Page 1

Volume 18, No. 3 Fall 2012/Winter 2013 Issue

INSIDE THE NBA: Event RecaP Highlight of NBA Efforts NBA Helping its Members Affected by Hurricane Sandy


Diversity of the Bench: Strategic Alliances Enhance Diversity on the Bench

Voter & Election Protection

✚ Plus ...

NBA Affiliate Chapters Protect the Vote

Highlights from the 87th Annual Convention & More Events Learn more about EXCLUSIVE upcoming Networking Events and Continuing Legal Education Opportunities

From generation to generation, our legacy continues. MetLife understands the importance of keeping heritages alive. Cultural. Intellectual. And financial. We’ve been helping families create and grow legacies for more than 140 years. Call us. See what kind of plans you can create for coming generations with MetLife. Get started by visiting or 888-METLIFE (888-638-5433). MetLife is a proud sponsor of the National Bar Association.

Š2012 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10166. L0312243650[exp0313] 1210-3533

2 | National bar association MAGAZINE

Volume 18, No. 3 Fall 2012/Winter 2013

e d itorial p olic y


E d itorial Dir e ctor

John E. Page, Esq. E d itor - in - c h i e f

Karl Connor, Esq. mana g in g e d itor & p ro d u ction mana g e r

The National Bar Association (NBA) Editorial Board welcomes the submission of articles relating to any topic of interest to the African American legal community. Criteria for publication include the quality of the article, its substantive value, its general interest to NBA lawyers, and the originality of its subject matter. All manuscripts must be of original work. Consistent with the NBA Magazine’s format, the language of submissions should be gender-neutral. The Editorial Board reserves the right to reject any manuscript submitted for publication. NBA National Bar Association Magazine (ISSN 0741-0115) is published on a quarterly basis by the National Bar Association, 1225 11th Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20001 (202) 834-3900. The $36 subscription rate for members is included in membership dues. The subscription rate for non-members is $60 per year. Periodicals Postage Paid at Washington, D.C. and at additional mailing offices.

Erika C. Owens POSTMASTER: A ssistant to M ana g in g E d itor

Tiane Younger circ u lation mana g e r

Yvette Johnson Polic y & A dvocac y C o u ns e l

Send address changes to: National Bar Association Magazine 1225 11th Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20001 Advertising inquiries: Please call (202) 842-3900 Address all correspondence to: NBA Magazine 1225 11th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20001

Kimberly Tignor, Esq. cr e ati v e D e si g n Dir e ctor

Davida Pitts Orange Moon Creative P u blis h e r

National Bar Association 1225 11th Street NW Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 842-3900 Entire Contents Copyright Š 2012

The National Bar Association has officially adopted an official tagline:

A Legacy of Service. A Promise of Justice. The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African American attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 44,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit

www.nationalbar.ORG | 3

NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION Volume 18, No. 3 Fall 2012/Winter 2013

P. 24


P. 10

08 Diversity Of The Bench:

Strategic alliances enhance diversity on the bench...

The black community in Nevada has a higher level of political engagement than might be expected based on its proportional percentage of the Nevada population. Members of the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association (LVNBA) carry on that tradition of engagement with proactive strategies and members who amplify and protect the priorities of the black community from the halls of the legislature to the local voting station. Voter & Election Protection

Diversity On The Bench Directory of African American Federal Judges


Upcoming Vacancies


NBA Federal Judicial Appointment Process


Black Enfranchisement, Politics, Politicians & Civic Engagement in Nevada: Two Essays and a Series of Interviews Rachel J. Anderson & Claytee D. White

Stay Connected with the National Bar Association

4 | National bar association MAGAZINE


16 Voter & Election Protection

U.S. census data indicates the nation is becoming more culturally diverse as the growth of minority groups outpaces the majority white population. Yet the nation’s judiciary reflects a different trend— one that highlights a decrease in minority judgeships and a threat to the fair administration of justice for all. Alliances between minority bar associations and African American advocacy groups create a powerful force for influencing and changing this trend.


P. 08



Message from the NBA President, John E. Page, Esq.


Highlight of NBA Efforts NBA Continues to Help its Members Affected by Hurricane Sandy


INSIDE THE NBA: Event Recap • 87th Annual Convention • Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposium & Reception • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Reception • Gateway to Success Conference, Industry Forums and more.



20 1 2 - 2 0 13 N B A O f f ic e rs J o h n E . Pa g e

President Irvine, CA Patricia A . Rosi e r

President-Elect Largo, MD T wan d a T u rn e r - Haw k ins

Vice President Philadelphia, PA J . Goo dwill e Pi e rr e

Vice President Houston, TX Pam e la J . M e an e s

Vice President St. Louis, MO Ell e n E . Do u g lass

Vice President Chicago, IL J u an R . T h omas

Secretary Aurora, IL M ic h e al A . T h om p son

Treasurer Vallejo, CA Rob e rt R . S im p son

General Counsel Hartford, CT Fr e d e ric k J . B arrow

Parliamentarian Houston, TX D e m e tris W. C h e at h am

Executive Director Washington, DC

p r e si d e nt ' s

p r e ambl e 2012 was an outstanding year for the National Bar Association. In 2012 we focused on protecting the vote, empowering our communities against violence, delivery of leading seminars and conferences with the goal of making each participant better in their chosen professional endeavors and we focused on, ensuring the independence of the judiciary. We have planned 2013 to be more of the same and even better. Our strength as a bar association are our members. That strength is more evident when we come together and use our collective strength to carry out our mission. That simply is The Power of Us! We respect and uphold the rule of law. Still, we have a freedom that others have been denied. There exists a place I have long called the City of Privilege. Living in this city requires us to open the gates so that all may pursue liberty. A number of studies and reports by PEW charitable trusts provide ample data to show both the negative economic impact and need for criminal justice reform. It is predicted and hoped that in 2013 there will be real criminal justice reform; reform that means a lot more than "justice" where you find "just us" or profiteers angling to make more money. The National Bar Association will take a great role along with our educators, legislators, communities, law enforcement and judiciary with dismantling costly and profitable "pipeline to prison programs." Thus, the NBA Magazine will be a publication that will: 1. Align with the overall NBA agenda and its leadership; 2. Provide accurate and up-to-date information on legislation, legal cases and other developments in the legal field; 3. Provide content that speaks to the wide range of professionals and practice areas that represent the NBA; 4. Provide important and substantive content in a concise and focused manner; 5. Document the accomplishments of respective NBA members and national office initiatives; 6. Document the accomplishments of NBA affiliates, sections and divisions; 7. Addresses issues of concern and topic related to: a. NBA b. Civil Rights c. Position of black people in the US and abroad d. The evolution of the black attorney and legal community 8. Provide guidance for black attorneys looking to strengthen their skills and advance their careers; 9. Be conscious and aware of the many people who contribute to making the publication a success and recognizing them for their work; 10. The design and layout of the publication, including colors, type, images, graphics and captions should only be professionally presenting and uplifting; The work ahead remains great, we are and must be social engineers. Each of us has a role. Take the time to join the NBA and join us in Miami from July 27- July 31, 2013 for our 88th Annual Conference, together we will make a positive impact with the Power of Us!

John Page 70th President www.nationalbar.ORG | 5

Join us in Miami The National Bar Association is ALREADY excited about its 88th Annual Convention & Exhibits at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel in Miami, Florida. Held July 27-Aug. 1, 2013, the convention is sure to be the best yet!

Of The Largest Conferences For African ➲ One American Legal Professionals • Earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credit • Exclusive Networking Opportunities With The Nation’s Top African American Lawyers & Judges • Participate In A Career Fair With Fortune 500 Companies

➲ Hotel Reservation Information

For your convenience, please feel free to take advantage of EXCLUSIVE hotel room rates and airline discounts as an attendee of the 88th Annual Convention & Exhibits: The official convention meeting and hotel location will be the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami, FL 33140. The standard room rate is $179 + tax. To reserve your room, please call (305) 538-2000.

➲ Airline Information

American Airlines is the official airline for the convention. Registrants can access discounted airfare by calling 1-800-433-1790 and utilizing the authorization code: 3973BS.

➲ Stay connected

with us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@nationalbar) for updates! Visit to register and for more information!

6 | National bar association MAGAZINE

National Bar Association signature programs Applications are Available for the 2013 Crump Law Camp! July 6-12, 2013 Since its inception in 2001, the NBA Crump Law Camp, has provided 9th-11th graders an enjoyable and comprehensive introduction to the challenges of a legal education. The twoweek residential camp, which convenes on the campus of Howard University continues to attract students throughout the United States from diverse backgrounds.

Premier sponsors of the law camp include: Walmart, Ford Motor Company, Microsoft, National Bar Institute, Greenspoon Marder, Turner Charitable Fund, and Blackwell Burke.

The primary goal of the Law Camp is to encourage young students of color to improve to pursue higher education and ultimately attend law school.

For applications and additional requirements, please visit Facebook: Twitter: @crumplawcamp

Apply TODAY to PARTICIPATE! Deadline: March 15, 2013

Register Today for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition Sponsored by: MetLife, Inc. Be Original. Be Bold. • Enter the MLK Scholarship Competition Over $25,000 in scholarships • Win a trip to Miami, Florida (3 days, 2 nights) The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition is a contest designed to motivate high school students to excel in education. The competition encourages students to express their views on a pre-selected topic and focuses on the students' ability to communicate orally and in writing.

For more information and for application materials, visit Facebook: Twitter: @mlkcompetition

The contest is also designed to give young people experience in public speaking and provides an opportunity for them to obtain some financial support to continue their education.

As part of the MLK Competition, the NBA and MetLife have launched "MLK Mondays." This event will take place in the form of a live webinar each Monday (6-7 p.m. Eastern). A designated expert will share tips on topics specific to the competition as well as provide guidance on life skills that not only help in preparing you for the MLK Competition but also increase your ability to use those skills beyond the MLK Competition. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions you have regarding the MLK Competition. You don't want to miss out on this event! Attending this event will get you one step closer towards winning scholarship money!

2013 Competition Question: Trayvon Martin was killed walking to his home on February 26, 2012 by George Zimmerman, a Florida neighborhood watchman in a gated community. Some have justified Zimmerman's actions based on the Florida Stand Your Ground Law. If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive would he advocate to repeal the Florida Stand Your Ground Law and other similar laws? Please discuss why or why not.



www.nationalbar.ORG | 7

Strategic Alliances

Enhance Diversity on the Bench

Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process. — Justice Thurgood Marshall, the First African American Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

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his venerable quote by former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall is particularly poignant today as concerns about the level of diversity in the judiciary and barriers to attaining more African American representation make national headlines. The tenacity of the jurists and advocacy groups who have addressed these situations is a defining and consistent element in efforts to diversify the bench today. A cursory look across the country at the impact of organized and informed advocacy on issues involving diversity in the judiciary offers insight into responses to these issues going forward. Vying for Chief Justice in Louisiana

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South making it possible for voters to put Justice should not be counted toward her in place a representative in the judiciary seniority on the bench. whose perspectives and insight would help to improve the administration of justice for all. On September 1, U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan ruled in favor of Justice One of the attorneys involved in the Chisom Johnson arguing that Justice Johnson’s first case, William Quigley stated in a USA Today six years on the court should be credited interview that following redistricting “the toward her term of service. That judgment number of African-American judges in affirmed Justice Johnson as the most senior Louisiana jumped from six in 1986 to 88 member of the Court and the rightful successor to outgoing Chief Justice Catherine today.” Kimball. That kind of progress took place in the face of challenges borne one by one by individu- While the federal court’s decision was considals such as Justice Johnson. Just two months ered a victory for Justice Johnson, Louisiana’s after she assumed her role on the Louisiana Republican Governor, Bobby Jindal chalSupreme Court suburban white attorney lenged the U.S. federal judge’s ruling, calling Clement F. Perschall challenged the legisla- upon an appeals court to review the lowertion that created her seat on the grounds court’s decision. that the legislation was illegal. The Louisiana Constitution does not allow the court to Through his lawyers, Governor Jindal issued the following statement to the press: have eight justices.

From the moment Justice Bernette Johnson was called to the bench almost 20 years ago she has had to face ongoing challenges to her role and place on the Louisiana Supreme Court. While the Louisiana Supreme Court eventually agreed that the process for establishing In 1998, NBA Magazine (Volume 12, No. the seat was in fact unconstitutional they 1, January-February, 1998) profiled Justice nonetheless concluded that the appointment Johnson and the controversy surrounding her of Justice Johnson to the Supreme Court was appointment to the bench—an appointment valid. that was part of the legal remedy arising from a 1991 voting rights case Chisom. v. Roemer Since that time, Justice Johnson has served successfully, receiving the Medal of Honor 501 U.S. 380. from the city of New Orleans and various Redistricting to address years of racial dis- professional awards from organizations that crimination in the judicial system created an include the American Bar Association and additional seat on the Louisiana Supreme the Louisiana Bar Foundation. Court and offered African American voters in New Orleans the opportunity to elect jus- WhenChief Justice Catherine Kimball tices who understand their experiences and announced that she would be retiring in 2013, Justice Johnson naturally assumed perspectives. the length of her tenure would make her This successful attempt at reforming judicial uniquely qualified to become the next Chief districts was made possible because of the Justice. Louisiana law stipulates that the courage, commitment and aggressive pursuit chief justice of the Supreme Court be deterof litigation by conscientious attorneys and the mined by seniority and no other judge on strong support of African American advocacy the Louisiana Supreme Court had served as groups including the NAACP Legal Defense long as Justice Johnson, with the exception Fund, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of Chief Justice Catherine Kimball. Under Law and the Louis A. Martinet Legal These facts, however, weren’t sufficient for Society. fellow Louisiana Supreme Court Justices The combined efforts of these partners in Jeffrey Victory and Jeannette Knoll (among advocacy changed the landscape for African others) who contend that the first six years American voters in this part of the Deep that Justice Johnson served as an appointed

“The issue on appeal is not who should serve as the next Chief Justice, but whether the Louisiana Supreme Court should be prohibited by a federal court from interpreting the state’s constitution.” Lawyers and advocates across the country have expressed to the media their concern regarding the existing opposition in Louisiana to Justice Johnson taking her rightful role as Chief Justice. “[State’s rights] is what the proponents of slavery said during the Civil War. It’s an age-old excuse.” (Attorney James Williams, Reuters, 9/8/12). “It sends a clear message, not just in Louisiana but all across America: Even those at the highest level can be denied.” (NBA President, John Page in the USA Today, 8/22/12) On October 16, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that Justice Johnson has the seniority qualifying her to become the panel’s Chief Justice. The decision was unanimous. While justice was served in this final decision, it arguably took the influence of public opinion and the diligence of advocates for the state of Louisiana to have its first African www.nationalbar.ORG | 9

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American Chief Justice. F u lton C o u nt y M inorit y J u d g e s

On May 24, 2012, jurists and advocacy groups in Georgia hosted a news conference and protest on the steps of the Fulton County courthouse to make public their concerns about the lack of minority judges on the bench in that jurisdiction. “We want the 40% minority population of Fulton County reflected by the officials and judges that control the outcome of lives…the community should reflect the bench,” stated attorney L. Chris Stewart, President of the Gate City Bar Association. Advocacy groups reported a significant drop in the percentage of African-American judges at the Superior Court level in Fulton County over the last 10 years. In 2002, 44 percent of Superior Court judges in Fulton County were African-American. By 2012 that figure had fallen to 30 percent. The voices that were heard outside the Fulton County courthouse last May were organized under Rev. Joseph Lowery’s Coalition of the People’s Agenda and included the Georgia Alliance of African American Attorneys, the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and the Gate City Bar Association. This was not the first time that this issue was fought in Georgia by community and bar association leaders. Back in 1988, 30 plaintiffs, led by State Representative Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) sued the state board of elections to achieve greater diversity on the bench. That legal battle resulted in the eventual appointment of black judges to Fulton County’s superior and state courts.

or retired from the court has been replaced with a white appointee.

Maryland’s state judges are minority members—a figure that represents a five percent increase since 2000 (Daily Given that the most recent census data con- Record, 9/11/11). firms minority populations in the United Among the factors influencing this trend are the will and commitment of political leaders. In Maryland judges are appointed by the The number of governor based on recommendations from the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission African-American judges (JNC). Since 2007, approximately a third of Governor Martin O’Malley’s judiciary in Louisiana jumped appointments were from minority populafrom six in 1986 tions. Getting on the JNC’s recommendation list is a critical step for aspiring jurists. to 88 today. Informing (and influencing) JNC’s and the political system as a whole about the strengths and qualifications of minority candidates is a role highly suited to minority bar associations.

States are growing at a pace faster than the majority white population, the issue of diversity on the bench will only grow in importance not just to African Americans, Through immigration and evolving demobut to the nation as a whole. graphic patterns the face of America is changing, opening up new opportunities to advance the case for diversity in the M ary lan d G e ttin g C los e r Achieving diversity in the judiciary was judiciary. Legal and social advocacy groups to t h e I d e al but one step in the process as it appears in the African-American community have maintaining diversity requires just as While nationwide there has been a the experience to capitalize on these trends much vigilance. Fulton County’s alliance downward trend in minority judgeships, and to further advance the goals of equal of bar associations and community lead- Maryland has been a bright spot high- justice for all. ers reported that during the last decade lighting inclusivity and real diversity every black judge who has either resigned in its judiciary. Nearly 23 percent of

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National Bar Association’s

Federal Judicial Appointment Process

What We Do:

Endorse • Advocate

Through its extensive network within the legal community, the National Bar Association (NBA) identifies future vacancies as early as possible. Once identified, affiliates and members are asked to assist in identifying potential applicants that are both highly qualified and have the support of their community. Once candidates are identified, the NBA provides support and guidance throughout the application process. Candidates are encouraged to apply for a formal endorsement by the NBA. Should the NBA choose to endorse a candidate, advocacy efforts are coordinated at the national and state level. While each vacancy requires different forms of advocacy, some examples are

meetings with the White House, meetings with key members of the Senate, organized call-in by members, and strategically placed opinion pieces in both the national and local press. Our commitment to making the judiciary a truer reflection of the people it serves is something the NBA takes very seriously. However, the NBA cannot do this without the support of its members. When there is a vacancy, the NBA encourages its members to circulate the vacancy announcement as widely as possible. Coordination at every stage in the endorsement process will allow the NBA to successfully assist an even greater number of African American judges who wish to ascend to the federal bench.

Judicial Spotlight

All Eyes on Judge William L. Thomas

On November 14, the White House nominated Judge William L. Thomas to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Judge Thomas has served as a Circuit Judge in Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit since 2005, where he has presided over both civil and criminal matters. For seven years, from 1997 to 2005, he served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Southern District of Florida, where he represented indigent clients in federal criminal cases. Judge Thomas began his legal career as an Assistant Public Defender at the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office in 1994. He received his J.D. in 1994 from the Temple University School of Law and his B.A. in 1991 from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. www.nationalbar.ORG | 11

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Considering A


Federal Judicial Appointment?

he United States Constitution is silent on the qualifications necessary to be a federal judge. It does not even require that federal judges have law degrees. The decision is left to the discretion of the President and the senators who recommend particular candidates to determine federal judgeship qualifications. Despite this, a starting point for determining whether you possess


the basic qualifications for a federal judgeship are the standards the American Bar Association‚ Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary uses to evaluate judicial nominees. The Standing Committee bases its ratings on its assessment of a nominee‚ integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament. In evaluating a nominee’s integrity, the Standing Committee “considers the


Date of Expected Va c a n c y


District - Southern

12/31/2012, 3/2/13




New York

District - Western


South Carolina




District - Eastern



District - Eastern






District - Eastern



District - Eastern



District - Southern















District - Northern



District - Middle



District - Southern



District - Northern


Court of Appeals


10/31/12, 1/7/13

The judicial arm should be a reflection of the community it serves. While the NBA supports African American nominees in all jurisdictions, those highlighted above are judicial vacancies that serve a significant population of African Americans or the nomination of an African American would be groundbreaking.

12 | National bar association MAGAZINE

prospective nominee’s character and general reputation in the legal community, as well as the prospective nominee’s industry and diligence.” In evaluating professional competence, the Standing Committee looks for substantial‚ courtroom experience as a judge or litigator necessary for a federal judicial nominee, although distinguished accomplishments‚ in the law may sometimes compensate for a lack of substantial courtroom experience. Furthermore, the Committee will assess if the nominee encompasses such qualities as intellectual capacity, judgment, writing

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Geographic Boundaries of United States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts

and analytical abilities, knowledge of the law, and breadth of professional experience. Additionally, the Committee considers the length of a nominees practice, which typically is at least twelve years of experience practicing law. Although a few notable exceptions to this rule exist, in general twelve years is the minimum recommended length of time to be considered for a federal judgeship. In order to evaluate a nominee judicial temperament, the Standing Committee “considers the prospective nominee’s compassion, decisiveness, openmindedness, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias, and commitment to equal justice

under the law.” Before you are nominated to the federal bench, you will be subjected to an FBI background check. Basic questions include: • Have you ever committed a crime? • Have you ever failed to pay your taxes? • Have you ever been embroiled in a scandal? • Have you used any schedule 1* controlled substance before being sworn

into the Bar? More importantly, after being sworn into the Bar? In addition, staffers from the Department of Justice will likely read everything you have ever written and will interview members of your community. All of these factors will be considered in determining if you are an appropriate candidate for the bench and could expel you from consideration. * Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. www.nationalbar.ORG | 13

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Directory of African American Federal Court Judges The following is a list of all active judges that have a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals or U.S. District Court.

Clarence Thomas Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States

O. Rogeriee Thompson U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Raymond J. Lohier, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Theodore A. McKee U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Joseph A.Greenaway, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Roger L. Gregory U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Allyson K. Duncan U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Andre M. Davis U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

James A. Wynn, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Carl E. Stewart* U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

James E. Graves, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Eric L. Clay U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

R. Guy Cole, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Bernice B. Donald U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Ann Claire Williams U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Lavenski R. Smith U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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U.S. District Court Judges Judge




Abdul K. Kallon

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama

Laura Taylor Swain

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Alexander Williams

U.S. District Court, District of Maryland

Legrome D. Davis

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Algenon Marbley

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Marcia G. Cooke

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

Alvin Thompson

U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

Margaret B. Seymour

U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina

Andrew L. Carter, Jr.

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Margo K. Brodie

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

Arenda L. Wright Allen

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Mary Stenson Scriven

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

Audey Collins

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Michael Davis

U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

Benita Pearson

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

Michael Shipp

U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

Brian A. Jackson

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana

Morrison C. England, Jr.

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California

Brian C. Wimes

U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

Myron H. Thompson

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama

Brian Stacy Miller

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas

Nannette Jolivette Brown

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

C Darnell Jones II

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Otis D. Wright II

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Carlton W. Reeves

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi

Percy Anderson

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Carol Jackson

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri

Petrese B. Tucker

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Charlene E. Honeywell

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

Phyllis J. Hamilton

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Charles N. Clevert

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Raner C. Collins

U.S. District Court, District of Arizona

Curtis Lynn Collier

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee

Raymond Jackson

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Denise Jefferson Casper

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Reggie B. Walton

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Denise Page Hood

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Richard A. Jones

U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington

Donald L. Graham

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

Richard W. Roberts

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Emmet Sullivan

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Robert L. Wilkins

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Fernando J. Gaitan

U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

Sam Lindsay

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas

Gary Lancaster

U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Sandra L. Townes

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

George B. Daniels

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Sharon Johnson Coleman

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

George Levi Russell, III

U.S. District Court, District of Maryland

Solomon Oliver, Jr.

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

Gerald Bruce Lee

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Steve C. Jones

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia

Gershwin Allen Drain

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Susan D. Wigenton

U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

Henry Edward Autrey

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri

Tanya Walton Pratt

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana

Henry T. Wingate

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi

Vanessa Gilmore

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas

Irene C. Berger

U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia

Vanessa L. Bryant

U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

Ivan L.R. Lemelle

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

Vicki Miles-LaGrange

U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma

J. Curtis Joyner

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Victoria Roberts

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

J. Michelle Childs

U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina

W. Louis Sands

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia

James A. Beaty, Jr.

U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina

Wiley Daniel

U.S. District Court, District of Colorado

James R. Spencer

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

William D. Quarles, Jr.

U.S. District Court, District of Maryland

John T. Fowlkes, Jr.

U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee

William F. Kuntz

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

Julie A. Robinson

U.S. District Court, District of Kansas

William Joseph Haynes, Jr.

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee

Kenneth Hoyt

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas

Johnnie B. Rawlinson

Paul J. Watford

U.S. Court of Appeals

U.S. Court of Appeals

for the Ninth Circuit

for the Ninth Circuit

Jerome A. Holmes U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Charles R. Wilson U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Janice R. Brown U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Judith A. W. Rogers U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

*First African American to be appointed and serve on the bench of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit www.nationalbar.ORG | 15

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NEVADA 2012 A Special Series on African Americans in Nevada Politics – Past and Present In 2012, Nevadans elected the first African American in the state’s history to represent Nevada in the U.S. Congress, reelected the first Black Supreme Court Justice in the state’s history, elected one Black woman and two Black men to the Nevada State Senate, reelected five African Americans to the Nevada Assembly, and elected two African Americans (one of whom was reelected) to serve concurrent terms, for the first time, on the University of Nevada Board of Regents.

Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas

Senator Aaron Ford

Assemblyman Jason Frierson

Assemblyman William Horne

U.S. Congressman Steven Horsford

Assemblywoman Dina Neal

Pictures of Nevada elected officials subject to copyright and used with permission. Not Pictured: Senator Kelvin Atkinson, Senator Patricia Spearman, Assemblyman Harvey Munford, Assemblyman Steven Brooks, University Regent Cedrick Crear, and University Regent Allison Stephens. Nevada – 2010 Census Results: Percent Change in Population by County: 2000 to 2010 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 and 2010 Census Redistricting Summary File, available at

A Short Road to Statehood, A Long Road to Washington Almost 150 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation by which Nevada was admitted as the 36th state in the Union on October 31, 1864, the election of U.S. Congressman Steven Horsford (dem.) marks a milestone in the state’s and the nation’s history. It is common knowledge that the first Black President of the United States, President Barack Obama, was reelected in the 2012 election. However, many people are not aware that 2012 is also the year that Nevadans elected the first African American to represent the state in the U.S. Congress in the state’s 149-year history. What may be even less well known is that Representative Steven Horsford’s successful 16 | National bar association MAGAZINE

By Professor Rachel J. Anderson

election to Nevada’s fourth congressional seat also has national significance. Nevada was admitted to the Union in 1864 as part of efforts to ensure the constitutionally required two-thirds majority to pass the Thirteen Amendment, which made slavery illegal in the United States except as a punishment for crime. At the time Nevada was admitted, the state’s population was too small to meet the population requirement for statehood. Now in 2013, an African American, who represents a new congressional district created as a result of growth in the state’s population, will vote in the U.S. Congress on behalf of Nevada, a state whose votes helped to abolish the widespread practice of legal enslavement of Blacks in the United States.

(l-r) Nevada Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, U.S. Congressman Steven Horsford (during the 2012 campaign) at the 23rd Annual LVNBA Scholarship Gala in Las Vegas on Oct. 20, 2012. © LVNBA, used with permission

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Blacks and Voting Rights in Nevada

By Professor Rachel J. Anderson

Black suffrage and access to equal rights have been central to Nevada Executive Committee, a nongovernmental civic organization, and law and politics from the beginning. Civic engagement by Blacks in began petitioning the Nevada Legislature for voting rights. Nevada to achieve full participation in and enjoyment of national life has also been a part of the culture of Nevada since the beginning. Once Black men obtained the right to vote in 1870 with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment by the U.S. Congress, records In 1861, the First Territorial Legislature limited voting rights to show that Black men in Nevada exercised their right to vote in the white men over the age of twenty-one, who met citizenship and resi- 1870 election. They also coordinated their political action through dency requirements. That law disenfranchised the forty-four Blacks organizations like the Lincoln Union Club in Virginia City, the living in the territory, roughly one-fifth of the population recorded Elko Republican Club, and the Colored Hayes and Wheeler Club in in the 1860 Nevada census. Carson City. The fact that women did not have the same voting rights as men was not overlooked as evidenced by a debate on “Women’s Three years later when Nevada was admitted as a state in 1864, Enfranchisement” at a meeting in 1870. as non-citizens Blacks remained disenfranchised under the Nevada Constitution. In response, Blacks in Nevada began what has become By November 2012, there were 1,299,126 people legally entitled to a long tradition of civic activism through community organizations. vote in Nevada. African Americans make up approximately 8.5% By 1865 Blacks in Virginia City, Nevada, had formed the Nevada of the voting-age population.

Black Politics in Las Vegas in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries By Claytee D. White The black community has always shown a higher level of political engagement than might be expected based on its proportional percentage of the Nevada population. In 1926, the same year the local NAACP was formed, and again in 1930 records show that at least one black, Mark Withers, ran for office even when 1920 census records show a population of 52 African Americans of which twelve or 23% owned property. Shortly thereafter, a 1928 newspaper report showed that the black population was increasing steadily resulting in a rapid growth in the vital role of electoral politics. The growing black community gathered for political discussions at the home of A.B. Mitchell, an African American who owned a “fine story and a half ranch house” where “[s]ome 200 prominent ... colored voters [met] the Republican candidates ... for the purpose of discussing campaign issues.” A desire for access to employment has also played a role in coalescing black political interests. Rumors about the possible

construction of a dam in the area contributed to the formation of a labor organization along with a rash of political groups geared toward helping the black community ensure the placement of candidates who would vote according to the community’s needs and aspirations. Blacks in the 1920s and 1930s saw their ability to persuade in the simple arithmetic of their educated electorate. The black community of 2012 strives to place candidates in office for the same reason. According to Assemblyman William Horne, a district’s residents “need a representative who will listen to them and understand their issues and serve them well in the legislature.” By 1932, other black groups had gradually formed such as a Citizens Labor Protection Association, a Roosevelt Club, and a Colored Republican Club. In August of the same year, the Roosevelt Democratic Club held its first meeting. The 1932 election year can be compared with 2012 in ways that explain the wave

of political organizations among such a small population. President Hoover, the Republican incumbent ran against Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). In the midst of the Great Depression, the Republican platform called for, among others issues, sharp cutbacks in federal expenditures, further curbs in immigration, and continued support for high protective tariffs. Democrats wanted extensive banking and financial reform including regulation of the stock exchanges as one plank in their platform. FDR’s New Deal policies attracted blacks away from the party of Lincoln. Although the first black elected to the Nevada Legislature in 1966 was a Republican, Assemblyman Woodrow Wilson who served from 1967 until 1971, most black Nevada legislators since then have been democrats. That includes Senator Bernice Mathews, the first black female legislator, who was elected to the State Senate in 1994. In 2012, the majority of blacks in Nevada are still members of the Democratic Party. www.nationalbar.ORG | 17

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Senator Joseph (Joe) M. Neal, Jr., On Making Public Policy Interviewed by Claytee D. White My first session was 1973. I was aware of what people thought of me. But more importantly, I knew that above all I was there to make public policy. The other thing that I understood going in was that there were certain rules governing the process. Knowing the rules that govern legislative procedure - not just the standing rules of the Senate or the general rules of the Legislature - but also what the State Constitution says and what the U.S. Constitution says about your role and responsibilities.

One Family, Two Generations of Service in the Nevada Legislature Senator Joe Neal (dem.) is a civil rights legend and the longest serving State Senator in Nevada history (1972-2004). His daughter, Assemblywoman Dina Neal (dem.), is the first Black woman ever elected to serve in the Nevada Assembly (2010—present). They are the first African-American family in Nevada history to have had two generations serve in the Nevada Legislature.

Senator Joseph (Joe) M. Neal, Jr. © UNLV University Libraries, Special Collections, used with permission

The other thing that was critical was to have a solid grasp of the issues that came before the Legislature, particularly the Senate. I read the bills and made sure that I understood their content no matter how long it took. In the Senate, I would ask questions about the bills. One of my questions would be always, what is the public purpose of this?

Assemblywoman Dina Neal © Dina Neal, used with permission, photo by www.

I made sure that when I went up against them, the appeal was going to be not to them to change, but rather the appeal was to the people to understand the issue and how it affected them.

BLSA: Election Leadership By Sonya Miller, BLSA President

Students at a UNLV Boyd School of Law BLSA Debate Watch Event © Boyd BLSA, used with permission

(l-r) BLSA students Angela Cook, Sonya Miller, Brittnie Watkins © Boyd BLSA, used with permission

The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law led election activities by law school student organizations. BLSA conducted a voter registration drive in Las Vegas’ historic “Westside,” a predominantly Black neighborhood, as well as volunteered to watch the polls in order to protect the people’s right to vote. In an effort to raise awareness and open minds about the issues surrounding the Presidential Election, BLSA hosted a Debate Watch for each of the three Presidential debates as well as for the Vice Presidential debate. A faculty moderated open forum discussion followed each debate, which provided the attendees an opportunity to voice their views, opinions, and positions regarding this year’s Presidential Election.

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Blacks in the Nevada Legal Profession

By Professor Rachel J. Anderson

The First Territorial Legislature limited the practice of law to white men and this de jure exclusion of Blacks from the legal profession in Nevada inhibited the development of a Black legal community in Nevada until the 1970s, approximately 100 years after Nevada became a state.

Chief Judge Karen Bennett-Haron

In 1961, Charles Kellar became the first Black to successfully pass the Nevada Bar Examination. Kellar was an attorney admitted in New York who had moved to Nevada in 1959 at the request of Thurgood Marshall, when Marshall was the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Attorney Kellar fulfilled the one-year residency requirement and passed the exam but was refused admission to the bar. He was not admitted to practice law in Nevada until 1965 when he won the right in a split 2-1 opinion of the Nevada Supreme Court.

© Chief Judge Karen Bennett-Haron, used with permission

However, Attorney Kellar was denied the privilege of being the first Black admitted to practice in Nevada. The first Black attorneys admitted to practice law in Nevada were Robert L. Reid and Earle W. White, Jr. Attorneys Reid and White were admitted to the State Bar of Nevada the same year the U.S. Congress passed the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the year before the Nevada Supreme Court ordered the admission of Charles Kellar to practice law and the Nevada Legislature passed the Nevada Civil Rights Act of 1965. Robert L. Reid was elected Justice of the Peace for Las Vegas Township in 1970, making him the first Black Justice of the Peace in Clark County after being appointed as the first Black judge in Nevada an alternate to the Las Vegas Municipal Court. Earle White was later elected to the Clark County District Court in 1986 after being appointed to the District Court in 1985 and appointed Justice of the Peace in 1980. In 1980, the first two Black women, Johnnie B. Rawlinson and Viveca Monet Woods, were admitted to practice law in Nevada.

Chief Judge Bennett-Haron is the only African-American woman ever elected to serve in the Nevada judiciary. She is the daughter of civil rights leader Assemblyman and Pastor Marion D. Bennett (dem.) who served in the Nevada Legislature from 1973 to 1981.

Attorney Viveca Monet Woods went on to become the first Black woman Assistant U.S. Attorney in Nevada and Attorney Rawlinson is currently a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is the first African-American woman judge on the Ninth Circuit and was also the first Black woman judge on the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada. Shortly after the admission of the first Black women to the State Bar of Nevada, Black lawyers in Nevada established the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association (LVNBA). Founded in 1981 and reincorporated in 2005, the LVNBA is the only chapter of the National Bar Association (NBA) in Nevada. The LVNBA unites Black Nevadans’ tradition of civic engagement with the National Bar Association’s tradition

of predominantly African-American attorneys protecting civil and political rights of the citizens and residents of the United States. Currently there are approximately 125 Black attorneys in Nevada, who represent approximately 1% of the membership of the State Bar of Nevada. At present there are four elected African American members of the Nevada judiciary: Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas, District Court Judge Timothy C. Williams, Las Vegas Township Justice Court Chief Judge Karen BennettHaron, and Reno Municipal Court Judge Kenneth Howard. Most Black attorneys, judges, and law students in Nevada are members of the LVNBA, attend LVNBA events, or support the LVNBA’s work in varying degrees over the course of their careers.

David L. Phillips, Las Vegas Attorney Phillips was elected to the University of Nevada Board of Regents in 1994 and served as Regent from 1994 to 2000. Attorney Phillips is the son of civil rights leader and activist Ruby Duncan.

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In their Own Voices 2012:

Black Lawyers and Legislators in Nevada Assemblyman William Horne As of 2012, Assemblyman Horne is the first Black Majority Leader of the Nevada Assembly. Interviewed by Claytee D. White

On Representing the Race This may be a controversial statement, but still to this day I think if you're a person of color and you're elected to one of these positions, the bar that's set for you initially is not very high. They're not expecting a lot from you in spite of the successes they've seen in the past. And you hear the comments, the taunts, et cetera. You hear things. It's insulting, some of it. It only stopped when I stopped it.

About His Accomplishments in the Assembly As of 2012, Assemblyman Horne is the first Black Majority Leader of the Nevada Assembly.

In the time that you've been in office what are you most proud of accomplishing? There are a couple of things. One is my work on domestic violence bills. They not only protect the victims but also give the police the tools to help them protect the victims. Until recently I was in the unique position of being the only legislator who was also a criminal defense attorney. I was writing the statutes and practicing criminal law; wearing two hats, so to speak. The other thing I am particularly proud of was in 2007 when there was a very large piece of legislation dealing with moving mixed-use properties in a corridor out of a Chapter 40 for construction defect issues for homes and creating a separate chapter. It required very heavy lifting but I was able to get it completed and out of both houses.

Senator Aaron Ford About the Future — Alexander who is giving the high-five to the President in the picture — looked at Many of us saw the picture of your son the news in the morning. His first image of meeting President Obama. Could you someone running for President was sometalk about why you ran for office and one who looked like him. your vision for the future and for your children? Interviewed by Claytee D. White

Earlier that day Alexander asked me, “Are we going to get to meet the President?” I said, “No, I don't think we'll get to meet the President; we'll be close, but I don't think we'll get to meet the President.” He said, “Why? Do you have to be rich to In 2007 when my wife and I first moved meet the President?” I didn't know how to back to Nevada, our then three-year old respond to that and it really bothered me. I participated in a lot of social programs that enabled me to finish high school and to go to college. Those benefits were under attack and so I decided that I wanted to run for office.

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Assemblyman William Horne © William Horne, used with permission

Senator Aaron Ford was elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2012. © Aaron Ford, used with permission I decided then that I was going to try to work as hard as I could to make certain he knew he didn't have to be rich to meet the President. Even better, that same day he not only got to shake the President's hand, he also gave him a high-five. It was very important for me to see that and I'm glad that it happened.

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Blacks in Nevada Elections

Selected Sources for the Nevada 2012 Special Series Books

By Professor Rachel J. Anderson

Earnest N. Bracey, The Moulin Rouge and Black Rights In Las Vegas: A History of the First Racially Integrated HotelCasino (2009). Effie Mona Mack, Nevada: A History of the State from the Earliest Times Through the Civil War (1936). Elmer R. Rusco, “Good Time Coming?,” Black Nevadans in the Nineteenth Century (1975). Jerry L. Simich & Thomas C. Wright, The Peoples Of Las Vegas: One City, Many Faces (2005).

Over the years, Blacks have faced many uphill battles in Nevada elections. After the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, William M. Bird ran for mayor of Virginia City in the 1870 election. Mr. Bird was a well-known local barber and had been a political activist at a national level. Despite his popularity and position as an influential member of the Black community, Mr. Bird was subjected to disproportionately negative coverage in the local print media and a paucity of neutral or positive coverage. This and other challenges that have been present since statehood continue to be hurdles for Black candidates in Nevada to this day.

Frierson, Assemblyman William Horne, Attorney Phung Jefferson, Attorney Jonathan MacArthur, Assemblywoman Dina Neal, and Attorney Marsha Kimble Simms.

However, persistence, strategy, hard work, and being a qualified candidate can pay off. Over the years a small but growing number of Blacks, among them LVNBA members, have been elected to statewide and local offices in Nevada. In the 2012 election cycle, a number of LVNBA members ran for public office. They included Justice Michael Douglas, Senator Aaron Ford, Assemblyman Jason

LVNBA Members also participated in the 2012 elections by disseminating information about voting rights, registering voters, offering their offices for the training of election observers, poll watching, driving voters to the polls, answering calls in the Obama campaign boiler room and on voter information hotlines, and hosting debate watch events and open forum discussions.

Attorney Berna Rhodes-Ford organizes numerous election events each year. © Berna Rhodes-Ford, used with permission

Rachel Anderson is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) William S. Boyd School of Law, Vice President of the LVNBA, and a member of the NBA. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and her M.A. from Stanford University. Claytee White is a historian and the Director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries. She received her bachelor's degree from California State University Los Angeles, master's degree in history from UNLV, and has completed work toward a doctorate at the College of William & Mary.

Nevada State Bar Magazine Rachel J. Anderson, Timeline of African-American Legal History in Nevada (1861-2011), Nevada Lawyer, Feb. 2012, at 8. Richard Boulware, Dedicated to Excellence: National Bar Association, Las Vegas Chapter, Nevada Lawyer, Feb. 2012, at 26. Claytee White & Geralda Miller, Charles L. Kellar: Legal Trailblazer in Nevada, Nevada Lawyer, Feb. 2012, at 20. Oral History Transcripts Oral histories from interviews of Aaron Ford, William Horne, and Joseph M. Neal, Jr. on October 5-9, 2012 housed at the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association (LVNBA) Archive at the Wiener-Rogers Law Library at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law and the African-American History Collaborative Collection at the Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries Special Collections. Newspaper Articles The Evening Review Journal, 22 July 1930 and Clark County, Nevada 1910 Federal Census (transcribed by Patricia A. Scott & proofread by Daniel A. Scott for the USGenWeb Census Project), available at http:// ftp. “A.B. Mitchell Ranch Being Brought Under Cultivation,” Las Vegas Age, Mar. 3, 1923. “Colored Folk Enjoy Picnic,” Las Vegas Age, Oct. 30, 1928. Web-Based Resources Election of 1932: Changing the Guard, History Program,, at (last visited Oct. 9, 2012).

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National Bar Association Election Protection Taskforce Election Protection & Voter Empowerment answered the call in addressing these newly implemented and pending restrictions that sought to drastically change the electoral landscape. The NBA created an election protection taskforce that was led by NBA members throughout the region, Rozenia Cummings in California and Nevada, Marty Dunn in Ohio, and Alison Velez Lane in Maryland, who took the lead on ensuring that the right to vote was protected. The taskforce utilized a social media campaign, Thus, the National Bar Association (NBA) registered non-voters, distributed a bi-weekly The months leading up to the 2012 presidential election were critical, particularly as the need to protect voters’ rights became essential. This past year alone a large number of state governments across the country enacted an array of new laws and policies making it harder to vote. These new restrictions would not only impact the African- American community but also young, minority, disabled and low-income voters.

news brief and weekly advocacy brief highlighting state by state updates, tools and news. In addition to these efforts the NBA, as part of the election protection coalition, solicited volunteers, voting registration drives, town halls, and utilized a smartphone application that assisted registered voters leading up to and on election day. Below are just some highlights from affiliate chapters and members on their voter protection volunteer stories:

NBA Election Protection Co-Chairperson Marty Dunn Shares His Story suppression issues in the State. Sonia had been working with James Hardiman, an NBA member, who is the Ohio Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on election protection matters in Cleveland. The BLAC Election Protection Committee consisted of attorneys John Williams (BLAC President), Bernice Walker, Naima Clarke, Deborah Heater, Brian Thomas, Marty Dunn, and Calvin Tregre.

The NBA has been an active strategic partner with other key national and local election protection organizations working in the State of Ohio, most notably joining forces with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Advancement Project. Sonia Gill was our chief contact with the Lawyers’ Committee and Donita Judge was our principal contact with the Advancement Project. Some of our affiliates, such as the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC), worked directly with Sonia and Donita to train poll workers and to educate others on all of the election protection efforts and voter 22 | National bar association MAGAZINE

Hollingsworth and he promoted election protection throughout the State and connected with our strategic partners.

Some of our NBA affiliates, such as the John Mercer Langston Bar Association in Columbus were actively involved in voter protection, but had chosen to do so with the Promote the Vote. At the end of September, they conducted a seminar on voter suppression in conjunction with organizations at Many, if not all, of the strategic partners, the Ohio State Law School. including the NBA, became members of the Ohio Fair Elections Network (OFEN) to The NBA joined a number of voting rights stay informed and to communicate quickly advocates, including the Advancement and effectively regarding the latest voter sup- Project, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil pression/election protection developments. Rights, the Ohio NAACP and the League of OFEN was the email communication tool Women Voters in issuing a press release conthat allowed voter protection advocates to demning the announcement that Secretary instantly mount a response and create a of State Jon Husted would appeal to the press release on the appeal to the Supreme Supreme Court regarding the 6th Circuit Court on the early voting matter. Court of Appeal’s decision to allow in-person voting for all Ohioans the Saturday, Sunday In Ohio, we also had the fortune of hav- and Monday prior to Election Day. ing an NBA member from the Thurgood Marshall Law Society in Dayton serving Marty Dunn is a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl as the current President-elect of the Ohio LLP. He is also co-chair of the NBA Election State Bar Association. His name is Jonathan Protection Task Force.

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and its Affiliate Chapters Campaign for During 2012 Presidential Election Season

Harold Pope, Past President of the National Bar Association, Shares Election Protection Efforts in Michigan We worked with the Michigan Election Coalition to cover the State of Michigan in this election. The goal was to recruit 4,000 attorneys and law students for our effort. We had 150 in 2008 and covered the greater Detroit Metropolitan area including Ann Arbor and Flint. The coalition was bolstered by a $270,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. Additionally, we had our command center in Detroit with field offices in Pontia, Ann Arbor, Flint, Saginaw, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor. We worked with Common Cause so that we were able to have non-legal volunteers manning individual polling places, and legal volunteers circulating by car with 4 locations to cover. Additionally, we worked with churches to set up trainings for volunteers in the targeted communities.

National Bar Association Continues to Help its Members Affected by Hurricane Sandy In October, Hurricane Sandy swept through the Caribbean, MidAtlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. Reported as one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes, Sandy took the lives of many, disrupted businesses and left many communities without basic resources such as food, shelter and electricity. As a result, the National Bar Association (NBA), under the leadership of John E. Page and the Vice President of Regions and Affiliates Ellen Douglass, created a taskforce to assist members and the communities affected by the Hurricane. Specifically, Region II (Connecticut, New York and Vermont) and Region III (Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) of the National Bar Association, along with affiliate chapters within that region continue to lend a helping hand to NBA members and communities that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. This natural disaster has affected many lawyers and judges throughout the region, and communities of people that are now in desperate need of legal services. You can assist by making a tax-deductible donation. To make your donation, please visit www.nationalbar.ORG | 23

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National Bar Association

Events Recap 9.20.12

Congressional Black Caucus Reception


he National Bar Association (NBA) participated in and hosted several events in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference. Events included a kick-off reception hosted by the NBA Young Lawyers Division, National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) Ninth Annual CBC Networking and Alumni Event at Reed Smith and a Journey to Attorney Pipeline program at Francis-Stevens Middle School; this pipeline initiative allowed NBA members and partners to introduce Washington-area youth to the legal profession by discussing the steps it takes to become an attorney and the key role lawyers play in shaping society. NBA President John E. Page was a panelist on Chairman John Conyers’ Judiciary Braintrust: Advancing the Civil Rights Agenda, and NBA Secretary and Law & Religion Section Chair Juan R. Thomas served as a panelist for the seminar, “Communities of Faith in Progressive in Politics." The 6th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Reception, held at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, honored the leadership of America's most accomplished African-American elected officials. The honorees of the event were presented with the NBA Presidential Award of Merit. Honorees included: Rep. Yvette Clarke, (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Anthony Brown, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, and Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts.


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n Sept. 26, Ballard Spahr's Diverse Associates Group and the National Bar Association hosted a diverse law student reception intended to engage law students to network with top attorneys in the Philadelphia area. Students received literature about the value of joining the National Bar Association and steps to becoming a lawyer while in law school. Additionally, students were able to learn more about specific practice areas, trends in the legal field and the life of a successful attorney. Schools represented were: Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel and Villanova Universities. Guest speakers included: NBA Executive Director Demetris W. Cheatham and NBA Vice PresidentMembership Twanda Turner-Hawkins.

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Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposium & Award Reception


he National Bar Association (NBA) presented its annual Wiley A. Branton Award to Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, Larry Gibson, professor of law at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law, and Benjamin F. Wilson, managing principal of Beveridge & Diamond during its 24th Annual Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposium. The awards were presented at Howard University’s School of Law and DLA Piper in Washington, DC. The Wiley A. Branton Award, named in honor of attorney and civil rights activist Wiley A. Branton, is presented to individuals who are demonstrating or have demonstrated leadership on the cutting edge of law for civil, social and economic justice. Past recipients of the award include: The Little Rock Nine, Jewel LaFontantMankarious, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah, and Rev. Dr. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. The award reception was held in conjunction with the National Bar Association’s 24th Annual Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposium and Howard Law Journal’s 9th Annual Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposium: “Protest & Polarization: Law and Debate in America 2012.”


Gateway to Success: Navigating a Legal or Corporate Career in a Global Economy Conference


he National Bar Association held a dynamic one-day conference, "Gateway to Success: Navigating a Legal or Corporate Career in a Global Economy Conference," featuring some of the nation's most accomplished corporate attorneys and brands. Hosted at the historic Jackson State University, "Gateway to Success" offered a valuable opportunity for focused professionals looking to sharpen their skills and expand their networks. Seminar topics included: "Tips to Securing a Seat on a Major Corporate Board," "New Strategies for Increasing your Book of Business in a Changing Legal Environment," "From Corporate Counsel to General Counsel.” Panelists included: Mary Beard, Senior Counsel FedEx Corporation, Carla N. Archie, Senior Counsel-Litigation & Workout Division, Wells Fargo Law Department, Todd Woods, Assistant General Counsel, Nissan, Marcus V. Brown, Senior Vice President & General Counsel Entergy and Additionally, the NBA collaborated with the Political Science Department and School of Business at Jackson State University and gave away scholarships to students that planned to attend law school. www.nationalbar.ORG | 25

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National Bar Association

Events Recap 11.12.12

National Bar Association Hosts Exclusive Networking Event at Beveridge & Diamond


he National Bar Association held an exclusive networking event on Nov. 12 at Beveridge & Diamond. The event was an opportunity for members and non-members of the NBA to network with top AfricanAmerican legal professionals within the Washington Metropolitan area. Attendees included: Benjamin Wilson, Principal of Beveridge & Diamond; Demetris W. Cheatham, Executive Director of the NBA; Kendra Brown, National Chair of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA); Michelle Thomas, Chair of the Young Lawyers Division; and Tom Williamson, President of the DC Bar. NBA members were able to share the benefits of joining the NBA and the value of the organization on their professional development.


NBA Government Lawyers Division Asks Attendees Do They Have What it Takes During Successful Expert Panel Seminar and Networking Reception


he Government Lawyers Division hosted a seminar and networking reception entitled, "Getting into Senior Executive Service: Do You Have What it Takes?" on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Howard University School of Law.

Nearly 50 attorneys from government and the private sector were in attendance for the event. The event speakers were: Leslye Fraser, Environmental Appeals Board Judge at the Environmental Protection Agency; Norma Hutcheson, Deputy Managing Counsel for the Capital Metro Law Office of the United States Postal Service; and Tracey Pinson, Director for Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Office for the Secretary of the Army. The seminar was

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moderated by Lani P. Shaw, Chair of the Government Lawyers Division and Senior Attorney at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The presenters provided an overview of SES — whose members serve in key positions just below the top Presidential appointees and are the major link between the appointees and the rest of the federal workforce. During the seminar, information was also provided regarding the application and selection process for this high level of government service. Sponsors of the event included the African American Federal Executives Association, the Washington Bar Association and the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (GWAC).

Join the NBA for these upcoming webinars! February 12, 2013

• 2:00 p.m. EST

Improving Your Form 990 - Best Practices in Reporting Executive Compensation for Non-Profit Entities This presentation will discuss the requirements for reporting executive compensation for Form 990 (the informational tax return filed by non-profit organizations). Specifically, we will address best practices for reporting current compensation, bonus programs, deferred payments, supplemental benefits and post-employment arrangements for senior executives and highly compensated employees in a manner consistent with IRS requirements. We will also discuss areas of executive compensation reporting which have drawn increased interest for IRS review.

Visit to register! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

February 13, 2013

• 2:00 p.m. EST

How I Got Over: Successful Transitions In and Out of Government An experienced panel from JAMS, the world’s largest provider of mediation & arbitration services, will speak and answer questions on: • An overview of ADR industry • What experience is necessary to become a mediator/arbitrator? • What it’s like to be a mediator / arbitrator? • The role diversity plays in ADR Presenters:

Michael K. Lewis, Esq. – Mediator/Arbitrator with JAMS Judge Sherman W. Smith – Mediator/Arbitrator with JAMS Brian Parmelee – VP, Corp. Development & Panel Relations, JAMS Mark Smalls – VP & Chief Marketing Officer, JAMS

Visit to register!

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National Bar Association 87th Annual Convention & Exhibits Promoting Justice & Equality July 14-19, 2012


he National Bar Association hosted its 87th Annual Convention & Exhibits at the Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV from July 14-19, 2012. More than 1,300 guests filled meeting rooms to listen to the best and brightest on various issues including voter empowerment, gaming law, corporate leadership, education and more. The NBA recognized several leaders for their outstanding work in the legal field and within their communities.

Additionally, the attendees participated in several community initiatives including the Young Lawyers Pro-Bono Clinic where they offered free legal advice and answered questions for Las Vegas community residents and the 6th Annual Linnes Finney, Jr. NBA Youth Day; scholarships were presented during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition. For more photos from the 87th Annual Convention, please visit


National Bar Association 2013 Calendar of Events

January 19, 2013 Legacy Inaugural Ball Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Washington, DC February 14-17, 2013 Mid-Winter Meeting Hosted by: NBA Judicial Council, Young Lawyers and Small Firms/Solo

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Practitioners Divisions Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino Nassau, Bahamas February 21-23, 2013 26th Annual Corporate Counsel Conference Sponsored by: NBA Commercial Law Section

St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort Dana Point, CA March 6-10, 2013 National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) 45th Annual Convention The Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta, GA

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April 5-7, 2013 Annual Mid-Year Conference & Gertrude E. Rush Award Dinner Sponsored by: NBA Labor & Employment Law Section St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort Dana Point, CA

April 23-24, 2013 Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) Annual Meeting Washington, DC May 28, 2013 NBA Women Lawyers Division Annual Supreme Court Swearing-in Ceremony Washington, DC

June 2013 International Affiliate Chapter Meeting Paris, France & Netherlands July 6-16, 2013 Crump Law Camp Howard University School of Law Washington, DC July 27-August 1, 2013 88th Annual Convention & Exhibits Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel Miami, FL

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President's Epilogue


s you read this issue’s magazine I imagine many of you asking yourselves “How is it that as advocates in the U.S. we are still fighting to protect the integrity of the electoral process and the judiciary system against racism and discrimination?” We have certainly made strides since the civil rights era but studies show that our rate of advancement on key civil rights issues, notably affirmative action, has slowed.

A cursory look at various trends in our profession and in the labor market vividly makes the case for renewed affirmative action initiatives. For example, while African Americans represent 13 percent of the U.S. population we are only 4 percent of the practicing bar. The fact that in many jurisdictions the members of the bench reflect less diversity than in previous years is particularly alarming.

that 36 percent of the U.S. workforce is made up of people of color. Yet only 4.2 percent (or 21) of the nation’s Fortune 500 CEOs are from these minority groups. Of those 21 minority CEO’s only 4 are black. So where do we start to address this problem?

Our profession and our NBA agenda depend upon the insight, experience and influence of brilliant African American lawyers and judges.

The last time this country decided to take serious steps to address the severe underrepresentation of minority groups in our government and in our private workplaces we saw the creation of the affirmative action policies of the 1960’s. Those policies helped to raise the level of diversity on our campuses, There has been much in the media in recent in our workplaces, in our government and in years about the decline in law school admisour judiciary. sions for African Americans and other minority groups, but I think we need to It seems, however, that only 50 years later, we go further back to address this problem. need a nation-wide refresher. Recent Supreme We need to examine the experience of our Court decisions on diversity and inclusion African American undergraduate students. policies have resulted in greater public scru- Are they being admitted to the nation’s unitiny and a national reticence when it comes versities in sufficient numbers to support to supporting affirmative action or diversity higher law school applications? policies. Again, however, in this particular debate numbers speak volumes and remind Last year the City University of New York us of how much more work needs to be done (CUNY) and the Community Service to address the impact of past discrimination Society of New York released a report about through effective diversity strategies. the declining admission rates of black and Latino applicants to CUNY. The report conRecent reports from DiversityInc. indicate cluded that the recession was a key factor 30 | National bar association MAGAZINE

in this trend. As the economy worsened more people decided to return to school. The increases in overall admissions led to the enrollment of students with higher SAT scores. In a region where more than 70 percent of the high school students are black the report found that the top five CUNY colleges were just 10 percent black – even as more black high school students than ever are taking the SAT exams. In this example from New York we see how one factor, the recession, has served to negatively impact rates of admission of minority students already affected by the long standing effects of existing cultural biases and system inequities. Effective diversity and affirmative action policies in education are therefore still needed to address these emerging and existing issues which lower university admission rates for African Americans and the overall rate of African American admissions to our nation’s law schools. Our profession and our NBA agenda depend upon the insight, experience and influence of brilliant African American lawyers and judges. We can help to ensure that future by lobbying our universities and law schools and making the case for comprehensive and fair admission policies that acknowledge the value of diversity and take quantifiable steps towards ensuring equal opportunity for the bright minds seeking higher learning from our African American communities.

John E. Page


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NBA Magazine Fall 2012 & Winter 2013 Issue  

• Diversity on the Bench: Strategic alliances enhance diversity on the bench, including a directory of African-American federal judges • Hi...

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