August 2023
 Dear Federal Judges Association (FJA) Members:

We are off to a great start and many of you have now joined our committees. So, we are excited about the great programming and events ahead of us. We have listed below several wonderful opportunities to participate in the FJA’s upcoming events and special projects. As an added point of interest, each month we will be highlighting a new member. 
Please contact your friends and colleagues to join our committees. We look forward to your ideas. 

FJA Committee Chairs 2023-25
·     By-Laws: Patty Shwartz (3rd Circuit); Sara Darrow (CDIL)
·     Civics and Service: Robin Rosenbaum (11th Circuit)
·     Communications: Mary Scriven (MDFL)
·     Education: Pam Pepper (EDWI); Leo Gordon (International Trade)
·     Ethics: Al Diaz (4th Circuit)
·     International Rule of Law: Cynthia Rufe (EDPA)
·     Judicial Integrity and Independence: Jacqueline H. Nguyen (9th Circuit)
·     Legislative: William F. Kuntz, II (NYED); Charles (Chuck) Simpson (WDKY)
·     Membership: Nannette Joliette Brown (EDLA)
·     Nominating: Rick Clifton (9th Circuit)
·     Quadrennial:      Sara Darrow (CDIL); Cathy Bissoon (WDPA)
·     Pay and Benefits: Dan Polster (NDOH); Leo Gordon (International Trade)
·     Judicial Security: Esther Salas (DNJ)
·     Senior and Retired Judges: Larry Piersol (DSD); James Carr (NDOH)
·     Strategic Planning: Karen Schreier (DSD)
·     Past Presidents Advisory Committee: Margaret McKeown (9th Circuit)
·     ABA Liaison: Nannette Joliette Brown (EDLA)
·     FBA Liaison: Michael J. Newman (SDOH)
·     Judicial Conference Liaison: Rodney Sippel (EDMO)

Upcoming Events:
Our Education Committee is sponsoring the first of its series of “Thirst for Knowledge Thursdays” programs. 
Date: August 17 at 1:00 PST/2:00 MST/3:00 CST/4:00 EST.
Description: The program is entitled “Writers Judging Judges.” Judges know that we play a critical role in the American justice system and that how we act affects how litigants, parties, jurors and the public view that role. But how do authors-whose work reaches more members of the public than appear in our courtrooms-portray judges and what they do? And how do those portrayals impact the public’s perception of judges?

Speaker: Julienne Empric, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty and Professor of Literature at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI) Summit will be held on November 2 to 5 in Washington, DC. FJA President J. Michelle Childs (also chairperson of the program committee) will interview Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, as well as serve on a panel. Other FJA members serving as speakers/panelists include: Ret. Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie (3rd Cir.); Toby J. Heytens (4th Cir.); Jennifer Choe-Groves (Court of International Trade); Amy St. Eve (7th Cir.); James C. Ho (5th Cir.); John B. Owens (9th Cir.); Al Diaz (4th Cir. ); M. Margaret McKeown (9th Cir.)

The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) will pay the registration fees and certain travel costs for a limited number of FJA appellate judges who wish to attend the AJEI. You may register for the AJEI Summit on the National Judicial College website. When you get to the Payment Method section, please select “Pay by Check.” FJC will pay the registration fee directly. In the “Notes” field, please enter “FJC.” For further questions, you may contact Brenda Baldwin-White, Senior Judicial Education Attorney, at the FJC, at [email protected]; 202-215-1158. 

Committee Reports:


The FJA partnered with the Berkeley Judicial Institute, headed by our former FJA retired colleague Jeremy Fogel, to co-sponsor a series of programs titled “Judges and the Press.” These programs were live in June and are now available to our members at The series is “Judges and the Press: WHY judges should communicate with the media"; “Judges and the Press: HOW judges should communicate with the media in general"; and “Judges and the Press: HOW judges should communicate with the media when a case is proceeding". Each program featured Ret. Judge Bernice Donald, Ret. Judge Jeremy Fogel, Charles Hall (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts), Judge Marcia Kruger, and Dan Levine (Reuters). Go to the webpage and click on “Judges and the Press” link to view each program. 

International Rule of Law:
 The 65th Annual Meeting and 70th Anniversary of the International Association of Judges (IAJ) will be held in Taipei, Taiwan from Saturday, September 16 – Thursday, September 21, 2023.

Part of the work of the IAJ annual meeting is to address specific topics of judicial concern shared between all 95 member countries. Organized into four Study Commissions, each commission addresses a separate part of judicial functions. Our delegation participates in each study commission by filing an annual report answering a specific questionnaire for each topic. 

The First study commission is led by FJA’s past president Marilyn Huff, and will address the “effects of remote work on the judicial workplace and the administration of justice." The Second study commission will address “how data protection rules are impacting the way judges work in civil litigation." Executive Committee member Leo Gordon contributes to this discussion and to another report specific to this commission’s interests. The Third study commission will address “mutual cooperation in the investigation of criminal cases and in the presentation of evidence." FJA Past President Cynthia Rufe presents the questionnaire responses in this category.

FJA Past President M. Margaret McKeown leads the Fourth Study Commission focused on “the judicial workplace and the intersection with judicial independence." After multiple meetings of each commission at the IAJ conference in September, the Presidents of each commission will present a collective summary of member country’s responses to the general assembly along with the selected topic for next year’s annual meeting.

More on the FJA’s role and responsibility in the International Association of Judges next month—
The FJA Delegates are:

President J. Michelle Childs
President-Elect Karen Schreier
Past-President M. Margaret McKeown
Past-President Marilyn Huff
Past-President Cynthia M. Rufe (Delegation Leader)
Executive Committee Member Leo Gordon


The Membership Committee welcomes three new members:

  •  Judge Margaret R. Guzman (DMA)
  •  Judge Darrel James Papillion (EDLA)
  • Judge Jennifer H. Rearden (SDNY)

Sadly, we also mourn the loss of three members: Judge Edward J. Garcia (EDCA), Judge Richard W. Goldberg (International Trade) and Judge Richard Mills (CDIL)
The Membership Committee will meet on August 29, 2023 at 4PM CST. We will discuss how to improve recruitment and budgetary issues. If you would like to participate, please contact Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown.

Senior and Retired Judges:

This Committee is monitoring the issue of the examination of staffing levels for senior status article III judges. The Judicial Resources Committee is going to take up this issue again at its December meeting and eventually report back to the Budget Committee on that issue. The AO staff work will be made available to the FJA Senior Judges Committee in advance of the December meeting and this committee will present the FJA position to the Judicial Resources Committee. For questions, concerns, and comments, contact co-chairs Larry Piersol and James Carr.
New Member Highlight
Judge Nancy Abudu

·     FJA 2024 Board Meeting will be held from Wednesday, April 17 – Friday, April 19 at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile.
·     FJA has partnered with the National Judicial College to join them on a trip to Portugal. We will have our seminars in conjunction with the Portuguese Center for Judicial Studies during September 9 to 12, 2024. More information to follow. Please join us!
J. Michelle Childs  
FJA President

Mary Scriven
Communications Committee Chair