July 2023
Dear Federal Judges Association (FJA) Members:
We are excited that you have joined or continue to belong to the FJA. There are many opportunities to participate in the great work of the FJA and to fellowship with and support our colleagues. Below is a list of upcoming events, special projects, and information. We look forward to your participation.
Please join a committee. 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 M. Gordon (International Trade)
·      Ethics: Albert 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 Jolivette Brown (EDLA)
·      Nominating: Richard Clifton (9th Circuit)
·      Quadrennial: TBD
·      Pay and Benefits: Dan Polster (NDOH); Leo M. Gordon (International Trade)
·      Judicial Security: Esther Salas (DNJ)
·      Senior Judges: Larry Piersol (DSD); James Carr (NDOH)
·      Strategic Planning: Karen Schreier (DSD)
·      Past Presidents Advisory Committee: Margaret McKeown (9th Circuit)
·      ABA Liaison: Nannette Jolivette Brown (EDLA)
·      FBA Liaison: Michael J. Newman (SDOH)
·      Judicial Conference Liaison: Rodney Sippel (EDMO)
Committee Reports:
Civics & Service:

·      In celebration of Constitution Day, September 17, the Federal Judges Association (FJA) has created an annual “Civics Challenge.” Offered to high-school students across the country, the FJA seeks to increase civic engagement, knowledge of United States history and government, and appreciation for our country’s citizenship process. For more information, please visit the FJA website or refer to the informational flyer
·      The Civics & Service Committee will be launching a program called Clerkship Chats in the fall. This program presents Zoom panels of three federal judges and a moderator to students at law schools that are outside the top twenty, or so, law schools. The object is to explain what a federal clerkship entails and how to apply to well-qualified students from schools that may not traditionally emphasize federal clerkships. If any of our members are interested in participating on such a panel, they should contact Robin Rosenbaum at [email protected].  

·    We have a speech bank on the FJA website (under “Members Only Section”) and are actively soliciting additional materials for that speech bank. So if you have recently given any speeches and are willing to contribute your words to give others ideas for their speeches, please email your speeches to Robin Rosenbaum for inclusion in the FJA Speech Bank. Though we appreciate any submissions, we are particularly looking to shore up our offerings in the following speech areas: Admission of New Attorneys, Investiture Remarks, Law Day Remarks, Remarks to Students, and Speeches to Foreign Judges. We also encourage our membership to use this resource and the Administrative Office of the Courts’ Speech Bank to jumpstart efforts to help educate the public about what we do and about American government.

Education Committee
·   The Education Committee is a new committee, the brain child of president J. Michelle Childs. Every two months starting in August, the Education Committee will bring a program to FJA members. The topics will range from practical to fun. Programs will be presented at different times, to try to give as many FJA members that wish to join the opportunity to attend. A preview of upcoming programs: Our August debut program will be a discussion of how judges are portrayed in books and literature. The amazing professor (and interim dean of Eckerd College) Julie Empric will share with us a selection of passages about judges, then lead a discussion of how the authors’ portrayal of judges squares with our day jobs. In October, psychiatrist Gwen Zornberg will present a program on best practices for interacting with individuals who suffer from mental health challenges. Her late spouse was a judge, so Dr. Zornberg is aware of the challenges judges face in fulfilling their missions while also being sensitive to the fact that litigants suffering from mental illness may process tone, expression and information differently than other litigants. We’ll end the year in December with a special, holiday(s)-themed program; it’s a surprise, but the Committee hopes to provide some fun resources for celebrating the holidays! Stay tuned for details of dates and times. Anyone interested in making program suggestions is welcome to contact Leo M. Gordon at [email protected] and/or Pam Pepper at [email protected] with ideas.

·      The Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act (CETA), passed on May 13, 2022, requires judges to file periodic financial transaction reports.  This obligation is in addition to the long-standing requirement that judges file annual financial disclosure reports. The varying requirements can be confusing, but we commend to you the Transaction Reporting Chart (updated as of March 15, 2023, and found on the J-NET), which summarizes the reporting obligations for each type of asset and also notes whether a particular asset should be listed on your financial recusal list. The Committee on Financial Disclosure updates the Chart as filing requirements change. Of note, the last update in March of 2023 clarifies that a judge is no longer required to file periodic reports for transactions that occur on or after March 15, 2023, and that involve U.S. Treasury Securities, i.e., Treasury bills, notes, and bonds, including U.S. savings bonds. But importantly, ownership of such assets must still be listed on a judge’s annual report. Finally, the JNET is an excellent resource on these issues and includes Frequently Asked Questions (posted on the J-Net). We also encourage you to reach out with questions to the Committee on Financial Disclosure by phone (202) 502-1850 or email, [email protected].
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.
The FJA Delegates are:
  • President J. Michelle Childs
  • President-Elect Karen Schreier
  • Past-President Margaret M. McKeown
  • Past-President Marilyn Huff
  • Past-President Cynthia M. Rufe
  • Executive Committee Member Leo M. Gordon
·      Thank you to everyone for taking membership so seriously and for your demonstrated commitment to growing the FJA. We are consistently gaining new members every month; an achievement we haven’t seen for years. As judges are being confirmed, we are having quick, immediate, and meaningful contact with them to introduce them to the FJA—and they are joining! All of our hard work is having a positive impact and slowly but surely membership is improving. 
  •  Current membership – 1086 *
  • New members since Quadrennial – April 2022 – 35 *
  • New members since Board Meeting, Denver, CO – April 2023 – 19*
  • Sent out 67 invitations to recently confirmed judges in the past two years
  • 19 have converted to members.
* as of July 13, 2023
Please join Nannette Jolivette Brown, Membership Committee Chair, on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 at 4PM CST/5 EST for a Membership Meeting by Zoom. Anyone interested, even if you aren’t currently a member of the membership committee, is welcome to join in as we further strategize, set goals for the year, and assign individual tasks. If you are not yet a member of the committee or if you are not sure you are a member, please let Nannette know in advance so that you can receive a Zoom link for the meeting. [email protected]
·      FJA 2024 Board Meeting will be held from Wednesday, April 17 – Friday, April 19 at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile.
Building and Bonding, FJA President J. Michelle Childs 
Federal Judges Association |