The 2010 Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award was presented to the Honorable Nancy Gertner, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts, in a ceremony at Colby College April 11, 2010. A public award ceremony and address by Gertner will took place at 7:30 p.m. in Ostrove Auditorium in the Diamond Building. Events began with a panel discussion on “The Evolving Impact of Technology on Law and the Courts” at 4 p.m.
The Brody Award, created in 2000, honors an outstanding federal or state judge who embodies the qualities of integrity, compassion, humanity, and judicial craftsmanship exhibited by the late Judge Morton A. Brody, who taught at Colby and was the husband of Associate Dean of Admission Judith Levine Brody ’58.
Before her appointment to the federal court in 1994 Judge Gertner was a defense and civil rights lawyer in Boston. She litigated significant cases affecting reproductive rights, employment discrimination against women, and desegregation of Boston’s public schools. As a judge she has decided cases where racial profiling, employment discrimination, and fair housing were at issue. She is one of just two women (with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) to have received the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award.
Judge Gertner has written widely on legal issues including constitutional and criminal law, criminal procedure, sex discrimination law, and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. She has worked internationally, teaching women’s rights and human rights in Europe, Asia, and Africa, including training Cambodian lawyers appearing before the War Crimes Tribunal there and working to rebuild a legal system in Liberia.
The panel discussion, “The Evolving Impact of Technology on Law and the Courts,” began at 4 p.m. in Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building, moderated by the Honorable John Woodcock, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. Panelists included: the Honorable James B. Haines Jr., U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Maine; Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times; the Honorable Janet Mills, Maine’s attorney general; and John Reinstein of the American Civil Liberties Union, Massachusetts.
Judge Gertner, a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Colby with the Brody Award. She is the sixth recipient of the award, following Leonie M. Brinkema (2008), Frank M. Coffin (2006), Richard Sheppard Arnold (2004), Ann Claire Williams (2002), and Guido Calabresi (2001).