon. Regina Woods of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Hon. Desiree Charbonnet of the New Orleans Municipal Court, Hon. Candice Bates-Anderson of the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, and Angela White-Bazile, Executive Council in the Office of Chief Justice Bernette Johnson.

The judges met with pre-law students from Louisiana, California, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for lunch and conversation. After the students introduced themselves, the judges provided their insight about serving in the judiciary and the many pathways to it. Towards the conclusion of the program, the students had the opportunity to ask questions, and all left the event feeling inspired.

Above Left: Judge Joy Lobrano and Judge Bernadette D'Souza with NAWJ law student intern, Clerc Cooper of Tulane Law School at the NAWJ Color of Justice Program.
Distinguished Jurist Award from the Pro Bono Project
Judge Robin Giarrusso, NAWJ member and colleague on District Director Judge D'Souza's bench received the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Pro Bono Project based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Pro Bono Project exists to ensure that all underserved citizens of six local Louisiana parishes can find lawyers willing to donate time and civil legal experience to help them resolve civil legal problems. The snapshot above was printed in the local newspaper.

District Director: Hon. Rebeca Martinez Contact: rebeca.martinez@txcourts.gov
San Antonio 2018 NAWJ Annual Conference
District Director Justice Rebecca Martinez will Chair NAWJ's 2018 Annual Conference in San Antonio Conference planning is in its initial stage. Justice Martinez has already met with a conference contractors to visit potential sites for the conference. It was determined that The Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Antonio would serve as the host hotel.

District Director: Hon. Marilyn G. Paja Contact: mpaja@co.kitsap.wa.us
Seattle 2016 Annual Conference Kick-off

On January 21, 2016 - Seattle 2016 Annual Conference Kick-off, Seattle, WA. Hosted by the Perkins Coie Law Firm in downtown Seattle, a generous supporter of the Conference. Friends Co-Chair Ms. Ellen Dial was instrumental in organizing the event, attended by about 75 lawyers and judges, including NAWJ President-Elect Hon. Lisa Walsh, and Washington State Supreme Court Justices Barbara Madsen, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary Fairhurst, Debra Stephens, and Conference Chair Susan Owens - all NAWJ members, as well as Justice Mary Yu.

The NAWJ Equal Justice Scholarship of $500 was awarded to Justice Yu's extern Ms. Angela Jones (pictures at podium right of Justice Barbara Madsen). Following the ceremony several different firms were actively lobbying Ms. Jones to apply for an associate position.
Spokane 2016 Annual Conference Kick-off

January 22, 2016 - Seattle 2016 Annual Conference Kick-off, Spokane, WA. Hosted by the firm of Winston & Cashatt, a generous support of the Conference. Friends Co-Chair (and former Winston & Cashatt partner) Nancy Isserlis organized the event together with a very lively group of enthusiastic Spokane Washington Women Lawyers. Joining NAWJ President elect Lisa Walsh and three Washington State Supreme Court Justices (Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Barbara Madsen and Conference Chair Susan Owens) were about 65 lawyers and judges.
Another scholarship was awarded to a Gonzaga University School of Law 3-L student Stephanie Faust (above right) by the Washington State Association for President-Elect Justice Robin Haynes. The WSAJ has partnered in the scholarship effort with NAWJ for several years and is working with the State Gender & Justice Commission on issues of diversity in the profession.
Portland 2016 Annual Conference Kick-off
Plans are forming to hold an annual conference kick-off in Portland Oregon this spring. It is hoped that another law student scholarship can be included in the celebration, in honor of NAWJ Past President Julie Frantz.

District Director: Hon. Anita Santos Contact: asant@contracosta.courts.ca.gov
Where to Start
Read District Director Judge Anita Santos' wonderful news from around the district. Click here.
Freedom Through Words, a Book Club for Incarcerated Women
Around the middle of each month at the Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility in San Diego at least two NAWJ members join with women inmates to discuss a new book. Freedom Through Words has grown extremely popular in Los Colinas as inmates come to appreciate our members' show of dedication and care for their thoughts and feelings, the life models their presence evokes, and the improvement in self-esteem generated by being seen in expressing their thoughts in an organized way.
Rose Bird Award
On April 8, 2016: NAWJ Human Trafficking Committee Chair Judge Elizabeth Lee will receive the Rose Bird Award. Judge Santos will present acknowledgements from NAWJ to her at the event. Judge Becton is on the program as well.
Color of Justice and Mentor Jet
In April, Judge Patricia Garcia will chair Color of Justice and Mentor Jet programs for children ages 13 to 18 in at the South Bay Superior Court in Chula Vista, CA. The young people will be challenged to consider careers in the legal field and to begin thinking about becoming attorneys and judges. Judge Garcia will gather mentors from challenging backgrounds to challenge youth "that everything is possible in life if they are willing to work hard, believe in themselves, set high goals, and not give up."
In November, Judge Tamila Ipema will chair her fifth annual Color of Justice and MentorJet program for youth in the Hall of Justice at San Diego Superior Court.
Bar to Bench with the Judicial Appointment Secretary
On May 20, 2016, NAWJ will host a Bench to Bar at the Phillip Burton Federal Building and Courthouse in San Francisco. The forum will take place on the lower area. Speakers will include Josh Groban, CA, Judicial Appointment Secretary under Governor Jerry Brown, along with approximately five additional panelists. NAWJ President-Elect Judge Diana Becton and I are on the planning committee. The event is being co-hosted by the Californian Women Lawyers, and local bar associations.
IAWJ 13th Biennial in Washington, DC
District Director Judge Anita Santos and at least three other Contra Costa County judges - Hon. Diana Becton, Hon. Danielle Douglas and Hon. Christopher Bowen will be attending the NAWJ hosted conference in May in D.C. All three are NAWJ members, and the last two will be first time attendees. She is working on more.
Success Inside & Out
In June, Judge Ipema will chair Success Inside & Out in Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility in San Diego, CA. This program serves incarcerated women within three to six months of being released. The program's goal is to reduce recidivism by educating women on services, resources and opportunities available to them that can both mitigate common obstacles and prepare them to find success for the rest of their lives. Educational workshops hope to address topics such as housing, transportation, education, substance abuse counseling, parental training, exercise and nutrition, stress management, self-esteem, job search and interview skills, communication skills, budgeting, and dressing for success on a limited budget.

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