2018 Annual Conference


Shaping the Future of Justice in the Emerging Legal Landscape
NAWJ 40th Annual Conference
October 3-7, 2018
San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio Retrospective: Counterbalance, Spring 2019, Volume 18, Issue 1 (page 15)

Annual Conference Co-Chairs Judge Orlinda Naranjo (419th District Court, Texas) and attorney Linda Tamez, Esq. (The Herrera Law Firm), welcomed, with genuine Texas hospitality, approximately 300 judges, attorneys, law professors, legal experts, colleagues, friends and volunteers to the 39th Annual Conference in San Antonio October 3 – 7, 2018.

Attendees were treated to five days of informative educational programming, which included sessions on Dementia in the Courtroom, Mental Health, Neuroscience of Judicial Decision Making and the Dark Web and Virtual Currencies among others. Plenty of time for fun at some of San Antonio’s famous landmarks was also included.

Attendees enjoyed a welcome reception in the Garden Terrace, a private Riverwalk boat cruise on the San Antonio river and a reception at the Alamo. Everyone who attended the Annual Gala Banquet on Saturday night was touched by the stories of pain, hope and redemption shared by the Conspired Theatre performers, a group whose mission is to offer incarcerated women and their allies a healing and empowering experience through theatre and creative writing. Later, the following Annual Awards were presented: Justice Joan Dempsey Klein Honoree of the Year was presented to Hon. Bea Ann Smith (Texas Court of Appeals, Retired) and NAWJ President 2002-2003; The Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award went to three leaders 1) Hon. Bernadette D’Souza, Orleans Civil District Court, Louisiana, now NAWJ President-Elect; 2) Hon. Marcella A. Holland, Baltimore City Circuit Court (Retired) and NAWJ Project Chair 2016-2018; and Hon. Lisa S. Walsh, Florida’s 11th Circuit Court, Civil Division and NAWJ President 2015-2016; The Mattie Belle Davis Award (given earlier in the conference) was presented to attorney Karen Johnson-McKewan, Esq., a partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Co-Chair of NAWJ’s Resource Board. 

Many thanks go to the members of the Conference Planning Committee: Justice Eva Guzman (Texas Supreme Court); Justice Gina Benavides (Texas 13th Court of Appeals); Judge M. Sue Kurita (Texas County Court at Law #6); Judge Lora Livingston (Texas 261st District Court); Judge Marcella A. Holland (Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Retired); Judge Karen Sage (Texas 299th District Court); and Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl (Texas 175th District Court). 

Equally generous in their contributions were the Conference Friends Committee Co-Chairs Justice Catherine M. Stone (Fourth Court of Appeals (Retired), shareholder at Langley & Banack Inc.) and Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson (Supreme Court of Texas (Retired), partner at Alexander Dubose Jefferson Townsend LLP). Their network produced a host of donors who were essential to making the conference we all enjoyed possible. 

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